Board Governance Overview

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Milgard UW Tacoma Internal Case Competition, 2020

DOUGAN building, UW Tacoma 2020


Students will follow UW Tacoma policy and public health guidelines when to return to board meetings held in-person. ​

Board Governance is a service-learning course developed in the Milgard School of Business to teach students through classroom interaction, mentoring, and internships about the boards of local non-profit organizations.

The course starts in Winter Quarter (2 credits) and continues through Spring Quarter (5 credits). 

Approximately 30 students engage on the boards of local non-profit organizations, and apply the principles of good governance that they will learn in the course. Two students will be paired with one non-profit organization. Organizations may still participate if they are only interested in having one student join them. 

In Winter Quarter, students will focus on gaining familiarity with governance practices and observing the functions of the board. In Spring Quarter, students will develop and complete a project in-line with the needs of the board and the organization. 

This project may take on many forms and is meant to increase the capacity of the organization while benefiting the students. The students might: 

  • Create and present an operation manual
  • Develop a volunteer recruitment strategy including how to onboard, train and reward volunteers
  • Design a training to help board members read complex financials and understand the implications for an organization
  • Research a topic assigned by an organization that will help them advance their mission
  • Curate a series of resources for board development or orientation materials around diversity, equity and inclusion

In addition, students are expected to participate in volunteer activities, fundraising events, and other activities. The organization is expected to welcome the students, be responsive, and commit one hour from the Executive Director and one hour from the Board Chair for interviews.