Beyond other legal duties and responsibilities, a traditional view of Board membership suggests a fiduciary responsibility – they hold the organization in trust. This conventional (and passive) role is still very much needed, but an important new dimension must be added: a positive, active role. They cannot simply hold public trust. They can and should generate public trust.
To advance an institution in substantive ways, Board members cannot simply react to institutional news and relationships. They must initiate the creation of good institutional news and relationships. They need to be trust-builders for the institution and they should strengthen the administration in building trust. It is an honor to be a Board member, but the job is not honorary.