ASK AASB: Why is our superintendent an ex-officio member of our board?

A: There is typically some degree of confusion surrounding the definition and role of an ex-officio board member among board directors, executive directors, CEO’s, and managers of non-profits. The term, ex-officio, is a Latin phrase that literally translates “from the office.” Robert’s Rules explains the connection between the term and the meaning. It relates to the notion that the position refers the position the ex-officio holds, rather than the individual that holds the position.

An ex-officio board member position is an obligation, privilege, or set of privileges that are given by virtue of the position of serving on a particular board or committee.

Another common example is when a board requires that some board members be government officials, superintendent, or voting delegates that represent the entity that they work for as part of a collaboration on a particular issue. Such board members are only appointed as a result of their position. When they terminate their employment with their employer, their successor automatically becomes the ex-officio member.

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Got a question? Email Timi Tullis or Lon Garrison.

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