National Collegiate 4-H

Officer Transitions

The wisdom of leadership comes with experience. Student leaders who have recently completed their terms of office should take some time to reflect on the progress of their groups and recognize the goals that were accomplished in order to share their experiences with the newly elected officers.

Below is an outline to give both incoming and outgoing officers a format to help ease the transition from one set of officers to another. A transition meeting between the two sets of officers and a faculty advisor is recommended. A casual, open atmosphere should be encouraged so an honest evaluation of the year’s accomplishments and problems of the previous year can be discussed. It may be helpful to have an outside person actually conduct this session so that all officers can actively participate. Adaptations of this outline to meet the needs of your group are encouraged. 

  1. Welcome and Introductions (time to get acquainted). Explain the purpose of the meeting.
  2. The Year in Review.
    1. Goals-Review group’s goals from previous year.
      1. What did we hope to accomplish?
      2. How well did we do on each goal?
      3. Which goals should be continued?
      4. Which goals should be altered?
      5. Which goals should be dropped?
    2. Programs and Activities–Evaluation of the group’s activities and programs.
      1. What activities and programs did we sponsor?
      2. How effective was each program?
      3. Did we have a good balance of different kinds of programs?
      4. Did we do any community service activities?
      5. Were the programs and activities consistent with group goals?
      6. Which activities should be continued and which should be dropped?
    3. Membership-Evaluate the number of members and their level of involvement.
      1. Do we currently have just enough, too few or too many members (consider your group’s goals)?
      2. How effective were our membership recruitment efforts?
      3. Are the members actively involved in the operation of the club?
      4. Are members enthusiastic about the group’s activities and motivated to work towards the group goals?
      5. Were there adequate opportunities for members to get involved in responsible and meaningful ways?
    4. Officers and Organizational Structure–Evaluate the effectiveness of the various officers and the structure of the organization.
      1. Do the officers understand their responsibilities and roles within the organizational structure?
      2. Did the officer operate as a team or could cooperation between officers be improved?
      3. Is the amount of time and effort required of each officer equal, or are some expected to work harder than others?
      4. Are the officers in tune with the membership? Is there two-way communication and understanding?
      5. How would the general membership evaluate the effectiveness of the officers?
      6. How would the officers evaluate the effectiveness of the officers? 
    5. Organizational Operation–Evaluate the finances, time and manner of meeting, etc.
      1. Were the finances adequate for the group’s activities?
      2. Was the budget managed properly?
      3. Were meetings run effectively?
      4. Was the frequency of meetings appropriate?
      5. Do we have a committee structure? If so, is it working? If not, do we need one?
      6. Do we experience schedule conflicts with other groups or activities?
    6. Faculty Involvement–Evaluate the quantity and quality of faculty participation in the organization and/or its activities.
      1. Was our faculty advisor involved just enough, too much or too little?
      2. Were there adequate opportunities for faculty to get involved in our organization? Did they get involved?
      3. Could faculty involvement be improved? If yes, how?
    7. Public Image–Evaluate how your group is perceived by the various segments of the public.
      1. How is our group viewed by students, faculty and administration?
      2. How is our group viewed within the university community? In the local community?
      3. What could be done to enhance our public image? 
  3. Your Legacy to Next Year’s Group.
    1. Currently, what are the major strengths of our organization?
    2. What are the major weaknesses?
    3. What is the best advice we, as outgoing officers, can give to the new officers? 
  4. Officer Transition. Have the new officers meet individually with their predecessor and discuss:
    1. Responsibilities of the position.
    2. Timetable for completing the duties of the position. 
    3. Unfinished projects.
    4. Important resources and contact persons.
    5. Mistakes that were made that could have been avoided.
    6. Advise the outgoing officer wishes he/she had been told last year.
    7. Any questions the new officer may have for the outgoing officer.
    8. Where the outgoing officer can be reached in the future (in case questions come up). 
  5. Wrap-up. Pass the gavel and wish them luck.