Spring 2022  |  PA 5108 Section 001: Board leadership development (58952)

Class Component:
1 Credit
Grading Basis:
S-N only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Class Attributes:
Community Engaged Learning
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
Sat 09:00AM - 04:30PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Fri 09:00AM - 11:00AM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Fri 09:00AM - 11:00AM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Fri 09:00AM - 11:00AM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 35
Enrollment Status:
Open (13 of 15 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Nonprofit board governance. Governance models, roles/responsibilities, ethics/dynamics. Current research/concepts along with students' current board experiences to illuminate challenges/explore solutions that build board leadership competencies. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
Class Notes:
Class Description:
This course builds on students' experience serving on or reporting to nonprofit boards to strengthen leadership as board members and effectiveness of boards. This practicum class focuses on distinctive features of nonprofit board governance and uses research and concepts along with students' current board experiences to illuminate challenges and explore solutions to build board leadership competencies. The course will cover legal requirements of nonprofit boards, their basic roles and responsibilities, important issues of recruitment, composition and diversity, intra-board and board-staff dynamics, life cycle changes, and emerging issues relevant to governance. The class reading and discussion will also explore whether the "best practices" for nonprofit boards are serving organizations and the sector well.

Instructor biography: Kate Barr is the President and CEO of Propel Nonprofits, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit whose mission is to fuel the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise, and capital. Kate leads Propel's team in developing and implementing innovative financing and programming and works with the board of directors to direct organizational planning and growth. She frequently presents workshops and presentations on nonprofit strategy and finance and is a sector level leader with articles, blogs, and policy papers. Prior to joining the organization in 2000, Kate was Senior Vice President of Riverside Bank in Minneapolis with a wide portfolio of strategic and business responsibilities. She began her professional life as business manager of a performing arts nonprofit. Kate holds an MA in Leadership from Hamline University. She has been on the adjunct faculty of both the Hamline University Masters in Nonprofit Management Program and the University of Minnesota Masters in Arts & Cultural Leadership program. She is an alumnus of the Humphrey School's Policy Fellows Program and the Shannon Institute. She currently serves on the boards of Borealis Philanthropy and the Jerome and Camargo Foundations. Outside of work, Kate takes advantage of the Twin Cities' vibrant arts scene and amazing restaurants, diving into policy issues, and traveling with her husband. She has lived in seven states and is an enthusiastic transplant to Minnesota. Kate couldn't be prouder that her two adult children both work at nonprofits.
Who Should Take This Class?:
This course is geared for students who serve on the board of a nonprofit organization or who work directly with the board of directors as a nonprofit leader or staff person. For students who have served on nonprofit boards in the past, the course is an opportunity to build on that experience and prepare for a new board opportunity.


S/N basis. Grading reflects class participation and several short reflection papers

Class Format:
The class meets four times during the semester. The first class is an extended Saturday session for a grounding in nonprofit governance practices and research and for in depth discussion about board experiences and questions of students. Three two-hour Friday sessions will be devoted to discussion of assigned readings and student's reflections and discussion about how the topics apply in practice. There will be guests for each class sessions to offer additional experiences from nonprofits.


In addition to readings assigned for each class sessions, students are asked to reflect on how the topics discussed are applicable for their board experience. Several short (1 - 2 page) reflection pagers are assigned.

Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/ksbarr_PA5108_Spring2021.pdf (Spring 2021)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/ksbarr_PA5108_Fall2019.docx (Fall 2019)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
16 December 2020

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