The Forum Council works collaboratively with Forum Staff to produce member programs, services and benefits. The 15 members of the Forum Council are elected by the voting members of The Forum. The Council accomplishes its work through Standing Committees, Working Groups, and Task Forces. In practice, this means that the Council provides the expertise needed to advance the five content areas (represented in five standing committees) through the production of deliverable products and services that benefit the membership. Working together with Forum Staff, the Council has done extraordinary work over many years to drive the production of our membership deliverables. The Council apprises the Forum Board of Directors of its activities, and these activities further the mission and strategic plan of the organization by providing Forum members with meaningful products and benefits.
Forum Council Nominations
Nominations are collected annually for colleagues who can dedicate their time and provide their expertise by serving on the Forum Council. The Forum Council, an elected body of 15 colleagues, works collaboratively with Forum staff to produce member resources and benefits. Council members are elected to a three-year term, 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 Forum’s membership 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, non U.S.-based institutions and organizations, young and midcareer professionals, minority-serving institutions, HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, and institutions with diverse student populations.
Forum Council Position Description
The Forum on Education Abroad Council (Forum Council) works collaboratively with The Forum staff to produce member program services and benefits. The 15 members of The Forum Council are elected by the voting members of The Forum. In practice, this means that the Council provides the expertise needed to advance the five content areas through the production of deliverable products and services that benefit the membership. The Council oversees the work of the Goals Committees, Working Groups, and Task Forces, that exist under the five content areas and, twice yearly, informs The Forum Board of its activities.
Content Areas and Goals Committees of the Council
Each Council member serves on a standing committee, and active committee service is the essential role of a Council member.
Standards of Good Practice: Develops and promulgates clear, communicable and replicable standards of good practice that respect a wide array of programs and missions.
Outcomes Assessment: Identifies, develops, tests, evaluates and disseminates information about methods to assess student learning and other outcomes.
Curricular Development and Academic Design: Identifies and promotes optimum academic designs and means of integrating education abroad into the curriculum without sacrificing the unique value of a different cultural and academic milieu.
Data Collection and Research: Develops surveys that provide important information to advance our understanding of the education abroad field.
Advocacy: Provides resources and tools to help institutional members to advance their education abroad missions and goals.
- Advocate for and promote The Forum’s mission and goals;
- Prepare for, attend, and actively contribute to twice yearly in-person meetings and two conference call meetings;
- Participate actively in the Council’s Standing Committees and Working Groups;
- Assist the Council Chair, Forum President, and Forum Staff with ad hoc work through Task Forces;
- Assist the Council Chair and Forum Staff in vetting new proposals for Working Groups and Task Forces;
- Actively engage Forum members in order to solicit feedback on the work of The Forum and identify member needs in the changing landscape of the field; and
- Assist Forum Staff in other ways, for example by helping to represent The Forum when hosting an information table at conference exhibit halls, etc.
Council members are expected to participate in twice-annual in-person Council meetings and in two conference call meetings. In keeping with The Forum’s fiscal–year membership and Council election cycle, the first meeting takes place during the summer via an in-person meeting typically in July, lasting 1 ½ days, at The Forum offices or another location. Second and third-quarter meetings are held by conference call. The fourth in-person meeting occurs before, during, or after the Annual Forum Conference and can run from 2 hours to a full day depending on the tasks at hand.
The Forum believes that lack of institutional funding should not be a barrier to attending in-person Council meetings. Therefore, when requested, The Forum offers support to cover travel expenses. Council members’ institutions and organizations are expected to cover the costs for Council members to attend the twice-annual in-person Council meetings. However, 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 the Chair of the Council and to the Vice President for Programs and Resources. The decision to provide financial support rests with The Forum President. Since 2006, The Forum has been able to support these requests and anticipates continuing to be able to do so.
Term of Office
As provided in the bylaws, Section 9.04, members of the Forum Council are elected annually by the Voting Members via electronic ballot. Forum Council members are elected to a three-year term, and may serve two terms. Fifteen (15) members serve three-year terms in three, equal-sized classes of five (5). They serve from July 1 to June 30 of the respective years. Nominations are generated by the Council’s Nominating Committee. Members are eligible for re-election, but there is no guarantee or expectation that a Member will be re-nominated as a candidate or serve more than one term.
Participation and active involvement in the Council’s work, and in the work of one or more of the Standing Committees in particular, is an expectation. Council Members who are not active in the work of one or more Standing Committees may, at the discretion of the Council Chair and Forum President, be directed to step down from the Council. Finally, a Council member who misses more than one Council meeting in a row may be asked to resign from his or her remaining term.
Confidentiality and Conflict of Interests
Forum Council members have access to records, plans, and other proprietary information of The Forum and are thereby privy to confidential information about organizational changes and strategic initiatives. Council Members are expected to keep this information confidential and are also asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Conflicts of interest may arise in terms of leadership service to other organizations. Given both the level of responsibility and time commitment associated with being a Forum Council member, Council members are expected to put their service to The Forum before service obligations to other national-level organizations in the field of education abroad, particularly in leadership positions.
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.