6 Qualifications That Board Of Trustee Members Should Have

Posted on: 16 January 2016

Effectively serving on the Board of Trustees of a college or university is an honor that requires specific qualifications. Applicants, like Katharine Hamilton, should be experienced people with strong records of accomplishment and commitment in their lives and who have some sort of existing tie to the educational institution where they're applying to for a trustee position. Following are six qualifications that a valuable Board of Trustee member should possess.

Real-World Business Skills

A good trustee will have firm grasp of how the business world works, as well as a thorough understanding of the complexities of financial matters of large organizations. Knowledge of big-scale budgeting, financial markets, and accounting is essential in order for someone to be an effective trustee.

An Understanding of Local Business Needs

Curriculum development that fails to meet the needs of local businesses doesn't provide many benefits for either students or the community in which the school is situated. Effective trustees have their fingers on the pulse of local business communities and know what skills employers require.

Negotiating Skills

The Board of Trustees in any given financial institution make collective decisions concerning essential matters regarding the school. Well-developed negotiating skills are an important part of coming to beneficial group decisions.

Communication Skills

Trustees should be able to communicate in a clear, concise manner, as well as have the ability to listen to others. Trustees who consider their own visions to be more important than those of others in the group are generally viewed as detriments because they frequently stand in the way of a workable group consensus.

Time, Interest, and Energy

Serving on the Board of Trustees is a prestigious position that appeals to many people. However, those whose only interest in serving on a Board of Trustees is to gain standing in their communities should reconsider whether they are acting in the best interests of the institution.

An Authentic Commitment to the School

Some people seek being elected to the Board of Trustees of their local institution of higher learning as a way to increase their visibility on the political landscape of their community for possible future gain or to work for a partisan agenda that they personally believe in. However, these types of candidates often fail to have an authentic to the school itself, and as a result, they may not always act in the best interests of the school during their time as a trustee.

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