2019 NCCEP Board of Directors Election

Overview of the NCCEP Board of Directors Election Process

Board of Directors Election Process: Key Dates

  • Recommendation Window: October 1– November 7, 2019

  • Application Window: October 1 - November 11, 2019

  • Voting Window: November 18 - December 9, 2019

  • Tally and Certification: December 10 - 13, 2019

  • Board Approval: Late December, 2019

  • Two-Year Term Begins: January 1, 2020


About the 2019 Election


Why is NCCEP looking to elect two new members to the Board of Directors?

The NCCEP organizational bylaws call for two members of the Board of Directors to be appointed as a result of an election among NCCEP member institutions. The two-year terms for the current elected board members, Wendy Stack and Robert Dais, expire on December 31, 2019. As such, we are seeking to appoint two new board members through the 2019 election—one State GEAR UP leader and one Partnership GEAR UP leader.

Our rationale for appointing two elected board members is simple. First, we can help ensure that the views and perspectives of the members are well represented at the highest level of our organization. Second, we genuinely believe that there are many amazing leaders in the GEAR UP community, and that formalizing their role in helping steer the future of NCCEP will benefit the organization, our community, and GEAR UP as a whole.

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What are some of the benefits of becoming a board member?

Our new board members will have substantial influence in guiding the current and future direction of the association, from our strategic direction, our operations, and the services we offer. If you're considering applying, know that you'll be part of a board that is highly collaborative, passionate about student success, and committed to NCCEP’s mission. To help offset some of the expenses of being a board member, NCCEP will cover travel, up to four nights lodging (depending on meeting schedules), and conference registration fees so that you may participate in face-to-face board meetings. However, no additional compensation is made to NCCEP board members.

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What are the requirements, qualifications, and expectations of joining the NCCEP Board of Directors?

Just to be clear, these new board members won't be ex-officio or have any unusual designation. They will be full-fledged board members, and the expectations are commensurate with that commitment. Given that these two board appointments are tied specifically to GEAR UP State and Partnership programs, we do ask that if you have reason to believe that you will not be affiliated with GEAR UP throughout the two-year term (e.g., your grant ends in a year, you're planning to retire soon, etc.), please refrain from applying.

Minimum Requirements: There are two minimum requirements for candidates. First, the individual must have served in a senior-level GEAR UP leadership role (Director, Principal Investigator, or other executive title), and have done so for at least 3 years. Second, the candidate must represent an institution that is a member of NCCEP and maintain good membership standing throughout their term. Additional qualifications for each candidate will be shared with voters to inform their decisions.

Other Qualifications: Above and beyond the minimum requirements, we are seeking candidates that can: (1) see the big picture beyond their own individual or institutional interests; (2) help identify and advance strategies that result in desired outcomes at all levels; (3) have a demonstrated track record of GEAR UP excellence; (4) deeply understand the needs of the program, our amazing community, and the government relations landscape; and (5) will actively engage the broader community of GEAR UP leaders to bring a diversity of perspectives to board-related issues. Our board has a wonderful working relationship, so we're also looking for individuals that can participate in challenging work ethically, respectfully, and collaboratively. For additional considerations, see the Board of Directors Job Description and the Overview of Legal Duties.

Board Expectations: In terms of participating in board activities, we ask that all board members:
• Prepare for and participate in board meetings, which include two conference calls and two face-to-face meetings (at the GEAR UP Capacity-Building Workshop and the NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual Conference) annually.
• Attend standing committee meetings and/or ad-hoc committees of which they are a member.
• Attend board strategic planning retreats, which usually occur every other year.
• Attend and participate in NCCEP conferences and other special events when possible.
• Assume leadership roles in board activities.

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What will the elected board members do and what are they responsible for?

Given NCCEP's 501(c)3 not-for-profit status, the Board of Directors has a unique responsibility for ensuring the well-being of the organization. On the finance side, board members work with NCCEP leadership to ensure sound fiscal policies, review and approve the annual budget, and regularly monitor NCCEP's finances and audit reports. Programmatically, board members work to develop and support NCCEP's strategic plan, approve annual priorities and work plans, and help strengthen NCCEP's impact and visibility at the national level. On the governance side, the board will, as a body, hire, fire, supervise, and evaluate the president and CEO of NCCEP. Board members also serve as liaisons between NCCEP and our members, other education and community stakeholders, and the public.

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When does the appointment to the NCCEP board begin and end?

The elected board members will serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. This will ensure that the members have a two-year time period during which they can make critical contributions to the organization yet provides the opportunity for others to serve so that NCCEP can benefit from newly elected board members every two years.

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I'm not interested, but I know someone who would be a great board member. How can I recommend them?

Fantastic. We've created an optional process in which you can directly recommend someone to apply to the elections process. Just complete this quick survey, and they'll receive an automatic notification; NCCEP will encourage them to apply, as well. All you need is the name and correct email address of the person you're recommending. You can also provide a short note telling us why they would be a great fit.

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I'm interested in applying and participating in the election. What do I need and how do I begin?

Great! We're thrilled that you're considering the opportunity. We've worked with our Board of Directors and our GEAR UP Advisory Commission to help create an application process that is both informative, yet not unnecessarily burdensome.

You must fully complete the online application no later than 5:00 PM EST on November 11, 2019. Here's what you will need to complete the online application, with the understanding that the information will be made available to voters during the election:

  • Your contact information and institutional affiliation;

  • Designate whether you are running as a State GEAR UP or Partnership GEAR UP candidate;

  • Certify that you have reviewed and understood the Board of Directors job description; are a member of NCCEP in good standing; have a reasonable expectation that you will be in your GEAR UP leadership role through the board term; have approval from your organization to serve; and are free of perceived or real conflicts of interest;

  • A professional, high-quality photograph;

  • An edited, Curriculum Vitae/Resume of no more than 5 pages; and

  • Word-limited responses to each of the following questions: (1) Why do you want to serve on the NCCEP Board of Directors? (250 words or less); (2) What examples or outcomes can you share with voters that demonstrate that your leadership in GEAR UP has led to meaningful results? (250 words or less); (3) If elected, what are the specific leadership strengths you will bring to the Board of Directors, NCCEP, and the broader GEAR UP community? (250 words or less); and (4) What specific priorities are you most interested in pursuing or contributing to as a Board member to help advance the work of GEAR UP and NCCEP? In addition, how would you engage or consult the broader GEAR UP leadership community to understand the priorities of your colleagues? (350 words or less)

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How and when will the election be conducted?

Once the candidate applications have been received, NCCEP will post all the candidate photos, Curriculum Vita/Resumes, and responses to the mandatory questions online so that voting members may review the materials. The voting process will be administered entirely online, and votes may be cast between November 18 - December 9, 2019. The slate of State GEAR UP candidates and the slate of Partnership GEAR UP candidates will be tallied separately, leading to the appointment of one State GEAR UP leader and one Partnership GEAR UP leader to the Board of Directors.

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Who will be eligible to vote and how is the outcome determined?

To be eligible to cast a vote, a GEAR UP program must be an institutional member of NCCEP in good standing. Good standing means that the institution is an active member of NCCEP who is current on membership dues. However, given that several institutions are currently processing their NCCEP membership invoice, we will designate any institution that has received a membership invoice from NCCEP by December 9, 2019, as being eligible to vote in the election. Votes cast from institutions that do not meet these basic requirements will be deemed ineligible and removed from the final vote tally.

Given NCCEP's institutional membership model, each institutional member may cast one vote on the slate of State GEAR UP candidates, and one vote on the slate of Partnership GEAR UP candidates. Each member institution will be limited to one vote for State candidates, and one vote for Partnership candidates regardless of the number of GEAR UP grants that member institution administers. For member institutions that have multiple GEAR UP directors, their institutional votes should be cast as a result of a collaborative process; each Director will NOT have their own pair of votes to cast.

The outcome of both the State and Partnership election will be determined by a plurality voting system. The individual with the highest number of votes among their respective State or Partnership slate of candidates wins the election.

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Will my vote be made public?

No. Your individual institutional vote will be de-identified and will not be communicated to the broader NCCEP membership body or the public.

However, this does not imply anonymity either. NCCEP staff will have access to your individual institution’s voting responses to ensure that each vote conforms with the terms of the election. This will allow us to follow up with members who did not cast their vote, certify that votes cast come from members in good standing, and allow us to reach out to voters to correct any anomalies, such as multiple votes cast from a single institution. In extraordinary circumstances related to potential disputes, your vote may be shared with the NCCEP Election Oversight Committee.

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Who will oversee the election?

To ensure maximum transparency, an NCCEP Election Oversight Committee has been formed, comprised of representatives from the GEAR UP Directors from the NCCEP/GEAR UP Advisory Committee. These oversight committee members will be ineligible to become candidates for the Board of Directors while they serve in this capacity. The committee will ensure that the election process and vote tally (managed by NCCEP staff) conforms with the standards and expectations expressed in this document. In addition, the oversight committee will assist NCCEP in addressing any unexpected issues or disputes. If satisfied with the integrity of the election process and outcome, the committee will certify the election results and provide the NCCEP Board of Directors with the names of the election winners. The Board of Directors will announce the results publicly at the end of December, 2019.

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What if there's a tie?

In the event of two or more candidates receiving an equal number of votes leading to an inconclusive outcome, a run-off election for that subset of candidates will be held. In the unlikely event of another tie following the run-off, the existing NCCEP Board of Directors will be given the ability to cast their own individual votes.

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