By Jillian Stevenson, associate director of communications and alumni relations for Penn State University
Have you asked your board the five questions?
For those of you who attended Sam Pettway’s (from Boardwalk Consulting) session at the NAADA 2007 conference, you learned of the five questions every board should ask:
- Why are we here?
- How do we define success?
- How can the board be of most value to the organization (your alumni society/association and your College)?
- What behavior are we settling for?
- What five things should we track as a board?
A fresh look at these questions will serve to move your board forward in addressing the needs of your College and beyond. If you haven’t done so already, take a meeting to facilitate this discussion, and you will learn what gaps exist and how to address them. Many times outside facilitators are available through your University’s own Human Resources professional development center to help you get the most out of your session.
If you have already implemented this evaluation process, please share your experience with us through the new NAADA forum. Some additional resources on this topic: Sam’s handout from the conference, and the following link ...
How effective is your board ...
In February 2007, Boardwalk Consulting asked readers of smorgasBoard ®, their mostly-monthly electronic newsletter, to respond to four questions "on board service as you experience it.” They stated, "We do not pretend that the responses are statistically valid, but we do hope you find the answers to be a useful addition to your own board deliberations.”
While many of us have been in our jobs for a "few” years now, it is important to give a fresh eye to what we’re doing — it challengesus to always reach a bit higher! That said, the first source below addresses improving our boards, with many ideas on how to direct our boards most effectively. The next source is a resource for our new board chairs. While we can direct them through the process, this publication gives them the nuts and bolts of their role as chair, their relationship with us, meeting skills (communication and facilitation), strategic planning, board assessment and much more. Check them out!
Exceptional Board Practices: The Source In Action (http://www.boardsource.org/Bookstore.asp?Item=1078)
With the publication in 2005 of The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards, BoardSource issued a call-to-action for nonprofit boards: Make a discernable difference in your organization by moving from passive stewardship to active leadership. Since 2005, BoardSource has showcased some of the organizations making a discernible difference in Board Member®, our bimonthly member periodical. This book is a compilation of these articles, topic papers, white papers, and excerpts from our books designed to help you operate at the highest and best use of your collective ability. Your board can move from being a responsible board to being an exceptional board that adds significant value to your organization and its advance on mission just as these boards have done. Designed as a companion to The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards, these stories describe empowered boards and provide a vision of what is possible.
The Board Chair Handbook, Second Edition
By Mindy R. Wertheimer, Ph.D.
Whether you are a seasoned board chair wanting to brush up and learn something new, an incoming board chair seeking knowledge and skills, or a person considering the possibility of becoming a board chair, this definitive and newly revised guide provides the blueprint for being successful and effective in your leadership role. User-friendly and practical, this book focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the board chair position, addresses the all-important work partnership with the organization’s chief executive, and outlines the solid communication skills that the board chair’s work requires — skills that invite dialogue in a nonjudgmental, respectful atmosphere. Accompanying materials provide sample agendas, letters, and job descriptions to help you do your job effectively.
13th Annual National Agriculture Ambassador Conference, Jan. 3–5, 2008
NC State University is hosting the 13th annual National Agriculture Ambassador Conference (NAAC) in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jan. 3–5, 2008. The conference was founded at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in 1995, and was held there for a decade before beginning its movement around the country. This one-of-a-kind collegiate conference will host approximately 300 student ambassadors from across the country (more than 30 colleges and universities), each with diverse backgrounds and interests; all of these students will serve as future leaders in agriculture, natural resources, and the life sciences.
Attendees will participate in a series of professional workshops and hear form several speakers, each contributing to the theme, "Take Root. Grow Today. Lead Tomorrow." Our CALS Ambassadors have been working hard to plan a meaningful conference for their peers, and this year we are pleased to introduce a new advisor/faculty track. From introducing and recruiting prospective students to their colleges, to sharing agriculturally based knowledge with the public, ambassadors are a dedicated and diverse group of students willing to go the extra mile.
For more information regarding the conference, please visit our Web site (cals.ncsu.edu/ambassadors) and click on the NAAC link.
National NAADA Award Applications now Available Online
On behalf of the NAADA Awards Committee, I would like to invite you to begin thinking of individuals you would like to nominate for one of the NAADA National Awards. Applications and nomination information for national awards are updated on the Web site and are due no later than March 15, 2008.
As you begin to think about individuals who you can nominate, remember that these awards are the most appropriate way for your institution to recognize those professional staff, volunteers, and philanthropists who have greatly contributed to alumni, development, and student successes. The awards program provides national recognition to those outstanding friends, alumni, co-workers, volunteers, and colleagues, and will help them strengthen their ties to your programs. Instructions are posted on the Web site explaining how to nominate individuals for five NAADA awards — Front Line, Volunteer Service, Jane Longley-Cook Volunteer Service to NAADA, Distinguished Service, Professional Achievement, and the Ruby C. McSwain Outstanding Philanthropist Awards.
Please take time to look over the nomination materials at www.naada.org and make it a priority to nominate someone from your institution. They will be recognized at our next conference in Hawaii, June 16–18, 2008. If you nominated someone last year who was not selected and you want to re-nominate them, please submit a new package. If you have nominated someone for a regional award since June 2007, you may send me an e-mail that you would like that individual(s) to be considered for a national award and you will not have to complete another nomination package.
We encourage you to start the nomination process now. Remember, the deadline for nominations is March 15, 2008. If you have questions contact the committee chair, Mary Ann Parsons, at (706) 542-9238 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
I look forward to seeing many outstanding nominations from your NAADA member institutions!
— Mary Ann Parsons
Awards Committee Chair
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