Working Resolution (Approved by Muhlenberg Board of Trustees 1/28/2012)
11. BOARD OF OBSERVERS
11.1. General Responsibilities. The Board shall have the authority to elect a Board of Observers as set forth herein. The Board of Observers shall provide a pool of accomplished volunteers committed to the welfare of Muhlenberg College who will serve on Visiting Committees to academic and administrative departments and offer advice to the President and the Board on the strengths and challenges of visited departments and programs.
11.2. Number and Term of Office. There shall be no more than sixty (60) members of the Board of Observers at any one time. Observers shall serve four-year terms, renewable for a second four-year term. Observer terms begin immediately upon election, concluding four years from the first July 1 following the candidate’s election. Observers shall not be eligible for re-election for a period of one (1) year following the close of his or her second full successive term, or the eighth successive year in office, whichever shall come first.
11.3. Nomination and Election. Names of candidates for the Muhlenberg Board of Observers shall be submitted to the President, who will present them to the Nominations Committee. Candidates shall be nominated and elected in accordance with the nominations procedures utilized for the nomination and election of Board Members. The President shall have the authority to appoint a Chair of all visiting committees and assign approved candidates to visiting committees under this Board of Observers program.
11.4. Duties, Privileges, and Responsibilities of Observers. Observers will be expected to participate in the annual New Trustee Orientation program for Board Members in the first year of their first term. Observers will also be invited to attend one (1) meeting of the Board per year. Observers’ principal responsibility will be to participate in at least one (1) visiting committee to an academic or administrative department or program within each four (4) year term. Visiting committee members will typically read extensive briefing materials in preparation for a campus visit, will meet on campus with the President, appropriate Vice President, Dean, or Provost, Department Head, faculty, students, and staff, and will collaborate with other Observers and with outside experts in the writing and submission of a brief report. Observers who chair visiting committees will be expected to submit their committee’s report to the President within two weeks of the visit’s completion, and to attend the appropriate Board Committee meeting at which the visiting committee’s report and a response from the Department will be discussed. It is to be understood that Observers function in an advisory capacity to the Administration of the College and the Board.
11.5. Resignation and Removal. Any Observer may resign at any time by giving written notice of resignation to the Chairperson or Secretary. An Observer may be removed at any time by majority vote of the Board.
11.6. Evaluation. Members of the Board of Observers will be evaluated during their fourth year of service prior to being nominated for election to a second term. The evaluation will be conducted by the President, in consultation with those Vice Presidents who have been involved in visiting committees in which the Observer has participated. Evaluation criteria will include quality of participation (whether the Observer played a constructive role in the visiting committee process), consistency and quality of philanthropic support, and other leadership support of the College. The President will consider these factors in making a recommendation to the Nominations Committee and provide the Nominations Committee with that recommendation and the documentation for each candidate as to the factors considered no later than the Winter Board meeting prior to the conclusion of an Observer’s first term. Under special circumstances and at his discretion, the President may recommend the re-election of an Observer who has not been able to complete a visit within his or her first term.