The main functions of IABs/IACs include [2–4]:
• Providing independent external advice, through board meetings and engagement with projects and new initiatives.
• Assisting in developing corporate and institutional relationships at the national and international level.
• Assisting in building and delivering cases for institutional change as and when perceived and required.
• Helping to increase contributions of practitioners into research, learning, and teaching, including creating and maintaining direct contact with institutions' academic staff and students.
• Transferring world-class international universities' and companies' accumulated
expertise to the concerned local organizations in matters of education, research, technology transfer, international cooperation, marketing, and other relevant issues.
• Enhancing the level of international cooperation between concerned local uni-
versities and distinguished world-class universities.
• Advising on the overall strategy and direction of institutions, particularly in terms of research and education, and on improving their external profiles, and advising on appropriate responses to other related issues, as and when they arise.
• Providing informed viewpoints in the evaluation concerning the educational
aspects of entrepreneurial programs, and on effective collaboration with the business sector.
• Assisting and guiding universities to achieve their visions of academic excel-
lence and service to community.
Examples of International Advisory Boards/Councils
As previously mentioned, many institutions and companies decide to create advisory boards when it is apparent that there is a subject area where experts can positively reinforce the knowledge, understanding, and strategic thinking of boards and management teams. Experienced advisory board members can provide specialist advice and extend the range of skills and understanding of management teams in areas outside of their day-to-day fields of expertise. In the following section are some examples of universities and associations that have established advisory boards to positively impact their efforts toward the achievement of their missions and goals.
The following section is intended to provide an in-depth understanding of King Abdulaziz University's International Advisory Board (IAB), its objectives, and the criteria applied in its membership selection. It also enumerates the last seven meetings' topics and themes [2, 5–12].