A key role of the governing body is to examine and agree the institution's strategic plan.
The Executive will typically propose a strategy by submitting a strategic plan to the governing body for its consideration. The governing body needs then to examine and question the proposed strategy, and assure itself that the proposed strategy addresses the opportunities and threat faced by the institutiion.
As most regular meetings of the governing body normally have very full agendas, a thorough discussion of a new strategic plan is likely to require specific time to be set aside. Typically, for example, this may involve the governing body holding a strategy day with the single item for discussion being the strategic plan.
In some institutions the detailed examination of the proposed strategic plan may be undertaken by a Strategic Development (or similar) committee, which reports on its findings, and makes recommendations, to the full governing body.
For further information read Governors' Briefing No. 10: Strategic plans
The Getting to Grips on 'Being a New Governor' devotes Chapter 5 to the topic of 'developing institutional strategy and measuring performance - the role of the governing body'. The text suggests determing and approving an institutional strategy 'remains one of the most challenging areas of governance' (p35).
Some of the challenges that institutions face in their operating environment and associated strategic questions are considered in the presentation 'Strategic Processes for Governors'. Robin Geller, Registrar and Secretary, Roehampton University
Governors, particularly 'lay' members, who may have limited knowledge of higher education, can find judging whether a strategy proposed by the Executive is appropriate to meet the strategic needs of the institution challeging. Richard Rumelt (2011) in his book 'Good Strategy: Bad Strategy', Profile Books, offers an approach to distinguishing between a 'good' or 'bad' strategy, which may assist.
For institutions considering a strategic option involving CAM; HEFCE has produced a publication of the 'Lessons learned and guidance for institutions' (September 2012/21)
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