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James Tinney

Last modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Walda to chair Association of Governing Boards

John Walda, the executive director of federal relations for Indiana University and a former president of the IU Board of Trustees, has been named the national chair of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He will serve a two-year term.

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges is dedicated to strengthening the performance of boards of public and private higher education. By serving as a continuing-education resource to trustees and boards and by contributing to effective working relationships between boards and chief executives, AGB seeks to strengthen the governance of higher education institutions.

Walda has been a leader for the AGB for several years, heading committees and frequently contributing columns on higher education issues to the AGB's magazine, Trusteeship. Walda, an attorney from Fort Wayne, served on the IU Board of Trustees from 1990 to the end of 2001, when he stepped down from the board to accept the federal relations post. Walda continues to serve as a member of the board of the IU Foundation.

"My challenge as chairman of the AGB is to ensure that the organization delivers programs and publications and on-campus services that enhance the job done by our members all over the country from very diverse institutions. In addition, the AGB must lead the public debate on key issues facing higher education, thus preparing our members to meet today's challenges," Walda said.

"I anticipate that over the next two years we will tackle some of the most difficult issues facing universities, including academic health center issues, the role of athletics in the university, and the improvement of the selection process for trustees in public institutions. At the same time, we will continue to provide guidance in trustee basics, like effective board structures, working relationships with administrators and faculty, and assessment of board and presidential performance," he said.

The AGB is a strong advocate for citizen control of our colleges and universities, as opposed to direct government control, and works to ensure that higher education remains a strong and vital national asset.

"This is a most influential association on higher education governance issues. I am pleased to see Indiana University so well represented. John is an outstanding example of the good work done by citizen-trustees in helping lead our colleges and universities," IU President Myles Brand said.