The Role of Chapter Secretary
The secretary performs a variety of tasks aimed at managing the records and administrative functions of the chapter. The role has wide-ranging responsibilities, requiring much more than simply being present at all board meetings. Discuss the position description with your leadership team to confirm roles and responsibilities (example position description).
The secretary is an active conduit for communication to members and other stakeholders by giving proper notice of upcoming meetings and timely distribution of materials such as agendas and meeting minutes. Additionally, the secretary should be knowledgeable of and provide advice and resources to the board on topics such as governance issues, state laws/ reporting requirements, and risk management that will assist them in fulfilling their fiduciary duties.
The chapter secretary must ensure that the following responsibilities are completed (personally or delegates tasks):
- In conjunction with the executive committee, prepare an agenda for each month’s board meeting and distribute it out to the board, with associated reading materials, in advance of the meeting.
- Attend chapter meetings in order to prepare and distribute the meeting minutes of the chapter.
- Meeting minutes are detail reports that highlight the predetermined agenda as well as what actually took place (date, time, attendees), determination of vote eligibility (was there a quorum or not), decision making process (vote tally), action items for individuals, etc…
- After each meeting, send the minutes to the attendees to solicit edits and confirm their accuracy before finalizing them.
- Distribute the previous meeting minutes with the upcoming agenda before each board meeting so that they can be formally approved.
- Retain records. These documents may include:
- Board and committee rosters
- Bylaws & revisions (which can be stored in the Leaders Only Tools section of tu.org)
- Strategic Plan (which can be stored in the Leaders Only Tools section of tu.org)
- Agendas and minutes
- Assist in the communication and correspondence of the board to members and the general public, including notice of your general membership meetings to members as required in your bylaws.
- Assist with board member recruitment. Consider chairing your chapter nominating committee.
- Assume responsibilities of the president in the absence of the president and vice president.
- In conjunction with the executive and nominating committees, prepare the slate of board nominees for elections as required per your bylaws.
- With the chapter executive committee, become familiar with and understand TU’s risk management and insurance limitations and ensure the chapter is compliant.
- Ensure the chapter president lists you as the secretary on the chapter officer roster and chapter contact information in the Leaders Only Tools section of tu.org.
- Particularly if your chapter is large enough to file a Form 990, ensure that you have the proper controls in place such as a conflict of interest form, document retention form, whistle blower policy and that you’ve shared the Form 990 with your entire chapter board.
- Ensure donations to your chapter are properly acknowledged.
- Consider appointing an assistant secretary, such that you are transferring knowledge to a successor at an early stage and have someone ready and willing to step in to take the minutes if you can’t be at every meeting.