Board committee chooses governance consultant

The Board of Trustees Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning selected a governance consultant to assist the board in connection with its evaluation and discussion of ongoing governance issues during a conference call meeting held today (Nov. 15). The conference call, which was a public meeting, lasted about 30 minutes, was convened for the sole purpose of considering governance consultant engagement proposals, and was open to the public for listening purposes.

The consultant, referenced in the call as Vendor C, a major New York law firm with offices worldwide, was selected by a vote of 7 to 2.

As noted in the September meeting of the committee, as well as in the full board meeting on Sept. 19, the committee is seeking an outside expert to advise and assist with respect to ongoing governance issues. In its request for proposals, the committee sought a consultant to assist with the evaluation and discussion of issues related to University governance. These issues have been presented in a variety of board assessments produced by stakeholders, both internal and external to the University. Some questions include the optimal size of the board; the composition of the board and the method of election and selection of the members; term limits; and communication platforms to share information both among board members and stakeholders, to name a few.

The committee worked in conjunction with the University’s Procurement Services department, and 11 firms responded to the request for proposals.

"Upon receiving the 11 proposals, a subset of this committee – Barb Doran, Keith Masser and myself, with the assistance of the Procurement Services Department and Office of the Board of Trustees staff – evaluated the proposals using several criteria, including each submitting firm’s background and knowledge of board governance, experience with facilitating similar groups, and references," said Keith Eckel, chair of the committee. "Following that evaluation and also considering requests for additional information received from several firms, we narrowed the list to three firms for further consideration."

On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, the three firms made presentations to committee members, in advance of today's conference call.

Because it is not the practice of the University to disclose the names of all bidders for University work, the names of the submitting firms were not mentioned on this call. Final arrangements for the vendor engagement now will occur, with the name of the consultant expected to be announced prior to or at the Nov. 22 meeting of the board.

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Last Updated November 15, 2013