Member Roles and Responsibilities

Overview

  • Since 1948, the Council of Fellows (COF), which is organized as a 501(c)(3) corporation, has served as the eyes and ears of the community for the Chancellor of Penn State Behrend. In this capacity, members do not have legislative, administrative, or fiduciary responsibilities since these reside with the University’s Board of Trustees. Rather, the effective, supportive COF member serves as an adviser to, advocate of, and ambassador for Penn State Behrend, as outlined below.

Structure

  • According to the organization’s bylaws, the general membership of the COF will always be at least 24 members. General membership terms are for 10 years and are renewable on a member’s anniversary.
  • The business and affairs of the COF are managed by a Board of Directors of between 9 and 17 members. The board is led by a Board Chair and includes the chairs of the current committees as well as other COF members identified by the Board. The Board works directly with the Chancellor, serving as an immediate sounding board, identifying areas of focus for the COF, representing Penn State Behrend with donors and community representatives, and providing input and oversight to committees. The current Board Chair is Ann Scott ([email protected]).

Responsibilities

  • Three A’s represent the primary responsibilities of members:
    • Ambassador: Serve as an informed representative of Penn State Behrend in the Erie region and beyond.
    • Adviser: Serve as counsel to the Chancellor and/or his/her designee by providing knowledge and perspective about the community and the interface of Penn State Behrend programs and services as they relate to the college’s mission and vision. Members’ advice and support includes, but is not limited to, matters involving:
      • Strategic planning, including policies and practices that serve and benefit the geographic region in which Penn State Behrend is located.
      • Raising funds to improve the academic programs, physical plant, equipment, and support services of Penn State Behrend, including making an annual personal financial commitment.
      • The acquisition and solicitation of charitable gifts, equipment, supplies, property, and relationships for Penn State Behrend in the service of its students and the community.
      • Those matters deemed desirable and appropriate to support and advance the educational mission of Penn State Behrend and the broader University.
    • Advocate: Serve as a strong and loyal supporter of Penn State Behrend’s educational, research, outreach, and economic roles as the region’s only land-grant institution.
  • Members are to act in a manner consistent with University policies and procedures.

Expectations

  • Attendance:
    • Three meetings of the COF general membership are held throughout the year.
    • Meetings are typically one to two hours in length, held at various locations on campus to expose members to new areas and information about the college.
    • Attendance is expected at these meetings as important information about Penn State Behrend is shared. Attendance via telephone or videoconferencing can be arranged, as needed.
    • Committees meet at varying times separate from scheduled COF meetings and at the convenience of committee members as determined by the Committee Chair. Every COF member is invited and encouraged to join a committee.
  • Philanthropic Support:
    • The COF is an active and engaged group that supports a variety of programs throughout the year. A financial appeal is made each fall, and there are other opportunities to support students.
    • Members are encouraged to support the Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship or to create an endowment fund of their own.
    • There is an expectation of annual support by general members of $1,000 per year.
  • Networking
    • Each member serves as a peer and colleague to other members, as well as to the campus community. Strong networking is encouraged among all. 
    • A variety of opportunities exist for COF members to engage with the Penn State Behrend community including serving on advisory boards for any of the four schools: the Black School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and School of Science. Other opportunities are frequently identified to suit a COF member’s specific areas of interest and availability.

Application Process

Prospective members may be nominated by any current COF member for consideration. Background/biographical information is collected by the Communications and Engagement Committee and presented to the Board of Directors for recommendation to the Chancellor. Upon approval by the Board and the Chancellor, a submission is made to University Park for the University President’s approval. Upon acceptance, the Development and Alumni Relations Office contacts nominees to schedule induction at the next upcoming COF meeting.

Orientation

  • A COF new member orientation is held periodically during the year following the induction of new members at the fall, spring and/or summer meetings.
  • The orientation program consists of meetings with senior leadership from the academic schools, admissions and financial aid, athletics, student affairs, development and alumni relations, strategic communications, and physical plant/operations; a campus tour; an overview of Behrend’s strategic plan, and breakfast or lunch with the Chancellor.
  • A copy of the by-laws and other materials are provided to new COF members at New Member Orientation. Materials are available to all COF members upon request.

Penn State Behrend Contacts

  • Kevin Moore, Director, Development and Alumni Relations; 814-898-6475; [email protected]
  • Beth Nagy, Development Assistant, Development and Alumni Relations; 814-898-6366, [email protected]
  • Jessica Wolfe, Administrative Support Coordinator, Chancellor’s Office; 814-898-6165, [email protected]