Setting School Trustees Free to Do Their Job

By Gray, J. A. | Momentum, November/December 2008 | Go to article overview

Setting School Trustees Free to Do Their Job


Gray, J. A., Momentum


Board development program preserves and fuels expansion of Lasallian mission

Schools, hospitals and other social institutions founded and run by Catholic religious congregations continue to undergo developments in corporate structure and forms of governance. A change in concept from a religious congregation as the "owner and operator" of an institution to the concept of the religious order as its "sponsor" is becoming a standard way of expressing this.

A major piece of this development in Catholic education has been the separate incorporation of individual schools into legal entities that own their own assets and are governed by limited-jurisdiction boards of trustees, with certain powers reserved to the sponsoring congregation. According to recent NCEA statistics, 85.1 percent of U.S. Catholic schools have some form of a board or council.

Most religious congregations, of course, have long involved lay people in their educational missions on the operational level - as teachers, administrators and staff. The shift to including them on the governance level, however, is relatively new. A decade and more of experience with this new form of governance has shown that it entails great challenges and brings great benefits.

This article tells how one province of a long-established teaching order is facing the challenges and reaping the benefits. This is the District of San Francisco, the western province of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, more familiarly known as the De La Salle Christian Brothers. While this model works well for religious community sponsored schools, it is just one possible governance model for Catholic schools. There is no onesize-fits all model.

Eleven of the San Francisco district's 15 apostolates are secondary schools. In 1994, the district began separately incorporating its secondary schools and setting them up to be governed by local boards. The Christian Brothers continue to be the "moral owners" of the Lasallian educational mission and to have canonical responsibility for the schools. This responsibility - and a complementary sense of responsibility toward those colleagues who would undertake to serve as trustees - led the district to create a program for prospective trustees.

"Trusteeship is a ministry, and to succeed in ministry requires discernment, orientation, and preparation," said Robert Jordan of the district's office of education. "Since the creation of the Board Development Program in 1996, more than 300 participants have gone through the training and have helped us to continuously refine it."

The Board Development Program has received rave reviews from participants - among whom are not only prospective trustees but also the frontline administrators of the schools that these trustees govern. Throughout the nonprofit world, in every "public benefit" institution, the relationship between the governing board and the CEO is crucial. The Christian Brothers' Board Development Program faces this issue and other consequential issues directly, and provides the basis for a fruitful working relationship. This is affirmed by Matt Powell, now in his seventh year as president of De La Salle North Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, who said, "This district is light years ahead in training trustees and presidents in their complementary roles." Mike Poppoff, a recently appointed trustee at La Salle High School of Yakima, Washington, added, "I have served on the boards of five different nonprofits, but none of those boards ever had any training or orientation up front. I was left trying to discern for myself their direction and purpose."

What is there to Learn?

Among the basic tenets of the Board Development Program are these:

* Trustees hold in trust for the Christian Brothers - and by extension for the worldwide Lasallian family - the Lasallian mission as expressed in their particular school. Trustees must therefore know well the mission for which they are governing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Setting School Trustees Free to Do Their Job
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.