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News & Press: ARNOVA Annual Conference

News From The Nonprofit Governance Section

Wednesday, September 30, 2015   (0 Comments)
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The governance section is busy planning for the ARNOVA conference with an in-conference colloquium, section dinner, and post-conference Saturday afternoon symposium. In addition, we are seeking new members of the Governance Leadership team. Details on all of these events and a report on members’ participation at the Academy of Management conference follow.

In-conference colloquium

The governance section is proud to announce its in-conference colloquium (Saturday, 8:15AM), where we will deal with the focal questions whether a one-size-fits-all governance approach can be taken, or should differentiation happen. If differentiation should indeed happen, the next logical question on our agenda is about the relevant criteria that necessitate differentiation. Dave Renz (Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership), Shariq Siddiqui (ARNOVA’s executive director), Chris Cornforth (The Open University), Alnoor Ebrahim (Harvard Business School) and Jurgen Willems (University of Hamburg) will share their thoughts on these questions. We invite attendants to participate in the discussion and share their ideas, as it is our aim that each of us can take several learning points home for research and practice.

Post Conference Symposium

Governance Functions in Inter-organizational and Cross-sector Collaborations. Please join us Saturday afternoon for a relaxed, fun and informative discussion on how and why governance functions move beyond a single organization's control. The session will consider theoretical and research approaches to explain when governance functions are enacted beyond the boardroom. Guided by leading scholars in the field, the session includes applied cases to stimulate conversation. Participants will consider the dimensions and factors that explain how and why governance moves outside organizational operations. Participants will extend their understanding and improve research approaches into these concepts. Will Brown & Chao Guo are the planning committee Co-chairs along with members Dave Renz, Melissa Stone, Judy Freiworth, and Max Freund.

Section Dinner

Save the date. The Governance Section dinner will take place on Thursday evening of the ARNOVA conference immediately following our section meeting. Thank you to our sponsors: Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UKMC, BoardSource, and Texas A & M Nonprofit Program.


The Governance Section will be conducting elections this fall for two offices on the section Leadership Team, the team that is responsible for the planning, coordination, and implementation of section activities and operations. This Team is comprised of five officers, all of which are elected by the section membership. The two offices that will be open for election this fall are “Member-At-Large” and “Chair-Elect.” The term for Member-At-Large is two years, and the term for Chair-Elect is one year (which is then followed by automatic progression into the office of Chair for a year). Specific information on the roles and responsibilities of each of these offices is provided in the Section’s Bylaws, which are posted in the Section’s part of the ARNOVA web site. We invite all members of the section to offer nominations for each of these offices, and members are welcome to self-nominate if they are interested, too. Nominations should be submitted to the Section Nomination Committee, which is composed of outgoing Section Chair David Renz and section members Chao Guo and Francie Ostrower, by sending an email of nomination to Renz at The Committee (in consultation with incoming section Chair Will Brown) will consider all nominations and prepare a slate of candidates for the election. The election, which will be conducted using the same online voting system that ARNOVA uses for its association elections, will occur immediately prior to the ARNOVA November Conference, and the newly-elected officers will take office at the section meeting at the conference. If you have questions about any aspects of this process, please contact Dave Renz or any member of the Leadership Team.

Academy of Management

Thanks to the leadership of Governance Section Secretary, Ruth Bernstein, our section reached out to another network of governance researchers through the convening of a “Professional Development Workshop” session at the August 2015 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management (AoM), which was held in Vancouver. The theme of the entire AoM conference was “Opening Governance,” which provided an excellent venue for our section to increase our visibility and interact with colleagues studying business boards and governance. The session, entitled “Improving Board Governance: What Can the For-Profit and Nonprofit Sectors Learn from Each Other?” included a panel of researchers and practitioners, some with business research background and some with nonprofit governance research backgrounds (including section members Vernetta Walker, Kathleen Erwin, and David Renz). The Governance Section was well represented throughout the entire conference, as a number of our members presented excellent nonprofit governance research papers and posters.

We would like to encourage everyone who has an interest in non-profit boards and governance to express his or her interest by becoming a member of the Governance Section. You join and provide support for the section by adding a further $10 payment to your membership fee when you renew your ARNOVA membership for this year. It is this kind of support that enables the section to move forward with these new and interesting activities.

David Renz, Chair, University of Missouri at Kansas City
William Brown, Chair-Elect, Texas A&M University
Ruth Bernstein, Secretary, University of Washington Tacoma
Jurgen Willems, Treasurer, Universität Hamburg
Wendy Reid, Member-at-large, HEC Montréal

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