Officer Transition

The process of transitioning officers is a critical step in the long-term success of a student group. Officer transitions allow former officers to share the group’s successes and areas for improvement. This process gives new officers (or officers who are changing positions within the group) an opportunity to learn more about their position.

Without a successful transition, new officers may have to recreate established processes and spend valuable time gathering resources, and learn the responsibilities of their position. This may hinder the group’s progress. Both outgoing and incoming officers have a responsibility to make the transition as clear and smooth as possible.

The following are key points of an effective officer transition:

  • Maintains effective continuity of the group’s progress, goals and growth.
  • Helps ensure the successful transfer of important information.
  • Helps build upon the achievements of the outgoing executive council.
  • Reinforces positive/productive communication between officers and between the officers and the group.
  • Provides an opportunity for incoming officers to plan for the future and establish new goals.
  • Creates an atmosphere where officers learn to work together effectively.

General Group Information

Consider what information would be helpful for all officers, new and returning, to have moving forward into your next fiscal year as well as the medium where all your important information can be organized and stored. Some groups in the past have created binders for each position.

This can include:

  • Your group’s history
  • Constitution/By laws (including mission and/or purpose statement and officer responsibilities)
  • Group information (passwords, membership lists, door access, etc.)
  • Calendar with all important dates or reminders for registration for events (group events, any reservation dates held by the group, student group registration, Reservation Day, Paint the Bridge and Activities Fair registration). Google Calendar is a great resource for passing on these dates.
  • List of annual procedures
  • Meeting agendas/minutes
  • Posters/advertisements
  • Important contact information and email correspondence
  • Current reservations or agreement documentation held by your group for future months (For example: contracts and related correspondence)
  • Document spoken agreements with partners or vendors for the future
  • Goals for the year and progress
    • Consider where does the group see itself progressing within the next year
    • We recommend that are documented in the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely)
  • Projects that the group has been working on and their progress-
    • Is there any unfinished business?
  • Event evaluations and debrief notes.
    • What did your group learn from and what could your group have done differently?

Resources

The following are materials and resources to help student groups develop and implement an officer transition process.

Contact the Student Activities Office at sao@umn.edu or call 612-626-6919 to schedule an advising appointment.

Group and Leadership Development