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General Duties of NCSS Board Members and Officers

Serving on the NCSS Board of Directors is an honor but comes with a responsibility to to embrace active commitment and engagement throughout the term.

A board of directors is the governing body of an association, and is responsible for the ultimate direction of the organization. The board is responsible for strategic and organizational planning, ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management, fundraising and resource development, approving and monitoring programs and services and setting policy. Staff (and to a certain extent, officers) is responsible for executing day-to-day management, and implementing the direction and policies set by the board of directors. However, the ultimate legal responsibility for the actions of the association rests with the board.

If you are considering applying for nomination to be a candidate for the board of directors, or as vice-president, here are some of the work and activities that would be expected of you if you are elected. If you have questions, you may contact the chair of the NCSS nominations committee.

Meetings

Board members are expected to travel to attend three in-person board meetings: fall (normally scheduled between late August and mid-September); at the NCSS Annual Conference, normally the Wednesday of conference week; and in the spring (normally between mid- to late March, also in the Wasington, D.C area.) Travel expenses are paid by NCSS for the fall and spring face-to-face meetings. Board members are responsible for their travel expenses to the NCSS Annual Conference, but are reimbursed for one night’s hotel and one day meals at the per diem rate. 

The board also meets via tele/video-conference (held between late May-early June.) This is a short, 2-3 hour meeting that focuses primarily on reviewing and approving the budget the fiscal year starting July 1. The board also meets via conference call as needed during the year. Board members are expected to participate in meetings, and be prepared by reading all materials prior to the meeting. 

Committees

Board members are expected to serve on one to two the following committees as appointed by the president:

  • Documents Review Committee
  • Endorsements and Special Projects Committee
  • Audit Committee
  • Stewardship Fund Committee

Board members may also be asked to volunteer for the Executive Committee/Finance Committee, and ad hoc committees created to handle specific tasks.

Liaison

Board members are expected to act as liaisons to 5-6 NCSS committees, associated groups, and affiliated councils. Liaisons serve as a point of contact for these groups with the board, and are expected to communicate regularly with their designated group and report back to the board.

NCSS Annual Conference Participation

Board members have a number of responsibilities during the annual conference with little time to attend sessions. Duties include:

  • Attending committee meetings
  • Introduce speakers
  • Attend official events, such as the President’s Breakfast, President’s Reception, and Local Arrangements Reception
  • Personally thank vendors in the Exhibit Hall
  • Be available to assist with facilitation of any activities or events as needed.

Conference registration and travel costs are not reimbursed to board members. However, one night’s hotel and one day’s food expenses at the per diem rate are reimbursed. The conference registration fee is waived for the President.

Duties of the Vice President, President-Elect and President

In addition to their duties as board members, officers (president, president-elect and vice president) have specific roles and responsibilities as a function of their office: 

Vice President

  • Serves as chair of:
    • Endorsements and Special Projects Committee
    • Stewardship Fund Committee
    • Finance Committee
  • is a member of:
    • Documents Review Committee
    • Executive Committee
    • Personnel Committee
    • Annual Conference Planning Committee (the vice president will begin work on planning the conference held during their presidential year by appointing a committee during their term as vice president.)
    • Publications Committee
    • Is general board liaison to the NCSS Communities and Associated Groups
    • serves as parlimentarian of the NCSS board.

The NCSS Vice President is in line to assume the office of president-elect and president in the second and third year after election.

President-elect

The president-elect is a member of:

  • personnel committee
  • executive committee
  • finance committee
  • NCSS Annual Conference Program Committee; (and is concurrently co-chair of the program committee for the conference scheduled to occur during his or her presidential year.)

Additionally, the president-elect

  • arranges and facilitates the orientation of new board members.
  • makes committee appointments for terms starting with his/her presidential term.

President

  • chair of the board of directors and executive committee.
  • chair of the annual NCSS House of Delegates meeting
  • chair of the personnel committee
  • Co-chair of the NCSS Annual Conference program committee. The president is chair of the committee planning the conference that occurs during his/her term as president. A great deal of time is devoted to planning the annual conference including but not limited to developing a theme, selection of keynote and featured speakers, facilitation of conference planning committee, building relationships with partner organizations, overseeing conference working committees.
  • At the annual conference, the president:
    • Organize and lead the President’s Breakfast
    • Organize and lead the President’s Reception
    • Visit meetings of Associated Groups
    • Attend committee meetings
    • Introduce keynote and featured speakers
    • Lead the Board of Directors Meeting
    • Visit vendors in Exhibit Hall
    • Lead the meeting of the House of Delegates
    • Attend various receptions
  • The president (and other officers as designated) represents NCSS at various state social studies conferences.
  • participates in planning and facilitating the NCSS Summer Leadership Institute
  • writes the "President’s Message" for The Social Studies Professional newsletter.
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