Officer Transition

As many of us just rejoiced in a short week and some give thanks, take a moment and remember that the end of the semester is upon us.

This would be a great time to reflect on how you did this semester and plan for the spring.

The Student Organization and Leadership Office has collected a great deal of resources and placed them into a PDF Guide for you to use. They cover a wide variety of topics like communication, retreat planning, and delegation.

As many of you may be graduating or transitioning new officers for this Blog post, we will focus on officer transition.

Why is the transition process important?

A successful transition from officer to officer is key to creating a sustainable productive effective organization.

A thorough officer transition plan has several benefits:

  • Provides for transfer of significant organizational knowledge
  • Minimizes the confusion of leadership change
  • Gives outgoing officers a sense of closure
  • Utilizes the valuable contributions of experienced leaders
  • Helps incoming officers take with them some of the special expertise of the outgoing officers
  • Increases the knowledge and confidence of the new leadership
  • Minimizes the loss of momentum and accomplishments for the group

When do you start?

  • Begin to identify emerging leaders early in the year. If you missed this step it is okay just keep moving on, new leaders will identify themselves.
  • Have elections, this is key to making it official for your members and important, as it is required by your constitution.
  • Schedule a meeting or retreat to transfer knowledge and information for the new leader to function well and effectively.

Below you will find a Sample Meeting retreat agenda/topics and a checklist to aide in officer transition.

group of cartoon people sitting around a table

 Sample Transition Retreat/Meeting Topics

While binders and informal information sharing is important, it is crucial for the outgoing and incoming officers to meet formally and discuss ideas and answer questions. This can be done in a retreat format or a meeting. Below are some ideas of topics to cover in that transition retreat or meeting.

  1. Introductions/Overview of Agenda
  2. Icebreakers/Team Builders to allow officers to get to know each other better
  3. Review of Responsibilities for the entire officer board (university policies, organization expectations, organization goals, etc.)
  4. Individual Meeting time for outgoing and incoming officers
    1. Review of position
    2. Review of binder/documents
    3. Advice/tips for incoming officer based on end of semester report
    4. Question and Answer session for incoming officer to ask specific questions
    5. Goal-setting for next year
  5. *Goal-Setting Conversation for the larger group
    1. Small groups can report back what they discussed in individual meetings about goals for next year
    2. Begin developing an action plan for achieving goals
  6. *Roundtable Discussion for the whole group
    1. Discuss any thoughts/feelings about the activities
    2. Ask for any final pieces of advice from outgoing officers
    3. Ask for any final questions/concerns from the incoming officers
  7. *Next Steps: Set a meeting time for the incoming officers to meet again to continue with goal-setting and action planning

*You may choose to conduct these sessions with just the incoming officers.

colorful checkboxes

Officer Transition Checklist

A smooth transition is the responsibility of both the outgoing and incoming members of an organization. This list serves as a guide for training new officers, closure for the outgoing leaders, and helps the organization maintain consistency from year to year.

OrgSync Transition

  • Make sure all members are part of your Organization’s OrgSync portal
  • Edit administrators and officers in your club portal’s “People” tab
  • After officers have attended Nuts and Bolts, resubmit the Org Profile via OrgSync.

Sac State Student Organizations and Leadership Policies

  • Make sure all officers know they must attend Nuts and Bolts again in the fall before September 30th
  • The Org Profile update on OrgSync; Organization Renewal Due ANNUALLY each September
  • Student Organization Handbook Policies

Files & Information Related to Organization & Positions

  • Mission, goals, and purpose of the group
  • Officer position duties
  • Insight and advice from experienced officers
  • Login information and passwords for online accounts
  • Contact information for all officers
  • Plan a retreat or meeting with executive board and advisor
  • Update & upload previous documents to OrgSync (constitution, membership, budget, minutes, etc.)
  • Discuss unfinished projects or Goals
  • Calendar of important dates and events (SOAL Awards, SOAL Fall Conference, organization scheduled events, etc.)


  • Events Services Offices and Opus
  • Student Organizations and Leadership Office (location and SOAL Advisor)


Notre Dame Student Activities Office:

Alpha Phi Omega Impact Project:

Officer Transition Manual: For KU’s Registered Student Organizations. Student Involvement and Leadership Center: Notre Dame Student Activities Office

SIU Carbondale Officer Transition Checklist


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