The board of trustees is an appointed board that is elected by members of a corporation, either non-profit or for-profit. The election is executed in accordance with the corporation bylaws. If the new trustee is not a member of the corporation already, then they will automatically be inducted as one. General bylaws require for board of trustees to be between the ages of twenty and thirty-two.
A trustee will generally be in service for a period of 6 years representing a single term. Each trustee is assigned formal duties according to the bylaws in the area of general management and control of the funds, property, and affairs of the corporation. They need to give in a comprehensive oversight of physical assets, long-term plans, as well as finances so that the vitality of the institution can be ensured.
In order for their responsibilities to be met, they need to be active participants on the board’s charter committees, i.e. compensation, budget and finance, executive, investment, education and research, employee retirement fund, board committee, as well as audit.
In essence, the trustees have the responsibility of appointing the institution’s executive leadership as well as monitoring the performance of the executives of the institution. The trustees also have to show full availability in terms of giving support and advice to management when setting priorities and goals for the institution.
The trustees also have the responsibility of electing the members of the corporation. Due diligence is an important component of the election process to be able to clearly understand all of the respective skill sets and experience that each of the candidates acquires. Additionally, trustees must strive to be advocates and ambassadors of the entity while also being informed in all aspects of the operations of the entity. This is a critical step so that external recognition can be increased and new connections can be forged. It will additionally help in sustaining the corporation while increasing the amount of external support that it receives.
Trustees have the eligibility to serve as chair on all of the special and advisory committees. Trustees also have the responsibility to make themselves and their ideas/ interests known by holding conversations with the board committee on a regular basis. This way, they will be able to effectively establish ideas and strategies in which they can better serve the corporation and the board.
It is highly important that each member of the trustee gives the corporation a sufficient amount of time to prepare and make priority lists so that it can function in the best way possible.
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