Being a Board member

The FAUW Board of Directors oversees FAUW governance and strategic direction, including in relation to the budget, policy development, salary negotiations, and the protection of member rights.

Serving on the Faculty Association's Board of Directors is an opportunity for you to represent your colleagues and contribute to the collegial governance model of the University. It is a good way to gain experience with the functioning of the University, including developing and enforcing the various agreements and policies to which members of the University of Waterloo community are subject.

Duties of FAUW directors

In general, Boards of Directors are focused on the overall mission of the organization, long-term viability, stakeholder trust and confidence, and financial stewardship.

Directors have a legal duty to act in the best interests of FAUW as an organization.

Time commitment

FAUW directors are expected to stay current on issues before the board, and to prepare for and participate in biweekly board meetings (Thursdays at 2:30, September through June), as well as Council and general meetings (two each per year).

Typically, a board member will also assume a leadership role on a particular matter within the Board mandate that is of personal interest. Some board members may represent FAUW on University committees that require a board member.

Board members report spending 2–4 hours a week on average and note that this time can be accommodating of personal and family schedules. With project work, the time commitment increases, but this extra time is spent working on goals that are important to you.

If, in your second (or later) year on the Board you are appointed to the executive and/or the Faculty Relations Committee, your time commitment may increase significantly, but teaching releases are available for significant roles.

What qualifications do board members need?

You don’t need extensive existing knowledge of University governance as a new Board member; FAUW aims to make the Board a supportive environment in which you learn as you go. 

You do need to be a voting member of FAUW with a commitment to representing the best interests of the association and of all FAUW members in accordance with the official objectives of the Association.

The specific topics and issues that we deal with change from year to year, and while you don't need to be an expert on or have experience with any particular issues, it might be useful to think about how you can help FAUW with its current priorities. To get a sense of what we're working on now, read the Board meeting summaries (and other posts) on the FAUW blog or talk to a Board member.

How do the faculty- and lecturer-specific seats work?

The faculty-specific and lecturer seats were established a few years ago to ensure that the Board always has at least some representation from among the lecturer ranks and from all six faculties. The faculty seats are elected by and from members in that faculty, and the lecturer seat is elected by and from members with lecturer appointments.

However, once elected, all directors are legally responsible to all FAUW members. The purpose is to ensure broad representation around the table, not to create constituencies to which those directors are specifically accountable.

Image credits: Project by Puspito from Noun Project | Confidential by Cuputo from Noun Project