The Board/CEO Relationship

The relationship between a community college governing board and the chief executive officer (CEO) is crucial.  

Mutual understanding of the boundaries of each role and periodic assessment of adherence to those roles is essential for effective governance.

The board's role is to govern by setting policy, providing high-level direction, and monitoring the CEO's performance on behalf of the community. The board delegates authority to the CEO to lead and manage the organization within the established policies and expectations. 

The CEO, typically a professional educator, is responsible for administering the institution and providing day-to-day leadership. They translate the board's vision into concrete actions, prioritize initiatives, and execute strategies to fulfill the college's mission. The CEO operates within the policy framework set by the board and collaborates with them to align goals and values with community needs.

While board and CEO responsibilities overlap to some extent, effective communication and understanding help prevent conflicts and promote a shared vision.

Additional insight: The relationship between the board and the CEO requires trust, effective communication, and a shared commitment to the college's mission and success. Regular evaluations of the CEO's performance and periodic assessments of the board's effectiveness can help ensure a productive partnership. Professional development opportunities for both the board and the CEO can enhance their understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities, keeping them aligned with best practices in community college governance.

More in-depth resources, including educational videos, articles, worksheets and more are available to members in our governance resource library at ACCT Connect.