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DLS Administration Model

In 1994, De La Salle High School changed its leadership model. After 29 years using the traditional Principal arrangement, the school adopted the President/Principal model of administration. This change was a response to the growing complexity experienced in leading Lasallian Catholic high schools. Many schools over the past 40 years have turned to this model as a way to redistribute responsibilities and provide chief administrators with reasonable and sustainable leadership roles position descriptions. Under this dual-leader model, a Chief Executive Officer with the title of “President” was to have overall responsibility for the school and would delegate many tasks to a Chief Operating Officer with the title of “Principal.”

As it developed in practice, the President took on oversight of these areas: financial management, fundraising, marketing, alumni affairs, board relations, legal matters, human resources, public relations, and buildings and grounds. In practice, while the President continued to provide overall leadership within the school and to have a visible presence to its external publics, the role was seen as sometimes distanced from the daily operation of the school.

The Principal was to be the chief instructional leader and had duties related to programs for faculty development, curriculum growth, as well as responsibilities for the oversight of student life and athletic programs, parent relations, and coordination with Carondelet High School. The Principal’s role was characterized as addressing matters of daily operations on campus. However, the nature and scope of his duties often resulted in the Principal having a presence beyond the campus and being the face of the school to the public on matters relating to its educational life. His was a critical voice in the development and oversight of admissions/enrollment plans. Both chief administrators shared in the responsibility to articulate and develop the school’s Lasallian Catholic mission.

Especially in the past 10 years, both chief administrative positions have seen an increase in the scope and complexity of responsibilities. The President spends more time on board, financial, legal, and strategic matters. There has been a growth in the work of the School’s Advancement Office, and the scope of those activities has also captured more of the President’s time. The Principal’s position, too, has become more complex, with much more time demanded for addressing non-academic, operational matters.

The time has come to rethink the school’s leadership model. It is appropriate to move beyond a dual-administrator model to a clear and single point of leadership accountability and authority. To that end, what has been designed is a structure that provides for the integrity of the President’s overall leadership role with a plan for more delegation of duties to division leaders. The role of Principal will be eliminated and one of these division leader positions will center on leadership in academic matters. This division leader will not have the other duties of a non-academic nature that have taken up more and more of the Principal’s time. Other division leaders will have a wide variety of largely non-academic duties distributed among them. These division leaders will be in a direct reporting relationship to the President, an arrangement that is often found in independent schools and the collegiate world. The President will have a few other supervisory level leaders whose responsibilities are such that it is appropriate for them to be in a direct reporting relationship to him. The change in model will provide faculty and administrators with new opportunities for sustainable service. The details of the organizational structure that will be in place starting July 1, 2016 follow.

De La Salle High School will be served by a President/CEO. The President will work in collaboration with and provide direction for Vice Presidents as division leaders and others in designated positions. The President offers a school-wide vision and an enabling structure to accomplish its mission. The President reports to and is the sole employee of the school’s Board of Trustees. Most importantly, the President, as authorized by the Board of Trustees, will own accountability and authority for all matters associated with the success of De La Salle, its faculty, staff, and students. In turn, those within the President’s reporting channels will be delegated appropriate authority within their areas of responsibility.

What follows is a brief description of the roles of the division leaders who will serve in the new model of administration:

  • Vice President for Academic Life - This person is responsible for curriculum, instruction, faculty development and evaluation, and the formulation and execution of academic policies, procedures, and services. The Vice President for Academic Life is the senior De La Salle High School administrator to serve as the core liaison with Carondelet High School. Most crucially, this individual is accountable to attract and retain the most capable and appropriate faculty and academic support staff, and to ensure the highest quality classroom and learning experience to De La Salle students.
  • Vice President for Campus Life - This person is responsible for oversight of a variety of programs and services that provide for mission effectiveness, operational efficiency, and coordination in areas such as calendar development, facilities use in collaboration with the Scheduling Committee, safety protocols in concert with the Safety Committee, the activities of the Parent Association, co-curricular activities outside the area of sports, student leadership programs, and website development.
  • Vice President for Finance - This person oversees all financial matters such as budget development and monitoring, accounts payable and receivable, asset protection, investment matters, audit protocols, human resources, the tuition assistance program, maintenance and enhancement of buildings and grounds, access and security services, and the operations of the bookstore and food services.
  • Vice President for Advancement - This person oversees the development of support for the school and its mission in the areas of fundraising for operational and capital needs. Additionally, this office will handle all alumni relations.
  • Vice President for Athletics - This person oversees all aspects of the school’s interscholastic and intramural sports programs. In addition, the year-round program in summer camps and clinics is this person’s responsibility.
  • Vice President for Mission (Part-time) - This person is responsible for supervision of programs that specifically serve student and community development themes that reflect distinctive and explicit elements of the school’s Catholic identity and Lasallian character. These include: the Religious Studies and Campus Ministry programs, the Bishop Cummins Scholarship Program, the Brotherhood Boutique, diversity initiatives, and the curricular and co-curricular opportunities for service learning.
  • Senior Staff for Office of the President (Part-time) - This person is responsible for a variety of critical functions in support of the President’s work and agenda. The Senior Staff for Office of the President:
    • Plans, coordinates, and ensures the President’s schedule is followed and respected in regards to parent and neighbor communications.
    • Works closely and effectively with the President to keep him well informed of upcoming commitments and responsibilities, following up in an appropriate and timely manner.
    • Keeps the President updated regarding issues of significance in the school community.
    • Collaborates with the President in building relationships crucial to the success of the school and manages special projects.

The Vice Presidents and Senior Staff for Office of the President constitute the President’s Cabinet. The Cabinet is the President’s primary consultative body. As such it has a significant, if not final, role in the President’s decision-making process.

The President convenes the Vice Presidents, the Senior Staff for Office of the President, and any additional direct reports, as well as others of his choosing, at regular intervals as a Leadership Council for the purposes of exchange of information, coordination of efforts, and discussion of mission effectiveness and specific planning initiatives. (This body takes the place of the Mission Effectiveness Forum which was in place from 2012-15).

The President works with additional direct reports as follows:

Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
Dean of Students
Executive Assistant