Board Liaison Responsibilities

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Updated: January 2005

The Executive board discussed Board liaison responsibilities at its second meeting in July, 1998 (Minutes, p. 2567, Executive Board Book, Tab 34). In the course of the discussion, some suggested changes were incorporated in to the guidelines used as a basis for the discussion. These changes were subsequently incorporated into the document below.

Executive Board Liaisons Responsibilities:

  1. Background:

    The AALL Executive Board, in carrying out its policy and program responsibilities effectively, must maintain strong and active interaction and communication with other groups within the Association. Board liaisons are assigned to facilitate this commitment.

  2. Objectives:

    The objectives of the liaisons are:
    1. To improve communication between the Executive Board and other groups within the Association.
    2. To facilitate the work of the committee or other groups particularly when there is a need to report or to seek approval of recommendations from the Executive Board.
    3. To enable early identification of problems or concerns raised in these groups and support effective discussion/action to resolve issues raised.
    4. To enable early identification of developments or opportunities where Executive Board involvement/action would advance success.

  3. Liaison Assignments:

    1. The Vice-President/President-Elect makes all the liaison assignments for his or her term as President. Board members are assigned as liaisons to standing committees, advisory committees, special committees, task forces, ad hoc working groups, the SIS and Chapter Councils, and the archives depository. Each Board member normally has two or three liaison assignments. It is customary for the Vice-President/President-Elect to ask Board members for their liaison preferences.
    2. Ordinarily, the Secretary is the liaison to the Bylaws Committee.
    3. Ordinarily, the Secretary is the liaison to the Archives depository at the University of Illinois.
    4. Ordinarily, the Vice President is the liaison to the Nominations Committee.
    5. Ordinarily, the President is the liaison to the Government Relations Committee, and the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Committe.

  4. Liaison Responsibilities:

    1. Provide a channel for committee communication with the Board
      1. Obtain from the committee chair a list of proposed activities contemplated for the coming year and clarify your role.
      2. Join the committee's listserv [the liaison only fulfills a communications role].
      3. Advise and assist committees who need to communicate with the Executive Board.
      4. Advise committees about when it is appropriate to present an agenda item, usually interim and final reports or specific recommendations, for Board consideration.
      5. Review all proposed agenda items for the Executive Board and obtain appropriate background information from committees prior to the Executive Board meeting. Committee chairs should send all agenda items to the Executive Director and to the liaison at least six weeks before the scheduled Board meeting to allow ample time for review by the President, Board Liaison and Executive Director before the meeting.
      6. When necessary, prepare an additional agenda item for the Executive Board in consultation with the President, Executive Director and Committee Chair. Review previous Board actions or policies that are applicable to the agenda item. Advise the Board on options or possible actions that it might take to handle the report or the recommendations. Assist the Board to handle the agenda item expeditiously, and try to answer, in advance if possible, questions that might be raised by the Executive Board when it considers the committee's agenda item.
      7. Present agenda items at Board meetings and lead the discussion.
      8. Report back to the committee promptly, generally within one week, via telephone or email regarding the discussion and any action taken by the Board. The Executive Director also sends a follow-up transmittal letter and a copy of the draft minutes to the committee chair, after the draft minutes are approved by the President and the Secretary (usually six weeks after the Executive Board meeting).
      9. Be alert to potential problems, e.g., committee inactivity in execution of its goals or specific assignments from the Board, expenditures, etc. Notify the President and/or Executive Director as needed.
      10. On behalf of the Strategic Directions Committee remind Committee Chairs of their responsibility to submit Action Reports for the Spring Board Meeting.
      11. Remember to pass along any files or information that the new board liason needs. Current and new board liaisons should communicate with each other about who is attending what committee meetings at the annual meeting. Although the current board liaison is responsible, sometimes it makes sense for the new board liaison to attend that meeting also in order to be aware of issues that will be addressed by the committee in the future.

    2. Participate in committee activities in an advisory capacity:
      1. The Board liaison should actively reach out to help the committee to be productive, keeping in mind that the liaison serves as a facilitator and is not intended to be a part of the committee or to participate in the committee's work.
      2. Monitor the committee's adherence to its charge and provide guidance as needed.
      3. Work with the committee to recommend changes to the committee charge to insure that it remains up-to-date and of value.
      4. Attend committee meetings, if possible, during the Annual Meeting, when the new committee begins its work.  Contact the incoming chair prior to the Annual Meeting to introduce yourself. Ask to be on the agenda at the meeting of the incoming committee to introduce yourself and explain your function. If the committee has meetings in additon to those at the Annual Meeting, or via conference calls, the Board Liaiosn should be included in those meetings.
      5. If possible, attend the President-elect's orientation with committee chairs at the Annual Meeting.
      6. Ask the committee chair to send you copies of important correspondence, budget proposals, and reports.
      7. Encourage the committee chair to keep proper records and to forward appropriate documents to the succeeding chair or the AALL Archives in accordance with the instructions in the AALL Archives Policy.

  5. Calendar and Deadlines:

    Be aware of the calendar and deadlines listed in the Committee Handbook. Offer to provide assistance or review materials prior to submission to the board.
    Guidelines for matters that need to be brought to the Executive Board. These matters should be prepared and reviewed according to the information in 4.A.e., above.
    1. Revisions to committee charge. If other committees are involved or their charges are affected by the proposed change, these committees should be contacted and any issues resolved before the proposal is presented.
    2. Issues involving formulating policy for the Committee or recommended policy for AALL.
    3. Issues involving requests that by their nature need to be addressed outside the normal budget process.
    4. Final reports of projects and interim reports if requested or felt to be of importance for the Executive Board.