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Officer Transition

Effective Student Organization Officer Transitions

Following are transition meeting guidelines for outgoing student organization officers to help ease the transition as the newly elected officers take over from the previous officers. It is recommended that a transition meeting be conducted before the new officers assume their positions and before the old officers leave Grounds. The meeting should last at least 90 minutes and should include all officers. A casual, open atmosphere should be encouraged so that the organization can benefit from an honest evaluation of the group's accomplishments and problems of the previous year.

Through this transition, the incoming officers will be able to learn from the experience of the previous officers and offer continuity and continued growth for the organization. It may be helpful to have an outside person conduct this session so that all officers can actively participate. Adaptation of these guidelines to meet the needs of the individual groups is encouraged.

Welcome and Introductions
  • Help the participants become acquainted.
  • Explain the purpose of the meeting.
The Year in Review

Review the group's goals for the previous year.

  • What did we hope to accomplish?
  • How well did we do on each goal?
  • Which goals should be continued?
  • Which goals should be altered?
  • Which goals should be dropped?

Review programs and activities.

  • What activities and programs did we sponsor?
  • How effective was each program?
  • Did we have a good balance of different kinds of programs?
  • Did we do any community service activities?
  • Were the programs and activities consistent with group goals?
  • Which activities should be continued and which should be dropped?

Review membership.

  • Do we currently have just enough, too few, or too many members (in light of the group's goals)?
  • How effective were our membership recruitment efforts?
  • Are the members actively involved in the operation of the club (including decision making, planning, implementing, and evaluating)?
  • Are members enthusiastic about the group's activities and motivated to work towards the group goals?
  • Were there adequate opportunities for members to get involved in responsible and meaningful ways? 

Review officers and organizational structure.

  • Do officers understand their responsibilities and roles within the organizational structure?
  • Did the officers operate as a team or could cooperation between officers be improved?
  • Is the amount of time and effort required of each officer equal, or are some expected to work harder than others?
  • Are the officers "in tune" with the membership? Is there two-way communication (and understanding of members' needs and talents)?
  • How would the general membership evaluate the effectiveness of the officers?
  • How would the officers evaluate the effectiveness of the officers? What could be improved?

Review organizational operation.

  • Were the finances adequate for the group's activities?
  • Was the budget managed properly?
  • Were meetings run effectively?
  • Was the frequency of meetings appropriate?
  • Do we have a committee structure? If so, is it working? If not, is it needed?
  • Do we experience scheduling conflicts with other groups or activities?

Review faculty involvement.

  • Was our faculty adviser involved just enough, too much, or too little?
  • Were there adequate opportunities for McIntire faculty to become involved in our organization? Did they become involved?
  • Could faculty involvement be improved? If so, how?
Your Legacy to Next Year's Group
  • Currently, what are the major strengths of our organization?
  • What are the major weaknesses?
  • What is the best advice we, as outgoing officers, can give to the new officers?
Officer Transition
Have the new officers meet individually with their predecessor and discuss the following:
  • Responsibilities of the position
  • Timetable for completing duties of the position
  • Unfinished projects
  • Important resources and contact persons
  • Mistakes that you made that could have been avoided
  • Advice the outgoing officer wishes he/she had been told before assuming the office last year
  • Any questions the new officer may have for the outgoing officer
  • Where the outgoing officer can be reached in the future (in case more questions arise)
  • "Pass the gavel" and wish the organization and new officers luck.
  • Provide an opportunity for informal socializing (perhaps provide refreshments).