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2021 ESA Governance Redesign: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the goals of these changes?

  1. Align the Society’s governance structure to support the strategic plan by increasing the efficiency and productivity of the Governing Board, Council and committees.
  2. Increase transparency and communication between the Governing Board, Council, Committees, and Sections and Chapters by revisiting their composition and redesigning the flow of information.
  3. Use volunteer and staff time more efficiency and effectively and, in turn, increase opportunities for leadership development of members by making structures and processes more inclusive, meaningful, and engaging.

What changes are being proposed?

  1. Reconstitute the Governing Board without disciplinary vice presidents
  2. Align committees into Board, Program & Administrative Committees with appropriate reporting and supervising lines
  3. Refresh committee processes—how committees are charged, who creates committees, and the relationship between committees, Governing Board, and Council
  4. Redefine the purpose and structure of Council

What is driving the changes to the Governing Board?

  • Better coordination at the board level, with all Governing Board members responsible—collectively—for the totality of the Society rather than focused on specific disciplines
  • Better division of labor among all Governing Board members, and clear distinction between Governing Board and program committee leadership
  • Increased opportunity for committee leadership, and more empowered committee chairs who report to the Governing Board (rather than a vice president)

What is driving the changes to committees?

  • Clarity around different types of committees and their functions
    • Board Committees help Governing Board with leadership and oversight
    • Program Committees help Governing Board and Management carry out strategic plan
    • Administrative Committees that help Management carry out specific programs and services
  • Consistency and continuity around committee charges, composition, leadership, and reporting

What is driving the changes to Council?

  • Establish Council as 1) an engine for strategic planning and implementation and 2) as a mechanism for member participation in governance
  • Council will be composed of section and chapter leaders only
  • Council will be self-organizing, with Speaker of Council (including elect and past) and Council Leadership Team, to expand and diversify leadership pipeline

What happens next?

  • The Governing Board has reviewed these proposed changes and recommended them to Council.
  • The Council will vote on the proposed Bylaws at the July 30 meeting. New bylaws will be effective January 1, 2022. To review a red-lined version of the proposed changes, click here. To review a clean version of the proposed bylaws, click here.
  • Once they are approved, the Ad Hoc Governance & Leadership Committee will review and updated other ESA policies and procedures to make them consistent with these revisions.