In most chapters the Board of Directors transacts necessary business between chapter meetings, handles routine matters so as not to clutter regular meetings with minute details, and serves as a guiding force to recommend policies or activities, which are then presented to the membership for action.
Duties and membership of the Board should be identified in the chapter bylaws. If there is no provision for an Executive Board, the officers may appoint themselves as one. Like all officers and committees, the board must always act in line with the International Society and chapter’s constitution and bylaws, as well as within the laws of the state or province.
The Board is frequently made up of elected officers, directors and chairs of the standing committees. The immediate past president may serve as an ex-officio member to provide continuity and benefit of experience. The bylaws or the standing rules should state how frequently the Board meets.
Following installation of new officers and directors, the Board should meet to study chapter bylaws, the Board’s own function and job description, as well as that of the officers and committee chairs who constitute the board. The Board should project its goals and activities for the coming term. The new budget and program plans should be assessed. Board recommendations should then be presented for ratification at the next general meeting.
The new administration’s first step should be to review the long-range goals of the chapter. The overall term “goal setting” has four distinct components: establishing, planning, executing, and evaluating. Good ways to accomplish goal setting can be through brainstorming, small group discussions, or the use of questionnaires.
Once broad goals are set, then short-term objectives to further each goal can be established. These should also be written and understood by all. Specific plans for activities to further each component should be made detailing exactly what is to be accomplished, who is responsible and when it will be completed. Provision should be made for progress reports and for a final evaluation of each activity.
Without a final evaluation of the original stated goals as achieved through the various activities, the goal setting process is incomplete. Future goals build on previous ones. Reasons for success or failure are valuable to assess, and projected plans depend on what has been accomplished.
For a Board to function effectively, a systematic method of assessing committee activities should be devised. Before each meeting the Board should have in hand each committee report from its previous meeting. Final year-end committee reports and recommendations serve as the basis for a new Board’s initial planning session. In turn, the Board should not only set chapter policy and spearhead action, but should also review and evaluate its progress toward the objectives. The Board is also responsible for overseeing the finances and business matters of the chapter and should be sure to leave a working balance in the treasury at the end of its term.
Cordial relations between the Board and chapter members are extremely important for a vital organizing. Members should never get the impression that the Board is running things to their exclusion. Board members should always be conscious that the Board is a facilitating body, and they should continually and regularly report Board actions to the group and receive endorsements of policy.