The Single-Issue Trustee: Champion or Distraction? (Case Study)
This case is provided as a tool to foster discussion of important governance issues.
Case #1: Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen was one month shy of her first year anniversary as a trustee at South State Community College. Having served as a faculty member for over 35 years before retiring, there was no doubt about her love for and commitment to the community college, but her knowledge and connections to the college were both a strength and a weakness. At every meeting, Mary Ellen would indicate that she was serving on the board to protect students and faculty from the administration and trustees who came out of the business community and did not understand academic freedom. It was clear that she still saw herself as a champion representing the faculty, and every board action had to meet the litmus test of supporting their interests. Mary Ellen attended faculty senate meetings and met weekly with faculty colleagues to review the board agenda and other matters.
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