Non-Profit Governance

Winter 2014 quarter

Taught by

Steven Laubacher
non-profit administration, public administration, organizational behavior & organizational development

The topic of Governance, in general, and the function of the Board of Directors, in particular, should be of interest to anyone associated with a nonprofit organization.  This would include all paid staff and those who volunteer whether they are helping out staff with programming, are on board committees, or are members of the Board of Directors.  It is important because there is perhaps no more influential component in the nonprofit.  The Board impacts virtually every aspect of the nonprofit including its programs, business practices, human resource policies, and fund raising.

 The purpose of this course will, therefore, be to examine the role of the Board from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.  We will examine the legal mandate of the Board, its duties, responsibilities and functions from several points of view.  However, we will also ask the practical question of how the Board should behave in the “real world.”  A major highlight of the course will be a simulation of Board Committee, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors meetings.  This will provide a learning experience for the participants that will complement our “book” learning, discussions, and experiential knowledge (i.e. what we all bring to the table).

 This course will expose all of its participants to differing perspectives on how the Board of Directors can best accomplish its mission.  Even more important, however, will be the opportunity for all participants to prepare themselves to either be a member of a Board or to support a Board.  In some cases, the course should enable its graduates to assist Boards in rethinking its role with an eye to improving its governance capabilities.   

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening and Weekend

Advertised schedule: 6-10p Tues


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Winter)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 15


Course Reference Number

(4 GR credits): 20322

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