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The Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management UCSD Announces The Governance Curricula for Employee-Ownership Companies
We are proud to announce the launch of the complete picture for employee ownership governance education, the Governance Curricula for Employee Ownership Companies. Each curriculum addresses the needs of one of the three key elements in the collaboration that governs and directs modern employee ownership companies. The program takes the form of three intensive educational events that will be offered by the Rady School at intervals throughout each academic year.
Curriculum 1: Employee Ownership Management Program – Oct. 13-16, 2013
Offered in conjunction with faculty from the University of Wisconsin Madison, the Employee Ownership Management course has been providing specialized education for strategic level management employees of employee ownership companies for over a decade. The program is designed to help those key planning-level executives to manage the challenges and tap upside potentials of employee ownership. The intensive three-day course is designed to develop and refine management skills that take into account the specialized imperatives of the employee ownership environment while maximizing the advantages an engaged workforce can provide. The course is not just an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) course. It is a training curriculum in management skills that covers the full skills menu: strategic planning; marketing and brand development; cash management and financial planning for growth; human resource management and employee development; and much more – set in a format that is designed to both avoid the pitfalls that can afflict strategic executives in employee ownership situations and make the most of working with an engaged workforce of dedicated stakeholders.
Curriculum 2: Certificate Program for Non-Professional Fiduciaries – Feb. 9-12, 2014
One of the fundamental resources of the ESOP movement is the large group of dedicated, well-intentioned people who agree to serve as trustees or other fiduciaries on behalf of their company's ESOP. Part 2 of the Governance Curriculum for Employee Ownership companies is an intensive education and certification program designed to help these brave souls gain the knowledge, experience and confidence they need to serve effectively in that role. The course curriculum takes place over two and a half days and includes a combination of classroom activities, group exercises, case study simulations, guest lecturers, and group discussion to assure students' mastery of the numerous areas of responsibility faced by ERISA fiduciaries. Course content includes thorough reviews of the standards of fiduciary conduct applied to the many areas in which judgments will be required; in depth exploration of the practical implications of those responsibilities in managing the ESOP; practice at implementing decision-making processes; and a full critique of performance in all areas. After a final review and proof of mastery exam, each student successfully completing the exam will receive a certificate issued by the University of California San Diego, Rady School of Management attesting to their mastery of the concepts and skills necessary to serve as a non-professional fiduciary.
Governance of an ESOP company is vested in collaboration among three significant bodies: the management of the company, the fiduciaries who oversee the best financial interest of the ESOP, and the corporation's board of directors.
The last of those bodies is responsible for setting and monitoring performance to the long-term goals of the company; developing or approving a strategic plan for reaching those goals; overseeing management through selection, compensation, supervision and succession of the chief executive officer: monitoring compliance and financial controls; and appointing the individual or entity to serve as fiduciary for the ESOP. No other member of the governance team has broader involvement in the process nor sits more precariously on the boundary of fiduciary responsibility than the board in growing a successful ESOP company. This exchange is a combination of instruction, interaction, and evaluation aimed at helping independent directors of employee-owned companies understand their role and how it is affected by the fact of employee ownership with all the legal and regulatory complexity that entails. It also is an opportunity for corporate directors to leave those technicalities behind for a moment and develop a better understanding of the ways in which employee ownership creates a “different kind of company” where the role of the board is both enhanced and restricted, and where the opportunities to materially improve the lives of all employees are very real, and a very real responsibility of the board.