Network Advisory Committee 2.0


Roles, Relationships, and Responsibilities

Change Leaders

The Network Advisory Committee (NAC) is a way to put the ownership, direction, and future of the network more directly in the hands of the Change Leaders,  where it belongs. As a minimum, an advisory committee should be a consolidating and amplifying mechanism for the voices of Change Leaders across the network so that the value of the network is fully maximized. To ensure the success of the NAC, Change Leaders should provide guidance on the development and implementation of the NAC, nominate and elect NAC members to represent them, and continually engage with NAC members as their elected representatives.

Ashoka U

Ashoka U will:

  • Continue to provide managerial and strategic oversight of the network
  • Collaborate with the NAC to develop and implement strategies to strengthen the current network
  • Collaborate with the NAC to develop and implement strategies to build and enhance the network in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  • Build bridges between the Ashoka U network and the global Ashoka community to better leverage Ashoka’s capacities on behalf of this network.
  • Provide opportunities for Change Leaders and Changemaker Campuses to serve as thought leaders, mentors, and to otherwise be recognized as leaders in higher education and in changemaking around the world.

Network Advisory Committee (NAC)

The NAC will balance its priorities between ensuring the strength of the current Ashoka U network and providing guidance to Ashoka U on strategies to develop this network over the short-, medium-, and long-term.

To ensure the voices of the network are represented, each Advisory Committee member will have 4-5 Changemaker Campuses that they are responsible for soliciting feedback from on a regular basis.
In addition, the NAC will: 

  • Facilitate the process of setting a collective Change Leader agenda 
  • Serve as representatives and voices of the network to advise Ashoka U’s strategic decisions 
  • Liaise with other Change Leaders not on the Advisory Committee to solicit feedback 
  • Identify and implement ongoing strategies to increase the brand and recognition of Changemaker Campus both inside and outside of campuses. 

To better balance priorities, it is proposed that the NAC revive two (2) previous subcommittees:

Network Development – provide strategy and oversight of (for example):

  • Change Leader professional development opportunities
  • Convenings (e.g., Change Leader Retreat)
  • Orientation of new Change Leaders
  • Communities of Practice and other ways of engaging with the global Ashoka community

Network Strategic Trajectory - Advise Ashoka U in designing medium- and long-term strategies to develop and enhance the network through (for example):

  • Collaborating with Ashoka U on developing and implementing more effective strategies for designating new Changemaker Campuses, renewing current campuses, providing training and capacity-building, and recognition of excellence in changemaking.
  • Building out and leveraging the capacity of Communities of Practice

Additional “teams of teams” to support the work of the NAC are encouraged and described below.

Structure & Commitments


The Advisory Committee will be made up of 6-8 representatives who are Change Leaders at Changemaker Campuses. The committee will consider geographic and institutional diversity as well as diversity of seniority, position type, and tenure in the network, and will make a deliberate effort to solicit nominations that reflect this diversity. Voices of others important to this network (e.g., students, leaders, faculty, and staff who are not Change Leaders) will be regularly sought out.

Term Limits

When members join, they can select whether to serve a two-year or a three-year term. The Advisory Committee will encourage longer terms when possible, but also wants to be inclusive of Change Leaders who may not be able to commit for longer periods of time due to other responsibilities, job stability, etc. To encourage longevity, though, representatives will be able to hold office for a period of two or three years and will be eligible for a further term of two or three years. Thus, there is a two-term or six-year limit.

Time Commitments

The Advisory Committee will hold monthly meetings, with a minimum expected time commitment of 8-10 hours per month. Positions are unfunded, with the possibility of providing funding for travel, accommodations, or training at some point in the future.

Meeting Structures

The NAC will meet monthly with rotating facilitator and notetaker responsibilities among the members. To kick-off the NAC, there is a virtual strategic planning retreat each year.

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 Form (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

NAC Bylaws