I say that there has been a catastrophic failure of the collective leadership of the UUA, and we the rank and file, lay and ordained, ought to be thoroughly and righteously angry about it. In high dudgeon, in fact.
Moderator Courter has moved the UUA Board to Policy Governance. Policy Governance asserts that the organization is led by the Board which established goals for the organization (called "Ends") and establishes "Policies" which establish the boundaries of permissible actions to achieve those ends. The staff or administration then goes forth to do the work of the organization within the policies that have been made. An end may be to be financially self-supporting; the policy is the staff can't rob banks to get income to cover expenses.
The administration is supposed to provide the board with "monitoring reports" in which it reports how it defines the end in practical terms, establishes measurable goals to reach that end, and reports as to whether it is in compliance with the end. The Board can dispute whether the definition and the goals are reasonable.
It's much more complicated than that. But our UUA Board and UUA Administration have not been able to make this work. To the point, that a $100,000 consultant to mediate this is considered a wise investment.
You might remember that at the last election for UU President, Moderator Courter endorsed Rev. Laurel Hallman, whose experience at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas included working with policy governance. Rev. Morales expressed much more informal commitment to policy governance.
Rev. Morales won the election. And the Board and the Administration have been unable to agree on the reporting needed.
Is this a relationship problem? I doubt it. If there is anything that you can count on is that the leaders of the UUA possess exquisite interpersonal and relational skills. It is the one trait required of leaders throughout the denomination. After all, these same people managed to work through all the complications of Justice GA in Phoenix, when so many assumed it would be a hot mess in the desert.
I think that the problem is that the UUA has tended to view governance and organization as the effective substitutes for shared mission and vision. Indeed, we talk about congregational polity as though it were a theology.
I don't resent the $100,000 to spent on a consultant. It's not the money. It's just that it continues the pattern of looking toward governance as the solution to our problems.
What if we went another way: What if we gathered the wisest, most dedicated and inspirational leaders of Unitarian Universalism and asked them to articulate our mission and vision and to work with our leaders to build personal commitment for that. Instead of turning toward expertise, we turn to inspiration as the way forward.