Planning, Finance, Organization
The role of independent school boards has changed a great deal from the “olden days” of quiet philanthropy and sleepy board meetings. Today’s Boards are expected to safeguard the school’s finances in a challenging economic climate and to fashion strategic plans that they can afford. They are called upon to serve on many committees: Buildings and Grounds; Development; Admissions; Marketing (often three rolled into one); Governance; and of course, Finance.
While the Board has only one employee – the Head of School, they are often drawn into substantial conversations about the operations of the school – where they walk a tight rope over the boundaries of decisionmaking. Boards must be more strategic than tactical, more generative than strategic – presenting a serious conundrum.
Pam Clarke has been on the Boards of several schools and chaired the Board at the High Mountain Institute for 10 years. She has made a study of Boards and will work with any Board to find the balances and attitudes that fit the school and its personnel.