Survey 06

March 28, 2012
Report to the Working Group on Survey # 6 Results
Topic- Elements of Board Structure 

After taking time last week to reflect on the Cumulative Decisions of the Group to date, this week the Working Group moved on to begin creating definition to the role of the Board of Directors for the new Association and mechanisms for how that Board might be selected by the members.  There were 30 respondents to the survey at the time of this analysis.

In Question # 2 (Question#1 asked for the respondent name), respondents were asked to rank order their preferences for nomenclature for non-core members of the Association.  This follows the prior decision by the Working Group two weeks ago in which they determined that only core members should have the right to be called “Members” of the Association.  The results of  question #1 show that the Working Group preferred the term “Associate” member with a supermajority rating this their first or second choice and an overall ranking of 1.78 (1= first choice and 6=last choice therefore the lower the ranking the higher the preference).  The rest of the rankings were as follows:  “Affiliate” (2.18); “Auxiliary” (3.32); “Friend” (3.64); “Supporter” (4.32); and “Non-voting” (5.1).

Several respondents suggested that perhaps there should be three categories of membership nomenclature denoting Members, Aspiring Members (perhaps to be called “Associate Members” and all Others (perhaps to be called “Friends”).  This suggestion will be discussed with the Working Group.

In Question #3, respondents were asked to rank their priorities for some of the roles the board might play.  This question was designed to once again ask the group to discuss their strategic priorities (this time for the board) and thus to begin to tease apart special skillsets the members might desire in Board Members.  The rankings were somewhat grouped (again 1= first choice and 6=last choice therefore the lower the ranking the higher the preference):

  1. Board as Capacity Builder (2.39)
  2. Board as Strategic Leader (2.71)
  3. Board as Technical Capacity Builder (2.93)
  4. Board as Fundraiser (3.61)
  5. Board as Convener of Performances (4.21)
  6. Board as traditional Trustee (4.78)

As can be seen from the above, there was no clear ranking (1-6) of priorities, but more a clustering, where respondents felt that the roles of Capacity Builder – both program competence and outcomes measurement and Strategic Leader were of the highest priority and Fundraising, Performances, and Trusteeship ranked after these roles.  However, as can also be seen from the rankings, and was mentioned frequently in the comments, “ALL of these things really matter, so it is hard to set priorities.”  It was also mentioned that the priorities would likely shift over time and the Association matured.

Question # 4 asked respondents to select a method for allocating board votes among members.  The results of this question were:

  • One Member=One Vote (58.6%)
  • Votes allocated based on level of student enrollment (27.6%)
  • Votes allocated based on core member program budget size (13.8%)

These results will be discussed further with the Working Group. Longer responses suggested that regional factors and other things might create disparities in program size and that we should be careful to consider diversity of programs as a priority for representation.  It was also suggested that the longevity of programs might also be a factor to consider in allocating votes.

Question#5 asked whether the Working Group wanted to have regional factors taken into consideration in allocating representation.  With a possible rating of 1-5 (1=strongly agree; 5= strongly disagree) the group responded with a rating of 2.41 which indicates neither agreement nor disagreement with this idea.  There were many comments about this question and many of the comments suggested that there needed to be a way to be sure that all areas of the country were represented, but that limiting board seats by area might not be the best way to do this.


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