The majority of college principals reported no problems in recruiting board members. MVA's report adds: "Those who had experienced difficulties felt that there were problems in recruiting from particular sectors of the community such as industry, business, younger people, women and people with the specific vocational expertise of the college.
"A few mentioned the particular problems of being in a small community where there are a limited number of people from which to draw candidates who are considered suitable."
A third of the chairs reported recruitment difficulties, particularly in making appointments from the private sector and the local community. "Some mentioned that potential recruits were often unaware of the amount of time and degree of commitment required and this led to difficulties in recruitment, " the report stated. But four out of five said they were willing to stand again.
The Nolan committee does not suggest that board vacancies must be publicly advertised, acknowledging that policies of consultation with interested bodies or canvassing nominations are acceptable alternatives.
This process, however, has led to a lack of balance among board members, most notably the fact that they are heavily male-dominated. Eighty-one per cent of members are men as are 92 per cent of chairs. Local government and community interests are also not well represented.