Book Review Page 42
Good Governance Is A Choice
A Way to Re-create Your Board — the Right Way
by Randy Quinn and Linda J. Dawson, Rowan and Littlefield Education, Lanham, Md., 2011, 150 pp., $24.95 softcover
Randy Quinn and Linda Dawson, long-time board development consultants and co-founders of the Aspen Group International, provide significant structure and insight into designing the governance system to effectively focus on academic results.
Their governance model, called Coherent Governance, builds on the policy governance work of John Carver. This short, practical work describes the typical obstacles.
Quinn and Dawson outline the attributes of high-performing boards and present a governance model that focuses on clarity of roles, a respectful governance culture and sound vision. Significantly, this book suggests ways that boards and their executive can choose to implement sound governance choices that achieve desired outcomes.
The culture of governance requires that board members and their CEO clearly articulate the roles each board member and the CEO must perform. The book aptly notes that “boards think of their obligation to their ownership as being a combination of leading, serving and representing.”
The authors confront the inevitable tension that exists among these roles and between the board and the executive. The model includes specific strategies that build upon proven, highly effective strategies for board leadership. Effective governance requires clear roles, established processes and execution of these processes with discipline, respect and integrity.
Every superintendent should encourage his or her board members to explore Coherent Governance. This governance approach places both freedoms and responsibilities on all parties in ways that effectively represent the public’s ownership interests, serve students and improve organizational effectiveness.
Reviewed by Brian L. Benzel, vice president for finance and administration, Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash.