How Can an IAB/IAC Be Effective and Beneficial?
In order for an IAB/IAC to be effective and beneficial for an organization, it is crucially important to ensure that the main management team of the institution supports the concept of the board's establishment and fully comprehends its purpose and function. It is also of paramount importance for its president to encourage and establish a good working relationship among the members, and between the board and senior management. The duties of the board should be unambiguously understood by the university council or senate, and by the board members. The board should focus on broad subjects relevant to goals, policy and program issues and not on the detailed managerial and operational aspects of the organization.
The IAB/IAC should work collaboratively with the organization's main management team, for example with the University Council. Its efforts should be directed toward the measurement and evaluation of the organization's activities aimed at meeting the objectives outlined in the organization's strategic plan, and in addressing relevant recommendations. As previously mentioned, the board does not have decision-making powers, but assists by enlightening and guiding the institutional management on strategic matters and provides an expert consultative mechanism. The management team is ultimately responsible for applying board recommendations and advice in accordance with their needs and priorities.
In this chapter, we have outlined the definition, objectives, composition, and functions of IABs and IACs in a number of institutions and organizations. The main role of IABs and IACs is to offer advice and guidance, especially on strategic matters, to assist and empower organizations' executive boards to enable their operational tasks to be successfully conducted and completed. Most boards and councils mentioned in this chapter have memberships of less than 20, and meet biannually.
IABs and IACs provide invaluable aid to concerned institutions in helping to concentrate their focus on strategic imperatives. They are also able to provide substantive and effective support in the building of international status, recognition, and reputation.