Modern Governance: Better Board Decision-Making for Community Colleges

Lena Eisenstein
5 min read

Community college boards are presented with a variety of problems that require thorough board decision making to develop successful resolutions. Some of the issues that end up on the board agenda are completely unpredictable.

When community college boards are faced with any obstacle, time and the access to pertinent information are imperative to good board decision making. Technology can equip and support board members in new and creative ways and make meeting processes streamlined, simplified, and more thoughtful.

Modern governance can be challenging, but it is through this practice of empowering leaders to fuel good governance in today’s digital age that leaders are encouraged and transformed – greatly impacting institutions and students. Modern governance goes beyond the boardroom to engage and equip board members and the communities that they serve. The right technology can support modern governance by providing a streamlined platform for board members to leverage leading to more effective decision making.

Modern Governance and Board Decision Making

Modern governance does not have to wait. Utilizing the right technology, the work performed by the board can be seamless and easily accessible from anywhere. Information and materials can be easily shared and accessed through a board management platform, meaning board members continuously feel “in the know” and can perform their best work for the institution and larger community.

Community colleges are evolving to best utilize the technology that is currently available in classrooms and other formats to benefit students, and boards of trustees must do the same. Technology can equip community college boards to be more organized, efficient, and effective in the decision making process and better positioned to carry out the mission and vision of the institution.

Access to Information

The ability for community college board members to have access to the information that they need, when they need it, creates opportunities. Community college boards then have the capability to be more strategic in decision making through the continuous access to board materials. Board management software should streamline the board members’ ability to share and retrieve pertinent board information.

Meeting agendas, past meeting minutes, policy manuals, strategic plans, goal information, and orientation or training resources are all significant materials related to board functions and good board decision making. Community college board members should have the capability of gaining access to these documents from any device or location, securely. Technology that provides a way to easily upload, share, and access all of these vital materials is critical for board members and administration teams.

Having quick and simplified access to policies related to community college board governance sets the board up for success in modern governance practices. Board members and administrators can continuously be aware of the laws and policies that guide the actions taken by the board. The right board management software meets the board’s needs where they currently are, and works to push the board toward better governance practices and accomplishing their best work.

Board Meeting Management

Community college board meetings are where most board decisions are made. Utilizing meeting management technology, board secretaries can easily and quickly create an agenda based on a template that meets the board’s specific needs to better support strong decision making. Board management software supports all types of attachments and these documents can be attached to specific agenda items.

Meeting management technology can allow scheduling, distribution, and integrated annotation features. The annotation ability allows users to create, categorize, and manage their own notes.

The creation of a meeting minutes document after the board meeting can be a difficult and lengthy process, especially if the amount of information that must be recorded into the official record is significant. Automated production of the board’s meeting minutes document, through a board management software, can be a timesaver that can also improve the accuracy of details and information. Having accurate meeting minutes is imperative to the record of decisions that have been made by the board.

The right board management software can allow your board to utilize both automated and manual capabilities to produce meeting minutes and then easily present those minutes for approval at future meetings. This helps in efficiency and effectiveness in community college board meeting minutes, which are used as an official and legal record of the board’s activities and decisions.

If the community college board records meetings through video or audio, the footage of meetings are also able to be attached to minutes. All of these documents and files can then be easily distributed to board members and other pertinent parties.

Leveraging Technology for Board Decision Making

Some community college boards may have fears regarding technology and some of the risks that are often associated with applying new technology. However, leveraging the right technology, boards are better equipped to mitigate these risks. Leveraging a board management software can help boards mitigate the risks for data exposure or loss related to cyber attacks.

When college boards are utilizing board management software, it is imperative that they look at the features and capabilities of the software in terms of securing sensitive data. The software should promote and support strong cybersecurity practices to protect sensitive data related to the higher education institution and its students.

Having a seamless, streamlined platform for community college board members to access and maintain pertinent information supports the work to be accomplished for the institution.

Technology can be intimidating, but it can be a resource that supports community college boards in performing their best work, encouraging board mobility and strong board decision making. Board management software can be utilized to implement and follow modern governance best practices and boost efficiency and effectiveness for long term success.