Brother Stalder Elected to NIC Board of Directors
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Posted by: admin
Phi Kappa Theta proudly announces the recent election of Brother Robert Stalder (Case Western Reserve, '94) to the North-American Interfraternity Conference Board of Directors!
Brother Stalder was sworn in for his two-year term during the NIC's annual meeting, held this past April in Washington, DC. He is the first alumnus from Phi Kappa Theta to serve on the NIC Board of Directors since Brother Edward Solvibile (Temple, '63) who served from 1991 to 1992.
Before being elected to the NIC Board of Directors, Brother Stalder had a long history of serving Phi Kappa Theta in various leadership roles. Rob has served in the roles of District Governor, Southern Province President and from 1999 to 2009, he served as a member of the Fraternity's Board of Trustees, holding the roles of Secretary, Vice President and President. He was instrumental in leading the Board through the establishment of the Fraternity's Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan during his presidency.
"Brother Stalder's ability to stay very focused on the strategic level is rare and was key in advancing the Board and Fraternity under his leadership," said Phi Kappa Theta's National President, Nathan Rues (Missouri S&T, '02)
We had a chance to sit down with Brother Stalder to speak with him about his recent election to the NIC Board of Directors.
Question: What are some of the reasons you wanted to serve at the interfraternal level? Response: I certainly want to provide some leadership at an overall fraternal movement level to harmonize the NIC's mission & vision with Phi Kappa Theta's because all fraternities are in this together. We are all trying to mold young men into future leaders who are values-driven and seek to serve others. Phi Kappa Theta has its own set of ideals to accomplish these objectives, and other fraternities have theirs. Our differences are not what's important; it's our common goals that we need to emphasize and help each other build upon.
Question: How can Phi Kappa Theta benefit from working with our interfraternal partners through NIC?
Response: Phi Kappa Theta has its own set of ideals to accomplish the mission of serving society, Fraternity and God. However, we cannot forget that our fraternity exists within a larger context, and what we do affects other fraternities, as well as vice versa. Other NIC members are doing some very interesting things from which we can learn, and hopefully, we have useful things to teach other fraternities.
It's important to realize that our future is very much tied together with the other members of the NIC on every campus where we have a chapter or wish to have a chapter. Colleges and universities are scrutinizing all fraternities' relationships with their host institutions across the country, and as Ben Franklin remarked, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
photo: Rob Stalder with his wife, Elizabeth, and fellow Phi Kappa Theta brother Stephen Toth (Case, '54) at the recent award ceremony for Cardinal Wuerl in Washington D.C.
Question: What are some of the benefits that you see for Phi Kappa Theta being part of the NIC?
Response: The NIC plays an important function in ensuring that all fraternities are treated fairly at every host institution, as well as reminding all member fraternities of their duty to live up to the values and creeds of their respective founders. This is a delicate balance where the individual rights of all of our individual members must be defended vigorously, while also holding accountable those same members when their behavior does not conform to the standards set by our respective fraternities.
The NIC also plays an important role in ensuring that member fraternities cooperate with each other on campuses across the nation. For example. it may surprise some to learn that local IFCs frequently do not uphold the NIC Standard that requires NIC members to support the expansion of other NIC members when their colonies petition to become members of the local IFC. Phi Kappa Theta is trying to expand on various campuses over time, and if we want other NIC members to support our colonies, we have an obligation to show them the same courtesy.
As alluded to previously, there is a lot to be learned from our fellow NIC members, the vast majority of whom I've come to learn are very committed to a values-based philosophy of leadership development. We cannot let ourselves be lulled into a "not invented here" mentality. Other fraternities are certainly competitors in several senses of the term, but they are not our enemies, even when we disagree. Far too often, we treat each other like that to our own detriment.Question: What are some of the goals the NIC Board has set for itself moving forward?
Response: The NIC Board is now going to proactively work with local IFC boards to ensure they follow the NIC Standards, and to make sure that they all operate in similar fashions. Currently, local IFC boards have many different sets of rules about how each campus fraternity system will be governed, which makes it very difficult for national fraternities to work effectively with their chapters on various campuses. Having similar rules and policies for expansion, risk management, scholarship and so on will make it easier for national fraternity professional staff members to guide our chapters towards fulfilling the mission and vision of each national fraternity. Campus administrators will also benefit from having improved ability to know what to expect from national fraternity professional staff members who are visiting campus to work with the students on their campus. This will lead to a better working relationship between national fraternities and host institutions.
Question: What are some of the goals you have set for yourself as a board member and representative of Phi Kappa Theta on the NIC Board?
Response: I expect to represent Phi Kappa Theta to the very best of my abilities, and recognize my obligation to the Brotherhood to do a very good job so that future Phi Kaps can be elected to the NIC Board. My hope is that I can do a great deal towards enabling the NIC to facilitate greater working relationships between all of the NIC fraternities at the Board level. The NIC currently does a good job of facilitating communication and working relationships between NIC members at the professional staff level, but not nearly as much at the Board level.
I also will seek to find ways for all fraternity men to contribute to the well being of the fraternity system wherever they now live, even if their fraternity doesn't have a chapter locally. The sororities do a very good job of working across "sorority lines" to assist local Panhels on each campus govern better. As I mentioned previously, our fortunes are tied together with the fortunes of the rest of the fraternity world, and it is in Phi Kappa Theta's best interest to do what we can to help fraternity systems everywhere live up to the values and ideals of their respective founders. A healthy Phi Kappa Theta is in the fraternity world's best interest and vice versa.
Phi Kappa Theta is very proud to have such a strong servant leader representing the Fraternity at the interfraternal level. National President Nathan Rues (Missouri S&T, '02) said, "The NIC is fortunate to gain a board member with Rob, who demonstrates experience and strategic-minded leadership." We look forward to serving Brother Stalder has he leads the greater fraternal movement through his leadership role on the NIC Board of Directors.