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Responsibilities of a Board Member
January 5, 2012
General Responsibilities of a Board Member
The principal responsibility of a Member of the Board is to act in the best interests of the Association and its members through directing the Association’s operations and affairs.
Summary Of The Specific Duties Of A Board Member:
Duty to Understand:
A member of the Executive Board has an obligation to become familiar with the Association and to understand the issues and challenges which it faces. This includes gaining an understanding of the principal operational and financial objectives, strategies and plans of the Association. The members should also be generally familiar with the results of operations and the financial condition of the Association. This requires that Board members do their homework, including reading the reports and other communications that are sent to members of the Board. If a Board member has a question, the member should contact a director, officer or staff member who is likely to be in a position to provide an adequate answer. The objective is for the Board member to become sufficiently familiar with the Association’s activities to be able to exercise independent judgment for the overall benefit of the Association and its members
Duty to Participate:
Directors are expected to attend all meetings of the Board and to actively participate in the discussion in an informed manner. This normally requires that Directors become familiar with items on the meeting agenda prior to the meeting. Members of the Board must by law be afforded an opportunity to hear the comments and views of all other members of the Board on particular issues, either at a meeting personally attended by the Director or through a conference call where all Directors can hear what others have to say. The reason for this requirement is clear: often, after reading written meeting materials, a Director may reach a tentative decision; but after hearing the issue discussed by others, a Director may gain new understanding and decide that another result will better serve the best interests of the Association. Debate should be thoughtful, on occasion spirited, and always civil.
Duty to Make Informed Decisions:
After becoming informed and listening to the discussion, the Director has an obligation to vote in the best interests of the Association and its members, without regard for the personal interests of those who have elected him or her to the Board.
Duty to See that the Decisions are Implemented:
While most decisions are implemented by staff and therefore not require hands-on involvement of the Board, Board members nevertheless have a responsibility to provide sufficient oversight to insure that the decisions they have made are implemented by staff and others.
In view of these important duties, members elected to the Board should possess the integrity, strength of character, practical wisdom and judgment essential to effective decision making. They should also be prepared to devote the time and attention required of an effective Director.
General Expectations of a Board Member
The AAFP is dedicated to creating an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise. Further, Board members, members and staff are responsible for respecting the rights of their colleagues and/or AAFP personnel.
Board members are expected to maintain confidentiality of AAFP business.
Board members are expected to represent the American Association of Feline Practitioners in a professional manner.
Board members are expected to fully participate in the activities of the board, including regular board meetings, leadership orientation and training, and strategic planning.
Board members are expected to adhere to the Code of Veterinary Ethics as determined by national, state or provincial organizations.
Board members are expected to maintain communication electronically through email, listserves and other means of Association communication. Additionally, any reports or materials required for duty should be submitted in a timely manner.
Core Values and Principals
Show respect for others by using positive body language and words.
Give speakers my full attention.
Strive for clear and frequent communication.
Listen and be open to others’ opinions.
Uphold up and support group decisions.
Take responsibility for speaking up and sharing my thoughts.
Be succinct and to-the-point when speaking.
Take issues and problems directly to other(s) involved.
Involve others in decision-making when appropriate.
Do not create or accept gossip or negative comments about others.
Keep personal issues personal.
Show that team goals are the priority.
Know and follow current procedures, and ask if not sure of a process.
Be sensitive to the impact of e-mail.
Don't substitute email for personal contact when needed.
Acknowledge receipt of e-mail by promptly notifying or replying to the sender (only).
Show integrity by keeping my commitments.
Assume positive intentions by others.
Share and distribute work.
Utilize time effectively.
Be realistic and do not over-promise.
Notify others if unable to accomplish a goal.
Ask for help when needed.