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Jan 21

Director of Professional Development

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 2:20 PM by Denice Cox

Executive Director – 1/21/15

ED Note: A portion of this blog was part of the Executive Director’s report to the IIMC Board in May 2014 regarding IIMC and Education.

Board Discussion on Education
It has been more than a decade, if not longer, since the Board was involved in a thorough conversation regarding IIMC’s education programs and philosophy and the Department’s current structure. I think a discussion with the Board (as part of the strategic planning session and/or the Board meeting) is long overdue and needed to determine a vision and direction on where the Organization should be heading. At the mid-year meeting in 2009, the Board revised the education guidelines, but never had the dialogue on the Department or the Director’s position. Since the Education Guidelines were implemented in 2010, IIMC has relied on Institutes to meet and follow the approved Guidelines and submit annual reports to ensure compliance. At no time, does IIMC oversee their programs or has input into those programs. Therefore, we’ve operated efficiently and economically without a Director of Education for several years, now. This has brought “peace” with the Institutes, has expedited the review process and has allowed IIMC to build its restricted reserves from the savings of salaries. Now that IIMC is in a sound place with its education programs, Institutes, governance and financial health, we have an excellent opportunity to revamp the Department.

Board Deliberation
We would like to know what the Board envisions regarding the position, how they see it evolving but, more importantly, why they think IIMC needs a Director of Education:

• Does the Board want an individual to oversee the Institutes, review CMC and MMC applications, or “just because” we’ve always had a Director of Education? We don’t seem to pinpoint a reason other than “IIMC is about education”;
• Where does IIMC want to go as an organization in respect to education?
• Has the current structure made progress in accomplishing IIMC’s certification needs? If yes, then the current structure is working.
• What education or professional development needs would the Board like fulfilled? What are the members saying about IIMC meeting their educational needs? what is IIMC missing? and
• What is the Board’s vision on the direction and future of IIMC education?

Old Education Model
Hiring a Director of Education who embodies the old model no longer makes sense in today’s IIMC. As a matter of fact, the title Director of Education is a misnomer for the Organization. Today, IIMC is a coordinator and facilitator of certification programs. It bestows the pertinent designations once a member completes the required courses, which are taught at Institutes, Association Conferences, IIMC Annual Conferences and some on line programs. Throughout all of this, and other than its Annual Conferences, IIMC does not create its own curriculum or education programs. Institutes have made it clear that IIMC plays no part in developing their curriculum, and has no oversight regarding how the Institutes are operated. Under the current Director of Education’s job description, the three key areas of responsibilities no longer apply:

• The Director of Education develops and implements the Association's education and research programs, ensuring that all educational goals, objectives and new programs reflect the Organization's mission, vision and plan.

• The Director of Education collaborates with affiliated college and university Institutes, State/Provincial/National Associations and assists in developing educational partnerships beneficial to and appropriate for the Association.

• The Director of Education provides direction for enhancing and implementing IIMC’s Institute education and research programs.

Future of IIMC Education
In researching similar Organizations that hold certification programs (NACo, ASAE, ICMA, IACREOT, ISACA to name a few), none of these organizations has an Education Director or a platform that correlates to that model. The core curriculum that weaves through these organizations is a “voluntary credentialing program” which is achieved through testing and assessments, conference attendance or university courses and is coordinated through Professional Development, Education and Training departments.

IIMC, first and foremost, should rename the position to Director of Professional Development (or a similar title) to match the Organization’s intent, which is professional development and certification. The position’s purposes are to:
1. Act as facilitator between IIMC, Institutes and members regarding the consistency and growth of the education programs and the development of new programs;
2. Identify opportunities to cultivate existing Institutes and develop partnerships with new ones;
3. Collect, write and share best practices with members, ensuring IIMC as a thought leader in the field of Municipal Clerk professional development;
4. Coordinate member data collection to develop marketing methods to grow certification programs;
5. Assess education guideline progress and impact, making recommendations to embellish the programs;
6. Identify existing resources to help create new methods of delivery;
7. Develop online wholly-owned IIMC professional development courses;
8. Market professional development programs, webinars, Institute courses, in-house training;
9. Assist in the Annual Conference professional development program; and
10. Interact significantly with Institutes and State/Provincial/National Associations.

Municipal Clerks join IIMC for a variety of reasons, but mainly for these:
1. To work on their professional designation, which is a voluntary measure of competence and not a license to work or practice. Once received, this designation recognizes the individual as a professional Clerk, quantifies them of the unique expertise, integrity and standards they offer, and their commitment to lifelong learning;
2. To belong to a greater entity and to receive specialized information, and
3. Networking opportunities.

In essence, IIMC builds capacity for Clerks and is the conduit for continuing professional development. Hiring a Director of Professional Development puts us on track with our mission and vision in today’s times.

Management’s Comments
At the November 2014 mid year Board meeting, the Board approved the recommendation to hire a Director of Professional Development beginning January 2015. On January 2, 2015, Dr. Jane Anne Long joined IIMC in this capacity.

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