CMS Corporate Strategy - An Orientation

Strategy Defined

The corporate strategy of The College Music Society is defined as

the framework that guides the choices that determine the nature and direction of the organization.

Four Components of CMS’s Strategic Framework

There are four components to the framework used by the Board of Directors to guide CMS:

    • Strategic Focus
    • Clarity of Drive
    • Strategic Vision for Change
    • Congruence between strategic vision and operations

Strategic Focus

CMS is a very focused organization.  CMS’s strategic focus is defined in its Mission Statement:

The College Music Society promotes music teaching and learning, musical creativity and expression, research and dialogue, and diversity and interdisciplinary interaction. A consortium of college, conservatory, university, and independent musicians and scholars interested in all disciplines of music, the Society provides leadership and serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education.

Clarity of Drive

What drives CMS? What animates the organization? What inspires CMS? CMS’s drive is outlined in the following statement:

The driving force of CMS is to meet the professional needs of musicians. CMS provides a range of services and products to fill current and emerging needs of professional musicians, primarily those in the music and higher (or tertiary) education community. CMS constantly looks for ways to serve the needs of musicians through current, new and emerging means. While so doing, CMS considers the uniquenesses of various geographical and member segments.


Strategic Vision for Change

CMS serves as an agent of change by addressing concerns facing music in higher education. The strategic vision of CMS is to change the field of music from what to what

 From  To
 tiny niche  mainstream culture
 frill  necessity
 19th century curriculum  a curriculum that meets needs today
 music as “concert”  music delivered via various media
 cabinet industry  network
 dependent independent
 music education separated music education integrated
 grateful for peanuts  funding that matches other professions











Congruence between Strategic Vision and Operations

Strategic Responsibility — What does CMS want to be?

CMS focus, drive, and vision for change are the province of the Board of Directors with support from strategic advisory councils, committees, and task forces.

Operational Responsibility — How should CMS get there?

CMS operations are the province of the Executive Committee and its appointed subcommittees with support from the Executive Director.

CMS Congruence — CMS insures congruence between strategic responsibility and operations — between the What? and the How? — through consistent conversation, meetings, roundtables, and reports.


Board of Directors

The College Music Society is governed by its Board of Directors which includes thirteen directors elected by the membership of the organization.  As stated in the Bylaws, the Board of Directors

    • serves as trustee,
    • construes the Bylaws, and
    • determines the policies of the Society.  

Responsibility for the management and actions of the Society is vested in the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors organizes and conducts the work of The College Music Society through five major areas of activity: 

    • professional activities,
    • books & monographs,
    • College Music Symposium, 
    • career development, and
    • engagement and outreach.  

The Board of Directors appoints standing and ad hoc councils, committees, and task forces to assist the Board in advancing the strategic vision of the Society.  All committees and task forces serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and are ultimately responsible to it.

Councils, Committees, and Task Forces of the Board of Directors 

Advisory Councils  Career Development  
At Large Council
Council on Composition
Council on Cultural Inclusion
Council on Ethnomusicology
Council on Instructional Technology
Council on Music Education
Council on Music in General Studies
Council on Music Theory
Council on Musicology
Council on Performance
Student Advisory Council
Academic Careers
Academic Leadership & Administration
Academic Citizenship
Careers Outside the Academy 
Music Entrepreneurship Education
Musician’s Health Initiative

Click the chart to view a graphic representation of the CMS strategic structure 


Books & Monographs College Music Symposium
Board of Editors Board of Editors 
Engagement and Outreach Professional Activities
Business & Industry
Community Engagement
Higher Education
International Initiatives
Strategic Partnerships & Alliances
The CMS Fund
Professional Development
National Conference Program Committee
International Program Committee
Council of Regional Chapter Presidents











Complete information concerning the Board of Directors is contained in Section III. Governance of the Society’s Handbook of Policies and Procedures.


Operating Committees

Authority for the operations of The College Music Society and implementation of the policies of its Board of Directors are vested in the Executive Committee. The responsibilities of the Executive Committee are to

    • function as the operating committee of the Society,
    • implement the policy decisions of the Board of Directors,
    • have control and management of the affairs and funds of the Society between meetings of the Board of Directors,
    • conduct the business of the Society.  

The Executive Committee is responsible to the Board of Directors. 

The Executive Committee appoints committees to assist in overseeing and developing the operations of the Society.  All committees serve at the pleasure of the Executive Committee and are responsible to it and, ultimately, the Board of Directors.  In addtion to the Executive Committee, operating committees of the Society include the

    • Finance Committee
    • Membership Committee
    • Committee on New and Emerging Technologies

Click the chart to view a graphic representation of the CMS operational structure 

















Complete information concerning the Executive Committee and other operating committees of the Society is contained in Section III. Governance of the Society’s Handbook of Policies and Procedures.