How to Remove an Ineffective Board Member

How to Remove an Ineffective Board Member. An ineffective board member causes stress, slows progress and weakens the morale of the rest of the board. Constantly missing meetings, introducing conflicts of interest, illegal or unethical behavior and preventing others from functioning are all reasons why a board member should be removed.

Have provisions for removing a board member in the bylaws. The bylaws should clearly state the responsibilities of board members and the consequences for not performing them. You can amend your current bylaws with approval from the board via a vote.

Set term limits. Over time, board members may become complacent or burned out, which can cause them to become ineffective. A term limit should include the length of time they can be on the board and how much time must pass between appointments.

Talk with the ineffective board member. If the majority of the board is in agreement, the board president or chair should set up a time to discuss the situation. Informally ask for a resignation from the member. A formal request for resignation can be made at the next board meeting if the member fails to resign.

Schedule a leave of absence. If there are legitimate reasons for the ineffective behavior, this is a good way to remove the board member without inviting turmoil. The leave should cover the rest of her term or designate a period for the leave, after which you can reevaluate the member.

Impeach the board member. If all else fails, the board can vote for impeachment. The board president or chair should give specific reasons why the impeachment is necessary.


  • Make sure that any action you take respects the bylaws in order to prevent lawsuits.

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