Article XVI: The Headmaster as Chief Executive Officer

Introducing the Headmaster as Chief Executive Officer, and the only direct report of the board of trustees, s/he is comprehensively responsible for successful achievement of organizational ends while maintaining organizational integrity.  The board will link governance and management functions through a single chief executive officer, titled Headmaster by means of written management delegation policies.  The Headmaster will regularly report back to the board on the achievement of academy ends and integrity.

Depending on the size of the Academy, the Headmaster as CEO must act as, or be fully communicative with the chief business, and financial officer, chief operations officers – normally school principals or division heads, and chief advancement officer.  This broad role in organizational leadership is vital to the long-term success of any academy.

As chief business or financial officer the Headmaster assures the academy is run behind the scenes on solid business principles, operated on hard income that is duly collected, recorded, reported, and audited.  S/He understands the academy is not primarily a business operated for a profit but that s/he must employ excellent business administration to assure solvency.   S/He assures the academy normally operates with a surplus producing reserves that will allow the academy to succeed during a downturn and expand during times of prosperity.  S/He should not allow the academy to fall into the bad practice of requiring charitable contributions to meet a budget gap.  S/He provides adequate facilities, equipment and supplies to for a positive learning environment.  S/He assures ends are met by lawful means, and that all personnel are treated well.  S/He is an educator and a business leader.

As chief operations officer, s/he assures that all those directly involved in the teaching, and learning process are free from unnecessary encumbrances to achieve the great end of educating the soul.  The academy is operated as an orderly, but not a militaristic organization, with adequate, well maintained facilities, a smoothly run, predictable annual cycle, weekly schedule and daily ritual where conflicts are anticipated, and mitigated ahead of time.  This means s/he thinks a minimum of one year ahead of all the rest of the staff.  I always kept a monthly tickler file of that which needed to be accomplished month by month rather than just forging ahead. Think about it, as soon as school opens the Headmaster begins preparation to open new students enrollment for the following school year even though it is twelve months in the future.  S/He plans five years ahead for facility expansion or other major advancement programs.  When every one else is back in the classroom one the jobs of the Headmaster is to think ahead.

The Headmaster as chief advancement officer engages in recruiting families, and faculty, marketing, and brand development, public relations during times of peace, and especially in a crisis, and s/he must raise money through charitable development.  His/Her gifts of passion for education, writing and public speaking combined with a winsome social attitude will serve him/her well in this role.  Again, s/he is anticipating the annual cycle of admission and students recruitment through promotion, academy preview meetings, web site and social media renovations and any other means appropriate to his/her locale.  I also accepted opportunities to speak at Rotary, Chamber, before home school groups, to appear on Christian television broadcasts, on the radio.  I also provided a column for the local newspaper, and blogged on classical education as often as appropriate.  Since s/he believes passionately in the mission of the academy s/he heads, these should be attractive activities.  They are important activities s/he must not allow to be crowded out by the urgent.

The Headmaster is responsible for the entire operation.  However, the Academy is not operated as a machine, and the excellent headmaster will take care not to apply scientific management to an organization of humans, engaged in interaction with great ideas, and with each other.  The Academy is decidedly not making widgets, and therefore it should be run differently than a product development or manufacturing operation.  The formation of humanity takes plenty of art, not just rigorous science.

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