Chicago, IL asked in Business Law for Tennessee

Q: HowLong can a board member be on the board ?

We have a board member who controls the board and has for seven years no elections self appoints other to be on the board

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: The length of time a board member can serve on a board largely depends on the organization's bylaws or governing documents. These documents typically outline the terms of board members, including how long they can serve and the process for elections or appointments. If there are no term limits specified, a board member might continue to serve indefinitely, as long as they are re-elected or re-appointed according to the organization's rules.

In situations where a board member self-appoints others and controls the board without regular elections, it raises concerns about governance and the fair representation of stakeholders. Good governance practices include regular elections, term limits, and transparent processes for the nomination and election of board members to ensure accountability and diversity in board leadership.

If you're concerned about the governance practices within your organization, it might be beneficial to review the bylaws or governing documents to understand the rules around board membership and the election process. Engaging with other stakeholders or members of the organization to discuss these concerns and exploring the possibility of amending the bylaws to introduce term limits or more democratic election processes could be a way to address these issues. If the organization is subject to regulatory oversight, reporting your concerns to the relevant authorities could also be an option.

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