Chapter Advisory Board Restructure FAQs

During the spring 2018 semester, Alpha Sigma Tau piloted a revised Chapter Advisory Board structure and position descriptions with a small number of chapters representing a variety of chapter demographics. The purpose of the pilot was to test concepts for and receive feedback on transition and implementation, advisor appointment and onboarding processes. Feedback from the pilot will inform modifications and revisions to the processes before full implementation.

We recognize that you may have questions about this, which the following FAQs should help answer. If your question is not answered there, please contact Angie Bong, Associate Executive Director of Member Services, at abong@alphasigmatau.org or 317-613-7229.

FAQs

Why is Alpha Sigma Tau restructuring the Chapter Advisory Board model?

The restructure of the Alpha Sigma Tau Chapter Advisory Board model is a result feedback we have received directly from members, as well as recommendations that were made by RISE Partnerships, the organization with which Alpha Sigma Tau contracted to identify an advisor competency model.

Both advisors and collegians have indicated a desire for the Chapter Advisory Board structure to more closely align with the collegiate chapter officer structure that was revised in 2013. Greater alignment creates opportunities for increased support for specific collegiate chapter officers and all areas of chapter operations.

Beyond the desire for increased alignment, the revised structure provides greater clarity in roles, responsibilities, and expectations for advisors, and creates more manageable and focused workloads for all advisors when the structure is maximized. This clarity has also been an expressed desire from current and previous Chapter Advisory Board members.

Furthermore, the revised structure advances the National Organization’s strategic focus area of increased alumnae engagement by creating more advising opportunities and more accessible entry-level opportunities for individuals new to advising.

What is a competency model?

A competency model is a framework that identifies knowledge, attitudes, and skills or behaviors that, together, define successful performance in a role. Competency models help individuals who are interested in or who are already serving a position better understand what great work in the role looks like.

Why did Alpha Sigma Tau select a competency model?

Competency models are commonly used by many human resource departments in organizations and businesses. We selected a competency model because of the feedback we received from many constituents – particularly advisors – regarding the need for more clearly defined roles and expectations, and for more training and support. By clearly identifying the competencies necessary for successful advising, we are able to then use those competencies to both recruit and appoint advisors, as well as identify ways to support advisor development through formal and informal training and education.

How was the revised structure developed?

In fall 2017, a Phase I Chapter Advisory Model Workgroup was formed as the first part of a multi-year competency model implementation plan. The workgroup consisted of chapter advisors from a variety of collegiate chapters with varying degrees of tenure and experience, two campus-based professionals who have experience working in fraternity and sorority life, and a collegiate member.

The workgroup met regularly via video conference calls over the course of the fall 2017 semester to review RISE Report recommendations, Alpha Sigma Tau governing documents, and feedback from members. They then engaged in discussions and project work to create a set of advisor norms and expectations, as well as the revised Chapter Advisory Board structure. The revised structure is a result of their intensive review, discussion, and initiative of options that would best serve collegians and advisors, and advance the vision and mission of Alpha Sigma Tau.

What positions are included in the revised Chapter Advisory Board structure?

The revised Chapter Advisory Board structure is designed to be both flexible and comprehensive, with positions that support the core collegiate chapter operational areas. The revised Chapter Advisory Board structure includes the following positions:

  • Chapter Advisor
  • Organization Development Advisor
  • Growth Advisor
  • Operations and Finance Advisor
  • Member Development Advisor
  • Community Relations Advisor
  • Tau Honor Council Advisor
  • COB Advisor
  • Housing Advisor
  • New Member Education and Ritual Advisor
  • Women’s Wellness Initiative Advisor
  • Alumnae Engagement Advisor

Where can I find the revised position descriptions?

The revised position descriptions will be emailed to all current advisors and may also be located in the Officer Portal Document Library under Chapter Advisory Board Resources.

Most current Chapter Advisory Board positions seem to have a similar position in the revised structure, with the exception of the Chapter Consultant. Why is that position not represented?

We have received considerable feedback from both collegians and advisors that the Chapter Consultant position in the current structure is unclear and ill-defined, and the title does not provide a clear reflection of the position responsibilities.

The two primary responsibilities of the Chapter Consultant role in the current structure include officer training and transitioning and Ritual support. These responsibilities are reflected in the Operations and Finance Advisor, and the New Member Education and Ritual Advisor roles, respectively, in the revised structure. The role supporting Ritual will only be held by an initiated member advisor. If there is a strong non-member candidate for the New Member Education Advisor position, Ritual support may be assumed by another initiated member of the Chapter Advisor Board.

I am a current Chapter Advisory Board member – what does this mean for me and the status of my advisor position? Will I have to reapply if I want to continue advising?

We value and appreciate the contributions our advisors make to the success and support of our collegiate chapters and colonies. We also recognize that change can be challenging.

The Headquarters Staff will be working individually with each Chapter Advisory Board to talk with current advisors about their interest and willingness to continue serving in an advisory capacity, and about the revised Chapter Advisory Board positions and expectations. While the restructure may be an exciting and welcome opportunity for some advisors, we recognize that for others, the opportunity may no longer be a good fit for personal goals, interests, and skillsets – and that’s okay. We’ll be working to support the best interests of both our advisors and our collegiate chapters throughout the transition process.

All advisors who remain serving in an advisory capacity will be expected to complete the transition survey that will be emailed in August and September 2019. As current advisors have already participated in an application and appointment process, they will not be required to reapply for positions. All advisors transitioning to the revised structure will be expected to uphold all advisor expectations and position responsibilities as outlined in the Guide to Chapter Advisory Board Positions.

Our chapter currently doesn’t have a full Chapter Advisory Board with five positions; how will we fill 12 positions?

The revised Chapter Advisory Board structure is designed to be both flexible and comprehensive. While the goal is to maximize the advisor opportunities for each collegiate chapter, we recognize and expect that will not be possible in all cases.

The revised structure anticipates potential vacancies of several positions by clearly indicating in revised position descriptions where duties and responsibilities fall in the event of a vacancy – clarity that has not been provided until this point.

In addition, through the appointment process, we will seek to prioritize appointments to Chapter Advisory Board positions that support Executive Committee officers first, followed by positions that support director-level officer positions. This does not mean that we will not appoint an advisory board position with primary responsibility for a director-level function if there is an interested and qualified candidate for the role; it simply means we actively work to recruit advisors for other positions first.

Our Phase II Pilot also yielded some great success in filling many positions within the revised structure. In many cases, the increased clarity, focus, and variety in advisor positions have created more desirable opportunities for potential advisor candidates, including young alumnae looking to stay involved post-graduation.

What happens next? How and when will the transition to the revised structure happen?

Phase II of the project implementation occurred from Spring 2018 through Spring 2019 with a small pilot group of collegiate Chapter Advisory Boards representing a broad demographic of chapters.

The purpose of the pilot was to test concepts for and receive feedback on transition and implementation, appointment/re-appointment, and onboarding/re-onboarding processes. Feedback from the pilot informed modifications and revisions to the processes before full implementation.

The transition of additional Chapter Advisory Boards has begun, with anticipated completion by October 2019.

We have vacancies on our Chapter Advisory Board; when will we be able to fill them?

Our priority is getting all existing advisors transitioned to the revised Chapter Advisory Board Structure. We have temporarily paused the appointment of new advisors until the transition is complete.

We welcome recommendations for potential Chapter Advisory Board candidates. Current advisors may share their recommendations in the transition survey they will receive, or recommendations may be emailed to Angie Bong, Associate Executive Director of Member Services, at abong@alphasigmatau.org. Please include the name, email, and phone number of the candidate.

We will reach out to recommended candidates once the transition of current advisors is complete and we are ready to resume accepting applications.

What training and support will be provided to advisors who are transitioning into the revised roles or who are taking on an advisor role for the first time?

We are working on developing a training and education plan to ensure that all advisors who are transitioning to roles in the revised structure will be well supported. We will be launching the Alpha Sigma Tau Learning Lounge in Fall 2019, with new online learning modules and onboarding curriculum for newly appointed advisors. Current advisors will also be welcome and encouraged to complete the curriculum.

Throughout the coming year, we will also be introducing additional advisor training and education that will include both general advising content and position-specific content.

Will the chapter I work with still have an assigned Headquarters Staff contact under the revised structure?

Yes, chapters will still have a support team inclusive of an assigned Headquarters Staff contact, an assigned Panhellenic Support contact, and an assigned Master Facilitator (if applicable), in addition to the Chapter Advisory Board members.

Who should I contact if I have additional questions or concerns?

Please contact Angie Bong, Associate Executive Director of Member Services, at abong@alphasigmatau.org or 317-613-7229.