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Board of Directors Competencies and Responsibilities

The Nominating Committee is accepting applications from TESOL members who wish to run for a position on the Board of Directors. This year, the Nominating Committee will fill three (3) vacancies. The deadline for applications (EOI forms) is 11:59pm, U.S. Eastern time, 15 June 2021.

Please note that if you are elected, you will be asked to step down from any professional council or other formal roles within TESOL International Association.

Eligibility

To run for the TESOL Board of Directors, you must:

  • have been an active member of TESOL for the past five 5 out of 6 years · by June 1 of the year for which your name will appear on the ballot.

  • not have served on the Board within the previous six (6) years

  • not be a former President of TESOL

  • not be a full- or part-time employee of TESOL International Association within the past three (3) years

  • not be a member of the Nominating Committee at the time of the election 

Board of Directors Responsibilities

Directors serve on the TESOL Board of Directors. They have three core responsibilities:

  • Set the direction for the association: perform strategic thinking and planning, promote a positive public image, set mission and vision, establish organizational values, approve operational and annual plans

  • Ensure appropriate use of association resources: hire capable executive leadership, provide fiduciary responsibility

  • Provide oversight of the association: oversee financial management, minimize exposure to risk, measure progress on strategic plan, monitor programs and services, provide legal and moral oversight, evaluate the CEO, and perform self-evaluation.

Additional responsibilities include coordinating and leading various Board workgroups and task forces, representing the association at various affiliate and professional events, advocating for TESOL members in their professional contexts, and responding to changes in the field.

What Competencies Are Needed to Perform the Role Well?

Knowledge 

  • Understand TESOL International Association's structure, policies, and culture (including its mission, vision, values, goals, current strategic plan, governance structure, role of staff and volunteers, programs and services)

  • Understand the current TESOL field and its direction (including ELT profession in different contexts, threats/challenges in the ELT field for the association, authoritative literature on association leadership and governance, the association's role in advancing the field) 

Leadership Experiences and Skills

  • Ability to inspire and empower others, including the recruitment and mentoring of new leaders

  • Use resources effectively to achieve set goals, including organizing tasks, delegating responsibilities that use people's skills efficiently, and directing other resources

 Strategic Thinking & Decision Making

  • Ability to consider the big picture while being goal/future-oriented, not get caught in minutiae

  • Ability to process large amounts of information; synthesize and incorporate multiple viewpoints and perspectives

  • Ability to think independently and critically (including using research data, asking questions, challenging unsubstantiated information)

  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify issues as well as the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems

  • Ability to make informed decisions efficiently and take action when needed

  • Ability to be objective at all times about what is best for the whole of the association rather than what is best for a particular constituency

  • Ability to analyze reports of standing committees, task forces, etc. and comment on drafts of publications and other documents as appropriate

Communication

  • Speak professionally in small or large groups with prepared materials (including to articulate oneself clearly, concisely and logically while addressing the audience's needs)

  • Enhance one's intercultural competence continually and proactively, to represent the association in interactions with culturally and linguistically diverse groups of people in multiple contexts effectively

  • Facilitate group discussions strategically (including focusing on the agenda and working for practical consensus)

  • Advocate for ELT professionals, students, and the field at multiple levels, from local to international

  • Promote transparency, communicating developments to members, affiliates, etc. and invite input

  • Operate in an online environment efficiently and effectively

Independent and Team Work

  • Ability to effectively collaborate with the Executive Director, Board colleagues, and staff

  • Ability to work independently

  • Ability to interact with other board members in a group setting, both contributing to, and valuing the contributions of all members

  • Ability to provide feedback to an executive director, employer, supervisor, etc. on behalf of a group/your peers.

Financial Skills

  • Ability to understand and analyze financial reports

  • Ability to review and analyze proposed budgets in light of Association resources, strategic goals, and priorities

Experience

  • Have various leadership experiences within the profession

  • Have leadership experience within TESOL

  • Have thorough knowledge of TESOL policies and procedures

  • Have experience interacting with diverse ELT professionals

What Is Expected of the Candidate?

It is expected that you:

  • have a commitment to the purpose, mission, and values of the association

  • have a clear vision for the association that can move it forward

  • have a strong interest in working on the advancement of the association

  • help the board exercise proper stewardship of the association

  • have cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation of different cultural needs

  • act morally and ethically in accordance with the association's values

  • avoid conflicts of interest

  • understand the need to base decisions on what is good for the association

  • accept accountability for group decisions so that the board of directors speaks with “one voice”

  • can dedicate 2-4 hours a week, plus additional time before the Board Meetings and during the annual convention.

  • be diplomatic yet honest and open in discussions with the executive director and the board of directors

  • prepare in advance for and attend meetings and conference calls and actively participate in all of them

  • maintain confidentiality

  • efficiently use technology to respond to online communications (emails, web meetings, conference calls)

How to Apply

You are required to submit your expression of interest (EOI) form online. The deadline for completed EOI forms is 11:59pm, U.S. Eastern time, 15 June 2021.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Rita Buckner at rbuckner@tesol.org or +1.703.518.2507 (Virginia, USA).

Application Materials: The application requires you to submit information about your leadership experience, your background, and your competencies. The process will be easier if you prepare the following information in advance. (Please note that word limits will be strictly enforced.)

Statement of Purpose: Please submit a brief statement elaborating your reason for running for the Board of Directors, including what areas of expertise you bring to the Board and Executive Committee (up to 250 words).

Institutional Support: Serving as a director requires a significant amount of time throughout the year to perform these responsibilities to the association. About 2-4 hours per week, plus additional hours before Board meetings and 12 hours in the two weeks before the annual convention. You will be expected to participate in online discussions in a timely manner all year.

Please acknowledge here that you have enough time to perform all these responsibilities, which may include getting release time from your institution. ____Yes     ____No

Knowledge: Please explain (and support with examples) your knowledge of (300 words).

  • TESOL International Association's structure, policies, and culture (including its mission, vision, values, goals, current strategic plan, governance structure, policies, role of staff and volunteers, programs and services, needs of members and stakeholders)

  • the current TESOL field and its direction (including ELT profession in different contexts, threats/challenges in the ELT field for the association, authoritative literature on association leadership and governance, the association's role in advancing the field)

Leadership Experiences and Skills: List your relevant leadership training and leadership roles, both from within and outside TESOL International Association. Start with the most recent and include a brief description of each (type, focus, dates of service). Then, please give examples from your leadership experiences that demonstrate your abilities to: (up to 350 words)

  • Ability to inspire and empower others, including the recruitment and mentoring of new leaders

  • Use resources effectively to achieve set goals, including organizing tasks, delegating responsibilities that use people's skills efficiently, and directing other resources 

Strategic thinking & Decision making: Please give examples, especially from your leadership experience, that demonstrate your abilities to do the following before making decisions: (up to 300 words)

  • consider the big picture while being goal/future-oriented, not get caught in minutiae

  • process large amounts of information; synthesize and incorporate multiple viewpoints and perspectives

  • think independently and critically (including using research data, asking questions, challenging unsubstantiated information)

  • analyze reports of standing committees, task forces, etc. and comment on drafts of publications and other documents as appropriate

Communication: Please give examples that demonstrate your communication abilities to do the following: (300 words).

  • speak professionally in small or large groups with prepared materials (including to articulate oneself clearly, concisely and logically while addressing the audience's needs)

  • enhance one's intercultural competence continually and proactively, to represent the association in interactions with culturally and linguistically diverse groups of people in multiple contexts effectively

  • facilitate group discussions strategically (including focusing on the agenda and working for practical consensus)

  • advocate for ELT professionals, students, and the field at multiple levels, from local to international

  • promote transparency, communicating developments to members, affiliates, etc. and invite input

  • operate in an online environment efficiently and effectively

Independent and Team Work: Please give examples that demonstrate your abilities to: (up to 300 words)

  • effectively collaborate with the Executive Director, Board colleagues, and staff

  • work independently

  • interact with other board members in a group setting, both contributing to, and valuing the contributions of all members

  • provide feedback to an executive director, employer, supervisor, etc. on behalf of a group/your peers

Financial Skills: Please give examples that demonstrate your abilities to:  (250 words).

  • understand and analyze financial reports

  • review and analyze proposed budgets in light of association resources, strategic goals, and priorities

Areas of Growth

Please list the skills and competencies related to service on the Board of Directors that you feel you need to strengthen within yourself (up to 150 words).

Statement of Understanding: In your own words, describe your understanding of the president’s role (up to 200 words). See TESOL Policy Manual.

Biographical Statement: Please attach here a Word document (.docx) or PDF with your professional biography that will be used on the ballot if you are selected as a candidate. Please use the provided template.

References

Please list contact information for a minimum of three (3) TESOL members and a maximum of five (5) people who can serve as your reference. Make sure to notify your designated references in advance. (Note: Do not use as references current Nominating Committee members, current Past-President or current TESOL staff members. Also, do not use more than one current or past board member. Finally, it is best if you do not use a reference who has already written letters for other current applicants.)

Timeline:   

  1. EOIs must be submitted by June 15th

  2. References are due by July 5th.

  3. Notification of the results of EOI submissions will be by Aug. 15th. Additional information may be required at this time, including interviews.

  4. The election process begins Oct. 15th and ends Nov. 8th.

  5. The TESOL Executive Director will inform each candidate of the election outcome directly.

Please note: If elected, all conflicts of interest will need to be addressed. You will be asked to resign from leadership in any professional councils or other formal roles in TESOL International Association, avoid publishing for TESOL, or serving as an editor for TESOL publications. You will also be asked to resign from any top leadership position in a TESOL affiliate. You may have to forgo royalties from currently promoted TESOL publications. See TESOL International Association Policy Manual for more information.

 Access the Expression of Interest Form

The deadline for completed EOI forms is 11:59pm, U.S. Eastern time, 15 June 2021. When you have completed your form, you should receive an email acknowledging your application.

If you do not receive the acknowledgment or your have any questions, please contact Rita Buckner (phone: +1 703.518.2507).

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