The Forum Council serves as part of the shared leadership of The Forum, along with the Board of Directors and the Forum staff. One of the primary roles of Council members is to represent the Forum membership and the greater field, and communicate the interests and needs of the field to The Forum. The Council works primarily and collaboratively with the staff to assess and produce member programs, resources, services, and benefits. This work is accomplished through the Council’s committees and working groups, and service on these groups is an essential responsibility of Council members.
While Council work requires significant commitments of time and effort, there are also benefits to such service, some of which include:
- The opportunity to have a strong influence on the overall direction of The Forum on Education Abroad;
- A chance to work with highly-committed colleagues on a variety of initiatives that span the field;
- Multiple opportunities to demonstrate leadership; and
- Recognition as a leading professional in education abroad.
Forum Council Nominations and Election
Nominations for colleagues who can dedicate their time and expertise by serving on the Forum Council are collected annually following The Forum’s Annual Conference. Council members are elected to a three-year term (July 1 to June 30) and are eligible to serve two terms.
The Forum Council seeks to engage diverse representatives from education abroad and higher education to represent the breadth of the field on the Council. In seeking nominations, the Council is particularly interested in nominees from underrepresented institutions and demographics, including but not limited to community colleges, international institutions and organizations, young and mid-career professionals, minority-serving institutions, HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions with diverse student populations.
Specific Obligations include:
- Advocate for and promote The Forum’s mission, vision, and foundational principles;
- Prepare for, attend, and actively contribute to twice-annual in-person Council meetings and in two virtual meetings;
- Participate actively in Forum committees and working groups;
- Assist the Council Chair and staff in vetting new projects and proposals;
- Actively engage Forum members in order to solicit feedback on the work of The Forum and identify colleagues’ needs in the changing landscape of the field; and
- Assist staff in other ways, for example by helping to represent The Forum when hosting an information table at conference exhibit halls.
Council members are expected to participate actively in the Council and attend twice-annual in-person Council meetings and in two virtual meetings. The first meeting takes place during the summer via an in-person meeting typically in July, at The Forum office or another location. Orientation of newly-elected Council members generally occurs via a webinar in advance of the July meeting. Second and third-quarter meetings are convened virtually. The second in-person meeting occurs before, during, or after the Annual Forum Conference depending on the tasks at hand. Dates for the meetings for the following year are set as soon as practical to aid in planning. A Council member’s institution or organization is expected to cover the cost of travel and lodging when attending Council meetings. The Forum provides and pays for meals during Council meetings. In cases where a Council member’s institution or organization is unable to cover such costs, Council members may request support by submitting a travel grant form to Forum staff.
The Forum Council election typically takes place each year in April/May.