CCBA's Board Leadership Manual

The Community College Baccalaureate Association Board members are one of an organization’s most valuable assets. They have the important role of advocacy to help advance the mission and goals of CCBA.


“Leadership is the special quality which enables people to stand up and pull the rest of us over the horizon.”  – James L. Fisher

Thank you for joining us as we guide the nation over the horizon to the land of exceptional opportunity where a baccalaureate degree is accessible, affordable, and workforce focused.

The purpose of this document is to help frame your membership and work on the CCBA Board. Peter Drucker identified several functions of actively engaged and successful boards including:

  • Governors: oversee the work of the organization in their role as policymakers.
  • Ambassadors: spread goodwill about the organization among their peers and prospects. 
  • Consultants: provide their expertise to other board members and especially to the organization’s executive director/president.
  • Sponsors: support the work of the organization through their institutional membership and by encouraging their colleagues to join and participate in the organization.

Strategic Plan and Direction
Revised 9/2020


An educated populace is the foundation of a free and prosperous society. The baccalaureate degree is an important entry requirement for a long-term career and enhanced lifestyle. 

Vision: An aspirational description of the future

Students in every community have direct access to high-value baccalaureate degrees.

Mission Statement: The role that CCBA will play to achieve the vision

CCBA leads the nation’s largest network of community colleges who build and sustain high-value baccalaureate degree programs. 

Values: The values of baccalaureates to society.

CCBA believes the community college baccalaureate degree: 

  • Is a credential that serves as a gateway to advanced career opportunities and economic mobility;
  • Allows students who desire to pursue a baccalaureate degree to do so in a way that is accessible and affordable;
  • Is a structural evolution of higher education that provides access to those who would otherwise go unserved;
  • Provides an environment that fosters a student’s growth and honors their personal story as they pursue a baccalaureate degree; 
  • Is responsive to employer needs;  
  • Ensures opportunity is grounded in social justice and equity; and
  • Maintains/safeguards/protects the vibrancy of our communities.

Strategic Objectives: Areas to guide the work of CCBA on a daily basis.

  • Share resources and provide networking to augment the knowledge, skills and abilities of members (Professional Development)
  • Co-construct opportunities with partners nationally and internationally to ensure a collective impact (Partnership)
  • Disseminate information, evidence, and experts to expand awareness of the baccalaureate with focus on outcomes, equity and social justice (Communications) 
  • Advocate for the CCB at the state, regional and national levels (Advocacy)
  • Implement a financial plan that assures sustainability of the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives (Fiscal)

The purpose of the CCBA is to promote better access to the baccalaureate degree on community college campuses and to serve as a resource for information on various models for accomplishing this purpose.

The Association attempts to gather all published articles and legislation dealing with the community college baccalaureate degree. We also solicit copies of unpublished materials related to this topic. We will host an annual conference to share information and develop ways to promote the community college baccalaureate degree to governors, state legislatures, national policy boards, and other appropriate persons and organizations. 

The purposes of the organization will be achieved by: 

  • encouraging research, fostering dialogue, and sharing research data, publications, best practices, state legislation and policies; 
  • encouraging development of baccalaureate degrees conferred by community colleges; 
  • encouraging development of university centers on community college campuses; 
  • encouraging joint degree programs with universities on community college campuses; 
  • serving as a catalyst for democratizing access to the baccalaureate degree. 

Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

  • Determine mission, purpose, and strategic direction. It is the Board’s responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the Association’s goals, values, means, primary constituents served, as well as strategies for the future of the Association.
  • Select the President/Executive Director. Boards must reach consensus on the president’s responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.
  • Support and evaluate the President. The Board should ensure that the president has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the Association.
  • Ensure effective planning. Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan’s goals.
  • Monitor and strengthen programs and services. The Board’s responsibility is to determine which programs and activities are consistent with the Association’s mission and monitor their effectiveness.
  • Ensure adequate financial resources. One of the Board’s foremost responsibilities is to secure adequate resources for the Association to fulfill its mission.
  • Protect assets and provide proper financial oversight. The Board must assist in developing the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
  • Build a competent Board. All Boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate their own performance.
  • Ensure legal and ethical integrity. The Board is ultimately responsible for adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.
  • Enhance the Association’s public standing. The Board should clearly articulate the Association’s mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community. 

Legal Responsibilities of the Board

The CCBA Board of Directors has three primary legal duties. These duties are the “duty of care,” “duty of loyalty,” and “duty of obedience.”

  1. Duty of Care: Take care of the nonprofit by ensuring prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will. The duty of care describes the level of competence that is expected of a Board member and is commonly expressed as the duty of “care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” This means that a Board member owes the duty to exercise reasonable care when he or she makes a decision as a steward of the CCBA.
  2. Duty of Loyalty: Ensure that the nonprofit’s activities and transactions are, first and foremost:
    1. advancing its mission; 
    2. recognizing and disclosing conflicts of interest; 
    3. making decisions that are in the best interest of the nonprofit corporation not in the best interest of the individual Board member (or any other individual or for-profit entity). 

The duty of loyalty is a standard of faithfulness; a Board member must give undivided allegiance when making decisions affecting the CCBA.  This means that a Board member can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain but must act in the best interests of the CCBA.

  • Duty of Obedience: 
    1. Ensure that the nonprofit obeys applicable laws and regulations;
    2. Follows its own bylaws;
    3. The nonprofit adheres to its stated corporate purposes/mission.

The duty of obedience requires Board members to be faithful to CCBA’s mission. They are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of CCBA. A basis for this rule lies in the member’s trust that the Association will adhere to CCBA’s mission and manage all funds according to the fulfillment of the Association’s mission. 

Responsibilities of CCBA Board Members

Board members have a vital role in the life of the Association. Most important is the Board members’ responsibility of advocacy for the mission, vision and strategic objectives of CCBA.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Attend and be fully engaged in all Board and committee meetings, Board dinners, special functions, and the annual national conference.  
  • Be well-versed in the Association’s mission, services, policies, and programs. 
  • Review agenda and supporting materials prior to Board meetings. 
  • Serve on committees or task forces when requested and offer to take on special assignments as appropriate. 
  • Promote the Association to others and act as an ambassador for CCBA membership.
  • Advocate for community college baccalaureate degrees and the Association.
  • Suggest possible nominees to the Board who can make significant contributions to the work of the Board and the Association. 
  • Remain up to date on developments in the changing landscape of community college baccalaureates and pass those learnings, information, and updates to other Board members.
  • Follow conflict-of-interest and confidentiality policies. 
  • Assist in the procurement of conference sponsors, exhibitors, and keynote speakers.
  • Assist in reviewing the Association’s annual financial statements and approve annual budgets.
  • All Board members and/or their organizations must be members of CCBA. 
  • Review and approve amendments to the bylaws.
  • Provide guidance to the leadership of the Association.
  • Assist the chair in the annual evaluation of the president.
  • Evaluate one’s own ability to serve as an active Board member.

Evaluating your continued interest in serving on the CCBA Board

Ask yourself the following questions to determine your ability to serve on the CCBA Board: 

  • Am I committed to the mission of the CCBA? 
  • Can I contribute the time necessary to be an effective Board member? 
  • Can I support the strategic plan of the CCBA?
  • Can I place the CCBA’s purposes and interests above my own professional and personal interests when making decisions as a Board member?

Personal characteristics of Board members

Board members are engaged, inspired, and are committed to making a difference by working to give all individuals the opportunity to achieve a baccalaureate degree.

Board members all have the following characteristics:

  • The ability to listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, and work well with people individually and in a group. 
  • Are willing to prepare for and attend Board meetings, ask questions, take responsibility and follow through on a given assignment. 
  • Develop and maintain certain skills, such as: read and understand financial statements, strategic plan development, recruitment of Association members and Board members.
  • Possess honesty, sensitivity to, and tolerance of differing views; a friendly, responsive, and patient approach; community-building skills; personal integrity; a developed sense of values, flexibility, and a sense of humor.

Code of Conduct

All members of the Board of Directors are expected to adhere to standards of professionalism and serve as role models for the membership.

  • Each Board member is expected to consistently fulfill the requirements of Board members.
  • All members of the Board are expected to participate fully in decision making through discussion of ideas. Differing opinions will be debated in an objective manner with the sole aim of finding the solutions that best represent the goals and interests of the Association.
  • The Board of Directors will hold in strictest confidence individual member’s positions and statements on issues and speak to the membership as one voice. Issues of a confidential nature will not be discussed outside of Board meetings.

Conflict of Interest

Board members will sign a Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Form.  Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to CCBA. The business of the Association requires that Board members discharge their responsibility in good faith and with a high degree of diligence to ensure the sound management of the Association. Board members shall not take advantage of their positions, or the personal knowledge obtained through business with the Association for personal gain.

  • Definition: A conflict of interest exists when an individual can profit directly or indirectly through application of authority, influence, or knowledge in relation to the affairs of CCBA. 
  • If a conflict of interest is identified, the Board member shall not participate in discussion related to the subject in which he or she has personal interest. This includes abstaining from voting on related issues.
  • No Board member shall endorse any person, product, or service on behalf of the CCBA. A Board member’s CCBA association title shall not be used for any promotion.

CCBA Board Meetings

The Board will meet for conference calls at dates and times mutually agreed to by the Board. The schedule will be set at the February Board meeting, and changes to the meeting date will be approved by the Board on an as needed basis.  

Board Meeting Attendance

The purpose of this policy is to ensure Board member attendance will guarantee a quorum to support the Association’s ability to appropriately conduct business during meetings with full representation. Board members are asked to attend all Board meetings during the year.