Board of Directors, authority?


Alie said: Aug 31, 2010
 Columbus, OH
21 posts

Hello Fellow Teachers,
I have some questions that I hope you all can help me out with. First, a little background info. I am a Suzuki violin teacher who returned from my undergrad to teach in the Suzuki school that I started in as a child. Our “Administrator” was a teacher and Suzuki parent that did so many wonderful things for our organization. Also, we had/have a Board of Directors. In my understanding, the Administrator ran the school but consulted the Board for approval of major financial decisions, deviation from standard policy and procedure, etc. Our beloved Administrator passed away and I was asked to take her position, which I declined. One reason was for sheer grief and the other was because organization is not my strong point. I proposed that we hire an administrator to do registration, correspondence, newsletters etc. I would act as the artistic director, faculty liaison, and adviser to the administrator.

Over the past year, the roles have been very unclear. For those of you that are experienced with this, please help! I need your expertise so that I can understand and in turn help the Board to understand the following things:

1)What specifically are the main focuses/goals of a Suzuki Board?

2)Are teachers supposed to be on the Board?

3)As Artistic Director, am I supposed to be on the Board?

4)What sort of decisions is it necessary for the Board to approve, and what should I be approving on my own?

5)What specifically is the role of the Administrator in conjunction with the Board, and my role as Artistic Director?

6)What specifically is my role as Artistic Director in conjunction with the Board and the Administrator?

7)Who should be communicating with current parents?

:cool:Who should be communicating with new parents?

9)What is the proper procedure for electing Board members? (Ours is extremely unclear. The way our bylaws are worded make it unclear about whether board members vote other members in or parents in the organization do the voting.)

Any additional info you could give me would be excellent.


Diane said: Sep 1, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
244 posts

I understand your predicament! I’m no expert but I’m sure you can find the answers to your questions. I would start with Robert’s Rules of Order. I did a quick Google search and saw that many of your questions would be answered there. This from

Key Roles
(by Carter McNamara)
· Clients—Everything in a nonprofit is ultimately directed to serving clients. Clients are the “consumers” or “customers” of the nonprofit’s services. Note that services can be in the form of tangible or intangible products.
· Board—The board is comprised of individuals from the community and, ideally, is representative of the organizations clients. Law and theory dictate that the board is in charge, and directly accountable for the overall direction and policies of the organization. Powers are given to the board by the Articles of Incorporation (or other governing document, for example, Articles of Association, Constitution, etc.). The board can configure the nonprofit in whatever structure it prefers to meet the organization’s mission and usually does so via specifications in bylaws. Members of nonprofit boards are generally motivated by a desire to serve the community and the personal satisfaction of volunteering. Nonprofit board members may not receive monetary compensation for serving on the board. See the library topic Boards for description of the overall responsibilities of a board, key board roles, how meetings are carried out, etc.
· Board Chair—A board chair’s role is central to coordinating the work of the board, executive director and committees. The chair’s role may have appointive power for committees, depending on what is specified about this role in the bylaws. The power of the board chair is usually through persuasion and general leadership. See the topic Board Chair for an overview of the board chair role.
· Committees—Typically, the board chooses to carry out its operations using a variety of board committees. The the topic Description of Typical Committees for a description of typical board committees.
· Executive Director—The board typically chooses to have this one person who is ultimately responsible to carry out the wishes of the board. The executive director is directly accountable for the work of the staff and supports the work of the board committees. For more information, see the library topic Chief Executive Role.
· Staff—Staff report to the executive director and may support the work of the committees.
· Volunteers—Volunteers are unpaid personnel who assist staff, serve on committees and generally work under the direction of the executive director. See the topic Volunteer Programs for an understanding of the role of volunteers.

Good Luck

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 2, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1069 posts

Sounds like you need to consult the board about answering these questions clearly, and then immediately ask the board to revise the by-laws so that the answers are clear in the by-laws.

Alie said: Sep 2, 2010
 Columbus, OH
21 posts

Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate it!

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