Board Officer and Committee Descriptions

Board Officer and Committee Descriptions

Much of the ongoing work of Telluride Association is conducted between annual Conventions by its elected officers and numerous standing committees. They supervise its investment portfolio, plan and conduct the summer programs, award or renew scholarships to the Branches, plan new projects, and otherwise keep things runningDecision-making authority is ideally delegated to these committees only to the minimum extent necessary, as the Association adheres as closely as is practical to the principle that its members are all of equal standing and that its decisions should be made democratically by the group as a whole. Below is a diagram of our typical standing and elected committees:

Board Officer Roles

The Board President or Chair works with the head of staff, board officers, and committee chairs to set board meeting agendas and preside over board meetings and facilitate board meetings in an engaging and effective way. The chair manages ideological and interpersonal board conflict according to policies set forth by the board. They also appoint board committee chairs and officers as set forth in TARP, ensure elections for all positions to be filled by board election as mandated in TARP in collaboration with the Secretary, and create special project committees not defined in TARP as needed to ensure the smooth operation of the Association’s work. Lastly, the Board chair works with ITAC and the Secretary to ensure there are effective tools that allow the board to facilitate asynchronous deliberation and decision making. Additionally, work to ensure there are hybrid participation options and accommodations for those who need them during board meetings.

Details of the Vice Presidents duties can be found in TARP and Various Policies. By law this is also the second highest officer position on the board.

The secretary keeps track of the board’s members and how to contact them. This role is in charge of distributing meeting agendas and materials as needed. They also takes board meeting minutes and track board decisions. The secretary also certifies the board’s official records.  

Details of the Secretarial duties can be found in TARP and Various Policies. By law this is also the third highest officer position on the board. In practice several actions of the board are certified by this officer amongst other responsibilities. 

The Legal Coordinator coordinates TA’s legal activities and serving as a liaison to outside counsel in conjunction with the executive director. It will not be the job of the Legal Coordinator to serve as the Association’s legal counsel. It will be the job of the Legal Coordinator to decide what issues are to be referred to outside counsel in conjunction with the executive director and relevant committees as applicable.

Financial Committees

This elected committee works closely with the Chief Financial Officer and outside auditor to review the Association’s finances on a quarterly basis.

This elected committee oversees the Association’s endowment. It requires quarterly meetings, historically in person. Finance background not required. 

Finance and Budget Committee analyzes spending and will attempt to improve both the budget process and the budgets themselves that result from it. In 2023-24, this committee will be reorganized to accommodate the new Vice President of Finance position. 

This elected committee reviews spending requests that cannot wait until a board meeting. The time commitment is sporadic and work takes place largely via the Loomio CAC group.

Board Operations Committees

This elected committee supervises the Executive Director and supports the ED in other staff-related matters. 

People Development Committee pursues the well-being of the TA Board by recruiting new members and by ensuring that TA board members know what they need to do, feel able to do it (or get the support to do it), and feel excited about doing it. 

The Rules Committee makes policy neutral amendments to TARP in order to improve  clarity, consistency, and accuracy an over all usability of TARP for the staff and board. This committee is also tasked with proposing substantive improvements in By-Laws language and TARP procedures on the basis of their review.

ITAC oversees and develops strategy for Association tech needs and information management. This committee offers exposure to multiple facets of the association from summer program recruitment process to alumni development. ITAC also provides the first line of tech support for TA members and committees, so it’s important to have *some* members who are tech-knowledgeable, but that’s not a requirement for everyone.

This committee oversees fundraising and alumni relations. These duties include the production of the newsletter, coordinating the administration of awards, and developing a strategic plan for alumni and volunteer operations. This committee does not necessarily require travel but involves heavy email traffic. This committee works closely with the Communications and Development Manager. 

SPARC recruits for the summer programs and reviews all applications, for both TASS and TASP. Workload is mild to moderate through most of the year, but then you should expect to spend 10-15 hours per week reading applications for approximately six weeks from mid-March to the end of April. You also should try to keep the last weekend in April free, as this is typically when SPARC holds its Spring selection meeting. This previously has been held in Ithaca, though the location may change depending on what is convenient for SPARC members.

Board Programmatic Committees

Supports and oversees the work of the Michigan Branch (MBTA). Historically required travel to Ithaca two or three times a year for Orientation, Preferment and Branch Member review. 

Supports and oversees the work of the Cornell Branch (CBTA). Historically required travel to Ithaca two or three times a year for Orientation, Preferment and Branch Member review. 

This committee supports alum of TASS (pre-2019) and TASS-CBS via mentorship, fall programing, and scholarship programs.

This committee oversees the Sophomore Seminars, especially institutional relationships and faculty/factotum recruitment. 

*Often welcomes adjuncts

Adjuncts are Telluride associates interested in board membership who want to volunteer on a board committee for a year prior to applying for membership. Not all committees accept adjuncts, but those starred above do regularly take adjuncts.