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Julia Hanbury Image
Julia Hanbury
Senior Marketing Communications Manager

Diligent Q&A – Dr. Chad A. Bledsoe on leveraging technology to drive trust with constituents

May 23, 2024
0 min read
Headshot of Dr. Chad A. Bledsoe

Dr. Chad A. Bledsoe, President of Montgomery Community College, discusses the importance of fostering talent, why more data doesn’t necessarily mean good data and the role of centralized software in driving trust and efficiency.

Tell us about Montgomery Community College, its mission and your role there.

Montgomery Community College provides life-long educational opportunities that prepare individuals for existing and emerging careers and personal growth. We also provide courses and training in a wide variety of topics focused on preparing students for college level work, community interest, transition to four-year colleges and universities, and in workforce training and re-training through our continuing education program.

Our commitment to providing quality education is evident in every facet of the college, including our faculty and staff, who care about students, are highly qualified, and are committed to academic success for them. We provide a challenging education in a supportive environment.

The college was established in 1967 and I was appointed President of Montgomery Community College in 2015 by its Board of Trustees.

You were recently recognized as a Diligent Community Champion, congratulations! Any advice for public sector leaders looking to increase innovation and build resilience in their organizations?

My advice would be to stay focused on your mission and core values and keep looking for new ways to improve how you serve your constituents. You build resilience by identifying quality people, training them to be experts in their field, and giving them the freedom to grow and become leaders themselves.

Accolades like the Diligent Community Champion program are important tools to promote innovation, resilience and empathy in the face of a complex and ever-changing world. I’m honored to be included.

How has public interest in college boards and governance changed over the course of the last five years?

The public is looking for more information to be made available online, and interest in remote access, remote meetings, and college information has grown. At the same time, college boards and management have an ever-growing set of responsibilities on their plates. In particular, the expansion of sunshine laws in some states requires that boards provide ready access to current and historical actions taken by the board. Leveraging agenda and meeting management software plays an enormous part in staying compliant and improving public trust and civic engagement while helping boards do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

What are some of the biggest risks and challenges college boards face today?

Today there is an overwhelming amount of information available, which raises questions about the quality of the information you’re getting. After all more data doesn’t necessarily mean good data. For board members, it can be difficult to cut out the noise to narrow in on what is really important and ask the right questions. Changes in technology, especially social media and emerging tech like AI, amplify this while creating new risks.

Amidst this landscape, governance tools that help you stay ahead and streamline processes, while ensuring security of sensitive information, are absolutely crucial.

Why is digital adoption at the management and board level important? What advice would you have for boards and leaders looking to incorporate technology into their governance processes?

Using a board management solution makes information easily accessible by all constituents and provides a central location to archive important documents. Providing board information in a central location makes it easier to access and provides board members with the ease to review past decisions.

I would tell other board members and leaders to stay open to new ways of presenting and accessing information. Take advantage of all of the tools available in the software. Learning those tools will help board meetings run smoother and more efficiently.

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