I had a question the other day from a gentleman trying unsuccessfully to get off the board of directors he was on. He had sent two letters resigning, had not heard back and then saw his name on a current list of board members. He was concerned that he was still a fiduciary and wondered what legal action he needed to take. I gave him my answer (and have never heard back, interestingly/ironically enough: most people at least acknowledge the response) but then wondered a bit about the organization in question. If the story is true, they are either clueless or totally unorganized. Why would you keep someone on your board who doesn't want to be nor, I assume, ever attends meetings, contributes time, talent, or treasure?
Now, I have known execs who would be happy with as many empty chairs as possible at board meetings and others who, while having bodies in the seats, still have "empty chairs"--and want it that way. Of course, I know nothing about this organization, starting with which time zone its in, but you have to think that things are pretty bad.
Here's what apparently didn't happen after the letter of resignation was sent...(with a noted caution that there are always about 4 sides to any situation)
1. The exec didn't call the board member and ask "why do you want to go off?", or "would you stay?", or "thanks for your resignation and your service".
2. When no response was received to the first (or second) letter, the (former?) board member didn't call the agency staff or board president and ask to be taken off the board list.
Methinks that there are some serious communications issues showing their ugly head here, and probably a lot more just barely out of sight.