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“Attractive Nuisances” 174
A New Covenant 179
Coming Full Circle 181
^^0oardSource is the premier resource for practical information, new ideas, and leadership development for board members of nonprofit organizations worldwide. Through highly acclaimed programs and services, BoardSource enables nonprofit organizations to fulfill their missions by helping build strong and effective boards.As the world’s largest, most comprehensive publisher of materials on nonprofit governance, BoardSource offers a wide selection of books, videotapes, CDs, and online tools. BoardSource also hosts a biennial Leadership Forum, bringing together governance experts, board members, and chief executives of nonprofit organizations from around the world. In addition to workshops, training, and our extensive Web site, BoardSource governance consultants work directly with nonprofit leaders to design specialized solutions for organizations of all sizes working in diverse communities around the world. For more information, please visit www.boardsource.org, e-mail email@example.com, or call (202) 452-6262.
About the Authors
RICHARD p. CHAIT
Richard Chait, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has studied nonprofit governance for more than 20 years. He has coauthored two books on the subject, Improving the Performance of Governing Boards (Oryx Press, 1996) and The Effective Board of Trustees (Oryx Press, 1993), as well as numerous articles including two in the Harvard Business Review, “The New Work of Nonprofit Boards” (September/October, 1996) and “Charting the Territory of Nonprofit Boards” (January/February, 1989). Chait also conducts research on faculty work life and academic leadership, most recently editing a volume on The Questions of Tenure (Harvard University Press, 2002).
Dr. Chait is a member of the Board of Directors of BoardSource and a trustee and member of the executive committee of the governing board of Wheaton College (MA). He was previously a trustee of Goucher College (MD) and Maryville College (TN). Chait has served as a consultant to the boards and executives of more than a hundred nonprofit organizations, particularly in education and the arts. In 2004, he was named one of Harvard University’s “outstanding teachers.”
xil ABOUT THE AUTHORS
wiLLiam p. ryan
Bill Ryan is a consultant to foundations and nonprofit organizations and a research fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. His work focuses on nonprofit organizational capacity, primarily among human-service organizations. He has explored how several forces—including nonprofit access to capital, foundation grantmaking practices, competition with for-profit firms, and nonprofit governance— shape the capacity of nonprofits to deliver on their missions. Ryan is author or coauthor of a number of articles on these topics, including “The New Landscape for Nonprofits” and “Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists” (both in Harvard Business Review), as well as High Performance Nonprofit Organizations (John Wiley & Sons, 1999). Before beginning his consulting practice in 1993, he worked in urban planning for nonprofit and government agencies in New York City.
barbara e. tAYloR
Barbara Taylor is a senior consultant with the Academic Search Consultation Service, a nonprofit executive search firm whose clients include colleges, universities, and education-related nonprofits. Until 1996, Taylor was, for twelve years, director and then vice president for programs and research at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, an organization that serves trustees of higher education institutions.
Dr.Taylor is the author or coauthor of eight books, including Improving the Performance of Governing Boards (Oryx Press, 1996); Strategic Indicators for Higher Education (Peterson’s, 1996); and The
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Effective Board of Trustees (Oryx Press, 1993). She has also published numerous papers, book chapters, and case studies concerning governance, strategic planning, and institutional financial condition, including the Harvard Business Review articles,“Charting the Territory of Nonprofit Boards” and “The New Work of the Nonprofit Board.” She has consulted with more than 100 nonprofit organizations on issues of governance, board-CEO and board-staff relations, and organizational assessment and plan-ning.Taylor is a trustee emeritus ofWittenberg University.
urn back the clock to 1986. One of the authors had an audience with a then education editor of the New York Times as part of a larger effort to kindle media interest in a study this researcher had just launched on college boards of trustees. Less than five minutes into the presentation, the editor interrupted to proclaim,“Governance is a yawner.What else are you working on?”
Today, governance has become a front-page story propelled by a steady flow of articles on acquiescent and negligent corporate boards, and unbridled (and often unethical) CEOs. A composite picture emerges that depicts boards of directors as insular, incestuous, and derelict. Nonprofit boards are under attack as well. Just within the last year, for instance, there have been notorious accounts about self-serving boards of family foundations, a university board that bungled a presidential search at great embarrassment and great cost ($1.8 million to settle with the president-elect), and a prominent independent school board that paid its headmaster a salary most outsiders regarded as indefensibly excessive.