Keeping everyone together has been a challenge, however. But without everyone continuing to pull together, the venture will flounder, if not fail.
The partnership nearly came apart last year over who could dismiss the center’s executive director.
The university believed only it had the authority, as well as all of the liability, in the matter. Members of the community operations board appointed by the three local governments believed legislation that provided state funds for the center gave it an equal voice.
Negotiations to create a new memorandum of understanding dragged on for months amid accusations that the university was acting in bad faith by trying to get the law changed.
Finally, common sense prevailed, and the partners arrived at an agreement all believe they could accept. The liability issue also was resolved.
Despite the acrimony and uncertainty, the center was able to attract a large pool of well-qualified candidates to be its new director.
I got to meet and hear the two finalists speak last week, and regardless of which is chosen, I think the center is certain to have great leadership going forward.
The only problem will be choosing between two stellar candidates. That’s a good problem to have.
The various members of both these two partnerships pushed hard for their particular points of view. Now that they appear to have settled their differences, however, I think what they have learned from their difficulties will strengthen both partnerships.
One thing to remember about a partnership is this. Unless everybody wins, everybody loses.