Volunteer Guidelines and Responsibilities

Member volunteers provide expertise and diverse perspectives that help achieve EDUCAUSE's mission to advance the strategic use of technology and data to further the promise of higher education. Volunteer roles include committee work, advisory group/board activities, event program teams, thought leadership in the form of authorship and presentations, and ad hoc "give back" experiences. Since volunteer opportunities vary in scope, length of commitment, and complexity the following guidelines have been established to help organize and manage volunteer opportunities:

  1. Purpose and Goals: EDUCAUSE has a variety of membership volunteer opportunities that range from formal governance (i.e., Board service) to micro-volunteer opportunities (i.e., conference proposal reviewers). A comprehensive list of EDUCAUSE volunteer opportunities, along with the specific purpose, goals, and participation rules for each active volunteer opportunity are documented in the volunteer opportunity details page in EDUCAUSE Connect.
  2. Selection Criteria and Composition: EDUCAUSE aspires to have the composition of each volunteer group reflect the diversity of EDUCAUSE's membership and include individuals with a range of skills and experiences. These groups should also include members from various regions and types of institutions. EDUCAUSE is committed to transparency around volunteer group selection criteria and the recruitment and selection of volunteers is grounded in the members' ability to effectively contribute to the committee's work.
    1. On occasion, volunteer roles may require certain prerequisites to be met to participate, a special application or nomination, or an election.
    2. No person serving on the EDUCAUSE Board shall also serve on a committee unless otherwise noted in the Board Manual.
    3. In general a person should not serve the association in more than one significant volunteer role capacity at any time
    4. In general, individuals from the same institution should not serve on the same committee
  3. Terms: Volunteers serve for a fixed term, usually two or three years for standing committees, and shorter terms as needed for ad hoc work. Continuous rotation of volunteer roles ensures that new perspectives and ideas are continually brought to the table while providing stability from participants serving in their senior years of participation. In some cases, volunteer roles can be renewed as long as the composition of the group continues to meet EDUCAUSE's commitment to our DEI values.
  4. Leadership: All volunteer groups are assigned an EDUCAUSE staff liaison to support the work of the volunteer work. This includes administrative and logistical support, as well as volunteer work guidance and leadership. For standing committees/advisories/boards, a member chairperson will have a leadership role.The chairperson works closely with the staff liaison to create a success plan for achieving volunteer group goals and is typically expected to manage the work and facilitate meetings. The chairperson and the staff liaison typically co-create work plans and meeting agendas. Volunteer group chairs may also have the additional responsibility of:
    1. Reviewing and approving reports of the group before they are distributed
    2. Reporting to the volunteer group any decisions of the Board or Executive Staff that affect the group's work
    3. Where appropriate, guide the group in proposing new activities and service that will further the mission and goals of the association
    4. Where appropriate, make policy recommendations to the President for transmission to the Board
    In addition to having a chairperson, volunteer groups may also define specific roles for additional group members to share responsibilities. It is important that every volunteer group is clear on team member roles so that everyone understands their contribution to the committee's work.
  5. Attendance/Participation: EDUCAUSE recognizes that members have work, family, and personal commitments outside of their volunteer roles. Volunteers are expected to participate in real time, whenever possible, and asynchronously if necessary, when volunteer groups schedule a meeting or have a work team activity.
    1. Members who are unable to attend a meeting should notify the chairperson in advance.
    2. Members are expected to actively participate in the work of the volunteer group, provide thoughtful input to deliberations, and focus on the best interests of the association and group goals rather than on personal interests.
  6. Communication and Meetings: Volunteer groups will establish a regular meeting cadence and hold meetings at a time and in a manner that is convenient to the majority of participants. Volunteers should communicate regularly with one another and the chairperson to ensure the group has the resources and information it needs to succeed and to check on progress towards goals. Healthy communication includes responding promptly to emails, meeting requests, and other forms of outreach. Most volunteer work will be done online through virtual meetings and or EDUCAUSE Connect, and if there is an occasion where volunteers are *required* to travel on behalf of EDUCAUSE, participants will be reimbursed in accordance with current EDUCAUSE Travel Expense Policies.
  7. Professionalism and Confidentiality: Volunteers should conduct themselves professionally and respectfully, both in their interactions with other members and with external stakeholders. Volunteers should avoid conflicts of interest and adhere to EDUCAUSE's code of ethics. Volunteer groups may have access to confidential information about EDUCAUSE, its members, or its partners, and should not disclose it to others.
  8. Reporting: Most committee work is informal or part of a project/program plan and does not require additional or external report outs. On occasion, a volunteer group may be asked to provide updates of the committee's work, recommendations, and issues of concerns in a more formalized manner. In the past, these types of reports have ranged from preparing a special board presentation, creating published guiding principles about a particular issue, or developing tools/products that are shared with the entire membership.
  9. Evaluation: The EDUCAUSE staff liaison is responsible for evaluating progress towards goals and efficacy of volunteer work. For standing committees, an annual standard evaluation form will be used to gather feedback about participant's experiences. For ad hoc volunteer work, the evaluation will come at the end of service. Results will be shared with the member volunteer lead/chairperson in order to continuously improve the process and outcomes of volunteer work.
  10. Recognition: EDUCAUSE acknowledges volunteer contributions as part of the annual conference experience; the volunteer and recognition wall is prominently displayed at the conference. In addition, EDUCAUSE volunteer service is recognized as part of each members' profile and in many cases, a volunteer service microcredential is issued to recognize the contribution. In addition, EDUCAUSE volunteers receive recognition at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference.
  11. All committee appointments will be reviewed by the EDUCAUSE president, based upon recommendations from staff committee liaisons following a careful consideration of a list of volunteers as well as other sources. Chairs of the committees will also be reviewed by the EDUCAUSE president, with thoughtful consideration given to recommendations of committee members and/or staff liaisons.