June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.327.1 - 11.327.8
COLLABORATING WITH INDUSTRY VIA YOUR ADVISORY BOARD
Many schools and programs have advisory boards that function as little more than a fundraising pool or an audience for the reading of the annual report. Ideally, an advisory board should team with the school to drive the strategic direction while providing advice on various important issues. Having the right group of people on the board is a key factor in determining how effective it will be. But, who are the “right” people? And, how should they be organized? According to many academic leaders, the board should be made up of a small, select group of people with a variety of experiences. This variety of people and experience makes the meetings much more productive and the board much more effective. Finding and attracting the right outside advisors is not as easy as it seems, and it is not always possible to cover every area with a particular group of advisory board members. Regardless of who is on your board, it is important that they can be relied upon for good advice and direction.
Advisory Board Fundamentals
Many university programs are now beginning to discover that an advisory board can serve as a valuable complement to the program’s leadership team. In today’s increasingly complex and competitive world, the proliferation of advisory boards is helping university programs develop specific plans with clear and effective strategies in order to deliver a quality education.
The term “advisory board” is best defined as: a group of executives, professionals, educators and/or students appointed by the university to provide guidance and support on issues critical to the organization it represents. A board of advisors is a working, as opposed to an honorary, body. A board should offer guidance versus governance, and deliver great insight minus legal liability and statutory responsibility.1
An advisory board is not the same as a: • Board of Directors – with responsibilities to the university and its shareholders while maintaining organizational control over the President. • User Group – has students or industrial firms organized and administered to provide input regarding tactical contribution on specific educational issues. • Focus Group – has individuals with a specific demographic mix brought into the university to evaluate or discuss a specific topic.
Davis, D. (2006, June), Collaborating With Industry Via Your Advisory Board Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/226
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