Learning Through Research



In 2011, the Executive Board of the Council on Undergraduate Research committed to reassess the organization's governance decision-making structure and practices, particularly in light of the merger between CUR and NCUR.
To support this governance review, the Executive Board formed a governance task force and engaged the services of an independent consulting organization (BoardSource) to study CUR’s governance structure and to make recommendations for CUR to consider.  Funding to defray the costs of the governance study was generously provided by the Lancy Foundation.
The Purposes of the CUR Governance Task Force were:
1. To develop recommendations on how to prepare the governance structure and practices of the CUR Officers, Executive Board (E-Board), General Council (GC), Committees or Task Forces, and Divisions for the future to reflect the growth of the organization and incorporation of NCUR.
2. To continue the professionalization of the CUR Executive Board, national office, and other bodies in the decision-making process, and as part of this,
  a. to help board members and councilors understand this professionalization as it impacts their changing roles, responsibilities, and value-added, and,
  b. to clarify who or what body is responsible for what decisions.
3. To determine ways to meaningfully engage the councilors and "grassroots" members in advancing CUR's mission and re-purpose any bodies as necessary.

To gather the views and opinions of the Executive Board members and members of the General Council, BoardSource administered two surveys: 

In addition, the BoardSource consultant summarized the results of the surveys:

Based on the considerations in the Interpretive Framing Report, some modifications to CUR governance and practices were made between 2011and 2016.  However, there are a number of issues raised in the 2011 report that have not been directly addressed in the past 5 years.

In light of the adoption of CUR’s strategic plan, the CUR Executive Board has reconsidered the reports from 2011 and is currently exploring whether additional changes to the CUR’s governance structure and practices are warranted.  A first step in these deliberations was to review best practices of nonprofit boards and to do a board self-assessment.  

Council on Undergraduate Research Board Report 2016

When comparing data from the 2011 to 2016 board self-assessment, in areas where CUR has made deliberate progress, such as setting direction and strategy – through the adoption of the strategic pillars and the strategic plan – self-assessment indicated greater satisfaction in 2016.  In other areas, however, assessments remain very similar between 2011 and 2016.

Modification to CUR's governance and practices

A task force was appointed in July 2016 to continue governance deliberations.  This group will undertake a survey of the General Council and based on input of councilors, make recommendation to the E-board.