Forgot Login / Password?
Main Dropdown Menu
Printer Friendly
CAIS Events
Critical Perspectives on Institutional Sustainability of Independent Schools
November 9, 2021 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

This event is open to participants from CAIS member schools only.

Location:Zoom Meeting
N/A (Online), CA
Standard Registration Rate:$50
Standard Registration Deadline:Friday, October 29, 2021
Late Registration Rate:$65

AUDIENCE: Heads of School, Board Chairs and Treasurers/Finance Committee Chairs (current and/or incoming), and CFOs/Business Officers.

Cost: $50 per person

We hope that you will attend as a team and that each team will include at least two participants, one of whom is a (non-employee) Board member. Financial sustainability is a critical aspect of school governance.

This workshop is not being recorded.

John Gulla, Executive Director, EE Ford Foundation, and William Kummel, Principal, Rational Partners

Part I (3:00-4:15 pm) PT
Critical Perspectives on Institutional Sustainability of Independent Schools
Is your school’s current trajectory sustainable long-term? In 15 years will your choices be (i) more + better, (ii) as many + as good or (iii) fewer + worse. What actions can you take in the next five years to ensure future choices?

Starting with a heuristic model of three buckets of school sustainability— #1 secure, #2 changing, and #3 intransigent — John Gulla (EE Ford) will examine the culture and indicia of sustainable and unsustainable schools. He will offer critical dimensions schools should investigate with depth, data, and honesty to assume a long-term economically sustainable school with an honorable purpose and reasonable expectation of success. Finally, Gulla will explore how Heads and Boards can operate as long-term owners of their institution.

Building from John Gulla’s primer, Bill Kummel (Rational Partners) will provide an integrated quantitative model to assess and manage institutional strategy and economics. He will examine 12 vital signs of an independent school's general health and how these vital signs offer insight into a school's life sustainability and how to change it. What are the financial metrics of Bucket #1, #2 and #3 schools? Finally, Kummel will explore novel strategies to improve long-term economic sustainability.

This session will include Q&A and financial sustainability analytics for 900+ independent schools, including 75 CAIS members.

Part II (4:15-5:00 pm) PT
Heads Panel on Market Position, Student Population, and Financial Sustainability

Running a school is like running a state: What resources do you consume in the present rather than conserve for the future? A panel of four heads of school will share challenges and opportunities in crafting a sustainable economic model for their school -- and all schools.

Topics include
• Program Revenue: full-pay leverage, fair-market price and value proposition.
• Program Expense: labor productivity, section size, and SG&A expense.
• Grants: Need, merit, remission and socioeconomic diversity.
• Philanthropy Net: Advancement, endowment and asset conservation.
• Physical Plant: Capital maintenance and space utilization.
• Strategic Governance. Mergers, acquisitions, arrangements, and long-term ownership.

William Kummel is a principal of Rational Partners, a New York-based management consultant in institutional economics to independent schools. The work measures and evaluates institutional market position, comparative advantage, and financial sustainability. Rational Partners maintains a proprietary dataset of institutional sustainability on 900+ independent schools, including 75+ CAIS members.

John Gulla is in his ninth year as executive director of the EE Ford Foundation. Over the course of 60 years, the Foundation made 2,200+ grants to more than 900 schools totaling over $125 million. In his tenure at EE Ford, Gulla reviewed the finances of over 400 independent schools. A former head of The Blake School (MN), he previously held administrative positions at Riverdale Country School (NY), Isidore Newman (LA), and Saint Ann’s (NY).

All CAIS events are subject to change.

Cancellation Policy
Substitutions may be made prior to the workshop. Written cancellations received by October 29, 2021, are eligible for a refund minus a $15 processing fee. Cancellations received after October 29, 2021, are ineligible for refund.

Questions? Contact Cathy Shelburne at [email protected] about this program. Please direct registration-related questions to Lorena Macias at [email protected]

Member Directory   Contact Us   Home
100 N Brand Blvd #632
Glendale, CA 91203
tel : 818.845.0800
fax : 818.845.0888
CAIS is an organization of approximately 200 elementary, middle and secondary schools in California. The Association serves and strengthens its schools by:
  • setting standards of academic quality and ethical conduct
  • facilitating the professional growth of faculty, administrators, and trustees
  • promoting ethnic and socio-economic diversity