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Policy Details on Duties of Officers and Board Members



4.2 Duties of the Board

  • 4.2.1 To appropriate funds from the treasury (article II, section 6.)
  • 4.2.2 To hire the executive director (article II, section 5.)
  • 4.2.3 To review actions of officers and committees (article II, section 6.)
  • 4.2.4 To select the date and place for the annual conference (article III, section 6.)
  • 4.2.5 To determine the annual dues (article III, section 3.)
  • 4.2.6 To approve the hiring of the auditor.
  • 4.2.8 To set policy for NCSS and, toward that end, deliberate on all items of concern to NCSS and to the profession as a whole.
  • 4.2.9 Decisions by Executive Committee or Outside of Regular Meetings
    • On rare occasions, because of time constraints, it may be deemed necessary for the executive committee to make policy. When the executive committee does make policy, implementation must be delayed until such decisions have been communicated to the full board with immediate reaction requested by email. If more than five board members respond negatively to the action, the president must either arrange a conference call for discussion and vote or hold the decision in abeyance until the next full board meeting.
    • Because of time constraints, the NCSS President may ask the board to vote on matters by mail, email, fax or teleconference. With the exception of a teleconference, votes requested in this manner must provide for a period of discussion prior to a vote. and provide options to approve, disapprove or defer the vote until discussion by the board. At least 51% of board members must vote for approval of items on mail, email or fax ballots for a matter to be approved. If fewer than 51% of the board members vote to approve or disapprove the question, the matter shall be postponed for discussion at the next board meeting, or by telephone conference if necessary. When votes are held by telephone, a majority of the directors participating in a telephone conference when a quorum is present may act on the question. The board of directors will reaffirm all decisions taken by mail, email, fax or telephone conference at the net regularly scheduled meeting.
  • 4.2.10 To develop a long range plan for NCSS. The board will develop a three-year plan that will be monitored and reviewed annually. The board will meet annually in February or March to review and possibly revise this plan. A general survey of random NCSS members and non-member social studies professionals will be conducted at least every three years, beginning in 1997, to inform the long range planning process. Representatives of the associated group leadership may attend the annual board planning meeting at the expense of the associated groups.
  • 4.2.11 To determine nomination and election procedures.
  • 4.2.12 To exercise all powers not assigned in the constitution to other officers or to the membership of the national council (article II, section 6.)
  • 4.2.13 To review and act upon any changes in the terms and conditions of employment of NCSS staff that are recommended by the personnel committee.
  • 4.2.14 Policy Changes Presented to House of Delegates


4.4 Duties of Board Members

4.4.1 To initiate and react to items of board consideration. All board members are expected to carry on an active correspondence with the officers, other board members, the executive director, and the chairs of the committees to which they are liaisons.

4.4.2 To serve as liaisons from the board to one or more NCSS committees. As liaison to:

  • communicate regularly with the committee chair
  • advise the committee on how it may assist and advise the board, and communicate board actions to the committee promptly
  • advise the board as to the committee's actions and deliberations
  • review the committee's reports and submit them with comments to the president and director of administration for inclusion on the winter board meeting agenda.
  • attend meetings of the committee and advise the president-elect and president regarding leadership potential observed and tasks unfinished
  • 4.4.3 To serve on committees of the board to which they are appointed by the president.
  • 4.4.4 To represent NCSS at regional and other conventions in their areas.
  • 4.4.5 To serve as liaison to state councils as assigned by the president.
  • Liaisons should serve as the primary contact between a state council and the board of directors.
    • Liaisons should communicate with state council presidents and executive directors to learn about state issues and needs and should bring these items to the attention of the president and full board.
    • Liaisons should communicate to state council presidents and executive directors a summary of board actions and approved minutes of board of directors meetings.
    • Liaisons may not act on behalf of the board and should refer questions regarding interpretation of board policy to the president.
  • When possible, board members will be assigned as liaison to their home or neighboring states.
  • When possible, board members will serve as liaison to the same councils throughout that member's term.

4.4.6 By resolution of the house of delegates, to meet with the constituencies at a time set aside each year at the NCSS annual conference.

4.4.7 To communicate and offer assistance to the NCSS office staff.

4.4.8 In the event on-going personal and/or professional responsibilities prevent a board member from fulfilling any of the above enumerated board member duties (See 4.4), it will be incumbent upon the board member to submit a letter of resignation to both the Executive Director and the President. (approved May 2004)


2. Elected Officers

2.1 Constitutional Terms.

The elective officers of the National Council shall be chosen from the membership according to a schedule and in a manner to be prescribed by the board of directors. They shall include a president, a president-elect, and a vice president. They shall assume office on July 1 following their election and shall hold their respective offices for the term of one year. (Constitution, Article II, Section 1)

2.2 President

2.2.1 Constitutional Responsibilities.

The president shall have general charge of the affairs of the National Council and by virtue of the office shall chair the board of directors. It shall be the obligation of the president to promote in all suitable ways the best interests of the National Council. (Constitution, Article II, Section 2)

2.2.2 Responsibilities for Leadership of the Board of Directors

  • Takes the initiative in setting the agenda for the board of directors meeting which is drawn up with the executive committee and with the steering committee chair.

2.2.3 Chairperson Responsibilities

  • Chairs the executive committee
  • Chairs the house of delegates
  • Chairs the personnel committee
  • Co-chairs the current program planning committee
  • Chairs the defense fund committee
  • Chairs the executive director evaluation which is conducted every two years.

2.2.4 Appointment Responsibilities

  • Fills vacancies on committees, some through consultation with the chairperson of the Steering Committee of the House of Delegates.
  • Appoints ad hoc committees and individuals to carry out specific tasks as they are needed.

2.2.5 Communication Responsibilities

  • Speaks for the council
  • Meets with presidents of affiliated and associated groups at the annual conference
  • Communicates regularly with all committee chairs
  • Communicates to the nominations committee an estimate of the contributions to council work of current committee members and others in positions of responsibility. The president may propose other persons for nomination.
  • Receives annual meeting committee reports and minutes from board of directors liaisons according to the specified timeline communicated to committee chairs by the president; shall communicate to the board items from committee reports requiring board action and recommend actions to the board for the spring meeting.


2.3 President-Elect

2.3.1 Constitutional Responsibilities

The president-elect shall assume such duties as the president or the board of directors shall specify. <strike>If a vacancy occurs in the office of president, the president-elect shall become president.</strike> (Constitution, Article II, Section 3) The president-elect and the vice president shall assume such duties as the president or board of directors shall specify. In case of a vacancy in any officer position, the NCSS Executive Committee shall nominate an interim officer to fill the remainder of the vacant term. That nomination must be approved by the entire Board of Directors. If the interim appointment is a currently-serving officer (e.g., the Vice-President becoming President-Elect), the remaining vacant office shall be filled in the same manner. (amended 2010)

2.3.2 Chairperson Responsibilities

  • Chairs the long range planning committee
  • Co-chairs the program planning committee one year ahead
  • Is Chair of the documents review committee

2.3.3 Committee Responsibilities

  • Is a member of the executive committee
  • Is a member of the personnel committee

2.3.4 Appointments Responsibilities.

  • Appoints new members of advisory and operations committees and designates board members as liaison members by June 1.
  • To facilitate appointments, a notice shall appear in the November/December issue of The Social Studies Professional, calling for volunteers for committees and requesting information about the individuals' interests and experiences relevant to the committees' tasks.
  • The president-elect shall appoint a vice-chair for each committee from the previous year's committee. Under ordinary circumstances, this person shall become the chair in the succeeding year. The appointment of a vice-chair not currently serving on the committee, or re-appointment of a committee chair or vice-chair may occur in circumstances deemed necessary or appropriate by the president-elect. Board liaisons to committees and current committee chairs shall be requested to recommend active members to serve as chairs.
  • In appointing committees the president-elect should attempt to obtain balance by location, gender, and race. The president-elect shall make every effort to insure the appointment of men and women from all levels of education, all ethnic groups, and all geographic areas (urban, rural, and suburban).

2.3.5 Arranges for orientation for new board members at the time of their first board meeting.

2.3.6 Communications Responsibilities

  • Communicates to the Nominations Committee his/her estimate of the contributions to council work of current committee members and others in positions of responsibility. He/she is to use his/her own judgment about proposing any other persons for nomination.

2.3.7 Other Responsibilities

  • Shall serve on ad hoc committees and execute additional tasks upon the appointment of the president.

2.4 Vice President

2.4.1 Constitutional Responsibilities

(Constitution, Article II, Section 3) The president-elect and the vice president shall assume such duties as the president or board of directors shall specify. In case of a vacancy in any officer position, the NCSS Executive Committee shall nominate an interim officer to fill the remainder of the vacant term. That nomination must be approved by the entire Board of Directors. If the interim appointment is a currently-serving officer (e.g., the Vice-President becoming President-Elect), the remaining vacant office shall be filled in the same manner. (amended 2010)

2.4.2 Chairperson Responsibilities

  • Chairs the Endorsements and Special Projects. Chairs the Stewardship Fund Committee.

2.4.3 Committee Member Responsibilities

  • Is a member of the Executive Committee.
  • Is a voting ex officio member of the Publications Committee.
  • Is a member of the Personnel Committee.
  • Is a member of the Annual Conference Program Planning Committee .
  • Is a member of the Documents Review Committee

2.4.4 Communications and Other Responsibilities

  • Is the board liaison to the communities and the associated groups, and therefore corresponds with their chairs regularly, meets with their chairs at the annual conference, and reports to the board on all matters related to communities and associated groups. As liaison to associated groups, the vice president reminds each new chair or president which staff person to contact for questions, whom to contact for submitting possible news articles, that only the treasurer should submit bills to the office, and only the treasurer will receive the quarterly financial statements.
  • Shall receive House of Delegates Resolutions from NCSS headquarters for review; shall identify those requiring board action or attention and report those to the board at the winter meeting.
  • Shall serve on ad hoc committees and execute additional tasks upon appointment of the president.

2.4.5 Vice President as Parliamentarian.

  • The vice president shall act as parliamentarian to the NCSS Board Of Directors and the Executive Committee.

2.5 Past Presidents

2.5.1 Constitutional Responsibilities.

  • Each past president shall serve on the board of directors for one year immediately following his or her presidency. (Constitution, Article II, Section 6)

2.5.2 Committee Member Responsibility

  • Is a member of the program planning committee for the meeting to be held two years following his/her presidency.
  • Is a member of the Audit Committee (see 4.5.8)
  • Is a member of the endorsements and special projects committee.
  • Is a member of the executive committee.
  • Is chair of the nominations and elections committee.
  • Is a member of the Documents Review Committee


2.6 Guidelines for Service on Advisory Committees or Boards of Non-NCSS Projects or Organizations

  • 2.6.1 If the name of NCSS is to appear on letterhead or to be used in any other fashion so as to imply NCSS endorsement, then prior approval of the project's content or the organization's statement of purpose or other relevant information must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee and subsequently reported to the board of directors.
  • 2.6.2 The advisory committee or other body on which the NCSS representative is to serve must have active involvement in influencing policy of the project or organization.


2.7 Officer Release Time Compensation

  • 2.7.1 The incoming president in consultation with the executive director will negotiate with his or her employer for up to 50% release time to perform duties of the office. If financially feasible, release time for the president-elect and vice president shall be negotiated for up to 40% and 20% respectively.

Any major changes in NCSS policy which will substantially affect local council policies and practices must be presented to the house of delegates prior to implementation, except in extraordinary cases at the discretion of the president.

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