​University Board of Trustees receives national award for exceptional leadership

Ohio State one of five institutions honored with 2016 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership.

By: Chris Booker

Published on April 04, 2017

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees is being recognized for its continuing work to strengthen Ohio State’s position as a national flagship public research university.

Sunday, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges honored the Ohio State board of trustees with the 2016 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership. The honor recognizes governing boards for demonstrating exceptional vision and initiative — setting a standard for future boards at Ohio State and across higher education.

“This recognition is designed to honor boards that are at the pinnacle of excellence,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Alex Shumate. “I truly believe that the board has exemplified, over the last several years, the excellence this award represents.”

Ohio State was one of 70 institutions nominated for the award and one of five winners. Shumate, Secretary of the Board Blake Thompson and board members represented Ohio State at the AGB National Conference on Trusteeship in Dallas.

“This is a fitting recognition of the work the board provides in the service of the university,” said Secretary of the Board Blake Thompson. “We get to see the trustees give tirelessly to the institution throughout their tenure, often without anyone knowing.

“The John W. Nason Award acknowledges that effort.”

The AGB highlighted the way Ohio State’s board reformed the governing model of the Wexner Medical Center. Since then, the medical center has expanded its services for low-income patients, increased outside financial support and won awards from the University Health System Consortium. That plan was initiated under former board chair Robert Schottenstein, who joined AGB President Richard Legon to discuss the awart at the April board metting.

Shumate said the changes in Wexner Medical Center governance are just one example of how the board is working to better serve the university community, in part by focusing on its own culture. This includes convening a governance committee whose members review the board’s effectiveness and expectations, and set the bar for the talent needed to make specific contributions to the full board.

“As always, our goal is to get even better. We will be focusing on ensuring that we are staying current and relevant as we continue to move this great university forward,” Shumate said. “Ohio State has tremendous momentum and we want to capitalize on that momentum as we move toward 2020.”

Legon said the leadership shown by Ohio State’s board was award-worthy.

“The Ohio State University has a history of really effective boards,” Legon said. “The Ohio State University Board has traditionally taken periodic looks at its own structure, its own engagement and each time has come through those processes as a much better board.”

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