AIR President Sol Pelavin Addresses School District Superintendents at Gathering Hosted by College of Education at Ohio State

Leaders Need to Use Honesty to Build Trust and Confidence

Jul 26, 2006, 01:00 ET from American Institutes for Research

    COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Sol H. Pelavin, President and
 CEO of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), on Wednesday, July 26
 delivered an address on instilling confidence and trust within
 organizations and the public during the 23rd annual meeting of the National
 Academy of Superintendents, hosted by the College of Education at Ohio
 State University.
     The National Academy of Superintendents was established in 1983 and is
 dedicated to providing school district superintendents with the knowledge
 they need to deal with the demands they face. The theme of this year's
 four-day conference is: "Leadership Challenge: Building Trust and
     Pelavin, noting that two-thirds of employees say they don't trust their
 bosses, cited both research data and personal experience as he discussed
 how successful leaders build trust with their staff and the public.
     "We live in an era of diminished public trust and confidence in leaders
 and institutions at every level, from Congress to the state house to the
 local school board," Pelavin said in remarks prepared for delivery to
 conference participants.
     "We will never reduce the public's cynicism about our leaders and about
 public institutions -- including the schools -- unless we find ways to
 rebuild respect for our core institutions. And that means restoring trust
 and confidence in our school systems and in the people who direct them,"
 Pelavin said.
     Pelavin, a former high school mathematics teacher, told the
 superintendents, "I attribute much of AIR's success to learning and
 applying lessons about trust and confidence." He advised the school leaders
 to: "be honest with everyone;" "treat everyone...with respect;" "treat
 promises seriously" and "don't over promise;" and "invest the time to build
     Pelavin became president and chief executive officer of AIR in 2001,
 after serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer since
 1994 when the firm he founded, Pelavin Associates, merged with AIR. Under
 his leadership, AIR has grown from several hundred employees to a staff of
 more than 1,300. Revenues for the current fiscal year are expected to
 exceed $250 million -- a tenfold increase since the 1994 merger.
     Pelavin holds advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and
 Stanford University. He taught high school mathematics in suburban Chicago
 before starting his career in research.
     A text of the speech is available at
     About AIR
     Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the
 American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit
 organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on
 important social issues and delivers technical assistance both domestically
 and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce

SOURCE American Institutes for Research