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3.6 Official Elected and Appointed Roles: UUA Governance Manual

The Board membership holds several positions with specific roles that become active by various pathways of election and appointment.

The General Assembly elects the Moderator (Chief Governance Officer), and Financial Advisor. Youth within congregations elect the Youth Observer. The Board elects the First and Second Vice Moderators, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The Board appoints the Recording Secretary and Treasurer of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

1. Elected Officials from General Assembly

  1. The Moderator is the Chief Governance Officer (CGO). The CGO assures the integrity of the Board's process and, secondarily, represents the Board to outside parties. Accordingly, the CGO is responsible for:
    • Ensuring that the Board behaves consistently with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization.
    • Ensuring that the Board discusses only those issues that, according to Board policy, clearly belong to the Board to decide, not the President.
    • Ensuring that deliberation is fair, open, and thorough, but also timely, orderly, and kept to the point.
    1. Nomination of Candidates for Moderator/CGO
      1. Not later than 24 months before the beginning of a General Assembly at which an election for Moderator will be held, the Moderator Nominating Committee (MNC) shall issue a call for nominations, which must be received within two months.
      2. Not later than 19 months before the beginning of a General Assembly at which an election for Moderator will be held, the committee shall recommend to the board two or more possible candidates for Moderator. No member of the committee may be recommended as a candidate. Each candidate must give written consent prior to being recommended. The names of recommended candidates who are not nominated by the board shall not be made public. The committee shall submit to the board background information on each recommended candidate, which shall be received by the board in confidence. No board member who is a recommended candidate shall receive the background information on any candidate. Individuals who normally attend executive sessions, per policy 3.1.9.E, shall be entitled to receive the MNC recommendations and background information, and to attend all sessions concerning the nomination of candidates for Moderator.
      3. The board shall interview one or more of the recommended candidates in executive session. No candidate who was recommended by the MNC or who intends to run by petition may be present during the interview of any other candidate, or in any other executive session held to discuss candidates for Moderator.
      4. As required by Section 9.5 of the Bylaws, the board shall nominate one or more candidates no later than February 1 of the year before the General Assembly at which there is to be an election for Moderator.
        1. The following individuals may participate in Board deliberations but shall not be eligible to vote: the Secretary of the Board, the Trustees who serve on the Election Campaign Practices Committee, the President, and the Youth Observer.
        2. The following individuals may participate in Board deliberations and shall be eligible to vote: the Moderator, and any Trustee who served as a voting member of or non-voting board liaison to the MNC.
        3. Voting shall be by secret ballot in executive session, with procedures for voting and vote counting to be determined by the Secretary.
        4. Voting shall be conducted using the “single transferable vote” method, with a ballot designed to permit the designation of first, second, third, etc. choice. At the conclusion of the vote counting, the two candidates with the highest number of votes shall be declared the nominees. However, if one candidate receives more than 75% of the first choice votes, then only that candidate shall be the nominee of the board. Furthermore, if two or more candidates for nomination are separated by less than one full vote, they shall be considered tied and the board shall take a second vote to break the tie.
        5. The minutes of the executive session shall report only the names of the nominee(s).
      5. If a special election is to be held to fill a vacancy in the office of Moderator, the procedures in this section 3.6.1.A shall be followed to the extent that time permits. The Moderator Nominating Committee shall make its recommendations to the Board no later than November 1 of the year before the election.
    2. The CGO is authorized to use any reasonable interpretation of the provisions in these policies. The CGO may make decisions that fall within topics covered by Board policies on Governance Process and Board-President Linkage, with the exception of employment or termination of a President and situations where the Board specifically delegates portions of this authority to others.
    3. The CGO is empowered to chair Board meetings with all the commonly accepted power of that position (e.g., ruling, recognizing).
    4. The CGO has no authority to make decisions about policies created by the Board within Shared Vision (ENDS) and Leadership Covenant and Expectations policy areas. Therefore, the CGO has no authority to supervise or direct the President.
    5. The CGO may represent the Board to outside parties in announcing Boardstated positions and in stating chair decisions and interpretations within the area delegated to her or him.
    6. The CGO may delegate CGO authority, but remains accountable for its use.
    7. In special circumstances, the CGO may create task forces or special committees to address or explore issues of concern to the Association.
    8. In the event of a vacancy, the CGO shall inform congregations of the vacancy.
  2. Financial Advisor
    The responsibilities of the Financial Advisor are defined in the Bylaws in various sections of Articles VII, VIII, and X.

2. Other Elected Positions

  1. Youth Observer
    The Youth Observer is the primary liaison between GA Youth Caucus and the Board, but represents a larger youth voice on the Board. In collaboration with the Youth Trustee At-Large, the Youth Observer is charged with:
    • Informing GA Youth Caucus and Youth Caucus staff of relevant Board issues at the Youth Observer’s discretion
    • Staying informed about the planning and activities of GA Youth Caucus
    • Keeping abreast of national issues that are of interest to Unitarian Universalist youth in districts and congregations
    • Linking and nurturing relationships between youth leaders in districts and congregations across the nation
    • Seeking out qualified youth candidates as future Youth Observers and for other UUA volunteer positions
    1. The Youth Observer shall serve their term without vote.
    2. Excluding matters of voting, The Youth Observer shall bear the same responsibilities and accountabilities as defined for trustees.
    3. With consent of the Board, the enumerated tasks of the observer may evolve as the structures of denominational youth leadership evolve.

3. Board-Elected Roles and Positions

  1. First Vice Moderator (Board Coordinator)
    The role of the First Vice Moderator/Board Coordinator is to:
    • Assist with Board of Trustees agenda planning and scheduling of Board work.
    • Participate in leading Board of Trustees meetings.
    • Assumes the CGO role in the event of death, disqualification, resignation or removal of the CGO.
  2. Second Vice Moderator (Assistant Board Coordinator)
    The role of the Second Vice Moderator/Assistant Board Coordinator is to:
    • Support the work of the First Vice Moderator and CGO and shall fill those roles in succession if either or both are incapacitated.
    • Develop a coordinated schedule for Board member activity at General Assembly.
    • Obtain written certification on an annual basis, and monitors that each Board member is familiar with Governance Process policies and agrees to honor the Board covenant regarding these policies.
  3. Secretary
    The responsibilities of the Secretary of the Association are defined in the Bylaws in various sections of Articles VIII, IX, and X, and in various sections of the Rules with number headings 3, 4, 6, and 9.

    In addition to these responsibilities, the Secretary shall:
    • Maintain the UUA Governance Manual, assuring that all policies will be reviewed at least once in five years.
  4. Assistant Secretary
    The role of the Assistant Secretary is to support the work of the Secretary and shall fill those roles in succession if the Secretary is incapacitated.
  5. The process for selection of the First and Second Vice Moderators, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary shall be as follows:
    1. Each Board member shall be given the opportunity to stand for election as First Vice Moderator/Board Coordinator. A vote shall then be conducted to choose the First Vice Moderator.
    2. Each Board member shall then be given the opportunity to stand for election as Second Vice Moderator/Assistant Board Coordinator. A vote shall then be conducted to choose the Second Vice Moderator.
    3. The Committee on Committees brings forward nominees for the Secretary and Assistant Secretary positions. A vote shall then be conducted to approve the recommendations.

4. Board-appointed Positions and Appointment Procedures

  1. Recording Secretary
    The recording secretary has various duties defined in Article VIII of the Bylaws.
  2. Treasurer
    The responsibilities of the Treasurer are defined in the Bylaws in various sections of Articles VII, VIII, and X.
  3. Appointment of the Recording Secretary and Treasurer of UUA shall be done as follows:
    1. President recommends to the Board at least one candidate for each position.
    2. Board discusses in Executive Session, and votes to affirm or reject.
    3. Appointments announced.

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Last updated on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

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