What’s a CEO Support and Evaluation Committee?

What’s a CEO Support and Evaluation Committee?

Your charter school is a complex multimillion-dollar public enterprise. And its management is headed up by one person — your school leader or, as we call them, your Chief Executive Officer.

Having the right person in this role, and ensuring they’re fully supported to do the best job possible, at every stage of your organization’s evolution, is absolutely vital. They are the linchpin.

And one of the most important functions of any governing board is to effectively select, support, and evaluate the organization’s CEO.

Therefore, the CEO Support and Evaluation Committee is critical to providing this leadership year-round.

Key Responsibilities of a CEO Support and Evaluation Committee

The committee’s primary responsibilities are to design and develop — in partnership with the CEO — the systems and processes that support the board-CEO partnership and help the CEO get better at their role.

Year-­round, the committee should lead the board’s efforts to:

  • Strengthen its partnership with the organization’s CEO
  • Allow the board to give feedback to and receive feedback from the CEO

Annually, the committee should lead the board’s efforts to:

  • Set the CEO’s goals for the year
  • Evaluate the CEO’s performance

Who should serve on the committee

The chair of the board should appoint the committee’s chair and members, with input from the other trustees.

Three members tends to be the right number of people. And, preferably, you’ll appoint to the committee at least one trustee who brings HR or managerial experience. Someone who works in HR as their day job helps design and implement performance reviews all day long.

One person will be the evaluation coordinator; it’s better if that’s not the board chair. It’s okay if it is, if you’re a very lean board or they’re the only one who can do it. But usually, the CEO has a closer relationship with the chair than with the other trustees; so it’s great to have someone else lead this part.

A note of caution: While we highly recommend recruiting non-board members into your committees, this committee is different. Only voting board members should serve on the CEO Support & Evaluation Committee.

Sample Committee Goals and Tasks

As with any committee, your CEO Support and Evaluation Committee’s work should be organized around goals and tasks.

One of your committee’s primary goals might be:

Create an effective year-round data-driven process for getting and receiving feedback from or with our CEO

And, to ensure you meet that goal, you might assign specific committee members the following tasks:

  1. Develop agreed-upon CEO job description
  2. With CEO, agree to the metrics for annual success
  3. Using BoardOnTrack process and tools map out a year-long process of getting and receiving feedback from the CEO
  4. Hold first structured check-in
  5. Hold second structured check-in
  6. Complete end of the year CEO Evaluation using BoardOnTrack

Best Practices for Making Your Committee a Success

Make it a year-­round function.

Too often, a CEO evaluation task force is haphazardly formed at the end of the year, right before the evaluation. Instead, work year-round to strengthen the partnership between your board and your organization’s CEO.

Fully engage the CEO in the evaluation process.

Supporting and evaluating your leader should feel like a positive professional development experience, not a punitive one.

Chances are, your CEO spends a great deal of time working hard to ensure that everyone on the organization’s staff receives constructive feedback regularly and has a thorough annual evaluation of their performance.

They may have more experience designing evaluation processes and tools than the trustees serving on this committee.

Enlist your CEO in determining what will be the most helpful process for them to get and receive feedback from the board.

Ideally, align the CEO support and evaluation process to mirror the process that is being conducted for the rest of the staff.

Use proven practices. Don’t make it up as you go.

Designing a support and evaluation process is complex and important. Rather than making up your own evaluation tools, use proven practices.

BoardOnTrack’s online CEO evaluation process, built into our platform, has been used by hundreds of charter school boards nationwide. Check out this webinar to learn more.

Be clear about your role as it relates to surveying parents and staff.

Hearing from stakeholders is a vital management function. You can’t have a healthy organization if parents, students, and teachers don’t have a chance to weigh in frequently.

But, soliciting this input is a management function. It is not the responsibility of the board or a board committee.

The organization should conduct anonymous parent, teacher, and student surveys at least once or twice per year. The organization’s leadership should design these surveys and share the data with the board, both generally and as part of an annual evaluation. It is not the work of this committee to design or conduct these surveys.

charter school ceo evaluationThe CEO Support and Evaluation Committee is critical to providing the year-round support your school leader needs.

Whether you’re one school or a growing Charter Management Organization, having the right person in the school leader or CEO role, and ensuring they’re fully supported to do the best job possible, is absolutely vital. At every stage of your organization’s evolution, the school leader is the linchpin that makes your vision happen. The board is responsible not only for hiring {or, when necessary, firing} the right chief executive, but also providing the support and evaluation that helps your top leader raise the bar each year.

If your organization needs help running an effective, year-round CEO Support and Evaluation process, start with our proven practices. Or take a closer look at BoardOnTrack. Our complete process is built into the platform so that members can simply follow the steps. And, the right steps can even be customized to fit your organization.

Download the definitive guide to board committees

Learn more about the CEO Support and Evaluation Committee. And all five committees that every board needs.

Our complete guide to board committees includes who to recruit to serve on them, and what practices the highest-performing committees follow, and sample goals and job descriptions.

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