Robert F. Davis

CP Guest Contributor

Why So Many Are Frustrated at Christian Schools

For about one half of my professional life I was in the classroom teaching. For the other half it was administration which, by the way, involve quite a bit of teaching. While both of these experiences involved teaching the venues were light years apart. The result of all of this, "I'm tired!"

Is Your Christian School Worth Attending?

In some form or another, "Is your Christian school worth attending?" is being asked by parents. A second question, "Are you hiring the best?" is also being asked and should be a focus of your school leadership's inquiry.

5 Things Standing in the Way of Making Christian Schools Better

How many times have you heard someone say, "the more things change the more they stay the same?" Or, how about, "if we could only return to the good old days." It seems to me that in spite of "change," things really don't. Change often is only old or older things that are simply recycled. And no one really wants to go back to the "good old days" because they actually weren't that good.

The Battle for a Christian Education

Over the years as a college vice president and as a consultant serving Christian education, I have learned that understanding and exploiting your niche is central to the survival of your educational institution.

Keeping Christian Schools Open: Scouting Outside (Part 3)

While "word of mouth" is the best advertisement, it should not be an excuse to sit back and wait for students to flow into your classrooms. Recruitment, aggressive recruitment, should always be the "modus operandi." Actually when enrollment is strong, marketing be even stronger. It helps to protect during the lean times. Recruitment, however, even aggressive recruitment won't assure fiscal strength unless tuition, spending, and salaries, essentially the entire budget is in balance.

Keeping Christian Schools Open: Looking Inside and Out (Part 2)

While serving on the board of a Philadelphia college I raise the issue of a development plan for the college at a development committee meeting. The committee chair asked, "How much would that cost, you know to have a consultant help us create one?" I replied, "From my experience, approximately $30,000, but as a board member I'll do it pro bono." Time consuming as it is a development plan is not difficult to create. Development should be strategic, dynamic, and assertive. To be strategic, planning is necessary.

Keeping Christian Schools Open: A Peek Inside (Part 1)

Morale and ludicrous were front-and-center as I arrived at a Christian school seeking to raise capital, and large amounts, at that. The faculty and staff had gone without pay for 12 months, their pension investment had disappeared, they watched as a colleague was released for the sexual assault of over a dozen children at the school, and no one knew from week-to-week which classes would be consolidated or who would be without a job.

Characteristics of the Effective Board: The Foundations for Strength (Pt. 3)

Communication more specifically related to board success is that from the "Audit Committee," the "keeper" of the policy handbook. It should be expected to be thorough and plain spoken. In order to avoid confusion and provide clarity of function, the "audit committee" has nothing to do with institutional finance, but everything to do with the examination and auditing of individual board member's performance.

Characteristics of the Effective Board: A Trinity of Board Strength (Pt. 1)

Board responsibilities are clear cut. As owners of the school, following the "mission" helps to maintain institutional continuity, stability, and integrity. I have always found two things to be striking when interviewing a board. After asking board members about the "mission statement," which most don't know, I ask what their responsibility is and how many employees report to the board. Waffling best describes their response. Boards are responsible for establishing policy, assuring financial stability, and hiring the one employee who reports directly to the board, the chief executive officer.