Blog

From category archives: In Trust Blog

Boards

Steps for effective board recruitment

How do you go about finding new board members? It’s not as easy as asking friends if they want to serve.

Read the rest of entry »

What are a board's top concerns?

What are the top concerns for the future of higher education as identified by board members serving at private, nonprofit colleges and universities across the United States?

Read the rest of entry »

How (and why) to do board assessment

As part of the ongoing work of the In Trust Center’s Wise Stewards Initiative, participating schools are completing board self-assessments, which their faculty coaches are using to create board development plans. Creating a plan is something that every school should consider doing.

Read the rest of entry »

Diversifying your board

As the diversity of students entering theological schools continues to grow, many school leaders are challenged with mirroring that diversity within their administration, faculty, and board. 

Read the rest of entry »

Questioning tenure

At some point every board member will hear arguments for and against tenure, the policy that has been called “the most sacred cow munching on the ivy that covers the towers of academia.”

Read the rest of entry »

Your top strategic issues

When your board meets, how much time do you spend focusing on strategic issues facing your school? If the answer is less than half of the meeting time, then your board is like many others. 

Read the rest of entry »

The cost of free speech

Freedom of speech is a big deal on university campuses these days. A recent spate of decisions by university administrators to permit (or forbid) various speakers to make speeches on campus has generated newsworthy controversy. Invariably, free-speech advocates argue that a university is a place for learning, critical thinking, and critical listening. Silencing an offensive viewpoint.

Read the rest of entry »

Difficult but necessary decisions

“The board has to insist on financial sustainability.” Lee Merritt, retired vice president for finance at Fuller Theological Seminary, sees this obligation as one of the most essential responsibilities of any school’s governing board.

 

Read the rest of entry »

Tending shared governance

“Effective shared governance is hard work.” That’s how a new article focusing on shared governance in this month’s Trusteeship magazine begins. This is no surprise to anyone familiar with the practice of shared governance, but it’s certainly nice to read the words and appreciate that others struggle with the practice too.

Read the rest of entry »

Undermining your president

In the final scene of Pixar’s The Incredibles (2004), a drilling machine bursts through the street and a mole-like man steps forward to address the screaming masses: “Behold, the Underminer! I'm always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me! I hereby declare war on peace and happiness! Soon, all will tremble before me!"

 

Read the rest of entry »

Mastering the graceful exit

P. T. Barnum is credited with the saying, “Always leave them wanting more.” It’s good advice. When Douglass Lewis was asked why he was retiring as president of Wesley Theological Seminary, he replied with a similar idea. It was something his mother used to say: "You ought to leave the party while you're having a good time."

 

Read the rest of entry »

The board's role in spiritual formation

Theological school boards are responsible for all aspects of the school they serve, including the spiritual formation of their students. But how can boards know for sure whether spiritual formation is being adequately addressed?

Read the rest of entry »

Tools for board improvement

Do you have new (or existing) board members that require orientation? Interested in conducting an assessment of your board's efficacy? Feel as if your board could be communicating or collaborating better? 

Read the rest of entry »

Help with the Carver Model of governance

Most authors, researchers, and support organizations agree that no one-size-fits-all template dictates how boards should function. Rather, governance gurus urge boards to shape the way they work to the contours of their specific organizations.

Read the rest of entry »

Planning and imagination — or how to connect dreams and means

 

Effective strategic planning requires an active imagination — not because such effectiveness is hard to imagine but because we need to activate our imagination to plan effectively.

Read the rest of entry »

The importance of the executive session

Executive sessions should be a regular agenda item for every board meeting. Are they at yours? If your board is like many others, perhaps your honest answer is no. Why have an executive session if no pressing issues need to be addressed?

Read the rest of entry »

When it comes to development, the personal touch might just be the Midas touch




What can board members, who have a big role to play in development, do to make fundraising more productive and, dare we hope, less onerous?

Read the rest of entry »

Embedded seminaries: How they thrive

An "embedded" theological school is a seminary or divinity school that is part of a college or university, as contrasted with a "freestanding" seminary, which is an independent graduate-level institution. Embedded schools face unique challenges, according to Mark Markuly, dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. One of these is that “you’re kind of off the grid in the ways people traditionally look at governance boards."


Read the rest of entry »

Accreditation: What board members need to know


Some board members may think that accreditation is for the administrative office, but boards play an important role.

Read the rest of entry »

Trustees seek change amid public scrutiny of higher education




According to a recent poll, more than half of trustees agreed that public perception of higher education has deteriorated in the United States over the last decade. They are not all in agreement, however, on the causes of and solution to this problem. 

Read the rest of entry »

Innovation, innovation, innovation


Innovation is a buzzword for our current time. Everywhere you look, someone is writing about the need to be innovative, and organizations are bragging about how innovative they are.

Read the rest of entry »

Anonymous donors: What’s a board to do?


For seminaries and theological institutions, how a school fulfills its mission is as important as its financial health. As such, issues of transparency and accountability should be considered when deciding whether to accept an anonymous donation.

Read the rest of entry »

When board members go AWOL between meetings, try this


The complaint we hear more than any other from nonprofit execs and/or board chairs is this:

Board members disappear between meetings. Poof! They’re gone. Most can’t even be bothered to respond to my message with a one-word reply: “received.”

Sound familiar?

Read the rest of entry »

Board members talk finances



In August 2009, In Trust emailed more than 1,800 board members (excluding board chairs) with a short survey on school finances. Of the board members contacted, 293 responded. In a summer 2010 article, Mary Catherine Bolster shared responses to this survey and offered her insights about what these responses said about the role of the board in financial matters. 

Read the rest of entry »

Growing your next board chair


You may stumble onto a good, or even great, board chair by luck, but it’s not likely. Schools and other nonprofits typically get the chairs they have “grown,” but when there is no advance development, schools tend to get board chairs who are unprepared, untested, and weak. 

Read the rest of entry »

Pages: Previous123456NextReturn Top