Skip to main content

2021 ESA Governance Redesign: Proposed Governing Board Structure

The Governing Board is ultimately charged with fiduciary and strategic responsibility as a collective body. In the current board structure, Governing Board members are directly elected by the membership and serve in a variety of specific roles with uneven responsibilities and different terms in office:

  • President, President-elect, and Past President
  • Vice Presidents of Finance, Education and Human Resources, Public Affairs, and Science
  • Secretary
  • Three Members-at-Large

Currently, the Vice Presidents of Science, Public Affairs, and Education and Human Resources also chair standing committees (more information about changes to ESA’s committee structure). Additionally, all members of the Governing Board are also members of the ESA Council.

The proposed reforms to the governing board structure align with best practices for association boards, more evenly distribute responsibilities among board members, and focus the board on high-level strategic matters for the whole Society. The Governing Board will remain the same size, but the new structure better engages all board members and allows for leadership continuity.

Recommendation 1. Reconstitute Governing Board without disciplinary vice presidents

Tables of current and proposed Governing Board structures; the current structure has three presidents, 4 vice presidents, a secretary and three members at large, but the new version would have three presidents, one secretary and a vice president for finance, and six general board members

Tables of current and proposed Governing Board structures

The Governance Subcommittee has proposed that:

  • All Governing Board members serve three-year terms, renewable once (except the presidents).
  • Except for the Vice President of Finance (a board treasurer role), other vice presidents become regular Governing Board members.
  • Governing Board members no longer chair program committees (e.g., Education, Science, etc.) and no longer serve on Council once the transition is complete.