Informed. Independent. Integrity. Impact.
Those four I’s of “Good Governance” should guide all trustees who serve on Illinois public university boards. The duty to stay informed, stay independent, act with integrity and make an impact is critically important for university trustees to achieve optimal performance and maintain the confidence of their constituencies.
That was the message spelled out by Mary Patricia Burns, president of Burke Burns & Pinelli, Ltd., on October 30, 2017, at the second annual Illinois Public University Trustees Conference at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.
Sponsored by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Office of the Governor, the conference provided trustees and staff from Illinois public universities with the chance to learn more about the latest developments in ethics and good governance practices. It follows passage of PA 99-0695, an amendment to the Board of Higher Education Act that now requires every voting member of a public university governing board to complete a minimum of four hours of professional development leadership training.
In her session, titled “Governance Matters: A Practical Guide for University Trustees,” Ms. Burns, a longtime counsel to several governmental boards, led trustees on an overview of the Illinois laws that affect them on a daily basis. Touching on topics in the news ranging from the College of Du Page to the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, she also discussed some of the pitfalls that occur as a result of trustees failing to follow good governance principles.
Ms. Burns gave a similar presentation to the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at its annual conference on November 17, 2017, in Itasca, Illinois.