SCUP’s organizational structure is essentially the same as when it was founded nearly 50 years ago. The SCUP Board of Directors started reviewing the society’s strategic governance in October 2011 and recommended a comprehensive set of bylaw changes to align resources and talent to better achieve the vision. The bylaw changes were submitted to a special vote of the membership in September 2012 and passed. The new bylaws will be phased in over several years and fully implemented in July 2015.
The SCUP Governance Task Force
The board of directors held a governance retreat in October 2011 to review its current governance structure and to determine whether or not the structure adequately supports the current SCUP mission and vision. During the retreat, the board agreed that SCUP had made good progress in several areas comprising integrated planning but needed further work to achieve its overarching vision. A governance task force was formed to look at association governance best practices.
At the April 2012 board of directors' meeting, the governance task force presented its final report and the board approved the broad governance structure concepts that were recommended. Subsequent calls further refined the proposal and the final draft was discussed and approved at the July 7, 2012, board meeting in Chicago, IL.
A flyer, titled "Achieve Our Vision," was distributed to current volunteer leaders and past presidents at the annual conference, SCUP-47. More than 50 members attended a town hall meeting at SCUP-47 on July 10, where valuable feedback was gathered and subsequently discussed at the July 11, 2012, board meeting.
Here is a summary of the governance changes that will take place between now and July 2015:
The primary responsibility of the SCUP Board of Directors is to provide the necessary strategic leadership to ensure that the organization having a clearly defined vision, mission, and strategic plan that results in achievement of the vision. The primary relationship of the board is with the members (owners). Informed by the members, the board translates the priority values from the membership into policy that fulfills the long-term vision and delivers value to the members as beneficiaries. In its fiduciary role, the board has the responsibility to assure operational performance from an arm's length perspective assessing whether the internal systems are performing appropriately and assuring the proper systems are in place to achieve the vision. Finally, the board will explore the future environment and relevant strategic issues assuring that SCUP is prepared to face emerging trends.
By July 2015, the board will consist of nine members, one of whom will be a former regional council chair. Some board positions migrated over to the new SCUP Council in 2013 and 2014, thus slowly decreasing the size.
Board members are now elected by SCUP members based on a single slate of candidates. The slate is recommended by the Governance and Leadership Committee and approved by the SCUP Council. The first "slate election" took place in the winter of 2014.
The chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer of the board are selected by the incoming board from among the board members.
The chair's term of service will be one year with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The vice chair's term of service will be one year with a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The treasurer will serve as chair of the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC).
Board members can serve a maximum of two, three-year terms.
The SCUP staff president will serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board.
The board will hold four face-to-face meetings each year with monthly teleconferences as needed in intervening months.
The SCUP staff president will lead SCUP and serve as the society's chief staff executive. He or she is expected to have a proven background in effective leadership, community building, and organizational development. The staff president will:
Be hired by and report to the board.
Be responsible for selecting, leading, and monitoring the performance of the SCUP senior leadership team and staff.
Manage all dimensions of the organization's operations.
Be responsible for the annual fiduciary performance of the organization and for successfully meeting the measurable outcomes developed as part of the strategic planning processes.
Have the authority and responsibility for the sound administration of the society's programmatic, financial, and managerial affairs and is responsible for leading the society, implementing all board policies, developing appropriate planning initiatives, keeping the board informed and consulting with the board in a timely manner on matters appropriate to policy making, planning, and fiduciary responsibilities, and serving as the key spokesperson of the society.
Have the authority to execute all contracts or other legal instruments on behalf of SCUP and the board of directors consistent with board policies and the best interests of the society.
Serve as an ex officio, non-voting member of the board.
The SCUP Council [referred to as the "National Council" in the bylaws] is a representative body of SCUP volunteer-leaders and SCUP’s staff. Its members—in their council roles—function as subject matter experts in providing knowledge, expertise, and insight into SCUP’s understanding of the current and future environment, and the alignment of programs and services with the strategic plan. With the exception of potential at-large positions and members of the staff leadership team, council member serve in two capacities as both the leaders of their individual volunteer committees and councils and as regional and domain-specific experts within the SCUP Council. The council will integrate and enhance the collective work of the regions, committees, academies, task forces, and leadership teams responsible for the delivery of programs and member value.
Members include all regional chairs, academy conveners, committee chairs, and additional members to ensure a robust and diverse council.
SCUP held an unofficial gathering of future SCUP Council members in July 2013 in San Diego, CA, and a second meeting in February 2014 in Ann Arbor, MI. The first official meeting of the SCUP Council took place in July 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA, at SCUP-49.
The SCUP Council will likely meet twice a year to participate in environmental scanning and strategic program planning: a February Forum and a July Leadership Forum in conjunction with the annual, international conference.
The SCUP Council will approve the single board slate before it goes to the board for approval. After board approval, the members will vote on the single board slate.