I’m an ex-officio member so I don’t count right?

Rules applying to ex-officio members.

Ex-officio is a Latin term meaning by virtue of office or position. Ex-officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position that they hold. Without exception, ex-officio members of boards and committees have exactly the same rights and privileges as do all other members, including, of course, the right to vote.

Ex-officio members of boards are divided into two classes: those who are under the authority of the organization and those who are not. A member who is under the authority of the organization such as a member, officer or employee of the organization have all the rights, duties and obligations of the other board members and is, of course counted as a part of the quorum of the board. 

An ex-officio member who is not under the authority of the organization has all the privileges of regular board membership, but none of the obligations. Privileges include the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to debat, and to vote. Obligations, which need not be assumed, include attending meetings or participating in any other way. Therefore, neither the presence nor absence of this member should be counted in determining whether a quorum is present at a board meeting (National Association of Parliamentarians, Pointers on Parliamentary Procedure Sixth Edition, 2012 P. 91).

When an ex-officio member of a board ceases to hold the office that entitles him to such membership, his membership on the board terminates automatically. According to Roberts Rules of Order (11th ed.) p. 483-84, the rules affecting ex-officio members of committees are the same as those applying to ex-officio members of boards (pp. 483–84). When the bylaws provide that the president shall be an ex-officio a member of all committees (or of all committees with the stated exception of those from which the president is best excluded; see p. 579–80), the president is an ex-officio member who has the right, but not the obligation, to participate in the proceedings of the committees. In this situation, he is not counted in determining the number required for a quorum or whether a quorum is present at a meeting.  

Additional information can be found by reading “What does it mean to be an “ex-officio” member?” an article by Julie Pioch, Professional Registered Parliamentarian.

Michigan State University Extension Educators can provide your organization with assistance in learning more about parliamentary procedure.  The Government and Public Policy team also offers training for elected and appointed officials for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more. By working together with local elected and appointed officials, and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues. To contact an expert in your area, visit MSU Extension’s expert search system or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 

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