Trustee U


Barbara Kraus-Blackney
Executive Director

Irene McHenry
Executive Director
Back to FCEFriends Council on Education


$300 per program year per computer site includes both Fall and Winter Courses consisting of 3 online sessions each.

  • Trustees may elect to participate individually at home or at work for $300 per computer site.
  • Value-Added Option: Boards may elect to gather as a group at one location for $300. Use one computer site with a projector for a truly generative experience. 

Register Now!

Your Registration Also Includes the
Year One, Winter Course

"Fiduciary Responsibility: Strategic Thinking for Financial Sustainability" 

January 15, 2013
Financial Sustainability: The Big Picture
Patrick F. Bassett

January 29, 2013
Practical Ideas to Implement Now
Sarah Daignault

February 12, 2013
Successful Models for Best Practice
Michael Saxenian

Full details coming soon!


Year Two
Fall Course

"Fiduciary Responsibility: The Board's Role in Philanthropy" 

Winter Course

"Partnership Conversations: Board and Head Goal-Setting and Evaluation" 



Year Three
Fall Course

"Productive Conversations: Best Practices in Board Decision-Making" 

Winter Course

"Productive Conversations: Leveraging the Value of Good Governance"


Register Now!


ADVIS and Friends Council on Education have partnered to offer:
A 3-Year Series of
Online Governance Programs for Trustees

Each year will consist of a Fall Course with three online sessions, and a Winter Course with three online sessions. All sessions take place from 4:00-5:30 PM, Eastern Time. Trustee U is supported
by the Edward E. Ford Foundation.

Heads and Board Chairs/Clerks:  Please pass this invitation along to ALL trustees and 
encourage their participation -- it could make all the difference for your school!



"Generative Conversations: The Role of Conflict in Good Governance"

Facilitated by Ginny Christensen, Strategy for Growth

Tuesdays, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM EST
Online Session Dates and Presenters:

October 2 – Conversations at the Headwaters of Decision Making
Dr. Cathy Ann Trower
Cathy Trower
 – Governance Consultant, President of Trower & Trower, Inc., Research Director, Harvard Graduate School of Education
(read bio here)

The best boards understand their roles as stewards, strategists, and sense-makers. They are able to work seamlessly providing oversight, foresight, and insight. 

Many trustees find thinking and working in fiduciary and strategic modes at once familiar and fulfilling. However, for many boards, generative thinking remains somewhat elusive with two frustrating outcomes, both associated with conflict. First, when trustees are not invited into generative conversations at the headwaters of decision-making – when they’re not invited into
“first-guessing” upstream when problems and opportunities are being defined and issues framed – they tend to second-guess downstream. This can lead to conflict with staff members who typically have a good handle
already on technical and operational matters. 

Second, unless boards truly understand the generative mode and how to do it well, dysfunctional conflict can occur when some trustees express low tolerance for what they may see as an academic exercise at best or
self-indulgent navel-gazing at worst. 

With skilled leadership, boards are invited into difficult conversations early and upstream. They learn to have productive deliberations that do not shy away from conflict but actually seek to engage convergent views on sensitive subjects that have organizational mission and values at their core. This session is about how to do
just that!

October 16:  Learning from Turbulence in Conversations

Amy YeagerDr. Ben E. Benjamin
 – Founding Partner, SAVI Training Partners  (read bio here)

Amy Yeager – Certified Senior SAVI Trainer 
 (read bio here)
  • Ben Benjamin and Amy Yeager are co-authors
    (with Anita Simon) of recent Amazon best seller, 
    "Conversation Transformation: Recognize and
    Overcome the 6 Most Destructive Communication Patterns" (available here).

    In the world of governing boards today, packed agendas testify to the enormity of our need to be smart
    and strategic. We don’t have time to waste – thus clear and effective communication is essential to our success. Yet we’ve all had the experience, whether in the boardroom, at work or in our personal lives, of having a conversation go wrong. Sometimes important information is missed; sometimes a disturbance
    may even erupt. When this happens, the all-too-human tendency is to blame the other person or the topic.
    Yet the truth is usually something very different. And it’s right in front of our eyes.

    In this session, Ben Benjamin and Amy Yeager will introduce us to SAVI, The System for Analyzing
    Verbal Interaction
    . With it, they’ll help us look very closely and accurately at turbulent moments in conversations. They’ll show us how to find the unintended culprits in these situations. And they’ll give us
    tools to set things right.

October 30: At the Confluence of Many Rivers 
Thomas R. Gibian – Head of School, Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring, MD 
J. Curtis Moffatt – Clerk of the Board, Sandy Spring Friends School, Senior Partner, Van Ness Feldman, Washington, D.C.
Priscilla Sands – President, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA

Trustee U Panel

A panel of Board Chairs and Heads from our schools will speak from their recent experience of navigating sometimes divergent waters to accomplish big things.   (read bios here)