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Human Resources: The Role of the Superintendent: Talking Points for Doane Cadre


Talking Points for Doane Cadre Panel: June, 2015

What is the role of superintendent in the overall design, policies, culture and practices of HR?
  • Policies need to delineate roles and responsibilities clearly.
  • Practices need to be professional: have a process that gathers multiple inputs & allows district to weight most important candidate characteristics.
  • Practice the practice. Train up on it. Review it, recite it, so you abide by it or you will end up with slippage and quality control problems.
  • Practices need to be both consistent and have an inherent degree of flexibility to capitalize on unique circumstances.
  • Culture of HR should equate to culture of organization- hard to credibly say you are collaborative culture if selection decisions are made unilaterally.

What is your role in working with the Board and staff (such as principals) in implementing HR?  
  • With board members, the most important thing is understanding protocol and for all of us to know and abide by our roles.
  • Staff (principals etc.): Honor the conversation. Pick up the phone or sit down together and talk through it. There is no substitute for acknowledging the complexity of HR situations as they present themselves.
  • Principals must know that it is not considered an act of heroism for them to keep something from central office by attempting to solve a personnel problem individually without consultation or communication to district level.

What is your role as superintendent in developing principals and other administrators as leaders?

  • Leadership development is the most important role. Those closest to most closely reflect what you project.
  • Leadership is a shared responsibility; success in schools is accomplished through empowering others, not via individual goal attainment.
  • We have a duty to profession and obligation to our colleagues to develop not merely acceptable but outstanding leaders.
  • Most impact as a superintendent is not via "doing" as self but by working through others to accomplish important positive outcomes for the team.

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