News & Insights

The Newsletter for Chairs of Theological School Boards
Vol. 1 No. 4

No matter the size of your school, your board has only one employee: the president or executive officer. It's true that as the fiduciary, the board is responsible for the entire school, but the presiding officer reports to the board. That means that as board chair, your relationship with your executive officer is critical to the success of the institution.
Over the years, the In Trust Center for Theological Schools has focused on the relationship between the board chair and the executive officer because it sets the tone for everything else and creates the foundation for the success of the institution. Here are a few thoughts that can help:

  • Know what you want: Some years ago, we asked board chairs and executive officers what they wanted in the relationship. This piece on the relationship provides a simple list of what chairs and executive officers said. It would be a good conversation starter for you and your executive officer to discuss how you can best work together.
  • Have clear boundaries: This thoughtful piece from In Trust magazine on successful relationships talks to the chairs and executives at two schools, in which one chair noted the importance of "gracious" and clear boundaries.
  • Trust and focus are key: The board chair and executive must trust each other and keep their focus on the mission of the institution. These resources and articles will help you calibrate and build those expectations.
  • Get some wise advice: Drs. Byron Klaus and Rod Wilson, both former long-serving presidents and now consultants, explore what makes a good relationship between the chair and the executive in Episode 4 of our Good Governance podcast.
  • We have many more resources and connections to help you as you build the relationship. Just reply to this email, and the In Trust Center team will be happy to connect with you.  

Also, would you do me a favor? We’d love to hear what works for you in the relationship. What would you say is the most important thing? Would you let me know?

With gratitude for all you do in theological education,
Amy Kardash

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Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

I See That Hand


Board members are typically recruited for their leadership, business acumen, and networks. Dr. Rebekah Basinger, project director of the In Trust Center’s Wise Stewards Initiative, will discuss how strategic questioning and interrogation skills are essential for effective board stewardship.

Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education


In this on-demand webinar, Rick Staisloff, senior partner of rpk GROUP, discusses essential aspects of strategic partnerships. This session delves into current trends, identification of partners, navigating the due diligence process, and common challenges.

Closing the Trust Gap


The current and very troubling condition of trust is a clarion call to action. But despite the dismal data showing pervasive organizational distrust, every organization can assess their current level of trust, learn and adopt a proven trust building framework, and then develop a meaningful and long-lasting plan of action. This webinar details the knowledge and practical next steps to strengthen workplace culture as a result of closing the trust gap.


In Trust Center provides Resource Consulting to our members at no charge. Contact us today and let us guide you to the most helpful resources for your situation.

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