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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Board of Trustees forms committee to recruit new members

The Board of Trustees created a formal search committee in order to facilitate the trustee nomination process and resolve a recent dip in membership.

The decision to create the committee arose last month amid concerns that the nomination process was too informal and lacked proper leadership, said Nelson Carbonell, the chairman of the new committee and the Board’s vice chairman-elect. Carbonell also sits on the Board’s presidential search committee.

Most trustees serve four-year terms with an opportunity to step down at the end of each term. Each year, approximately five trustees leave the Board at the end of a term, Carbonell said. Last spring, two trustees unexpectedly resigned mid-term due to conflicts with personal business, he said.

About five trustees will sit on the Trustee Nominations Committee and be responsible for researching and evaluating potential members, then they will nominate candidates for a formal vote by the Board.

In the past, the Governance, Compensation and Nominations Committee, a sub-committee of GW’s highest oversight body, performed these tasks, and no committee was devoted solely to the new trustee nomination process. The new committee will work with GW’s Office of Advancement to find new Trustees.

“It’s very important that there be more attention paid to (the nomination process),” said Laurel Price Jones, vice president of Advancement. “And because the (GCN Committee) has other responsibilities, it’s really important that there is a subgroup working all the time, not just when they meet.”

Carbonell said one of the advantages of the new committee is that it will provide an opportunity for trustees to spend more time interacting with prospective candidates.

“We’re trying to really just get some additional trustees involved . to help us go out and get the best trustees for this University,” Carbonell said. “There’s a good aspect of getting more in-depth information, rather than just getting a profile and electing them that way.”

In addition to generating a list of potential trustees, committee members are expected to socialize with candidates.

“We look at the candidates and find out what involvement they’ve had with GW, and we really look at diversity and the backgrounds of people,” Carbonell said. “We want to make sure the board reflects the community we serve.”

Price Jones said the new committee underscores the importance of committing time and energy to finding capable trustees.

“It’s a more deliberate process,” Price Jones said. “It’s putting a focus on the need to find the best trustees possible; the best in all ways.”

University Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz explained that the new committee represents a continuous process of getting better trustees on the Board. He said there is “nothing wrong” with the Board and emphasized that this is a process that happens every year. He did, however, say there might be a heavier emphasis on the process this year.

“Sometimes different things are emphasized; this can change the way new board members are sought after,” Katz said. “Getting new members of the board is how you build strength.”

-Brandon Butler contributed to this report.

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