Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

John B. Youngberg

Third Advisor

Arthur O. Coetzee


Problem. The university board of trustees is the single most important group of the university to guide an institution in fulfilling its goals and objectives. While it may seem that trustees have a grasp of their responsibilities to the institution they serve, it appears that many do not.

This study surveys all who have ever served as trustees of Andrews University in order to: (1) indentify characteristics of trustees; (2) determine how trustees of Andrews University perceive/perceived their role as trustee in relationship to the twelve trustee responsibilities as listed by John Nason; (3) compare theresponses of church administrators with those of laymen; and (4) compare the responses of trustees who served from 1961-1970 with those who served from 1971-1980.

Method. The study was based upon data collected from 121 (88 percent) living trustees of Andrews University. A comprehensive two-part questionnaire was sent to each trustee: Part I, biographical and personal information; Part II, responses to 94 items of trustee responsibility and their importance.

Results. Significant findings showed a need for: (1) A means of continuing identification, appraisal, and recommendations for trustee appointments; (2) A handbook clearly identifying the role and responsibilities of trustees; (3) A program of orientation for all new appointees and a continuing educational program for all trustees; (4) Trustees to read material and attend workshops and seminars on trusteeship; (5) The formulation of trustee sub-committees; (6) Tentative agendas to be sent to trustees prior to meetings; (7) Trustees to give more personal support to the University and to help identify and cultivate potential supporters; (8) The appointment of fewer ex-officio trustees and more professional layman; (9) Trustees having a better acquaintance with the campus, students, and faculty; (10) A document for trustee signatures stating they have no conflict of interest.

Conclusions. While some trustees have a more complete knowledge of trustee responsibilities others are greatly lacking in understanding of trusteeship. An ongoing educational program must be developed to orient trustees to their role and responsibilities. Only then can they serve the University efficiently and effectively.

Subject Area

College trustees, Andrews University. Board of Trustees


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