Shared governance is one of the most popular topics that In Trust covers. We’ve addressed it not only in the magazine, but also at In Trust Blog and in webinars. Our Resource Consultants field cases on this topic monthly. But the role of faculty in shared governance remains mysterious to many.
The Lutheran seminaries in Gettysburg and Philadelphia have announced that their boards have adopted resolutions calling for “the creation of a new school of theology and leadership formation.”
The Association of Theological Schools and the In Trust Center are presenting or co-presenting three webinars in upcoming months that will be of interest to leaders of theological schools. The webinars cover student data, shared governance, and seminary finances and are designed to educate members of the board, faculty, and administration of theological schools on these essential topics.
Voting-eligible member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools have recently elected four new members to serve on the In Trust Center’s board of directors. Thirty five percent of eligible member schools voted, electing four new members. A short biography of each new member follows.
Here at the In Trust Center, we talk boards and governance all day, every day. From fielding calls from member schools, to researching and writing articles on boards, board policy, and governance, and even in our work with our own board, we are constantly talking, thinking, reading, and writing about governance and policy.
Over the years, we have developed a library to assist us (and our member schools) in our work. We have many books on boards: board policy, shared governance, the roles of board members, etc. Of all of these, the book that we turn to most often for questions about these topics is a book from BoardSource: The Nonprofit Board Answer Book. Arranged by topic in a Q and A format, with an index at the back, it is easy to find the answers for which we're looking.
Recently Amy Kardash (Director of Programs at the In Trust Center) chatted with Roxanne Russell (Director of Online Learning at Candler School of Theology) about the In Trust Center’s upcoming webinar, Online Course Design.
The following is a peek into their conversation about the upcoming webinar, especially focused on the question, "Why does this topic matter to board members and administrators?"
The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) recently convened a meeting of the participants in the Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers project (ECFFM). ECFFM is aimed at addressing student debt in theological education. Greg Henson, president of Sioux Falls Seminary, shared a presentation at the event, which he has since published on his blog.
Though Henson's presentation doesn't include sound, I gained some great insights by simply reading the presentation as it progresses. Here are the two slides that struck me as especially important.
Online Course Design. It’s probably not something that most board members or administrators consider, and yet it is the topic of the In Trust Center’s next webinar.
What does online course design have to do with the governance and leadership of theological schools? Amy Kardash, the In Trust Center’s director of programs, tells us more about this webinar and why it is relevant to the work of our readers.
Faith and Leadership, a resource from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, has published three great stories in the last several months featuring leaders in theological education. The articles offer insights into some of the innovative ways that theological educators are serving the church and changing the landscape of theological education.
In mid-September, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) shared a live webinar entitled 2015 State of the Industry. Daniel Aleshire (executive director of ATS) and Stephen Graham (senior director of programs and services) led a 45-minute presentation on enrollment, faculty, and finances at ATS member schools
ATS has posted the recording on their website, as well as the slides and text of the webinar and links to further resources.
On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) will present a free webinar entitled Theological Education 2015: State of the Industry. ATS Executive Director Dan Aleshire will “provide a broad overview of what the latest data are telling us about enrollment, financial issues, faculty, and more.”
We love to connect our members with information and resources that encourage good leadership and effective governance. So we keep our eyes open for helpful books and articles that contribute to that goal. Some of our favorite resources are published by BoardSource. Here's a rundown of some of the best.
Has your school considered how to engage students and other community members around the issues of race and racism?
The following are resources to help you do just that.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has published a great article on succession planning for boards, and it includes both an outline of the process and a list of downloadable resources.
What is succession planning? “Succession planning is a means for an organization to ensure its continued effective performance through leadership continuity.”
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) recently published a blog post about how to find the right vice president for advancement for your school.
The post offers some great advice for institutions and search committees to consider as they look to fill this important position.
Last week the Summer 2015 issue of In Trust magazine landed in the mailboxes of people affiliated with the In Trust Center's member schools. Here are some highlights.
…but when she was bad, she was horrid.
Apologies to Longfellow for appropriating his poem for the title of this post (“There was a little girl”), but his verse keeps coming to mind as I consider the topic of the misbehaving board member.
Our friends at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) recently published a two-part series on “Annoying Boardroom Habits.” In Trust has covered this ground, too, in a pair of articles that share what to do “When Board Members Behave Badly.”
The practice of sharing materials among the players in shared governance -- that is, members of the board, the administration, and the faculty -- can be challenging. Because the materials cover complex, often confidential issues, the mechanism for sharing must be secure. It also must be straightforward, easy to use, and not too time consuming.
Board portal software can be a great solution to these challenges, but the cost is often prohibitively expensive, especially for small institutions such as theological schools.
The upcoming issue of In Trust, due to be mailed July 8, includes an article from Sioux Falls Seminary president Greg Henson about the Entering Student Questionnaire (ESQ) and Graduating Student Questionnaire (GSQ).
In the article, Henson provides an introduction to these two tools, which capture data provided to the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) by more than 5,600 incoming students and 6,300 departing graduates.
A few years ago, In Trust published an article about the importance of getting new board members set up for success through good orientation and thoughtful sharing of materials, information, and policies. You can read the article in its entirety here.
The following checklist is a helpful place to start for new members. And while you’re at it, you might want to ensure that current and seasoned members have this material too.
African American presidents and deans in theological education have shared the following statement and prayer in response to last week's mass murder at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
As the African American presidents and deans of graduate theological education, we express our profound solidarity with the families and the faithful of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. There are not words enough to convey the emotions we feel in the aftermath of the bloodbath.
In Trust's Spring 2015 issue hit mailboxes last week. Here are some highlights from our latest issue:
- "Two patterns of good governance." Part 2 of our excerpt from the latest report on seminary governance from researcher Barbara Wheeler.
Thinking about a merger? Here are some things to consider.
Dashboards are a great way to track key metrics of your school’s performance. But which metrics should you track? And how do you know if you’re getting -- and sharing -- the numbers that matter?
Strategic planning: it’s something that you know you need to do, but how do you get started?
We've gathered a few articles to help you think about strategic planning, well, strategically. These articles could be fodder for a fruitful discussion with your board and leadership team.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a provocative post about financial transparency on its Vitae blog. Allison M. Vaillancourt, an administrator at the University of Arizona, writes that frank discussion of financial issues with faculty and staff can benefit university employees. She argues that rather than avoiding the conversation or trying to protect people from a scary reality, it's best to give them the details they need to make changes.
"Regular evaluation of presidential performance is among the top responsibilities assigned to boards of theological schools. It is also a task that many board members prefer not to tackle. So they don't."
So begins the In Trust Center's resource guide, The Board's Responsibility for Evaluating the President, a free resource written by governance expert Rebekah Burch Basinger. The guide outlines five principles to consider so that the board and the president can approach the presidential evaluation with confidence and competence.
Campus updates, upcoming events, policy decisions, student stories: seminaries have a lot of things going on. How do you keep up to date?
Some presidents, deans, and faculties use blogs to connect with their constituencies and keep people up to date on campus life. The audiences may vary — current students, prospective students, churches, donors, alumni, friends — but the purpose is consistent: to make a connection with people who care.
Click through to learn more about what your peers are doing, and perhaps to gain inspiration for your own communication.
The Spring issue of In Trust magazine, due to be mailed next month, includes an article about the roles that board members play in fundraising.
In it, Penelope Burk, president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., shares some of the insights from a recent survey of 4,500 nonprofit board members. Her conclusions are thought-provoking.
In January, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) gathered theological school presidents for their annual Presidential Leadership Intensive, a conference devoted to teaching the fine art of leading a seminary.
G. Douglass Lewis was one of the presenters, and he focused on “Ten things the seminary president can do to build a more effective board.”
Some sad news in higher education this week: Sweet Briar College, a women’s liberal arts college in Virginia, announced that it was closing at the end of this semester because of "insurmountable financial challenges."
Sweet Briar has an endowment of more than $80 million, but its board decided to close the school nonetheless.
Next week, the In Trust Center presents our new live webinar: “Inviting participation: Understanding your role in fundraising.”
Why fundraising? It's one of our most-requested webinar topics, and everyone has questions about it.
Jay Blossom, Publisher of In Trust magazine and In Trust's Vice President for Communication, recently presented a workshop entitled Social Media and Institutional Conflict at the 2015 ATS Presidential Leadership Intensive Conference. The following was created as a supplemental resource for the workshop participants.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday in the United States that honors Dr. King and his legacy of nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement.
Designated a federal holiday in 1986, it has only been officially observed in all 50 states since 2000. The campaign to create the holiday began in 1968, shortly after the assassination of Dr. King.
Many theological schools celebrate MLK Day through lectures, days of service, and special chapel celebrations. Listed below are a few of the celebrations taking place this week around the country.
It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of two longtime friends of the In Trust Center: Howard John Claussen and Dr. Harriet Tracy Schier.
In Trust's New Year 2015 issue was sent to subscribers last week. If you haven’t already received it, it should be arriving soon.
Meanwhile, here are some highlights:
Voting-eligible member schools of the In Trust Center for Theological Schools have recently re-elected two members to continue their service on the In Trust Center’s board of directors.
Sexual assault on college campuses has been in the news a lot over the last several months. One of the latest articles to go viral is Rolling Stone’s recent piece on rape at the University of Virginia. Though the credibility of the article has been challenged recently by The Washington Post and other media, the article’s account of the September 2014 meeting of the University of Virginia board of visitors offers insight into how a board and administration address difficult issues.