The American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) Board of Trustees had a five hour meeting where they analyzed reports and discussed the future of the university. This was the first of four meetings the Board of Trustees had every year. Board of Trustees Chair Sara Pol Lim, AUHS Co-founder and Board of Trustees Vice-Chair Pastor Gregory Johnson, AUHS Founder and Board of Trustees member Dr. Kim Dang (Hon.), Board of Trustees member Atty. Johnny Griggs, Board of Trustees member Dr. Song Tan, and Board of Trustees member Tamara Whitman gathered in the 2nd Floor Conference room at AUHS on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.AUHS Board members were given a presentation on university governance from Dr. Jill Derby, the Senior Consultant of AGB Consulting. Dr. Derby discussed the Board’s role and responsibilities, what the best practices were in university governance and ways of enhancing AUHS’ governance performance. She also discussed how imperative a university’s role is in society.
“Universities and colleges are very particular institutions in our society. It’s not like any other place or a business that produces widgets. The economic viability of communities and states and nations depend on our higher education institutions,” said Dr. Derby, “Just like the courts, just like churches, universities and colleges are held in very high esteem in society and there’s more and more of a recognition around the world, that there’s an accountability required because of that.”
Dr. Derby discussed Consequential Board Governance, a 2016 study where AGB examined 55 prominent higher education institutions.
“Boards used to be a little more passive and just listen to the reports, have a reception and go home. But (the Consequential Board Governance) report says it can’t be business as usual because of altered educational delivery methods, basic changes in financing, and rising expectations,” Dr. Derby said, “Boards have to be in the forefront of these changes and have to focus particularly on the strategic long-term issues.”Dr. Derby reminded the AUHS Board members that they were the “fiduciary body” of the university, which means the Board acts for the benefit of others, (their students, the public, etc.), whose welfare depends on their trust. Every trustee carries this fiduciary responsibility.
“It’s a legal responsibility because there are lawsuits than can come out of that, and it’s a moral responsibility,” Dr. Derby said.
The Board of Trustees should not only focus on financial sustainability, soundness, and integrity but educational quality as well, according to Dr. Derby. There are three pillars of fiduciary responsibility. The first pillar is the duty of loyalty where a Board member must always act in the best interest of the University above all else. The second pillar is the duty of care, which requires a board member to be diligent in the duties of the duties engagement. Trustees must attend and be prepared for meetings and events. The third pillar is the duty of obedience where the Board of Trustees makes sure the university is in compliance, aligned with its mission and in tune with accreditation standards, requirements, and bylaws.
The Board of Trustees had a serious fiduciary responsibility because it’s not only about individual students but it’s also about the good of the country. The big picture would be whether colleges and universities will be able to help produce enough healthcare providers and if they will be well enough trained. The welfare of the public depends on this, said Dr. Derby.
AUHS is a private, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation, and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook @auhs.edu and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.