Dear Fellow Members of the Boston College High School Community:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wanted to share with you a successful milestone reached this summer at our beloved school. The Board recently completed the Governance Review that we began last year. As we had mentioned to you in previous months, last summer the re-constituted Board of Trustees voted unanimously to conduct a robust Governance Review as one of our top priorities.
The Board hired Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C., a firm with deep experience in governance reviews for academic institutions. The Mintz Levin team was allowed full discretion to identify a broad range of stakeholders to interview for the review, including past and present Board leadership, senior staff, and other constituents. Their review included an assessment of our bylaws, Board composition, organizational structure, policies and practices affecting Board oversight, conflicts of interest, Board committees, succession planning, and matters affecting the Board’s ability to develop strategic initiatives.
Mintz developed a comprehensive report of their findings. Once the Board received the report and recommendations from Mintz, we divided into three working groups to focus on the following areas: 1) Board Composition, Structure and Recruitment, 2) Board Roles and Responsibilities and Management Roles and Responsibilities, and 3) Committee Structures. Each working group was overseen by the Chair of the Board, the Vice Chair and the President. All Board members worked in one or more of the three working groups. As each work group completed their tasks, their work was vetted and reviewed by the entire Board for final review, deliberation, and decision.
After reviewing the results of the working groups, the Board voted unanimously to implement a series of narrow, but substantive, changes designed to improve the functioning of the Board going forward. The changes include:
- Policies that encourage a systematic “refreshing” of the Board, including term limits for trustees
- A smaller, more nimble Board with a maximum size of 18 trustees
- A more robust orientation and training of all trustees, designed to reinforce and highlight the mission of BC High and to clarify the distinction between Board governance duties and school management activities
- Restructuring of the standing Board Committees that reflect the ongoing strategic priorities and responsibilities of the Board
This was an important undertaking for both the Board and our new President, enabling us to take a top-down look at the school with the assistance of independent experts. We are confident that the changes we implemented are a positive step for the School.
Sincerely, Reverend Brian Conley, S.JChair, Board of Trustees