December 2010: The Importance of
By Erin K. Green, MBA, RSBA
The following is an unabridged version of the President's Message from the December 2010 School Business Affairs.
For the version that appeared in print, please see the .PDF download below.
Education is on the verge of tremendous changes in terms of content and delivery. In fact, content and delivery are being outsourced as we speak. Essays by U. S. students are being graded in Bangalore, India. Teachers are drawing content from their colleagues around the world.
The fact that our students must understand the globalized society in which they will soon work means that we, as masters of the resource universe, must also understand it. Now is the time for ASBO to advance its international collaboration.
Recently, I spoke (electronically) to the professor who heads up the SBO program at the National College for Leadership in Manchester, UK; the president of the Association of Business Managers in Victorian State Schools, Australia; an Australian university professor who is writing about the evolution of education business management; a director of finance and administration programs in Cape Town South Africa; and a school business official in the United States. Is there something to be learned by opening up the borders? You bet! Here are excerpts from some of their comments.
Linda Lee, Australia
From the Association of Business Managers in Victorian (Australia) State Schools (ABMVSS) perspective, the opportunity to be part of a wider international collegiate networking group is fantastic. Our association is a statewide association and we are trying to lift the profile of the business manager profession within our state, nationally, and internationally.
Australia is a far-off land from the northern hemisphere and Victoria just one state in our great land. The ABMVSS engage with our colleagues across Australia’s states and territories to share knowledge and best practices, so the opportunity to engage with our international colleagues can only strengthen the collegiate spirit of the business manager profession.
The global networking and sharing of knowledge is a wonderful opportunity for everyone—challenging thinking, what we are doing, how and why we are doing it, and whether we are doing it the most effective way. Although our working environments may differ, we all want to provide every child with every opportunity in life and the best experience in their school environments.
ASBO International – to truly be an international organisation (and not just USA and Canada) – needs to embrace all opportunities, to reach out to colleagues across the international date line and celebrate the unity of the business manager profession.
We want our students to be global citizens, so we need mentors and leaders who understand the global perspective.
The expansion of any network internationally opens the way for the sharing of knowledge and new ideas. I will never forget my first visit official visit to the UK in 2008. It was an awakening for me. It opened my mind and gave me a new and exciting perspective about working in a school. At last, I had something more than the school in my own area, in my own state to compare myself to and learn from.
The journey has kept on and now having met with you all I have made
this amazing discovery that we all have the same concerns and the same
common goals: to make the most of our resources in this economic climate
and provide quality education for our students. It is now an
international bond. This bond will need to continue and grow to ensure
we are all working smarter and delivering the best possible service to
our school community.
How wonderful to have access to the experiences and knowledge of countries like the US, Canada, South Africa, and the UK. I know it has empowered me in my role.
Trevor Summerson, United Kingdom
The visionaries who set up ASBO International chose the term International for a reason. I’m sure they were aware even then that for a profession to be a true profession it must have an international dimension. Yes, we may have our cultural and political idiosyncrasies, but there is a commonality of what school business managers do.
That is why the international perspective is so important: it allows us to share good practice, reflect on why we do things the way we do, and yes question and challenge why we and stakeholders do the things they do.
I am absolutely convinced that the international element will take on a greater level of importance for ASBO because much of what we do requires international co-operation. Just think of sustainable development/environmental issues that 10 to 20 years ago hardly got a mention. Now they are centre stage in political terms and an area where the SBM/SBO is certainly in England dominant. But we all know that sustainable development requires co-operation at an international level.
Furthermore, whilst SBOs have been around for 100 years, that is the exception. In many countries, England included, SBM is a fledgling profession. ASBO has a real opportunity to take the lead and drive the profession forward. In doing so it will enrich SBOs in the US and Canada, help drive forward the profession in England, South Africa, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, as well as raising its profile globally.
David Ginsberg, South Africa
As we continue to develop our profession for the benefit of children and our successors, we have a duty to continue to improve ourselves as individuals and also within our schools, countries, and indeed the world.
Life is not fair. (Hello.) There is a huge disparity between developed and undeveloped countries. We need to be cognizant of the huge power of our role – improving children’s lives. We support the most important work on this planet: education. By us doing our job more efficiently and effectively, we impact directly on the success of our children, and consequently by breaking patterns of poverty and unemployment, their children.
Truly school business management is a calling that makes an investment in the future of mankind and is a profession that “keeps on giving” way beyond our contribution.
ASBO International has the privilege of being the only organisation in the world that I am aware of that has a global vision for SBMs. Consequently, we have a concomitant responsibility to show leadership. This is evidenced from the top and the board of directors.
There are many reasons why we need an international body that traverses areas beyond collegiality:
• Pursuit of international best practices
• Research and development – academic rigor supporting the profession
• Development of standards
• Strengthening and supporting each other
• Developing and creating professional bodies in developing countries
• Collaboration on projects that enhance our roles
• Clarification of our roles
• Being the public face of our profession
I believe that by focusing on our profession and always asking the question “even better if,” we will continue to be relevant and support teaching and learning at a higher level. This in turn creates greater accountability.
Mark Pepera, United States
Why ASBO should make international expansion a priority?
While growing any organization has its challenges, the further expansion of ASBO in conjunction with our international partners not only makes good business sense, but allows members access to the exponential growth of the “global learning-community.”
If taking advantage of global learning opportunities is proven to be advantageous for our students and faculty, why not school business officials? I truly believe that NOW is the time to embrace such an opportunity rather using the current climate as a barrier to entry.”
The real question is: who will do this if not ASBO International?
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Erin K. Green, MBA, RSBA, is president of ASBO International in 2010 and director of business services for the Greendale, Wisconsin, School District.
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December 2010 Table of Contents
Planning Schools for 2050? First, Let’s Get Now Right
By Franklin Hill, Ph.D.
Green Energy in New Construction: Maximize Energy
Savings and Minimize Cost
By Joseph Ventresca, MS Energy, LEED AP
Seeing Public Engagement Differently
By Jason Willis
School Tax Elections: Testing Messages and Targeting Voters
By J. Bradford Senden, Ph.D., and Don E. Lifto, Ph.D.
Ensuring Ethical Behavior of School District Leaders
By Robert Ruder, Ed.D.
School Boundaries: Finding Solutions While Gaining Community
By William Lazarus, Ph.D.
2010 Certificate of Excellence Award Winners: Honoring Transparent Financial Reporting
The Importance of "International"
By Erin K. Green, MBA, RSBA
By Siobhan McMahon
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Why Wait for Superman?
By John D. Musso, CAE, RSBA
By Matt Blomenkamp
LEGAL AND LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
The Law of Competitive Bidding: A Primer
By Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.
Why Exhibit in a Recession?
By Margit Weisgal, CME
SPOTLIGHT ON AMADOR V. GARZA, RSBO
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