Good Offices Program

Good Offices Program

Good Offices is available to all AUUA members.

The role of the Good Officer is to help the AUUA member when they are experiencing difficulty in their congregation with relationships, role issues, boundaries, or professional identity.

The Good Officer listens objectively, brainstorms possibilities, and helps the administrator to problem solve in a healthy and professional way.

What Do Good Officers Do?

  • Listen to the AUUA member’s issue objectively
    • Information that is shared with the Good Officer is treated confidentially.
  • Provide support, resources, and/or advice for the AUUA member seeking assistance, including but not limited to:
    • UUA, Regional, or AUUA resources
    • the use of the local congregation”s personnel policies and grievance procedures
    • the AUUA Code of Professional Practice
    • In the event of a personal crisis, the Good Officer may recommend personal or pastoral counseling or suggest a skilled or trusted professional who can offer assistance.
  • Explore alternatives with the fellow administrator
  • Suggest methods to maintain healthy communication with the appropriate persons involved

Good Officers are not intended to be trained mediators or counselors, and they do not solve the problem for the administrator. Their primary obligation is to provide support , resources and advice to the administrator who made the contact.

The Good Officer generally does not contact other parties. If the presence of a neutral third party is determined to be useful, the Good Officer may, at the administrator’s request, reach out to congregational leadership to ask if they can be of assistance.  If welcomed, the Good Officer can assist in arranging or may participate in meetings (via Zoom) to discuss an issue. In such cases, the Good Officer will work closely with congregational leadership, respecting the supervisory structure and authority within the congregation, and may call on other professional Good Offices representatives to be sure the intervention is appropriate. Any direct participation in conversations with other parties at the local congregational level will be as coach and mentor to the administrator and not as advocate.

How is Good Officer support paid for?

Good Officers serve as volunteers. Support or meetings will generally be by phone or video conference.

How are Good Officers selected?

The AUUA Board identifies, endorses, and trains Good Officers. They are selected based on their experience as congregational administrators. They will generally have served a UU congregation for at least three years and have demonstrated a strong interest in the AUUA and comprehension of congregational management and staff dynamics. They serve for three years and their term may be renewed with AUUA Board approval.

Once a Good Officer candidate is identified, that individual is required to participate in the AUUA Good Officer training.  All Good Officers are required to participate in continuous semi-annual trainings  and quarterly check-ins with other Good Officers.

When is the best time to contact a Good Officer?

A member of AUUA can contact a good officer any time they think they need assistance or a good listener. As with any concern or conflict, the best time to seek assistance is before the issue gets out of hand. Early contact enables the administrator to share his or her perceptions of a situation with the Good Officer, consider options, look at the possible implications of actions or decisions, and discuss a plan. Good officers are also available to interact with AUUA members at any point in a disagreement or a conflict to provide support and resources assistance.

How Do I Contact an AUUA Good Officer?

If you feel you need to speak with a Good Officer, please complete the form below.

Good Officer Request Form