Theological school boardrooms are peaceful places — for the most part. Civil discourse is the norm, and board members are generally respectful of one another, even when disagreeing. It's the rare trustee that allows self-interest to rule the day, and the majority of board members in theological school settings approach their work with a humble spirit and genuine desire to contribute.

Yet human nature is what it is, and the occasional lapses in boardroom manners are inevitable. Usually these lapses don't cause lasting damage. But when bad behavior is persistent there is the chance of real harm to the board's effectiveness. Boards are often reluctant to deal with the misbehavior of individual members, hoping instead that time will solve the problem. Since this strategy seldom works, the better approach is to tackle troublesome board behavior head-on — to nip trouble in the bud. As for who should do the "nipping," responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of board leadership. It is unfair (and a misunderstanding of the board/president relationship) to put the president in the awkward position of calling a board member to task. 

Article from: New Year 2009

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