IDA staff revolt

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1994:

In Defense of Animals
founder and president Elliot Katz,
DVM, lost his authority to hire and
fire staff at a December 8 board of
directors meeting that also brought
the resignation from the board of
attorney Marjorie Martis. The
remaining board members, Betsy
Swart and Joan Briody, are now to
meet with Katz by telephone once a
month, with the first half hour of
each meeting given to staff to air
their views and complaints. A per-
sonnel director is to be hired to take
over staff management whenever the
depleted IDA budget permits. The
actions followed a staff revolt, after
cash flow problems obliged Katz to
fire development director Raymond
Chavez, and after he tried to set firm

policies on use of paid time, vaca-
tion time, and office facilities. The
board involvement in personnel mat-
ters and close oversight of the chief
administrator contradict the advice of
virtually every authority on nonprofit
organization, the gist of which is
that a board should set broad poli-
cies, raise funds, and leave the
administrator alone to turn policies
into programs––or fire the adminis-
trator if the results are sufficiently
unsatisfactory. “It was my recom-
mendation that we take this course,”
“The staff has wanted more board
involvement and input. We’ll try it,
and if it turns out not to be working,
maybe we’ll try something else.”
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