Information for Potential Atla Board of Directors Candidates
The Nominating Committee uses the following information to help potential Atla Board of Directors candidates.
This information is summarized from Board Policy Manual Appendix BP4 and Appendix BP10. The most current version of the BPM can be found in the Members Only Drive under “Board Information for Members.” To access this drive, login to the My Atla web portal and select the Members Only Content tab on the left.
Table of Contents
- Responsibilities of Directors
- Qualifications for Candidates to the Board of Directors
- Expectations of Candidates
- Membership of the Tellers Committee for Board Elections
- Atla Board Members: Qualities, Competencies, Responsibilities
Another important role the committee serves is introducing the responsibilities involved in serving on the Board of Directors. Information the committee will provide to potential candidates to evaluate and consider includes:
- An explanation of:
- Article 4. Board of Directors in the association’s Bylaws
- The term of service to which the candidate would be committing if elected to the board
- The normal schedule of board meetings
- Expected attendance at governance training (2-4 days) within the first year
- The financial arrangements for covering board members’ travel costs to such meetings
- Expectations of board members as detailed in the Conflict of Interest Policy (Board Policy Manual Appendix BP7)
- A roster of the current Board of Directors and its officers
- The timeline for the election process found in Board Policy Manual Appendix BP4
- A reminder that a board member may not serve as an ED-appointed member of any of the association’s committees or ED advisory committees or receive payment or a stipend from Atla for service
The committee discusses with potential candidates the qualifications that have been identified for candidates including:
- A board member may not serve as an ED-appointed member of any of the association committees. A board member may not be an employee of or receive compensation from Atla(Article 4.02 g).
- Board members do not serve on ED-appointed advisory committees.
- Normally, all board members ending their first three-year term are invited to be a candidate for a second term.
- The Nominating Committee for Board Candidates should consider the following principles and guidelines in its identification of potential nominees for the board, not as goals or quotas, but as reminders of the need for balance and broad representation on the board:
- Individuals’ experience in management and potential to be an officer of the association;
- Individuals’ past participation in Atla committees and interest groups;
- Continuity of experience on the board;
- Providing opportunities for leadership to those who have never served on the board; and
- Denominational, ethnic, gender, and racial balance as well as geographic distribution and variety in the size of libraries represented on the board.
- Because of the policy governance model currently employed by the board, candidates for nomination should exhibit:
- A commitment to the association’s “moral ownership” (its individual and institutional membership);
- A propensity to think in terms of systems, the harmony and good of the whole association, and the context in which the association seeks to fulfill its mission;
- An ability and eagerness to deal with values, vision, and the long term future and practice of the association; board members need to be attuned to looking beyond the present and the particular topic at hand to the values that lie behind and how those values might be worked out best in the changing context of the future;
- An ability to participate assertively in deliberations;
- A willingness to delegate and to share decision-making authority with others.
- Other qualities, competencies, and responsibilities as outlined in the Board Policy Manual, Appendix BP 10.
Once the Board has approved the slate, the Director of Member Programs will as each nominee to supply biographical information along with a brief statement addressing the following three questions. Each candidate should address each question in a statement no more than 500 words long.
- What do you see as the challenges of understanding the broad and diverse views of our association
- The Board focuses on the future of the association and emphasizes strategic leadership. What strengths would you contribute to this process?
- The Board has authority as a group, not as individuals. This means board members are expected to deliberate candidly but to speak externally with one voice once a decision is reached. If others were to describe how you participate in a deliberating body, what would they say?
The Tellers Committee is made up of Atla Individual Members to count the Board election votes.
- The Secretary convenes a Tellers Committee consisting of three (3) individual members of Atla. This is done no later than December 10.
- Ordinarily, a member of the Tellers Committee will serve for three consecutive years, with one member rotating off the committee each year and one member joining. Any member serving on the Tellers Committee cannot work at the same institution as any member nominated for the Board of Directors.
- Ordinarily, the member in the third year of service will serve as the chair of the committee.
- The Secretary confirms willingness to serve on the Tellers Committee and appoints a new member of the committee.
- Integrity (ethical, legal, and otherwise)
- Self-confidence, courage, and willingness to take informed risks
- Appreciation for and commitment to the cultivation of diversity
- Collegiality and a sense of humor
- Flexibility and an openness to change, innovation, new ideas, and directions
- Willingness to
- assume the duties of care, loyalty, and obedience
- learn, adjust and adhere to, communicate, and defend the principles of Policy Governance
- familiarize (and constantly re-familiarize) oneself with the Bylaws and the Policy manual
- follow established procedures
- Readiness to
- disclose all possible conflicts of interest
- prioritize and come prepared to Board meetings
- give Board-work the time it requires, including work between meetings and the work of self-education
- lead committees of the Board or serve as an officer
- Breadth of experience and familiarity with one or more areas of theological librarianship
- Ability to focus on what the Association should be delivering for its beneficiaries
- Understanding of and appreciation for group process and the dynamics of board decision making.
- Ability to
- listen to, weigh, and learn from the opinions and arguments of others
- articulate one’s own opinions and judgments
- make and second motions, facilitate the emergence of consensus
- function as a member of a team that must speak with a single voice (stand behind Board decisions for which one did not vote)
- Familiarity with parliamentary procedure, and a willingness to adhere to meeting ground rules
- Group leadership skills, i.e., the ability to
- Articulate purpose
- Establish an agenda
- Motivate; elicit contributions from all concerned
- Work at a pace that allows all to participate and complete tasks on time
- Identify key issues and help the group come to a single voice
- Computer literacy and an openness to the use of helpful new tools, including those that facilitate remote collaboration
- Provide legal and moral oversight; perform the duties required by law:
- Avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest and complete conflict of interest form
- Understand basic non-profit finances or be willing to learn; review financial reports
- Read and sign the IRS Form 990
- Assume ultimate legal responsibility
- Forge and maintain a connection with the moral ownership through formal and informal means; listen with empathy to the needs and concerns of members; strive to understand the full range of its values and needs; and represent the moral ownership in board deliberations; advance the Association as a whole, in all of its diversity, over the long term
- Envision the future of theological librarianship
- Articulate organizational values, see the big picture
- Analyze trends in higher education, theological education, and librarianship
- Exercise foresight; envision the future; think strategically
- Develop and revise policies that are responsive to the needs and expectations of members, set the direction of the organization (Organizational Ends), minimize risk (Executive Limitations), govern the Board-Executive relationship, ensure the smooth and consistent functioning of the Board over time (Board Policy), and are consistent with the Policy Governance model
- Monitor achievement of Organizational Ends and compliance with Executive Limitations
- Assess the reasonableness of the executive director’s interpretations, as well as the evidence of compliance and achievement provided
- Share in the responsibility of the Board to hire, monitor, evaluate, compensate, and fire the executive director
- Monitor Board quality and performance
- Ensure the presence of a capable and responsible Board
- Regularly evaluate one’s own and the Board’s performance
- Promote a positive public image of the Association
If you have further questions on the nomination process or the qualifications and responsibilities of being on the Atla Board of Directors, contact the Nominating Committee.