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16 SECTION 5 ASSESSMENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ADMINISTRATOR(S) This section contains instructions for the transit board Categories of assessment. All three levels of assessment administrator to use in directing the self-assessment process. use the same six categories to assess board performance, as This set of instructions is designed to serve as a source of follows: briefing material for the self-assessment administrator. The instructions will cover the following topics: (1) the level 1. Board processes, of assessment to use, (2) categories of assessment, (3) particu- 2. Strategic planning, lar assessment subcategories, (4) distribution of assessment 3. Fiduciary and legal responsibilities, tool, (5) responses, (6) compilation of responses, (7) presen- 4. Diversity programming and implementation, tation of board results, and (8) board actions based on results. 5. CEO relations, and 6. Public advocacy. Level of assessment to use. The Handbook contains three successive and cumulative levels of assessment that differ with regard to the number of responses required from direc- Particular assessment subcategories. The three levels of tors. The three assessment levels are as follows: assessment differ with regard to the detail used to assess board performance for each category. The assessment levels and the coverage of each category of board performance are as 1. A Level I assessment uses 13 items to address the most follows: Level I has 13 responses that are also included in important measures. Level II, along with 9 additional responses; all 22 items are 2. A Level II assessment includes the next 9 most impor- included in Level III, which has 9 additional responses. Over tant measures, for a total of 22 items. This assessment half of the assessment items in Level I pertain to board acquires more detail regarding board dynamics, poli- processes and fiduciary and legal responsibilities, compared cies, and procedures. In addition, a goal-setting process is suggested for boards as a means for them to approach with nearly two-thirds of the assessment items for Levels II future self-assessment based on goals that are adopted. and III. The other major difference between the levels is the 3. A Level III assessment includes an additional nine per- amount of detail devoted to strategic planning in Levels II formance measures that address advanced or more in- and III. depth interactions among board members. This level of Level II and Level III also contain a goal-setting process assessment typically entails extensive board member that is highly recommended for boards that are interested in participation, discussion, and follow-up, using a total of performance evaluation. The adopted goals will act as the per- 31 items. An additional optional behavioral assessment formance base. The research team recommends that boards set tool is followed by the same goal-setting process used goals that are achievable within 1 year. Goals should not be too in Level II. easy or too hard to achieve. Appendix A provides a sample of goals that were adopted by the Chittenden County Transporta- tion Authority Board. The level of success for the reassess- The major difference in the assessment levels is in the num- ment depends on the number of goals that are achieved. ber of measures used to describe board performance and the In addition to the goal-setting process, Level III also con- resulting time required for board member responses. Boards tains an optional organizational behavior assessment tool using the self-assessment instrument for the first time might that helps boards evaluate their group effectiveness. choose Level I or (if there is an initial interest in more detail) Level II. Level I is regarded as a "bare bones," minimum level of detail for assessment of board performance effec- Distribution of assessment tool. The administrator is respon- tiveness. Level II adds considerably more coverage to the sible for distributing the assessment tool to each board mem- assessment; it is a good choice for first-time users who are ber and for collecting and compiling results, as directed by interested in more than the minimum (Level I) but who do each individual board. The administrator can begin with the not desire the amount of detail posed by Level III. purpose and process stated in the Handbook and add addi-
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17 tional material if it is appropriate for the specific case. The One of the advantages of typically small transit boards enclosed tool is not a "one size fits all" tool. Before copying (those with fewer than 10 persons) is that the responses can and distributing the forms, the administrator should commu- be compiled relatively easily, without using computers or nicate to the board that it can change the tool in any way that calculators. However, software can be an effective tool for would fit its unique organization. more formal computations, as well as for building graphical displays of responses. This is particularly useful when there Responses. Directors will respond to each statement about are significant differences between directors or when there board performance using a 5-point scale that ranges from 1 are correlations between responses to different assessments ("strongly disagree") to 5 ("strongly agree"). that can be shown graphically or statistically. Compilation of responses. The compilation of responses Presentation of board results. The administrator should get can be qualitative and descriptive, or it can be quantitative directions from the board with regard to how the results should and statistical. Informal compilation of responses would be presented. The board may choose to have the administrator reflect a relatively nonquantitative approach, in which direc- summarize the results orally, or they may prefer a detailed for- tors' evaluations would be reported for each assessment mal summary report to be distributed among board members, statement in a summary table. In formal compilation, the within the agency, and to the public. The resulting presentation responses would be carefully analyzed in terms of degrees. is largely dependent on each board's preference as to the level For example, for Question 1, if two out of five respondents of disclosure; this preference will vary from board to board. chose 1 (on a scale of 1 to 5) and three respondents chose 4, these results might be averaged (1 + 1 + 4 + 4 + 4 =14; Board actions based on results. For boards that choose 14 ÷ 5 = 2.8). Level II or Level III assessments and therefore go through the Statistics can be compiled for each statement. These include goal-setting process, the administrator will compile all sug- (1) average score values (sum of all scores divided by the gested goals and present the results. The board must collec- number of responses) for individual statements, for all state- tively agree on its adopted goals, either by consensus or by ments for particular board performance categories, or for all formal board action (resolution). The administrator will then performance categories and (2) the ranges between high and schedule a reassessment time when the board will reevaluate low score responses. itself against its own adopted goals.