by Peter D. Eckel and Cathy A. Trower
Foreword by Richard Chait

This series of essays, Practical Wisdom. Thinking differently About College and University Governance, written for trustees and administrative leaders of universities and colleges draws on the authors’ extensive consulting experience, research into the dynamics of boards, and service as trustees, to focus on practical insights that will help readers improve governance. The authors have contributed a series of essays on governing well to Inside Higher Education, which formed the inspiration for this volume.

The primary aim of the book is to provide insight that boards can use to enhance their governing practices. The author’s take is not a “how to do” book but rather one on “how to think.” Their basic premise is that too many boards are underperforming because they adopt or continue ineffective practices. However, thinking in more intentional if not new ways about not only what they do as boards, but how they go about their efforts, will help boards add value to the institutions and state systems they govern. The authors use thought provoking-titles and a conversational tone to engage the readers, get them to reflect on their work, and broaden their horizons.
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“Practical Wisdom astutely focuses on the means—tools, techniques, and templates—that enable trustees and, by extension, executives to determine, pursue, and achieve a core strategy aligned with core values. There’s no more valuable contribution a book on governance can make.”

Richard Chait

Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education