School Board Committees Enhance Effectiveness

By Doug Eadie

If you’d asked me about the importance of board standing committees 20 years ago, I would have advised you not to pay much attention. Committees certainly didn’t make my top 10 list of factors that influence board performance, and there’s certainly nothing theoretically interesting about a committee structure.

Well, experience has educated me, as it always should, and now I number well-designed committees among the top three determinants of board effectiveness. They are producing powerful benefits for boards around the country, including Community Consolidated School District 181 in the Chicago area; Washoe County Public Schools in Reno, Nev.; and the Teton County Public Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyo., among others.

Over the years I’ve handled more questions about committee structure than all other board-related matters combined, so it’s time to deal with it in detail. This month and next, we’ll look at the purpose behind having committees and how they work.

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