Using Prof. Gene Fram's book title, it's commonly understood that nonprofit boards should focus on "Policies vs. Paper Clips".
But it's not always clear about what "policies" look like. However, today's Washington Post article titled the "NCAA creates task force...." does a nice job of giving some insight about this very topic. And before getting a little deeper into what a policy might look like, I note that the article touches on another governance matter that I have been actively supporting.
That subject is standing committees. As many nonprofit board members know, standing committees can often be uninspiring, unproductive experiences. So why keep them when Task Forces will work just fine -- there's a clear assignment, it's time limited with a clear result - some type of recommendation for board action. What's the only standing committee we nonprofit boards really need? The Governance Committee.
Back to policy making. As written, the NCAA is appointing a Task Force to "look at the criteria and process for licensing bowls and will not approve any new bowls until updated standards are put into place".
Yes, there are likely more definitions to consider about what makes good policy but this assignment is certainly a good working parameter. Of course you can always read Prof. Fram's book for more insight.