Archive | Ethics

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Reinforcing The Ethical Significance Of Board Stewardship

For those of you following the tragic circumstances at Healing Arts Initiative (HAI), this weekend uncovered news that casts an even darker tone to the already tragic situation. If you are new to the details, HAI’s former bookkeeper, Kim Williams, allegedly orchestrated an attack against the organization’s executive director, Rev. D. Alexandra Dyer, that materialized in an assailant throwing a cup of drain cleaner into Dyer’s face. According to police statements, the attack was an attempt to dissuade Ms. Dyer from investigating Ms. Williams’ illicit activity. Events took a sharp left turn […]

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Examining The Value Of Morals Clauses

A morals clause, a provision in a contract or work agreement that prohibits or penalizes certain behaviors, have been around since the early part of the 20th century but by and large, they haven’t entered into mainstream employment agreements throughout the performing arts field. For the most part, they really aren’t applicable and/or the salaries involved didn’t rise to a level that would trigger these sorts of concerns. But the steady rise of the top-tier executive class, and its associated signing bonuses, frontloaded perks, and $1+mm salaries, may bring about unintended consequences […]

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A Stark Reminder About The Importance Of Transparency And Ethics

The 5/12/2015 edition of BlouinARTINFO Blogs published an article by Larry Blumenfeld that examines (h/t Thomas Cott) a recent instance of nonprofit governance abuse for personal gain. The details are worth your time but one overarching item in particular that stands out in sea of conflict of interest driven misconduct Blumenfeld chronicles was a decision by one of the nonprofit organizations involved to amend its bylaws so as to accommodate the unethical transgressions. This is an excellent example of what can go wrong with a lack of transparency and no genuine deference […]

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Speaking Of Patron Driven Ethics

Following up on yesterday’s article on the impact of ethics on the current round of labor disputes, it is worthwhile to point out some recent efforts on behalf of patron stakeholders to influence the strategic decision making process within the context of a labor dispute. In St. Paul, the Save Our SPCO (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) patron group is garnering local press attention for their efforts to influence the work stoppage. MPR News published an article on 1/8/2013 by Euan Kerr which reports Save Our SPCO delivered a petition with slightly less […]

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Are Ethics A Lost Cause In The Orchestra Field?

The 10/26/2012 edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly published an article by Woods Bowman titled Nonprofit Accountability and Ethics: Rotting from the Head Down which examines the current state of nonprofit accountability, governance, and responsibility. Although applied to the broader nonprofit field (with particular attention toward charitable nonprofits), key elements from Bowman’s article can be applied to the orchestra field. In the wake of recent and ongoing stakeholder disputes in orchestras such as Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Louisville, Denver, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Jacksonville over strategic planning, mission designation, and governance it would be […]

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