Barbara Bruner ’76 Reflects on Her Service as an Alumna Trustee
Since 2011, Barbara Bruner ’76 has served as an Alumna Trustee, representing alumnae with her voice and her vote at Scripps College Board of Trustees meetings. Bruner has served on the Building and Grounds, Student Affairs, and Presidential Search Committees as well as the Board Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity, which she co-chairs. She is also the vice chair of the Student Affairs Committee.
In accordance with the bylaws of the Alumnae Association, Bruner was nominated by fellow alumnae and appointed with a vote of approval by the association. Because service is limited to two consecutive three-year terms, Bruner will vacate her post at the end of June 2017.
As Bruner begins her final year as an Alumna Trustee, former Alumnae Association President Libby Greig DeMeo ’95 asked her to reflect on her experiences and accomplishments.
LIBBY GREIG DEMEO: Why did you decide to become an Alumna Trustee?
BARBARA BRUNER: I distinctly remember being asked to consider being nominated, and I immediately said no. I thought the Board of Trustees was “somebody over there.” I had never envisioned myself in such a role, and it took me a while to understand I had something to offer. And, at the time, I was supporting Scripps in the way I saw fit. But I was encouraged to go through the nomination process, which I did, and then I was hooked!
LD: What has been the most rewarding part of being a trustee?
BB: Seeing more diversity on the senior staff, which has been a byproduct of putting highly qualified folks in those roles. Interacting with students. Getting to know more members of the faculty. And seeing the impressive level of commitment that members of the Board have for Scripps.
I am also proud of the work of the Board Committee on Diversity and Inclusivity. For the Board, for senior staff, and beyond, it has helped frame diversity and inclusivity as clear institutional priorities.
Being a trustee has had a bigger impact on me than I could have imagined. The opportunity to participate in decision making that will affect Scripps’s future is a both a privilege and a responsibility, and I strongly encourage other alumnae to consider becoming trustees.
LD: What were some challenges that surprised you?
BB: Being a trustee has required a significant time commitment. In fact, Board service for higher education is much more rigorous and demanding than board service for other kinds of organizations. There is extensive reading material to review and reflect on and meetings to attend. Since I joined in 2011, there have been significant improvements in onboarding and training for new trustees, which is good.
At the same time, I’ve learned so much. I have tried to make a point of reaching out to alumnae to get them involved in conversations about the College and to better understand the variety of perspectives that are out there. What I’ve learned has increased my appreciation for Scripps and its impact.
Nominations for the next Alumna Trustee are now being accepted online at scrippscollege.edu/alumnae.
The deadline for nomination is December 2, 2016.
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