5: Role of the Board Chair
The Board of Trustees demonstrates the belief that its ability to discharge its obligation is enhanced when leadership and guidance is forthcoming from its membership. The Board, at the organizational meeting and thereafter at any time as determined by the Board, shall elect one of its members to serve as Board Chair, to hold office at the pleasure of the Board. The Board entrusts to its Chair primary responsibility for providing leadership and guidance.
General responsibilities delegated to the Board Chair by the Board:
1. The Chair shall keep informed of significant developments within the Division.
2. The Chair shall maintain responsibility for ensuring the development and implementation of the Board’s orientation program for newly elected trustees.
3. The Chair shall ensure that Trustees complete all required annual compliance documents and/or forms.
4. The Chair shall bring, to the Board, all matters requiring a corporate decision of the Board.
5. The Chair shall act as the official spokesperson for the Board except for those instances where the Board has delegated this role to another individual or group, notably:
5.1. The Board requires that the Chair represent the views of the Board as determined in official decisions of the Board;
5.2. The Chair has the authority to determine whether or not to participate as spokesperson, where it is reasonable to do so, without prior approval of the Board; and
5.3. In the absence of the Board, the Board Chair has the authority to make decisions and shall be accountable to the Board for all activities related to the duties as official spokesperson.
6. The Chair shall formally communicate with other elected government leaders.
7. The Chair shall review and approve trustee claims for travel, subsistence and approved expenditures.
8. The Chair shall act as ex-officio member of all committees appointed by the Board.
9. The Chair shall act as a signing officer for the Division, notably:
9.1. As required by the Government of Alberta; and
9.2. As required by financial institutions.
10. The Chair shall represent the Board, or arrange alternative representation, at official meetings or other public functions.
11. The Chair shall ensure that the Board engages in annual assessments of its effectiveness as a Board.
12. The Chair shall ensure that Trustees exemplify conduct and communication that is of the highest ethical standards in keeping with Board Policy 4 – Trustee Code of Ethics. Board Chair responsibilities with respect to the Superintendent:
13. The Board entrusts the Board Chair to maintain an effective working relationship with the Superintendent and to act as the primary contact with the Superintendent at all times, and with respect to the following matters: \
13.1. The Chair shall keep the Superintendent and the Board informed in a timely manner of all matters that are brought to the Chair’s attention that might affect the Division;
13.2. The Chair and Superintendent shall maintain regular, timely contact to stay apprised of current issues and events;
13.3. The Chair shall directly convey to the Superintendent any concerns, received by Trustees or stakeholders, that may affect the administration of the Division;
13.4. The Chair shall review and approve Superintendent expenditures on an ongoing basis; and
13.5. The Chair shall provide counsel to the Superintendent, when requested to do so. Board Chair responsibilities with respect to Board meetings:
14. The Chair shall confer with the Vice-Chair and the Superintendent, prior to each Board Meeting, to ensure familiarity with the items to be included on the agenda, and to best determine the proper order of these items.
15. The Chair shall preside over all Board meetings and ensure that such meetings are conducted in accordance with the Education Act and the policies and processes as established by the Board.
16. The Chair shall maintain the order and proper conduct and decorum of the meeting so that motions may be formally debated.
17. The Chair shall ensure that all issues before the Board are well-stated and clearly expressed.
18. The Chair shall display firmness, courtesy, tact, impartiality, and willingness to give everyone an opportunity to speak on the subject under consideration.
19. The Chair shall ensure that debate is relevant and remind Trustees that they must speak directly and only to the matter in question when prudent to do so.
20. The Chair shall decide questions of order and procedure, subject to an appeal to the rest of the Board; notably:
20.1. The Chair may speak to points of order in preference to other members, and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the Board by any member duly moved.
21. The Chair shall submit motions or other proposals to the final decision of the meeting by a formal show of hands.
22. The Chair shall ensure that each trustee present votes on all issues before the Board.
23. The Chair shall extend hospitality to Trustees, officials of the Board, the press, and members of the public.
24. The Chair shall facilitate meetings so that the will of the Board is achieved.