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Monthly Message from President O’Connor - February 2024

In the dynamic realm of higher education, PAU's Board of Trustees serves as a cornerstone for shared governance. Comprising individuals from diverse backgrounds in education, non-profit, public, and corporate spheres, our exceptional Board actively propels PAU's strategic plan and supports our vibrant community.

In a recent PAU News feature, we introduced Dr. Daniele Levy, an esteemed PAU alum who now leads as our Board Chair. Dr. Levy's leadership embodies the caliber steering our university towards excellence.

A notable development emerged as Dr. Levy and I recently engaged in a transformative workshop by the Association for Governing Boards in Higher Education, uniting with 20 other Board Chair/President teams. This experience delved into current challenges facing higher education, and through a rich exchange of experiences with peers nationwide, offered insights into best practices for enhancing Board and institutional effectiveness.

We gleaned valuable insights at this event, generating new ideas to enhance our Board. I'm delighted to share that our discussions at the workshop also affirmed PAU's status as a trailblazer, implementing many recommended Board practices ahead of the curve. An illustrative example is our dedication of a portion of every Board meeting to a crucial topic in professional development within higher education, with each session featuring a relevant "spotlight" on the impactful work underway at PAU.

In our upcoming meeting, we will focus on the pivotal role of accreditation in higher education, accompanied by a spotlight on the critical work being done under the leadership of Provost Erika Cameron in our Department of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, led by Dr. Rowena Gomez. This recognition, showcasing our alignment with best practices, underscores our university community's concerted efforts and commitment to advancing PAU's strategic plan, particularly our pillars of academic excellence and student success.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the unwavering dedication of the Board helps us confidently stride into the future, united in our pursuit of academic excellence and community impact.

Warm regards,

Maureen O'Connor
Palo Alto University