“A Steeper Hill to Climb”: The Role and Experience of Student Trustees in Public Higher Education Governing Boards
Raquel M. Rall, Daniel B. Maxey

The limited literature on student trusteeship leaves many unanswered questions regarding the role, expe-rience, and impact of those within the governance of higher education. To counter the scant research in this area, the authors offer a background for understanding the role and experience of student trustees of public higher education institutions in the U.S. The authors use Bandura‘s (1986) Social Cognitive Theory to expose and highlight how student trustees experience and navigate their roles on the board. Interviews with 30 student trustees from 26 public boards in 21 states indicate that student trustees have unique board experiences influenced by (1) their identities as both student and trustee, (2) their limited terms and repre-sentation on the board, (3) their explicit and/or implicit attachment to the student constituency, and (4) their relative inexperience in life, education, and employment in comparison with their laymen peers. Find-ings have implications for how student trustees are viewed and incorporated on the board in a time when the leadership and ethics of higher education have been called into question.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jppg.v8n2a2