What cannot be compromised, negotiated, or delegated? Read on…
The Board of Trustees bear three fundamental responsibilities that cannot be delegated, shifted to others, or compromised. They alone are ultimately accountable in these areas and there can be no question throughout the organization about this fact. What are they?
Setting the Mission and Direction of the School
The board of trustees are responsible for ensuring the school’s future and long-term viability. They are accountable for the schools strategic direction. It begins here when determining how to fairly evaluate their effectiveness regarding their service as a board and individual board members.
Bearing the Fiduciary Responsibility for the School
The expression, “No money…no mission” is in play when it comes to the board’s fiduciary responsibility. A school may have a finance committee and a development committee, but it resides with the entire board to understand, approve and take ownership of all of the various financial requirements of an independent or faith-based school. The board’s finance chair and finance committee, the school’s business office, and the head of school must form a strong team to provide information vital to the board for them to make the most informed decisions possible.
Hiring the Head of School
There’s more to the saying “the board has ONE employee.” It’s certainly true! But lets take a brief walkaround this third responsibility. I’ve pointed out in a previous blog that the board does not hire any other faculty, staff or coaches. They must never meddle in the management and other day-to-day responsibilities that is in the scope of work of the head of school. But the one employee relationship they do have is critical to a school’s success. It resides squarely upon their shoulders and their’s alone. They recruit, hire, and SUPPORT the head of school. What trustees all too often fail to realize is that a head who is not successful may have much more to do with them than a failure on the part of the head. This should be a powerful motivating factor to put in the necessary work to 1) make an excellent choice of a new head of school, and 2) promote healthy relationships among the board, board chair, and head of school and 3) work closely with the head to ensure his or success.
I address these responsibilities and much more throughout my new book, Healthy Boards-Successful Schools. This book will be a resource you can count on now and for years down the road. Your copies can be ordered at www.williamrmottphd.com.