The University of Advancing Technology's (UAT) Board of Directors (Board) was honored to be nominated for the Private Company Boards of the Year Awards. This award "recognize private company boards that best serve their stakeholders — owners, shareholders, employees and community. These boards exhibit best practices in their structure, practices and performance. The award is open to fiduciary or advisory boards of private companies of all sizes and ownership structures," (Private Company Director).
The Carver Policy Governance Method
Not only was our Board nominated, they were part of the top ten finalists for 2022. UAT's Board of Directors is set up differently than traditional boards. "Because it's a truly independent board, it's a pretty unique deal," shares Chairman of the Board, Jay Lohman. What exactly makes our Board unique? It's the Carver Policy Governance Model. Chairman Lohman explains the Carver Model, "The Carver method says the President reports to the Board, and that’s where it stops. Board members should not try to drill down to talk to an Accounting Manager. If we have a question, we ask the President. We hold the President accountable. A big deal difference compared to getting buried into the detail level that the Board should not be in. That’s the neat difference of the Carver Method.”
Members of the Board: Jay Lohman, Dr. Nancy Houston and Jason Funk
The Carver Policy Governance Model offers an alternative to many traditional models of board governance by emphasizing the governance-management relationship and accountability of both management and the board. This is different from other models of governance in that it strives to keep the Board actively engaged in strategy and focused on Mission, and avoids distraction with tactics and administrative issues. Chairman Lohman adds, "The Board is only focused on the Ends and the goals of the entity."
The Carver Model's intent is to keep the Board focused on Mission and strategy, and executive accountability, providing clear communications to the staff and organization—through the CEO—of its intents and desires. Thus, the Board defines its desires almost exclusively through Policy and rarely, if ever, ratifies decisions or approaches developed by the CEO—it instead monitors and verifies the accomplishment of its defined Ends. Well-chosen reporting implements provide the feedback necessary for effective performance monitoring.
Members of the Board: Jason Konesco, Brian Palmer and Dr. Dominic Pistillo
The Carver Model of Policy Governance is considered by many to be a “best practice” in Board Governance for both non-profit and profit-making organizations. We believe it is the optimum system of governance for UAT and other educational institutions because it achieves:
Board independence and integrity
A clear distinction between governance and management
Unambiguous authority lines between the Board and the staff
Ultimate Board responsibility and control over the Mission and its attainment
Unequivocal Board control over the selection, dismissal and powers of the President
Consistent and relevant performance monitoring of the President and the institution
And clear accountability of both the President and the Board
Proud of the Board and UAT
Chairman Lohman has been part of many boards, and from all of his experience, he notes that as part of the UAT Board of Directors he is always learning. He understands the Education industry is unlike any other. "Another unique thing about the Board is that we have fiduciary responsibility to at least four groups. One group is the students, another is the parents, the third is the stockholders and the fourth is to all the regulatory and stockholders. The fiduciary responsibility of a board of an educational institution, to me, is much deeper.” Lohman continues, "I don’t see any Board member with a hidden agenda trying to build their own ego. The Board members we have today are focused on exactly why it’s structured to monitor the ends and goals, and to be responsible and follow how we evaluate the performance of the President.”
As much as he is impressed with the Boards dedication, he is also greatly impressed by UAT's management team. "What I really have seen, and what I think, going through the Covid fiasco that all of us have gone through, to see what the management team has done, with general guidance from the Board but not in detail, to see how well UAT has survived through that is phenomenal. Because, as you know, some of the competition is gone. That, to me, is a huge accomplishment. I, personally, view that as a huge accomplishment from the management team, and maybe that all fits together because you have people that have been exposed to general business, ownership positions and education working together. It’s the quality of the Board and the structure of it. I’m amazed at what UAT has done through this [the pandemic].”
Although Chairman Lohman joked that he's biased thinking the Board should have ranked higher for the awards, it is no secret that our set up is very unique and stands out compared to other boards. "UAT is a special place," adds Lohman.
Members of UAT's Board of Directors
Mr. Jay Lohman, Chairman of the Board
Dr. Nancy Houston, Director
Mr. Jason Funk, Director
Mr. Jason Konesco, Director
Mr. Brian Palmer, Director
Dr. Dominic P. Pistillo, Director