Leadership Team of Governing Board

Governing board officers provide leadership for the board.  Boards usually have a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.
The governing board Chair plays a key role in the well-being of the board.  Being a good board chair requires motivation and the commitment of significant time and energy.  As the board leader, the Chair is responsible for running effective meetings, maintaining parliamentary procedure, handling conflicts and crises, ensuring ethics and working closely in partnership with the President.  

The Vice Chair is typically the successor to the Chair and performs Chair responsibilities in the absence of the Chair.  The position works closely with the Chair, President, and senior level staff.  When there is a transition of Presidents, the Vice Chair participates with the Chair to develop and implement the transition plan, hire a search consultant, if the Board elects to do so, and assists in the coordination of the search. Of course, the Vice Chair may also be asked to take on other responsibilities as assigned by the Board.

The Board Secretary is the member of the board charged with the responsibility of maintaining records of the board and ensuring effective management of the institution’s records. The Secretary takes, manages and ensures that minutes of the meetings are distributed in a timely fashion. The Secretary should be familiar with the by-laws and other legal documents in order to reference them if necessary during the course of a meeting.

View the Trustee Webinar! 

The Role of the Chair of the Board

60 minutes

This webinar clarifies the many leadership roles, responsibilities and ideal qualities of a Board Chair. New and experienced chairpersons will benefit from this session that discusses:

  • Presiding over effective board meetings,
  • Developing the agenda,
  • Adhering to protocol,
  • Nurturing the critical relationship with the college CEO    
  • Managing conflict
  • Preparing for crises and disasters
  • Ensuring the wellbeing of the board
  • And more!

Find out the top ten traits of a Good Chair and get the tools you need to avoid the common traps or prepare for a crisis. 


  • Narcisa Polonio, Ed.D., Vice President for Education, Research and Board Leadership Services ACCT

Trustee interviews:  

  • Melissa Hattman, St. Louis Community College, MO
  • Tom Perkins, Western Nebraska Community College, NE
  • Roberto Uranga, Long Beach City College, CA

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the-board-chairThe Board Chair:  A Guide for Leading Community College Boards

Edited by Vaughn A. Sherman and Cindra J. Smith
Published by Association of Community College Trustees, 2002

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