Chatham News

Chatham University’s Board of Trustees wins governance award

PITTSBURGH:  Chatham University’s Board of Trustees has been awarded the John W. Nason Award for Board Service by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). Chatham was one of six recipients at the 2016 AGB National Conference on Trusteeship held April 17-19 in Washington, DC.

The John W. Nason Award for Board Service recognizes governing boards that have demonstrated exceptional leadership
and initiative, unusual courage in the face of difficult circumstances, and significant achievement that benefits the institution, system, or foundation in ways that truly matter.

The AGB commended Chatham’s board for leading “changes that are among the most transformational in recent decades in the institution’s history.” These include:

  • Suspending withdrawals for 44 months from the endowment to allow it to replenish after the Great Recession of 2008.
  • Reimagining in 2014 how Chatham University delivers undergraduate education by revising the mission (through undergraduate coeducation; a heightened emphasis on professionalism and preparation for the workforce; as well as a renewed commitment to sustainability and global and intercultural education); and to reorganize its structure (by schools of related disciplines instead of student type).

Read an article excerpt from Trusteeship magazine.

“Chatham University’s board has shown that dedication to mission need not be incompatible with necessary transformation and structural reorganization,” said Richard D. Legon, AGB president. “The board’s thoughtful but forward-thinking action is a model for other institutions facing difficult times.”

About the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and John W. Nason 
Since 1921, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has had one mission: to strengthen and protect this country’s unique form of institutional governance through its research, services, and advocacy. Serving more than 1,300 member boards, 1,900 institutions, and 40,000 individuals, AGB is the only national organization providing university and college presidents, board chairs, trustees, and board professionals of both public and private institutions and institutionally related foundations with resources that enhance their effectiveness.

John W. Nason (1905–2001) was an exemplary leader and staunch advocate for good governance. A philosophy professor and president of Swarthmore College, Carleton College, and the Foreign Policy Association, he directed AGB’s Commission on the Future of College and University Trusteeship. He was an author, mentor, adviser, and speaker whose greatest accomplishment was chairing the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, helping more than 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II.