Board of Trustees takes steps to improve visibility

Board of Trustees members
Board members from left, Lori Holland, vice chair; Jim Ryan, chair; and William Bennett, immediate past chair. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
During the presidential search process, James T. Ryan, chair of the Board of Trustees, found faculty and staff had a strong desire to learn more about the board's role in governance and board members themselves. As a result, the board took several important steps at its first meeting of 2017-18 to strengthen trustee visibility.

A list of board member names and their biographies will be posted to the Office of the Secretary's website. The Office of the Secretary is working with trustees to update their professional biographies, which will be posted as soon as that work is complete. 

"This list provides an important link with our internal constituencies who want to know who serves on the Board of Trustees," Ryan explains.

The board also will add an opportunity for faculty to share a meal with trustees in conjunction with one of the board's thrice-annual meetings. A lunch with faculty will be tied to the March meeting, beginning in March 2018.  Board members have met with students over a meal for many years prior to their May meeting, and will continue to do so.

Newsline, DePaul's official university newsletter, has been featuring articles on new trustees as they join the board. That will continue. In addition, Ryan also announced that there will be a Newsline article following each board meeting summarizing key decisions and discussions.

Finally, Ryan recommended that board members consider making themselves available to visit classes, serve as members of panel discussions and give presentations when possible. A formal process will be developed to route requests from faculty through deans, the provost and president before requests are made of trustees to ensure such opportunities are well planned and are a positive experience for the trustee and the audience.

"In totality, these efforts will improve our constituents' knowledge about the board and confidence in the transparency of our operations," Ryan says.