Board of Trustees / Dean Shadowing Program

  1. Program Overview 
  2. Questions for Trustees 
  3. Questions for Deans 
  4. Sample Timeline 
  5. Feedback Form

Program Overview

The Board of Trustees/Deans Shadowing Program has been developed to foster a mutual appreciation and understanding of the work of a Board of Trustees Member and that of a College of Charleston Academic Dean.  Beyond occasional opportunities during the year when Board Members are on campus, there are few opportunities for Board Members and Deans to interact with each other.

The Dean’s unique challenges as both a member of the faculty and administration, as well as the Board Member’s time and energy required in service, are not immediately apparent through the limited interaction at quarterly Committee Meetings.  Simply put, the main goal of the Deans Shadowing Program is to allow Board Members and Deans to get to know each other better.

This will be accomplished through the one-on-one experience of a Trustee Member shadowing a Dean for a day. This program will be offered during the fall and spring semesters every year.

Questions for Trustees

  • What is your personal background? (hometown, education, professional experience, hobbies, interests)
  • What led you to work for the College?
  • How long have you worked for the College?
  • Have you ever worked anywhere else and if so how is it different from the College?
  • What is unique about working at the College?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • What is the process for becoming a Dean?
  • What is your favorite part about being a Dean at the College?
  • How has your perspective changed since taking on an administrative role?
  • How is your role as a Dean different from when you were a professor?
  • What classes have you taught in the past? As a Dean do you currently teach any classes?
  • Are you involved in any organizations or activities on campus?
  • Do you serve on any boards/committees or have any other leadership roles professionally or in the community?
  • What is your favorite activity/event that you have attended at the College?
  • Do you eat at campus dining facilities? If so, is the food good?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve witnessed at the College?
  • What are your biggest challenges as a dean?
  • What would you like to see improved or changed?
  • How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Questions for Deans

  • What is your personal background? (hometown, education, professional experience, hobbies, interests)
  • How/when did you know you wanted to become a Board Member?
  • Did you attend the College of Charleston? If so, how has the College changed since you were a student?
  • What interested you in serving on the College of Charleston Board?
  • How do you become a Board Member?
  • How long have you been serving on the Board?
  • Are there term limits to serving on the Board?
  • What are your yearly Board Member commitments?
  • How do you prepare for Board Meetings?
  • What are your Board of Trustees member commitments outside of attending Board and Committee Meetings?
  • How do you balance your personal/professional life and your work as a member of the Board of Trustees?
  • How has your role as a Board Member changed, if at all, over time?
  • What do you enjoy most and least about being on the Board?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve witnessed at the College and in serving on the Board?
  • When was the last time you were in a classroom as a student? Or as a teacher or speaker?
  • What are three things you would like to see the College change or improve in the future?

Sample Program Timeline 


  • Deadline for interested Board Members to sign up for the Program
  • Program Directors (Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees and Todd McNerney) meet to match Board Members and Deans
  • Board and Deans are informed of their match and encouraged to contact each other to schedule the shadowing date


  • Deadline for Board Members and Deans to confirm shadowing date with Program Directors
  • Shadowing occurs (one day chosen in accordance with individuals’ October and November schedules)


  • Feedback forms sent to participating Board Members and Deans
  • Deadline for feedback forms to be submitted to Program Directors
  • Program Directors meet to debrief and review feedback forms
  • Program Directors finalize program review to be delivered by the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee at the August Committee and Board Meetings


  • Chair of the Student Affairs Committee delivers program review at the August Committee and Board Meetings

Program Feedback Form

  1. What were the top three benefits of the Board of Trustees/Dean Shadowing Program? 
  2. Was the length of time (one day) for shadowing appropriate?  
  3. What are the top two things you were surprised to learn about the Board Member/Dean’s work? 
  4. What are three ways you would amend the program for the future? 

This information is confidential and will only be shared with the Program Directors.  Thank you for your participation.

Board Member /Dean _______________________________________________ Date _____________