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Officer Time Limits


Guest Charisse

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My question is - does it say anywhere in Robert's Rules that there is a time limit that a Board member serves in an officer role? Can we set a limit for example of two years in our bylaws so that we can have new leadership instead of having one Board member be in the role for four or five years. Thanks!

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My question is - does it say anywhere in Robert's Rules that there is a time limit that a Board member serves in an officer role?

No. (on a side note, "Directors should usually be classed as officers," in case that has a bearing on your question. See RONR(10th ed.), p. 555, l. 24 - 25

Can we set a limit for example of two years in our bylaws so that we can have new leadership instead of having one Board member be in the role for four or five years. Thanks!

Yes, but there is a difference between Term Limits and Length of Term. An officer might serve a one year term for three consecutive terms. If you want to limit this to two years (or two terms, or two consecutive terms, etcetera), you're free to do so in your bylaws.

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No.

Yes, but there is a difference between Term Limits and Length of Term. An officer might serve a one year term for three consecutive terms. If you want to limit this to two years (or two terms, or two consecutive terms, etcetera), you're free to do so in your bylaws.

Okay. Our Board members are currently elected to three-year terms. We have a few Board members who have been elected to a second three-year term and have been in an officer role for four or five years and we are currently in the process of changing/updating our bylaws and I think we need to put a limit on the amount of time like up to two years that a member can serve in the same leadership role so that we can let others ... if they want too ... be a part of the Executive team. If no one does, then it would be okay for the same person to stay in the role.

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Can we set a limit for example of two years in our bylaws so that we can have new leadership instead of having one Board member be in the role for four or five years.

But be careful what you wish for. Some day you'll have the best officer in the world and he won't be permitted to stay in office past the term limit.

The best way to get new leadership is to elect someone new.

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Okay. Our Board members are currently elected to three-year terms. We have a few Board members who have been elected to a second three-year term and have been in an officer role for four or five years and we are currently in the process of changing/updating our bylaws and I think we need to put a limit on the amount of time like up to two years that a member can serve in the same leadership role so that we can let others ... if they want too ... be a part of the Executive team. If no one does, then it would be okay for the same person to stay in the role.

Sorry - is it common to have a limit on the amount of time you can serve in an officer role?

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Is it common to have a limit on the amount of time you can serve in an officer role?

Charisse, I have some advice.

First, YES, it is common to have a limit on the number of consecutive TERMS OF OFFICE a person may serve in one office.

Second, it is also common to have people just like you post questions like, "We have term limits for [some office], and we want the current [officer] to continue. Can we suspend or override the term limit rule?"

(The answer is an absolute "No." - You'd have to amend your bylaws and alter that term-limit rule to accomplish such an end.)

Thus my advice: "Be careful what you wish for."

If you have term limits put into your bylaws, Murphy's Law tells us that someday you will be sorry that you cannot keep your best officers in their best offices, and sustain the Golden Age of your organization.

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I prefer to see a limit to the number of terms in one position, not the number of terms on the Board. It allows a good person to stay on the Board, but requires a bad one to be elected to another position which allows the general membership to not elect that person more easily (incumbnents, in my experience, tend to have an advantage over other candidates.)

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