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Glen Hall

Ex officio in the Fall 2018 NP Vol. 80 No. 1

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Ex officio describes a method of becoming a member of a group by a method other than appointment or election; the person becomes a member by virtue of an office held.  But what if there is no office, for example the office of Past President?  Do we still describe the person as holding the office ex officio?

Interestingly, in the Q and A of the Fall 2018 NP p. 23 talks about past presidents being ex officio members of a board, that as long as they pay their dues to the organization they remain members of the board.  The article references RONR p. 484, but that page says that the ex officio position is relinquished when the person no longer holds the office.  There is no office of "Past President" either Immediate or otherwise, mentioned.

The article doesn't mention an office of Past President, so I wonder if the term "ex officio" is being used in error.  If there is no office of "Past President" then are they "ex officio" members? 

Of course persons can be made members of a board or committee by virtue of a holding a past position of an organization and by a stretch of the definition be called "ex officio members" but the definition would have to be altered a bit so that it would include persons who hold the title of "previous [office]" or "past [office]" if there is no office of the Second Past President, Third Past President ... Tenth Past President, etc.

So is it technically correct to call them ex officio members if there is no such office?

Ex officio is a confusing term to many who are not more intimately familiar with parliamentary procedure and parliamentary authorities, so I have discouraged its use in our governing documents unless it is necessary for understanding a rule or bylaw - which it usually is not.  For example, "The President shall be a member of the Budget Committee."  There is no question about whether the President can vote or make motions, etc.  My experience has been that when the wording is "The President shall be an ex offico member of the Budget Committee" that many people want to know if he/she can vote or participate in discussion/debate, etc.  Leaving out the words "ex officio" removes the confusion.

Thus my question about its use in this article.  If we say "Any person who is a former President of the organization shall be a member of the Board if his/her dues are current," I guess we have to say that they are "ex officio members" because of an office they used to hold?

Thanks for any replies.

Glen

 

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59 minutes ago, Glen Hall said:

Ex officio describes a method of becoming a member of a group by a method other than appointment or election; the person becomes a member by virtue of an office held.  But what if there is no office, for example the office of Past President?  Do we still describe the person as holding the office ex officio?

Interestingly, in the Q and A of the Fall 2018 NP p. 23 talks about past presidents being ex officio members of a board, that as long as they pay their dues to the organization they remain members of the board.  The article references RONR p. 484, but that page says that the ex officio position is relinquished when the person no longer holds the office.  There is no office of "Past President" either Immediate or otherwise, mentioned.

The article doesn't mention an office of Past President, so I wonder if the term "ex officio" is being used in error.  If there is no office of "Past President" then are they "ex officio" members? 

Of course persons can be made members of a board or committee by virtue of a holding a past position of an organization and by a stretch of the definition be called "ex officio members" but the definition would have to be altered a bit so that it would include persons who hold the title of "previous [office]" or "past [office]" if there is no office of the Second Past President, Third Past President ... Tenth Past President, etc.

So is it technically correct to call them ex officio members if there is no such office?

Ex officio is a confusing term to many who are not more intimately familiar with parliamentary procedure and parliamentary authorities, so I have discouraged its use in our governing documents unless it is necessary for understanding a rule or bylaw - which it usually is not.  For example, "The President shall be a member of the Budget Committee."  There is no question about whether the President can vote or make motions, etc.  My experience has been that when the wording is "The President shall be an ex offico member of the Budget Committee" that many people want to know if he/she can vote or participate in discussion/debate, etc.  Leaving out the words "ex officio" removes the confusion.

Thus my question about its use in this article.  If we say "Any person who is a former President of the organization shall be a member of the Board if his/her dues are current," I guess we have to say that they are "ex officio members" because of an office they used to hold?

Thanks for any replies.

Glen

 

The question mentions it and I don't have any issue with their answer.

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On 11/7/2018 at 3:53 PM, Glen Hall said:

Thus my question about its use in this article.  If we say "Any person who is a former President of the organization shall be a member of the Board if his/her dues are current," I guess we have to say that they are "ex officio members" because of an office they used to hold?

You raise an interesting question. Perhaps they should be called "ex ex-officio" members.

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