Approved/revised: September 5, 2012
Board leadership requires, above all, that the Board provide vision for the College. To do so, the Board must first have an adequate vision of its own job. The Policy Governance approach provides a powerful framework for structuring this task. Following this approach, the Board can free itself from unnecessary, time-consuming involvements and focus on the real business of governance: creating, sustaining, and fulfilling a vision.
The Policy Governance model is explained fully in "Boards That Make a Difference" (Jossey-Bass, 1990 as well as in its later editions, e.g., Third Edition, 2006). In brief, it reduces or eliminates meaningless Board and committee work, trivia, Board interference in administration, staff manipulation of the Board, unclear evaluation criteria and role confusion.
Policy Governance emphasizes vision and values, the empowerment of both Board and staff, and the strategic ability to lead leaders. Because policies permeate and dominate all organizational life, they present the most powerful lever for exercising Board direction. Board governance policies can be designed as a total system to encompass all expressions of Board wisdom. There are only 4 categories of Board Policy: Ends, Executive Limitations, Board-President Relationship, and Governance Process.