Lifetime Learning Institute (LLI)
of Northern Virginia
A. Membership Size. At each annual Planning Retreat meeting, the Board of Directors will review and establish the goal for membership size.
B. Fees. The Board of Directors establishes membership fees based on recommendations of the Budget and Finance Committee.
C. Refunds. LLI does not refund membership dues. Under extenuating circumstances, the LLI Board of Directors will consider requests for refund made in writing within 30 days of joining LLI or of the date of renewing membership.
2. Membership Participation Restriction
LLI reserves the right to deny a request for participation in any LLI sponsored course, program, trip/tour, or other activity, or to terminate participation therein, if such participation would substantially impede LLI operations or diminish the enjoyment of other participants. The LLI President, or an LLI Officer acting on behalf of the President, exercises this authority.
COURSES AND RELATED ACTIVITIES
1. Courses - Registration and Location
A. Course Attendance. Members may attend only those courses for which they have been accepted via the registration process, which is described in the course program catalog and in the LLI Handbook and Membership Directory.
B. Wait-Listing. Course coordinators may admit a member from the wait-list. Members who have been wait-listed for a course, and not selected to attend from the wait-list during the term in which the course is conducted, will have priority to attend that course in the next term in which it is taught, if they re-register for the class. Thus, they need not make that course their first priority when re-registering.
C. Classroom Space. The LLI Board authorizes the classroom space coordinator to reserve space at locations of his/her choosing to meet curriculum needs and holds and saves the space coordinator harmless from personal liability as LLI's agent in entering into agreements and contracts to secure such space.
D. LLI Classes Held at Senior Living Centers. If LLI will not be charged rent for classroom use on the condition that residents of those facilities are allowed to attend the LLI course(s) held there, up to 50 percent of the registrants for an LLI course held at such a facility may be allocated to the residents. The "50 percent rule" can be modified based on actual registrations.
2. Cancellations - Courses and Activities
Each course catalog will contain the policy for cancelling classes and activities. This policy also will be included in the LLI Newsletter and the LLI web site. The cancellation policy is as follows:
If the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) cancel school for the day due to inclement weather or other emergency, all LLI classes and other activities, except Trips/Travel (see Trip/Travel Policy), are cancelled regardless of class location. LLI morning classes are cancelled if the FCPS announces a 2-hour delay in class openings; LLI afternoon classes are cancelled if the FCPS announces early dismissal.
3. Cancellations - Forums
Forums are cancelled based on FCPS announcements as noted above. In addition, absent an FCPS cancellation announcement, the LLI President, or an LLI Officer, acting on his or her behalf, may cancel a Forum for other reasons based on information known prior to the day of the meeting, such as a forecast of severe weather or Cultural Center closure.
LLI's primary objective is to provide educational and cultural opportunities to its members. Trips and travel are an integral part of LLI and serve the same educational and informational purposes as other LLI programs. Trips and travel are separated into two broad categories. The Study Travel Program provides extended duration and long-distance travel, e.g., trips generally requiring airline travel. The Trip Committee provides shorter duration or more locally oriented travel and trips, e.g., by bus. This policy section applies only to trips/travel provided by the Trip Committee.
Trips provided by the Trip Committee are separated into: Day Trips, which include those trips made to nearby sites that do not require an overnight stay; and Overnight Trips, which include those trips that require an overnight stay of one or more nights.
A. Contracts. The Trip Committee Chair(s), or in his/her absence a trip leader designated by the LLI President, has the sole authority to enter into contracts for transportation or other contracts with travel providers or agents that obligate LLI funds. This applies to transportation needed for trips (day or overnight), other LLI group transport, courses, and special events.
B. Trip Committee. The Trip Committee will plan, organize, and implement day and overnight trips, provide flyers as well as write-ups for the catalog and newsletter, arrange transportation, list participants, maintain financial records, and set prices. The Committee will appoint a leader and assistant/co-leader for each trip.
C. Trip Duration and Approval. Most trips will be day trips, which do not require Board of Directors approval. All overnight trips require prior approval by the Board of Directors.
D. Trip Registration. Trip registration is first come, first served, until the limit is reached, at which time a wait-list will be established. Members have priority over non-members. If a member registers with a non-member travel companion, however, the non-member will secure a place on the trip on the same basis/priority as the member. Members on the wait-list receive priority as space becomes available. For repeat trips, wait-list registration from the original list is given priority in registration, with members receiving priority over non-members.
After a date specified for each trip, registrations will be accepted for anyone on a space-available basis. If a trip is in danger of cancellation because of insufficient LLI member participation, the Trip Committee Chair(s) may promote the trip to other organizations/groups. LLI members, however, have first priority. This flexibility should be used on a very limited basis.
E. Pricing. Trips are expected to finance themselves. While the purpose is not to make a "profit," losses overall are to be avoided. Pricing will be based on a break-even registration number. Registration in excess of the break-even number, at the discretion of the Trip Committee Chair(s), may result in a pro-rata refund of the excess to travelers. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will review trips that show a potential loss, i.e., registration below the break-even point, and make recommendations to the Board to continue or cancel the trip.
F. Non-Member Cost. Non-members will be charged a minimum of $10 more per day than members will for any given trip. The Trip Committee Chair(s) may increase this amount.
G. Trip Cancellation. The Trip Committee Chair(s) is responsible for the decision to cancel a trip.
H. Refunds. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will ensure that the specific refund policy for each trip is clearly stated in the trip registration document.
(1) Day Trips. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will authorize a refund, less any non-refundable financial commitment (i.e., deposit, guaranteed number of restaurant reservations) made by LLI, if a trip registrant provides notice at least seven (7) days before the departure date. A full refund will be provided if the reservation is filled by someone else, e.g., from the wait-list. Refunds will normally be made after the trip has been completed. However, if a trip registrant provides notice of non-participation early in the trip registration process and is eligible for a refund as stipulated by the preceding policy, at the discretion of the Trip Committee Chair(s) and the Treasurer, he/she may receive a refund before trip completion.
(2) Overnight Trips. The policy of the travel provider/agent and applicable travel insurance, if any, will govern refunds to trip registrants who are unable to participate. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will authorize a full refund if the reservation is filled by someone else, e.g., from the wait-list.
I. Liability and Responsibility Waiver. All trip participants must sign LLI's waiver of responsibility statement included in the "Tour Registration Form." This statement is used for all activities sponsored by LLI, including trips, bus travel associated with LLI courses, and bus travel associated with special events.
J. Complimentary Trip Packages.
(1) Day Trips. The trip leader (singular) will not pay costs associated with the trip (i.e., he/she will be provided with a complimentary trip package). If there are co-leaders, they may share the complimentary trip package as they deem appropriate. The cost of the complimentary trip will be subsidized by the other trip participants.
(2) Overnight Trips. The Board will consider, on a case by case basis when requested by the Trip Committee Chair(s), the application of a complimentary trip package for the trip leader (singular). The justification for a complimentary trip package will be included as part of the Trip Committee Chair(s) request for approval of an overnight trip. Complimentary trip packages are a frequent practice in the travel industry based solely on the number of trip participants. LLI's use of complimentary trip packages, however, should be based on the level of effort and responsibility of the trip leader in planning, organizing, and conducting the trip. If a complimentary trip package is approved by the Board and if there are co-leaders, they may share the complimentary trip package as they deem appropriate. If a trip qualifies for one or more complimentary trip packages from a travel provider, but the Trip Committee Chair(s) does not request the use of the package, or the Board does not approve the package, the Trip Committee Chair(s) will have the value of the complimentary trip(s) pro-rated back to all travelers.
K. Financial. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will provide the Treasurer with appropriate financial information in a timely manner. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will make a financial report to the Treasurer after each trip. The Treasurer will keep a separate accounting of trip information and will maintain a running "trip fund" balance (trip income minus trip expenses). The Trip Committee Chair(s) will work closely with the Treasurer to ensure that trip income, expenses, and records are handled properly. The Treasurer normally will pay expenses incurred using LLI checks or the expense will be placed on the LLI credit card to be paid by the Treasurer when billed. The Treasurer will reimburse expenses that require an "out-of-pocket" payment by a member of the Trip Committee or a trip leader upon receipt of proper voucher documentation.
L. Travel Coordination. The Trip Committee Chair(s) will coordinate with the Study Travel Program Chair on all overnight trips during the early planning stage to minimize conflict of travel dates.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (SIGs)
LLI supports activities that enhance members' interests outside the classroom. A cadre of members may form a SIG when they desire to meet to pursue a mutual interest. The Board of Directors approves the formal establishment and recognition of a SIG. Each SIG will have a coordinator/chair who is responsible for SIG activities. SIG members establish their meeting parameters and inform the LLI membership of the dates, times, and places of meetings to encourage participation. A member of the Board of Directors serves as liaison between the Board and the SIGs.
2. Non-Member Participation
While the activities of a SIG are first and foremost for the benefit of LLI members, the Board recognizes that there may be occasions when non-LLI members may be invited to participate. The Board, therefore, supports the SIG coordinator's flexibility to invite non-members to participate in a SIG activity whenever the objectives of the SIG would be enhanced by non-member participation.
3. Funding and Expenses
SIGs are not included in the LLI operating budget, and thus, receive no LLI funds for their operation. Participating SIG members must pay all expenses incurred for a SIG activity or for resources required by the SIG. A SIG may not obligate LLI funds through contracts or purchases. LLI will not purchase theatre, concert, movie, or other event tickets on behalf of a SIG.
1. Membership Directory
LLI's Membership Directory shall not be used for any commercial purposes.
2. Commercial Advertising
Commercial advertising cannot appear in LLI's Newsletter or other publications, including any advertising of products produced by LLI members.
3. Course and Forum Presentations
The Curriculum and Forum Committee members will coordinate with potential presenters to ensure that the course or Forum presentation does not essentially serve as a form of commercial advertising.
4. Book Sales
A Forum speaker or course instructor may sell his or her book(s) only during the meeting or class at which he or she is the presenter.
5. LLI Newsletter and Forum
LLI will not place announcements in the LLI Newsletter for other organizations, regardless of their affiliation or mission. LLI will not permit other organizations to make presentations on their own behalf at an LLI Forum. Instead, if approved by the President, other non-profit, non-political organizations will be allotted space at a table at the Forum to present their information to the membership.
6. Web Site
LLI will not place announcements on the LLI web site for other organizations. In order to assure the appropriateness, accuracy, and timeliness of the information presented on the web site, the Board shall appoint the Secretary, or another Board Member, to serve as the sole editor for submitting new information to the Webmaster for posting.
GENERAL FINANCIAL POLICIES
1. Reimbursement - General
Expenses incurred by members for approved LLI purposes and activities will be reimbursed from the LLI Treasury when requested with appropriate documentation of expenses and authorizations. Request for reimbursement must be made on a voucher signed by the committee chair or other LLI Officer who authorized the expenditure. The same individual who is making the request may not authorize requests for reimbursement of expenses. Expenditures previously approved by the Board, when made by the committee chair or the President, do not require a countersignature.
2. Parking Reimbursement
Instructors, course coordinators, members who work on projects in the LLI office, members who participate in committee activities on the Annandale campus, and Forum speakers are eligible for reimbursement of the cost of their parking at NOVA. Request for reimbursement must be made on the designated voucher form and be approved by signature of the appropriate committee chair, course coordinator, LLI Officer, or the LLI Administrator.
Members should park on the first three levels of the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Annandale campus pay-parking garage when attending LLI functions, e.g., Forums, classes. Members are not reimbursed for attending these LLI functions.
3. Course/Activity Cancellation Refunds
For activities involving fees, if LLI/NOVA must cancel, a refund will be made less any expenditure incurred by LLI. If a member must cancel, the request must be made at least four (4) days prior to the event. After that, refunds will be considered only if the place can be filled. Refunds will be made upon completion of the event.
4. Check Issuing
Only the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and President may issue LLI checks. LLI checks over $5000 must have signatures of two of the above. To ensure prompt cashing of LLI checks by recipients, the checks will indicate that they will expire in 90 days.
5. Credit Card/Charge Accounts
The Treasurer, the Administrator, or the Trip Committee Chair(s) may authorize expenses to be charged to the LLI credit cards or companies where LLI has established an account. Receipts for all such charges must be submitted to the Treasurer with a voucher of authorization.
6. Members Equity
A. Members Equity. Income that exceeds expenses will be retained in Members Equity. The Treasurer will determine the portion of Members Equity to be invested, the portion to be retained in the checking account, and the portion to be retained as petty cash. The Treasurer will recommend, for Board approval, the investment vehicle to be used for Members Equity.
B. Use of Members Equity. The Board of Directors may approve the use of Members Equity to cover annual operating budget shortfalls or major purchases or other activities that are consistent with and support LLI's mission.
C. Special Purpose Reserve. A Special Purpose Reserve of $12,000 has been established as part of Members Equity to be used exclusively for emergency purposes to meet dire financial needs. Use of the Special Purpose Reserve requires approval of 60% of the Board. The Special Purpose Reserve approximates the initial seed gifts contributed at the inception of LLI.
A. Forum Speakers. LLI usually does not provide expenses or honoraria to Forum speakers, to include any lodging or transportation costs a speaker may incur in traveling to the Forum, except for parking in the NOVA garage. Forum speakers are generally presented with a gift card (e.g., from a bookstore), the standard dollar amount of which is established by the Board. The Board may modify the dollar amount of the gift card for a particular speaker, or make an alternative token of appreciation. The Board may approve specific exceptions for limited travel reimbursement when requested in advance by the Forum Speaker Committee Chair.
B. Instructors. LLI usually does not provide expenses or honoraria to course instructors, to include any lodging or transportation costs an instructor may incur, except for parking in the NOVA garage. The Board may approve specific exceptions for limited travel reimbursement when requested in advance by the Curriculum Committee Chair.
C. Departing Board Members. The President generally presents departing Board members with a gift card (e.g., from a bookstore) upon completion of their tenure with the Board of Directors. The Board determines the dollar amount of the gift card.
Only the President of LLI, or his or her designated representative, has the authority to enter into contracts that obligate LLI funds, with the exception of the authority granted to the Trip Committee Chairs for transportation contracts or other contracts with travel providers or agents.
The Board authorizes the Student Awards Program Committee to solicit funds from the membership to award scholarships for tuition and books to NOVA students at the Annandale Campus. All funds are to be deposited in the LLI treasury and accounted for by the LLI Treasurer. The Committee is authorized to work with NOVA faculty and administrators to publicize and administer this program. The Board reserves the right to approve the amount and number of scholarship awards based on recommendations to the Board by the Committee Chair.
It is an LLI objective to provide benefit to the community in which it operates, including the Annandale Campus of NOVA and the surrounding areas of Fairfax and Arlington counties. To achieve this objective, the Board may approve specific community outreach programs proposed by LLI members, e.g., the Student Awards and Food Donation programs. LLI does not accept monetary donations in lieu of food at the monthly Forums; members may send any monetary donations directly to the food bank.
1. Agenda Items
The President, in coordination with Board Members, selects agenda items. If a non-Board member wishes to submit an item for the agenda, he or she must submit it to the President no less than one week prior to a Board meeting.
Minutes of a Board meeting will not be released to the LLI membership until they have been approved as final by vote of the Board at the Board meeting immediately following. A copy of the approved minutes will be available at the Administrator's table at each Forum meeting.
Table of Changes
Base Document - Approved October 10, 2008
The Board approved the base document on October 10, 2008, as a compilation of LLI policies approved by the Board since its inception. Future policies or amendments will be added to this document and dated as approved by the Board.
Revision 1 - Approved July 15, 2009
The Section on Communications/Media was reorganized/expanded to incorporate several items related to Communications/Media that existed in other sections in the October 2008 Policy document. Specifically, items 1 - 4 previously appeared in a section entitled Commercial Use Restrictions.
General Financial Policies is a new section added to incorporate previous Board approved financial related policies, existing procedures that should be formalized as policy, and Audit recommendations. Specifically, Reimbursement - General formalizes existing reimbursement procedures and FY 2008 Audit recommendations. Course/Activity Cancellation Refunds incorporates existing published guidance in the LLI Handbook. Check Issuing formalizes existing practices, incorporates Board decision of Jan 10, 2003, on checks over $5,000, and incorporates Board decision of October 2006 on check expiration. Credit Card/Charge Accounts formalizes existing procedures. Members Equity formalizes existing procedures and Board decision at the 2004 Board Retreat on Special Purpose Reserve. Sections on Parking and Honoraria represent reorganization of the October 2008 Policy document to incorporate financial items in this section.
Revision 2 - Approved October 9, 2009
A Table of Changes has been added to the end of the Policy document to track changes to policy approved by the Board.
The Section on Trips/Travel has been modified throughout to reflect co-chairs, i.e., Chair has been changed to Chair(s). Section 3-D was changed to permit announcement of trips outside LLI under limited circumstances. Section 3-G was changed to reserve responsibility for trip cancellation to the Trip Committee Chair(s) rather than the trip leaders. Section 3-H clarified the refund policy for Day Trips and changed the notice period from 4 days to 7 days.
General Financial Policies Section 1 Reimbursement General was modified to eliminate the need for countersignature for Board approved expenditures by a committee chair or the President. Section 3 on Course/Activity Cancellation Refunds was modified to add a time provision and clarify refunds when a member must cancel participation. Section 6-C was amended to define more clearly the intended use of the Special Purpose Reserve fund.
Revision 3 -- Approved May 13, 2011
The acronym NVCC for Northern Virginia Community College has been changed to NOVA throughout to reflect the college's new nomenclature.
The Section on Courses and Related Activities, Item 3 Cancellations-Forums, has been modified to clearly reflect that it is the President or an LLI officer acting on behalf of the President (rather than merely "someone") who has the authority to cancel a Forum.
The Section on Trips/Travel, Item 3-A Contracts, has been modified to clarify who has the authority to enter into contracts for trips in the absence of a Trip Committee Chair and to remove LLI's Administrator as an alternate for entering into such contracts (per the FY10 Audit report recommendation). In Item 3-H (1) Refunds Day Trips, the timing of a refund was clarified to stipulate that under certain circumstances a refund can be made before the trip is completed.
In the Section on Trips/Travel, Item 3 Complimentary Trip Packages, day and overnight trips have been differentiated and the policies for each changed. The Day Trip policy has been changed to permit a complimentary trip package for a day trip leader. A new policy on Overnight Trips has been added to permit a complimentary trip package for an overnight trip leader under certain circumstances subject to Board approval.
The Section on Special Interest Groups, Item 2 Non-Member Participation, has been modified to allow more flexibility for SIG coordinators to include non-members in SIG activities.
The Section on General Financial Policies, Item 7-A Honoraria-Forum Speakers, has been modified to allow limited travel reimbursement under certain circumstances.
A new policy--Item 8 Contracts--has been added to the Section on General Financial Policies to clarify who has authority to enter into contracts that obligate LLI funds.
In the Section on Community Outreach a policy has been added that prohibits LLI from accepting monetary donations for food banks at the Forums.