The Network Advisory Committee (NAC) was established in 2016 and provides Ashoka U with recommendations and advice relating to the needs of the broader Ashoka U Changemaker Campus network. 

Functions and Responsibilities

The NAC has the following responsibilities:

  • To serve as representatives and voices of the Network to advise Ashoka U’s strategic decision making
  • To facilitate the process of setting a collective Change Leader agenda
  • To liaise with other Change Leaders not on the NAC to solicit feedback, and to provide a mechanism for information flow into the NAC
  • To ensure the strength of the current Ashoka U network
  • To provide guidance to Ashoka U on strategies to develop this network over the short-, medium-, and long-term.  

NAC Structure

The NAC will comprise:

Non-voting, ex-officio members

  • Heather MacCleoud, Chief Network Officer, Ashoka U
  • Eidi Cruz-Valdivieso, Director, Higher Education Engagement 

Regular members

  • Six to eight representatives from within the Network, taking into account the diverse geographic spread and varying nature of the Network universities as well as other critical dimensions of diversity. It is expected that NAC members will have the support of their institution to participate fully in the NAC. 
  • Prospective members can be self-nominated or nominated by Change Leaders, the NAC, or Ashoka U. In the event that the number of accepted nominations exceeds the number of vacancies, each Changemaker Campus will vote. The voting process will be administered by Ashoka U. 
  • Members will hold office for a period of two or three years and will be eligible to nominate for a further term of two or three years. Thus, there is a two-term or six-year limit. 
  • If a NAC member is unable to complete their term of service, Ashoka U will issue a call for nominations and hold an election for this position. The incoming Committee member will hold office for the full two-year term, or for the remainder of the original term of service, as determined through consultation between the member and Ashoka U. 

Teams of Teams

In order to meet the needs of this global, growing network, the Advisory Committee may form “teams of teams” at any time. These may take many forms as described here. They should ensure that the responsibility on the NAC is not overwhelming, while also including as many voices from the network as possible. All teams formed under the auspices of the NAC are required to provide a brief, written report to the NAC at regular intervals to inform the NAC of their progress towards agreed outcomes. Teams of teams may be structured as any of the following (this list is not exhaustive):


  • Description: Ongoing work to meet a broad network need
  • Examples: Network Development, Network Strategic Trajectory
  • Time Limit: Ongoing
  • Governance: Subcommittees must be directly facilitated by one or two members of the NAC and will be made up of Change Leaders.
  • Team Members: Change Leaders only

Working Groups or Task Forces:  

  • Description: The Advisory Committee may form working groups or task forces to coordinate work on particular events, resources, projects, etc.
  • Examples: Change Leader Retreat, Change Leader Orientation Review, Changemaker Education Research Forum (CERF)
  • Time Limit: Yes: must have a predetermined conclusion – either an end date or at the successful completion of a project.
  • Governance: Management and/or oversight by a member of the Advisory Committee, may be chaired by a Change Leader
  • Team Members: Change Leaders and others invited by the NAC and/or Ashoka U 

Communities of Practice (CoP):

  • Description: Community of those interested in specific topics or issues involving higher education and changemaking. CoPs may share resources, collaborate on research, publications, events, hold convenings, and otherwise work together in a common area of interest.
  • Examples: Planet & Climate, Education Policy
  • Time Limit: Ongoing
  • Governance: Chaired by a Change Leader with oversight and support from the NAC and Ashoka U
  • Team Members: Change Leaders and others invited by the NAC, Ashoka U, and the CoP Chair

The NAC is expected to represent the network, including Changemaker Campuses and their Change Leaders. The NAC will determine the most strategic and appropriate ways to engage the network and ensure their input is sought on matters of importance.

Chair and Notetaking Roles

  • NAC members and Ashoka U will determine the agenda for each meeting. 
  • NAC meetings will be Chaired, and meetings notes taken by regular (non-Ashoka U) members of the Committee. The responsibility for these roles will be agreed in advance and will be rotated amongst Committee members. Ashoka U will be available to support as an alternative, as needed.
  • The Chair will keep time and hold the meetings to the agenda.
  • Ashoka U will maintain oversight of the NAC to ensure that meetings are productive and that work is happening between meetings. 

Attendance and Decision Making

  • There must be at least 50% plus one NAC member present for quorum, in order to conduct a meeting and make decisions. 
  • In the event that a decision is required between meetings, information will be circulated via email for discussion and decision.
  • Matters requiring decision will be put to vote and will be decided by consensus. In the event that consensus is not able to be achieved, the matter may be deferred to Ashoka U for consideration. 
  • Matters brought to the NAC will be identified as those on which Ashoka U would like advice from the Committee and those that require a vote by the NAC. 
  • In the event that a NAC member is unable to attend a meeting, the member will follow up with the facilitator to be briefed on the meeting’s content and action items.
  • A member is required to declare to the Chair of the meeting any real, perceived or potential conflict of interest they may have with an item on the Committee’s agenda. If the Chair deems a member to have a conflict of interest, the member will be excused from the Committee’s discussion and deliberations on the matter. In the event that multiple members have a conflict of interest regarding a particular issue, Ashoka U may choose to bring in additional/external advisors in order to reach a decision.

Meeting Schedule

  • The NAC will hold monthly meetings via video conference (with teleconference as a back-up alternative.) 
  • To the extent possible, the meeting schedule will be agreed six months in advance, with consideration given to the time-difference inherent for all participants. 
  • The NAC will meet at least once per year for a face-to-face working retreat, subject to the ability of Ashoka U to fund travel and accommodation for NAC members. 

Evaluation and Review

In order to ensure that the NAC is meeting the needs of Ashoka U, the Changemaker Campuses network, and the responsibilities outlined in the Network Advisory Committee Overview, the following activities will take place:

  • An annual self-review of the Committee and these bylaws, to be undertaken through discussion at the NAC Retreat
  • An annual request for feedback on the work of the NAC, and the needs of Changemaker Campuses, to be undertaken via email by Ashoka U to the Change Leader community.