Introduction to the President
The office of the presidency is extremely important in that you are basically the external voice of your chapter to anyone with whom the chapter might come in contact, such as figures from the National Fraternity, the University, campus police, faculty members, etc. It is your responsibility to be both proactive and reactive. What this means is that you must be completely informed about chapter issues so that you can both instruct brothers not to act in violation of any policies as well as deal with a brother who chooses to violate a policy. As president, you must be the moral backbone of the chapter. When there is a problem and you know the right decision needs to be made, it is your responsibility to make the right choice even though it may be the most difficult option. You will also want to make sure you have a strong relationship with your Chapter Advisor, your Board of Governors, the Ewing T. Boles Executive Offices’ Staff, and members of the National Fraternity in the case there is ever a situation that becomes too much for you to handle.
Job Description and Major Responsibilities
Familiarize yourself with all aspects of the Borradaile Challenge
Familiarize yourself with the Chapter Management and Planning Tools on the national website. This section of the website is rather large and contains a lot of information, but you will want to take some time on your own to sit down and really become familiar with it. At a minimum you should have an understanding of where to find an answer even if you do not know it off the top of your head. The sections you will want to pay special attention to are the Required Reports, Membership, Crisis Management and Risk Management sections. These are important because it will be your responsibility to make sure all reports are completed and sent in to the Executive Offices on time and all new members are reported as associates and then requested to initiate. The Risk Management section is important in preventing or mitigating dangerous situations, while the Crisis Management section helps ensure you know what to do in case there is ever a situation at the chapter where someone is hurt or has a problem. You will want to become familiar with the necessary steps for handling a crisis.
Ensure proper reporting and financial compliance with the Ewing T. Boles Executive Office
Delinquent reporting and improper membership reporting can severely hurt the health of a chapter. While the Treasurer, Secretary and/or President may have responsibilities in this area, ultimately if it is not done or done improperly, the president will be held accountable. Be sure to clearly understand the reporting procedures as well as the financial obligations and work with these officers to get it done. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you do not fully understand what is expected of you.
Develop a strong relationship with the Greek Advisor
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs can be a huge resource to you as a president, but only if you take the time to meet with the Greek Advisor and explore resources that are available. Phi Kappa Tau exists in a partnership with the University, which means when there is a policy set by the University we work with the University to follow it. It is your job to educate your chapter in these policies and make sure we are staying ahead when it comes to the University’s vision for the Greek community. It is a good idea to meet with the Greek Advisor at least once every couple of weeks and to at least make an appearance at the office as frequently as possible.
Ensure you are in good communication with your Board of Governors
As president you are a voting member of the Board of Governors as well as its secretary. The Board represents people that are investing their time and resources into the success of the chapter. Look to them for advice and experience on a wide range of issues. You will be having monthly meeting with the full BOG throughout the school year, but it is a good idea to determine good check in procedure with your chapter advisor and BOG chairman. One phone call or email a week is standard.
Execute an efficient chapter meeting.
As a new president, you should really sit down with your fellow executive board members and analyze how efficient your current resident council meetings are being run. Are we following proper Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity meeting protocols? Are there things that we can fix to make the meetings more productive? If so, do not be afraid to try new things. You will also want to familiarize yourself with The Parliamentary Procedure so you don’t get stuck in a chapter meeting. You can find sample meeting agendas in the ritual book and a section on Robert’s Rules.
Oversee all chapter operations
Work closely with the treasurer and Vice President to make sure that every area of the chapter is moving in a positive direction. If an area is not doing anything, it is your responsibility to address and correct the problem.
Role on the BOG
- Acts as secretary for the BOG.
- Brings all concerns and programs to the attention of the BOG.
- Shares correspondence from the Ewing T. Boles Executive Offices, University and neighbors with the BOG.
- Sends typed minutes to each member of the BOG within one week of the meeting.
- Works with the BOG Chair to create an agenda for each monthly meeting.
Role in the Chapter
The president can make his job much easier simply by understanding and empowering the organization to operate the way it is designed to work. A president that does everything by himself is in fact hurting the chapter. The president’s job is not to do everything but rather facilitate the organization and the individuals to accomplish their agreed upon objectives.
In reality, the president has the least amount of direct responsibilities. His role is to empower and support other officers to meet their specific goals. The president will get the credit for the chapter’s success…or the blame for the chapter’s failures. The president must be a leader. He must inspire others and most importantly he must be someone people can trust.
Role in the National Fraternity
Our organization has a unique reporting structure. The ultimate governing body of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity is the National Convention. The Convention elects the National Council who ultimately reports to the Convention. The National Council and the Foundation Boards hire a Chief Executive Officer who then has reporting duties to the Coordinating Council (The Coordinating Council represents a joint Executive Board between the National Council and the Foundation Board). The Chief Executive Officer then hires directors; including Domain Directors (volunteer) and the Director of Chapter Services (staff), as well as other staff members at the Ewing T. Boles Executive Offices.
Domain Directors carry the title of National Officer and support the Boards of Governors and other advisors on the chapter level. Constitutionally, the Board of Governors has ultimate authority over chapters in the areas of scholarship and finance.
A president that effectively and efficiently performs his duties will utilize this accountability structure. Please carefully read and understand the roles in our structure.
The role of chapter president is difficult and definitely trying at times, however it can be very rewarding. As the president, many men will be looking to you for leadership so your actions will go far in setting the tone and morale of the chapter. Spend time at the beginning of your term to familiarize yourself with resources and then move forward with your position and your goals.
Background on Robert’s Rules of Order
Chapter Management Toolkit
Chapter Meeting Etiquette
Intro to Robert’s Rules of Order
Order of Business in Chapter Meetings
Robert’s Rules of Order FAQ
Robert’s Rules of Order Motions Chart
Sample Chapter Meeting Agenda
The Challenge of Introducing Change