Board Member Responsibilities

EDUCAUSE Board Member Position Description

The board supports the work of EDUCAUSE and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by EDUCAUSE’s President and CEO and carried out by the EDUCAUSE staff, the board-CEO relationship is crucial, and appropriate engagement of the board is both critical and expected.

As part of a nonprofit governing authority, a board member must meet certain standards of conduct and attention in carrying out his or her responsibilities to the organization. These fundamental legal duties include:

  • Duty of care: The responsibility to participate actively in making decisions on behalf of the organization and to exercise his or her best judgment while doing so.
  • Duty of loyalty: The responsibility to put the interests of the organization before personal and professional interests when acting on behalf of the organization.
  • Duty of obedience: The responsibility of ensuring that the organization complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws and adheres to its mission.

Beyond these three legal duties, board members also play a significant role providing guidance by contributing to the organization’s strategic focus, effectiveness, and financial sustainability, as well as serving as ambassadors and advocates.

Specific Board Member Responsibilities

  • Know and be able to effectively articulate the mission, purpose, strategic direction, goals, and programs of EDUCAUSE.
  • Participate in the periodic review and revision, when appropriate, of the organization’s mission, purpose, strategic directions, and goals.
  • Participate actively in assessing EDUCAUSE’s performance against its goals and objectives.
  • Assist the board in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities, such as reviewing the organization’s financial statements.
  • Attend and actively participate in all board meetings.
  • Serve on committees, task forces, and/or volunteer for special assignments when the opportunity arises.
  • As a member of a committee, attend and actively participate in all committee meetings.
  • Review the agenda and read supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings.
  • Act in the best interest of the membership as a whole, supporting directions that serve all members and institutions types.
  • Act as an ambassador for EDUCAUSE, helping to establish or strengthen relationships with various constituencies with which he or she may have special connections, and occasionally representing the association by making presentations or conducting other forms of outreach.
  • Adhere to conflict of interest and code of ethics policies.
  • Participate in the hiring and periodic evaluation of EDUCAUSE’s chief executive.
  • Support and advise the chief executive as appropriate.
  • Ensure EDUCAUSE’s commitment to a board and staff that reflects the diverse membership EDUCAUSE serves.

Board Terms/Participation

Board directors serve four-year terms.

EDUCAUSE board service is an uncompensated volunteer activity. Expenses incurred for board service are reimbursed per the Board Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy. EDUCAUSE board members are neither expected nor will they be asked to participate in fundraising or dues campaigns.

Serving as a board member is one of the most challenging and rewarding of volunteer assignments. While board service is an honor, it also requires a significant commitment of time. Board members can expect to dedicate time each month to EDUCAUSE service, with an increase in intensity during the months board meetings are held.

The board meets four times a year—spring, summer, fall, and winter.


Serving on the EDUCAUSE board is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about EDUCAUSE’s mission and who has a track record of service and leadership. In choosing among nominees to develop the election slate, the Nominations and Leadership Development Committee considers candidates’ backgrounds and experiences in four areas:

  1. The candidate's ability to build and sustain relationships with others in order to advance a shared vision.
  2. The candidate's ability to think strategically and creatively about the challenges facing higher education.
  3. The candidate's experience, engagement, and approach in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  4. The candidate's unique and qualifying expertise that will contribute to advancing the strategic vision and priorities of EDUCAUSE.