Their background and why it matters
Very interesting and made me consider our own Board make-up in St. Paul.
1) Christian Schools have been in decline for many years before Covid. This reduction in the pool of our traditional High School grads has long been anticipated. Then Covid!
For these reasons, and so many more, Christian Colleges have been putting 'Band-Aids' on the bleeding, slashing and burning valuable people, faculty, mission, and desperately trying to "mine" potential students where they can. Thats the setting.
John assumes that this new brand of President values advice on 'change' that a Higher Ed person can offer. I dont think they want the kind of change a long-time Higher Ed. super star would advocate towards! Sorry Professor....
I could never understand a good CCCU school in Colorado hiring a politician President, rather than hiring from within Higher Ed. Now, as the trend continues, I do understand it. In my own orbit, two Minnesota CCCU schools have hired Business men as President.
In my opinion, all these new Presidents from outside Higher Ed. do not care about change or the kind of Mission that a Higher Ed veteran would want. The business-person President's focus is on the 'bottom line,' and "Perceived" Theo. drift. Dare I say that mission is just a word talked about until the Trustees leave? Although Theological drift is important in it's own right......my observations are that drift is addressed as an effort to appeal to our traditional base; white, upper middle class, conservative. The donor base is the same. Mining new students and new donors is too hard! And so, the Bottom line wins out over the 'mission' of Student development, or of Academics, or of crafting the student body. Mission is dismissed.....especially if it looks anything close to 'woke.' (boy do I hate labels.......and there I go).
Although it seems I am writing about two different thoughts......I am not. It all relates to $$$$. In fact, these new presidents are hired with that charge; "Fix the bleed and put us back on the right path." A Higher Ed veteran, super star defines 'right path' differently than an accountant.
In sum........Mission is no longer a priority! Its all about the bottom line!
Question: What are the implications of Non-Higher Ed Presidents not prioritizing the teaching and development of their Business dominated Trustees?
The relationship between the Board and the President is also complicated because some of the members of the Board might have been invited in by the current President. So the President has a strong leverage, parallel to your analysis of polls where the question is in some ways leading or misleading the answer.
The titans of industry on the board may also be significant financial donors to the college. It's a reward and oversight role for those who fork over cash.