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From the ED 4.11.13

Dear Colleagues,

Two weeks ago I wrote from cold and snowy Colorado. This week I spent some time in Atlanta where it is sunny and beautiful, though a very busy city with the NCAA Final Four finals, the PGA Masters Tournament, the Atlanta Braves kicking off their season and more – tough to find a car or a hotel this week. I also visited with groups of schools in Tennessee, Florida, and Virginia during this time, missing the Colorado spring storm that brought another foot of snow and much-needed moisture.

I am fortunate to be asked to speak at independent school conferences around the country (and the world). Much of the content for these presentations over the past couple of years has been about financial sustainability for our schools.  What does the financial model look like for an independent school? Is it sustainable? What changes should we/could we make going forward to ensure our sustainability? These types of questions have no easy answers and are typically different for each school. I am currently reading Mind The Gap: An insider’s irreverent look at private school finances and management-with a Lesson for Government and Industry, Too! by Dr. Richard Soghoian, Headmaster at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School (CGPS) in New York City. The title may give you a clue about the content of the book. Dr. Soghoian has been very successful over a 30 year tenure leading this school – one of his ‘secrets’ which he discusses is the fact CGPS charges ‘what it costs’ to attend the school.  Read that again:  what it costs to attend the school.  Tuition pays the full cost of a student’s education. There is essentially no annual fund and any voluntary contributions are used primarily for capital projects. Oh, by the way – they also have NO debt! I recommend you read the book if you are interested in a different, but in my opinion, very practical idea to independent school finance. If your school has a unique or interesting independent school financial model, I would like to hear about it – please contact me

MISBO is preparing the program for our 2013 Annual Conference –The Global Future:  Preparing Students and Shaping Schools – that will be held in Atlanta October 27-29. We will again partner with SAIS to present this program, but with a different format than last year. Sunday will begin with SAIS programming and conclude with a joint welcome reception Sunday evening. Monday’s programming is designed for all independent school leaders and this day will be an overlap of both MISBO and SAIS oriented programming. Tuesday we will continue with a day devoted to MISBO issues. Of course, all attendees (from either MISBO or SAIS) are welcome to join any session, on any day.  We are also still accepting proposals for speakers for breakout sessions and we would like to hear from you. Please click HERE for more information. The deadline for submissions is April 30th.

I always give MISBO groups the highest priority when scheduling my speaking engagements. If your group is interested, please feel free to contact me.  I am always excited to visit groups of MISBO member schools.



Marc Levinson
Executive Director, MISBO

From → MISBO

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