Spring 2018 - 60704 - PA 188G – Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2018 - 60704 - PA 188G – Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Nonprofit Governance


Through the integration of applied case studies, selected readings and classroom lecture and discussion, the course will examine current issues in nonprofit governance and factors associated with the successful performance of nonprofit boards. Topics will include exploration of the basic strategic leadership, stewardship and fiduciary responsibilities of boards with attention to the role that diversity plays in promoting innovation and accountability. The course will introduce strategies that governing boards use to manage risks and tackle the challenges of leadership transitions, programmatic crises and financial sustainability. A rich assortment of case studies will be used to bring critical issues to life and to pose to the student the type of challenges inherent in board participation.

Nonprofit Governance counts as a "Core Course" in the Portfolio Program in Nonprofit Studies. More info at https://rgkcenter.org/programs/nonprofit-studies-portfolio           

Required Text  

BoardSource, (2010). The Handbook of Nonprofit Governance, Jossey-Bass Publisher.

Other readings will be available on Canvas. 

Additional readings may be assigned beyond those listed on the syllabus.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course students will have learned:

  1. The structures, functions and basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards.
  2. The roles of the board and the chief executive and factors related to successful board/CEO leadership performance.
  3. Common governance challenges at different stages of nonprofit organization development and factors associated with success and failure in fulfilling leadership, fiduciary and generative responsibilities.
  4. The power of diversity in nonprofit governance and methods for recruiting, developing and sustaining diverse and highly engaged boards.
  5. Tools for evaluating governing board and organizational capacity and performance.


SRH 3.216/3.219 Class meets Feb.2 through March 2