On Nov. 28, the Board of Trustees hosted a coffee, inviting the Ranney community to learn more about the role of the Board of Trustees and how to get involved. After welcoming the group of more than 20 attendees and introducing the board members in attendance, Board Chair Chris Fitzmaurice shared the following presentation:
“As an independent school, Ranney is governed by a Board of Trustees.Ranney’s Board is comprised of parents and alumni of Ranney School. The Board of Trustees is chartered to uphold the bylaws of the school according to its stated mission and philosophy. It is the duty of the Board not to operate the school, but to see that the school is well operated.
We currently have 13 active Board members and 2 Trustee Emeritus. The Bylaws call for a minimum of 12 trustees and limit of 19.
- The full Board meetings are conducted four times a year. In addition, a half-day retreat is held at the end of each year.
- We also plan in-session visits to other independents schools annually.
- We do an evaluation of the Head of School every other year and a self-evaluation in alternating years.
- Committees meetings are held at least four times a year prior to the full Board meetings. Most of the work of the Board is done in the committee meetings. The calendar of Board and committee meetings is available at the start of each year.
Responsibilities of the Board include:
- Appointing and evaluating the Head of School. (The Head of School is the Board’s only employee; the Board is not responsible for hiring or firing faculty or staff.)
- Approving the annual operating budget and tuition recommendations.
- Reviewing and staying apprised of the educational programs of the school.
- Authorizing the sale, purchase, lease or rental of land building or major equipment.
- Setting prudent investment policy and ensuring the school is properly insured.
- Recruiting, nominating and orienting Board members who possess the talent, skills and means to further the work of the Board.
- Conferring diplomas, certificates or other honors on behalf of the school.
- Overseeing the general operation of the school and taking other such action as may be reasonably necessary to advance the work of the school.
The Committees of the Board include:
Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Development Committee, Finance Committee, Education and Student Life Committee, Campus Operations Committee, and Marketing Committee. There are also a few Ad Hoc Committees including: Crisis Management, Medical Advisory, Legal Advisory and Sustainability. The Board is always actively seeking new volunteers. Interested parents are asked to sit on a Board Committee for one or two years and then may be nominated to join the Board of Trustees.
Trustees are advocates of the school, they actively support the Head, and keep themselves well-informed about the school’s operations, challenges and goals. Trustees are also asked to be familiar with the history of the school. Trustees must regularly attend Board meetings and sign a statement of Commitment, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest.
Ranney School is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools. We derive best practices from these organizations.
Trustees attend the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools Annual Trustee Enrichment Day held at one of the member schools.
My fellow Trustees and I are always happy to answer questions about the role of the Board or the work of the Board committees.”
Following this presentation, attendees asked questions and shared feedback about educational philosophy, financial sustainability, diversity of faculty, endowment, and marketing messaging. A more detailed description of the questions and answers from this event will be included in the next Board Newsletter to be sent in early December.
This event and the Board Newsletter are part of a concerted effort on the part of the Board to increase transparency and communication about the work of the Board.
For more information about the role of the Board, you are invited to reach out to a member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Griffith, or Jennifer Collins in the Advancement Office.