Polish Chair Roles And Responsibilities of Directors

Give careful consideration before committing to board service. It is essential that you are aware of the crucial role that the Board of Directors plays in governing a non-profit organization.

The Board of Directors is a group of volunteers responsible for ensuring the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College remains true to its mission, safeguards its assets, and operates in the public interest.  Its duties include the following:

  • Support the Chair’s mission and purpose. 
  • Manage its resources effectively, and show fiscal responsibility for the commitment of those resources to only those funding applicants that meet the mission and guidelines of the Chair.
  • Establish and strengthen the Chair’s programs and services.
  • Enhance the Chair’s public standing, and public awareness of significant issues regarding Poland and Polonia.
  • Ensure ethical integrity and accountability.
  • Help identify and recruit new board members, and review board performance.
  • Advise the Canisius College president on how to best spend the Chair’s income from its endowment.
  • Advise and assist the college in sponsoring programs and projects that will preserve and further Polish and Polish-American culture and heritage.
  • Form committees of its members to handle the business and activities of the Chair.
  • Raise funds to sustain the Chair, according to the by-laws.

Roles & Responsibilities of Individual Board Directors 

As a Board Director, you also have specific responsibilities and expectations to fulfill in order to safeguard your fiduciary role and the well being of the organization.

  • Demonstrate commitment to the mission and values of the Chair. This includes setting and ensuring adherence to, and reviewing our mission and policies, and communicating the Chair’s policies to key external constituencies.
  • Make the time commitment to be actively involved in the work of the Board. This includes excellent attendance at Board meetings; reviewing the agenda and supporting materials prior to meetings; participating actively and constructively in discussion and decision-making at the meetings; and attending Chair-sponsored events whenever possible.
  • Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments when asked, to the extent of your ability and availability.
  • Together with other Board members, help to assure that the Chair is fiscally responsible. This includes understanding, approving and monitoring all funding requests, making sure that they serve the mission of the Chair and meet its funding guidelines.
  • Fulfill your fiduciary duty of loyalty by not placing your own interests or those of any third party above those of the Chair.
  • Continually attempt to identify highly qualified potential nominees to the Board who can make significant contributions to the work of the Board and the Chair.

NOTE:  The Board will act as a whole. No Director, including the Board Chair, has the authority individually to commit the board or its resources.  A Director who learns of an issue has the obligation to bring it to the attention of the Board and must not deal with the situation individually.