Roles & Responsibilities
Chapters are more effective if board members have defined roles and a leadership structure. A chapter must have at least three Berkeley Haas School alumni board members and serve a local Haas alumni community of at least 50. Minimum required board roles include a president, vice president (president elect), treasurer and/or secretary. Chapters may also consider an event champion, web master, social media manager, and communications director. (Multiple roles can be filled by one volunteer). There are multiple ways to structure a board, so please do what is best for your chapter.
If your board is small, everyone will have at least one job, maybe more. For example, an Event Champion often suggests the topic or activity, and may provide direction to other alumni involved in planning an event. The Event Champion is usually the point of contact with guest speakers, coordinates on-the-ground logistics, reconfirms deadlines and promotional messages.
The chapter board should meet quarterly, at a minimum. When meetings are held by conference call, chapters may reserve a conference line by emailing the Berkeley Haas Alumni Relations office at [email protected]
Great leaders assure that, after a few years as president, new blood and a fresh perspective are brought in. This prevents burn-out and the stagnation of ideas. While many events become anticipated “traditions,” some change is necessary to keep the event vibrant and the chapter innovating and interesting to current and new members of the board. Nonetheless, focus on developing programs and event “traditions” that are sustainable through leadership transitions.
Chapters must hold elections before the end of every fiscal year, in May or June. Two- or three-year terms for key officers are typical. The terms and titles of elected officers should be included in your chapter’s bylaws. Outgoing leaders should mentor others. Consider selecting a president-elect, who can prepare to become president or a co-president. Most importantly, recruit alumni for all key roles before the position is vacated. Do not “retire” before identifying and training your replacement.
Required Board Roles
President & Vice President
A chapter president or vice president leads the chapter and its board meetings. These alumni leaders also typically:
- Serve as the point of contact with the Alumni Relations office
- Attend annual Volunteer Leadership Conference held once a year in Berkeley
- Share information from the Alumni Relations office at board meetings
- Update your list of board members, including their titles and contact information, and share this with the Alumni Relations office
- Submit documents and forms as required by the Alumni Relations office.
- Respond to inquiries about the BHAN and its chapters
- Demonstrate passion for and knowledge about Berkeley Haas
- Develop a schedule of board meetings, prepare an agenda and start meetings on time and run them efficiently
- Promote chapter events and assure that they are always sufficiently promoted, staffed, and organized
- Open or close events with a “call to action,” such as “hire Haas,” give to the Haas Fund, or update your profile in @cal.
Another important board role is that of the treasurer. The primary duties of the treasurer are to:
- Maintain the chapter’s checking account;
- Deposit revenue into the account;
- Write checks, as needed;
- Reconcile the chapter’s budget;
- Report on the chapter’s finances, or Treasurer’s Report at each board meetings:
Most chapters use Excel or QuickBooks to track revenue and expenses, and to prepare their annual budgets. The reporting format may be a hybrid of a balance sheet and income statement. The treasurer may also include a running check register or design a system to compare actual results to what was budgeted.
While your “organization” is small and budgetary surprises are few, it is helpful to the entire board to understand the chapter’s financial health. With input from the board, the treasurer determines an accounting system that is easy to use, read and maintain.
Prior to each major board meeting, the Treasurer’s Report should be shared with all board members. At the board meeting, the treasurer provides a summary, in writing or orally.
The treasurer often works closely with the event champion to assure timely payment of vendors and to plan for easily-overlooked expenses, such as speaker gifts, a/v rental, or parking.