The ACU Board of Trustees is continuing to work on changes to the new model of governance they adopted in February.
Last August, the Board began rewriting its policy manual to line up with the policies of a new model called Policy Governance. The board approved its new policy manual in February 2013.
The model was adopted to help the Board more effectively focus on long-term issues of importance to the university, said Dr. Barry Packer, chair of the Board.
Packer said, “This model will help us to be proactive instead of reactive in addressing issues of importance to the university.”
In 2007 and 2008, the Board downsized from 65 trustees to about 30 trustees.
General counsel of ACU Slade Sullivan said, “The change definitely improved the board and the way it operates, but there was still a sense that the model we’re using to operate might not be the best model, so the Board looked for a new model.”
The new model calls for the Board to establish outcomes they want the university to work towards. These outcomes are called end policies. The Board will then create boundaries on the way the president reaches the outcomes. These limitations are called means policies.
The broadest outcome the Board has established is for the university to “produce Christian leaders who think and act critically, missionally and globally.”
Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, said the Board is working to understand what changes need to be made for the new governance model.
“We’re trying to be very clear in articulating the valuable take-aways from the education of ACU and being deliberate in assessing our ability to achieve those desired outcomes,” Schubert said. “In the past we have not been in the practice of assessing whether or not were achieving these high level outcomes. This model forces us to look at that continuously and assess how well we’re doing”
As part of the Policy Governance model, the Board is establishing ways to measure the progress of the university. A significant focus of the Board is discovering if students are learning to think and act critically, missionally and globally, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said, “It’s a difficult process, but it’s important because if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish as a university then how can you know if we’re successful or not?”
When there were more trustees, the Board relied on ten committees to do the work of the Board. They served the previous larger size of the Board, but after downsizing, the new model better fit the reorganized Board’s goals. These committees are still maintained, Sullivan said.
An ad hoc committee has been formed to understand what role committees should play in the new governance model of the Board.