YALSA Board Meeting Guidelines

Context: YALSA Bylaws, Article IV, Sec. 1: The administration of the affairs of YALSA shall be vested in a Board of Directors.


  • The Board sets policy; it does not carry out policy.
  • The Board establishes goals, objectives and anticipated outcomes. SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Aggressive yet Achievable, Relevant, Time-based) produce success.
  • The Board sets a budget to enable goal/objective attainments.
  • The Board monitors policy implementation and achievement of goals/objectives


  1. We will adhere to Robert's Rules of Order, in the latest edition, for the facilitation of governance meetings.
  2. We will follow an open meeting policy. We will welcome all guests and their contributions with the same respect afforded to fellow board members as detailed in this document.  Executive sessions may be held only for the discussion of confidential matters such as but not limited to the discussion of current or pending litigation, crisis management, major business transactions, alleged illegal or improper activities by an individual, succession planning, or job performance of a staff member or volunteer.
  3. We acknowledge the responsibility, and accountability to us, of the Executive Committee and Executive Director for policy implementation and goal attainment.
  4. We will identify and develop agenda items, seeking advice from the President, Executive Director, and Executive Committee as needed.
  5. We will arrive on time and honor stated finishing times.
  6. We will arrive informed and prepared, or so inform the chair before the beginning of the meeting.
  7. We will address questions to the chair of the board meeting who may direct the question to another board or staff member.
  8. We direct the chair of the board meeting to conclude each item with a consensus statement and intended action for confirmation.
  9. We will take the initiative to ask questions and pose solutions.
  10. We will focus on intended outcomes rather than specific details of achievement.
  11. We will not engage in undue wordsmithing.
  12. We will share relevant opinions, observations, and concerns during discussion; not contributing will indicate agreement with the majority opinion.
  13. We will model professional and respectful behavior when both speaking and listening. We will speak calmly and respectfully about all individuals, groups, and organizations.
  14. We will be present and attentive during all meetings. We will use electronic devices only for purposes directly related to the YALSA Board meeting, and we will refrain from side conversations while others are speaking.
  15. We will discuss ideas and issues without taking things personally.
  16. We will make no assumption of motivation or hidden agenda on the part of a colleague.
  17. We affirm that the association should be focused, fast, flexible, and friendly. We will model those behaviors.

Adopted by the YALSA Board of Directors - 1/29/99, and updated 11/28/15