New Trustee? What To Know

Posted on: 15 March 2017


When you're a brand new trustee in a reputable college, you have been entrusted with a number of responsibilities during your tenure. You might have been eager to get the position, but once you've got it you may be unsure how best to go about handling the work you need to get done so that you can do a wonderful job for the school. Using the helpful tips below, you should be able to get things done and make everyone proud.

Read Relevant Ethics Policies

Before anything else, you need to be certain that your time as a new trustee is not marred by scandal or ethics violations. Being unaware of ethical issues that your college has provided guidelines for can cause trouble. An ethics policy for college employees should be easily accessible, but what's even more important is that you are crystal clear about your understanding of any specific ethical rules you'll need to adhere to in your role as a school trustee. That way you're unlikely to run afoul of those rules and be able to keep yourself from being reprimanded or dismissed.

Do Homework

The job of trustee is often a part-time one; you probably have other tasks and activities to handle. It's easy to decide to just wait until all the trustees are in the meeting room together before you give much thought to any of the issues at hand. However, if you want to be good trustee, you owe it to everyone on campus to do as much homework on those issues as you're able to well before showing up for meetings and events.

Spend Time on Your Campus

Too often, trustees focus on the meetings and their talks with peers instead of spending time on their school's campus to get a real feel for the atmosphere. Because you'll be voting on decisions that will affect employees, students, and part-time workers, it's smart to schedule time to be on campus and meet with people. Whether you have official office hours that you publicize through the school paper or radio station or walk up to people and start talking, it's vital to communicate. By better knowing everyone on campus, your decisions and actions as a new trustee will be rooted in knowledge and first-hand experience.

Being able to incorporate some of the ideas above into your life during your time as a trustee will help you perform better in the role. Chatting with other trustees will provide you with additional relevant suggestions.For more information, talk to a professional like Katharine Hamilton.