2015-2016 Syllabus

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015

... how to encourage students to feed themselves by reading great books

Montavilla Food Cooperative Board of Directors

Education Chair

Syllabus for 2015 – 2016

(Download a Syllabus here)

Course Description. This course is intended to provide the Montavilla Food Cooperative Board of Directors, key volunteers, and interested members with a basic understanding of philosophies and best practices in co-op board governance.


Readings. Course work includes monthly readings. Articles are listed below, are available online, and will be submitted for each board packet.


Discussions. Fifteen-minute discussions based on the monthly readings will be held during each monthly board meeting. Discussion questions will be submitted in advance for the board packet.


August – Introduction and Overview

Introduction and Overview


September – Cooperative History

Cumbie, Patricia. The Rochdale Pioneers’ Message to the Future, CBL 101 Reader, p. 14

Cumbie, Patricia. Rochdale Pioneers at Toad Lane, CBL 101 Reader, p. 16

Thompson, David J. The Night the Lights Were Lit! CBL 101 Reader, p. 17


October – Cooperative Identity, Values and Principles

Hoyt, Ann. Cooperative Principles Updated, CBL 101 Reader, p. 19

Pobihushchy, Sidney. The Cooperative Values, Their Meaning and Practical Significance. CBL 101 Reader, p. 25

Shared Values Policy, MFC Policy Manual p. 12


November – Cooperative Democracy

Healy, Michael. Democracy in Cooperatives. CBL 101 Reader, p. 28


December – Board Roles and Responsibilities

Legal Duties of Directors, Legal Protections. CBL 101 Reader, p. 30

Joyal, Thanke and Swanson, Dave. Precautions and Protections: Summarizing Legal Responsibilities of Cooperative Boards. CBL 101 Reader, p. 30

Joyal, Thanke. A Board’s Duty: Determining What is “Reasonable.” CBL 101 Reader, p. 35


January – Food Co-op Development

CDS. Food Co-op 500 Development Model: Four Cornerstones in Three Stages, p. 1-2

Cooperative Grocers’ Information Network. How to Start a Food Co-op, p. 1-88


February – Governance I

What is Governance? BTWB, p. 20-21

Cumbie, Patricia. Purpose-Driven Cooperative Boards. CBL 101 Reader, p. 38

Cubmie, Patricia. Expressing the Passion and Purpose of the Cooperative Identity. CBL 101 Reader, p. 40


March – Governance II

Cumbie, Patricia. Fulfilling Our Intentions by Measuring the Mission. CBL 101 Reader, p. 42

Scholl, Marilyn. Appreciating the Diversity of Member Needs and Motivations. CBL 101 Reader, p. 44

Nolan, Peg. The Real Business of the Co-op. CBL 101 Reader, p. 47


April – Policy Governance

Goehring, Mark. Taking Policy Governance to Heart: The Practical Significance of the 10 Principles of Policy Governance. CBL 101 Reader, p. 50

The Ten Principles of Policy Governance. CBL 101 Reader, p. 53


May – The Board’s Relationship with Management

Goehring, Mark. Monitoring the Manager. CBL 101 Reader, p. 56

Decision Tree for Acting on Internal Financial Reports from the General Manager. CBL 101 Reader, p 70


June – Financial Understanding

Common Indicators of Financial Condition. CBL 101 Reader, p. 58

Goehring, Mark. Balance Sheets. CBL 101 Reader, p. 59


July – Food Co-op Case Studies

Consumer / GM – Willy Street (Madison, WI)

Consumer Owned / Worker Collective Managed – Alberta Co-op (Portland, OR)

Worker Owned – Rainbow Grocery Co-op (San Francisco, CA)

Consumer / Worker Owned “Hybrid” or “Solidarity” Co-op – Weaver Street Co-op (North Carolina)


August – The Possiblities. BTWB, p. 26


CBL 101 Reader = Cooperative Board Leadership 101 Reader

BTWB = Board Training Work Book

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