Position Papers


     In addition to available consults on management, programming, executive searches, accreditation issues, and state authorization for online academic programs, Concordant Consulting offers a unique online board evaluation system to any non-profit institutions (as described in Position Papers). It also provides a two-day workshop to gain clarity and agreement on the levels of authority in their organizations, including the adaptation of customary roles to particular idiosyncratic needs.

The workshop would proceed in the following stages:

STAGE ONE: The required receipt from the organization, approximately one month before the team visit, of its key governance documents: Board by-laws, administrative handbooks (personnel and/or policy), and staff handbook.

STAGE TWO: A one-and-a-half-day visit by one or two members of Concordant Consulting to the campus/organization

Day One, a.m.: A three-hour joint meeting with the Board Executive Committee, Presidential Cabinet, and Staff Executive Committee, focusing on (1) the customary historic roles of trustees, administration, and faculty, and (2) how those roles have or have not been understood at the inviting institution. This is a fact-finding session on how the three groups see each other’s present responsibilities in the context of standard governance.

Day One, p.m.: Individual group meetings with the Board Executive Committee, Presidential Cabinet, and Staff Executive Committee, focusing on a comparison of the institution’s documents with the perceptions expressed in the morning session. These individual sessions are to discuss (1) whether campus perceptions are reflected in the documents, (2) if not, whether the individual groups are concerned with that disjunction and want to overcome it, and (3) whether in the documents and perceptions of the campus there are, in the view of the individual groups, grounds for clearer and more respected lines of authority.

Day Two, a.m.: Group discussion of and work toward a written agreement on a preferred governance structure at the institution, either by clarifying what already exists or by proposing changes, using the customary roles of the constituent groups as a baseline against which to define any changes for this particular institution.

STAGE THREE: The drafting by Concordant Consulting of an agreement in principle which will clarify the governance roles on campus, with appropriate changes, and to which, two weeks after the site visit, the three committees are willing to be unanimous signatories. This third stage results in a document which does not supersede any of the campus documents, but which does represent a good faith commitment to work together to accept or change those documents according to guidelines agreed to on the second day of the site visit. (The draft document will be presented by the director of Concordant Consulting in a second half-day visit to the campus.)

     A two-person team for the initial site visit would be comprised of Dr. David Stinebeck, director of Concordant Consulting, and one other professional from the firm chosen by the administration of the inviting institution—either an attorney active in education law; a psychologist in the field of systems theory; an expert on faculty unionization; a human resources director; or a vice president of enrollment management or student affairs. If no second professional is chosen, Dr. Stinebeck will be the sole consultant.