Carnegie Hall Board of Trustees

Can Nonprofit Boards Learn from the Recent Carnegie Hall Disruption?

Can Nonprofit Boards Learn from the Recent Carnegie Hall Disruption?

By: Eugene Fram

The costly upheaval between Carnegie Hall board and staff appears to be slowly moving toward resolution. * But, for decades, other types of large nonprofit organizations have imperfectly resolved the issues that have arisen at Carnegie Hall without similar spectacles. Examples: university boards know they have to fully rely on faculty to develop up-to-date curricula. Hospital boards know they have to retain skilled physicians or face the potential of due care failure liabilities.

I suggest that nonprofit directors need to consider three actions to help eliminate the type of spectacle recently evidenced by the Carnegie Hall organization. (more…)

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Carnegie Hall Board Dissonance–What Lessons For Nonprofits?

Carnegie Hall Board Dissonance–What Lessons For Nonprofits?

By: Eugene H. Fram

Ronald O. Perelman (Carnegie Hall Board Chair) …was critical of trustees for placing “a premium on avoiding tensions and disagreement” and said he will leave (the board) in a month. The Problem: Clive Gillinson (Executive Director & Artistic Director) signed a $100,000 contract that might include a conflict of interest…to which Perelman (and two other directors) objected. The board agreed to engage an independent lawyer to investigate the situation, but Perelman, in apparent anger, reported progress has been too slow. *

Ronald Perelman’s abrupt resignation sounds a “clarion call” for all nonprofit board members. When an executive director appears to overstep his/h authority and/or when the board has not vetted a significant contract, nonprofit board members need to take proactive stands. Although the Carnegie Hall board is about 78 strong and tends to glitter with “star quality,” there are obvious parallels with nonprofit reactions to similar disruptions. How should directors of smaller nonprofits react to morale crises of this nature? (more…)