Search Our Site

Page Navigation

Section Banner

3.3 Board and Board Member Code of Conduct: UUA Governance Manual

The Board commits itself and its members to acting in adherence to the UUA [Unitarian Universalist Association] bylaws, as well as ethical, businesslike, and lawful conduct, including respect for others, proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Board members.

  1. Board members must act in accordance with our covenant with each other.

    We promise to:
    • …listen deeply, speak boldly and keep an open mind, balancing views of self and others authentically
    • humble, prepared and present and focus on governance as the board's essential role, while taking the long view, and maintaining accountability for Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression and Multi-Culturalism
    • ....have respect and affection for each other, assuming the best of intentions and honest needs and building new bridges and mending bridges that are broken
    • ....remember our sources and whose we are, giving space for faith
    • ....learn and grow, practice self-care, laugh and sing!
    This covenant shall be read at the beginning of each board meeting.
  2. Board Members must act in accordance with our covenant with member congregations. As Board members, our primary purpose is to serve our member congregations regardless of personal relationships with staff, affiliations with other organizations, or any personal interest.
  3. Board Members must comply with Conflict of Interest (Appendix 2.J) and Whistleblower policies (Appendix 2.K).
  4. Member Trustees covenant with each other to follow a practice of "Speaking with one voice”. This requires that each Trustee has had reasonable opportunity to participate in the debate of the issues and opportunities before the committee or Board. The Trustee may have disagreed with the Board’s decision, and consistent with the right of conscience may say so publicly. However, once the Board makes a policy decision, and even if an individual Trustee does not fully support the Board’s position, each Trustee agrees to do their best to act in alignment with that policy in the spirit of moving our organization ahead in accordance with our democratic principles.

    If a Trustee finds that they cannot in good conscience adhere to this policy and covenant, then that Trustee bears the responsibility to consult with the Moderator or First Vice-Moderator and determine an acceptable course of action.
  5. Board Members may not attempt to exercise individual authority over all or any part of the organization.
    1. A Board Member’s interaction with the President or with staff must recognize that an individual Board member has no authority except when explicitly Board authorized.
    2. Board Members will not express individual judgments of performance of employees of the President, except during participation in Board deliberation about whether reasonable interpretation of Board policy has been achieved by the President.
  6. Board Members will respect the confidentiality appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature.
  7. Board Members will be properly prepared for Board deliberation.
  8. Board Members will model UU [Unitarian Universalist] values in our lives and in our roles as Trustees.
  9. Board Members will provide leadership for UUA’s stewardship and development efforts. Each Board Member is encouraged to:
    1. Support the financial well being of the Association, including: pledges to his or her congregation, an annual contribution to the Friends of the UUA, and participation in capital campaigns.
    2. Submit names of potential donors to the Stewardship and Development staff group;
    3. Encourage his or her own congregation to attain the fair share contribution to the Annual Program Fund.
    4. Promote testamentary giving through legacies and bequests.
    5. Be knowledgeable about Association funding.
  10. Board Members are expected to have completed anti-racism training that includes analysis and systems theory components prior to the January meeting of their first year as a Trustee. Participation is such training will be paid for, or reimbursed by the UUA, with prior approval of the CGO.
  11. Individual Board Members will not engage in fundraising or public support of any candidate for national UUA office except within twelve months of the date of the election.
  12. Each Board Member will annually certify in writing their knowledge of, and their agreement to honor, the contents of these Governance Process policies.

For more information contact administration @

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Monday, January 20, 2014.

Sidebar Content, Page Navigation


Updated and Popular

Recently Updated

For Newcomers

Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.

Page Navigation