Is your board planning a presidential evaluation soon? Are you unsure of where to start? The In Trust Center can help!


In any evaluation process, it is important to consider what you hope to gain -- including the board's (and the president's) priorities and plans. Is there a sense that the president's doing well? Are some board members hoping to improve the president's performance? Do the president and board collaborate closely, or are board meetings mostly "dog and pony shows"? Knowing where you start will help in designing the evaluation.

The In Trust Center has a number of resources designed to help boards plan and conduct presidential evaluations. A good starting point is to check out two resource guides available on our website: “The board’s responsibility for evaluating the president” and “Wise stewards: The roles and responsibilities of boards in theological education.” 

You may also want to look at BoardSource and the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), both of which have resources on presidential/executive evaluation. In particular, check out AGB’s “How presidential evaluations must change” and “Assessing presidential effectiveness.” (Many of the BoardSource resources require membership, which is available at a very reasonable fee.)

Some boards choose to hire external consultants to assist with presidential evaluations. If you want to use a consultant, there are some important questions to ask before you hire anyone: Do you want a consultant who understands theological education, or someone from outside theological education who specializes in evaluating presidents? What role do you wish the president to play? Will you ask your president to provide a self-assessment? What stakeholders will be included in the process? Does the board have any concerns about the president as you approach evaluation? Are there any major transitions occurring that could affect the evaluation?

The In Trust Center has many other resources available and can provide guidance on how to use them. If you want more information or would like to hear what other schools have done for their presidential evaluations, please contact us at or 302-654-7770.  We’d love to hear from you!