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How We Are Governed

We are run by the members for the members. Our decision making structure consists of a governing council with supporting committees designed to address all operational aspects of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT.

Osher Council and Committees

The Osher governing structure consists of the Osher Council and the following committees and subcommittees:

  • Executive Committee
  • Program Committee
    • Course Offerings
    • Pfaudler Enrichment Series
    • Intersession
    • Travel
    • Summer Seminar Series
    • Technology
    • Registration
  • Marketing Committee
    • New Member Development
    • Media
    • Outreach
    • Communications
    • Course Previews
    • Survey
  • Participation Committee
    • Social
    • Member Relations
    • Osher Announcements
    • Reception Desk Volunteers
  • Nominating Committee
  • Advisory Committee
  • Endowment Committee

Council Membership

The membership of the Osher Council consists of elected officers (*), chairpersons of the Nominating and Advisory committees and chairpersons of the subcommittees:

  • Council Chair*
  • Vice-Chair, Program*
  • Vice-Chair, Marketing*
  • Vice-Chair, Participation*
  • Treasurer*
  • Secretary*
  • Chair, Nominating Committee
  • Chair, Advisory Committee
  • Subcommittee Chairs:
    • Course Offerings
    • Pfaudler Enrichment
    • Intersession
    • Travel
    • Summer Seminars
    • Technology
    • Registration
    • New Member Development
    • Media
    • Outreach
    • Communications
    • Course Previews
    • Social
    • Member Relations
    • Osher Announcements
    • Reception Desk Volunteers
    • Endowment
  • Ex-Officio Members of the Council
    • RIT Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Osher Program Director
  • Membership on the Executive Committee consists of the six elected officers.

* Officers are elected to two-year terms. Subcommittee chairs are appointed or reappointed annually by the respective Vice-Chair.

Council and Committee Responsibilities


The Osher Council determines policies and procedures and generally directs the affairs of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute consistent with the goals of the organization and the policies of RIT.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee, consisting of the organization’s elected officers, serves in an advisory role to the Council. The committee meets monthly to share information and ideas and determine agenda items for Council discussion.

Program Committee

The Program Committee is responsible for the full range of educational offerings of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT.

Marketing Committee

The Marketing Committee is responsible for recruitment of new members, public relations and promotion.

Participation Committee

The Participation Committee is responsible for member relations, social events and the promotion of active involvement of the membership.

Program Subcommittees:

  • Course Offerings – Invites course proposals, identifies potential course leaders and provides a program of course offerings for the three terms, Fall, Winter and Spring.
  • Pfaudler Enrichment Series - Develops and schedules a weekly lecture program which includes community speakers, RIT faculty and Osher members.
  • Intersession - Plans educationally oriented local trips to arts, history and cultural sites when Osher classes are not in session.
  • Travel – Plans and conducts an annual program of extended travel opportunities.
  • Summer Seminar Series – Develops a series of extended day trips within the upstate New York region to museums, arts, cultural and historic sites with related guest lectures prior to each excursion.
  • Technology – Responsible for the installation of electronic, computer and audio-visual equipment and the training of course leaders in the use of this equipment to enhance class presentations.

Marketing Subcommittees:

  • New Member Development – Provides follow-up and support to prospective Osher members who contact the organization requesting additional information.
  • Media – Works with area broadcast and print media to promote community awareness of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT.
  • Outreach – Promotes membership growth through presentations to organizations and groups in the community and through the Osher Speaker’s Program, a speaker’s bureau offering a full catalog of talks on a wide variety of topics in government, history, literature, the arts and science and technology.
  • Communications – Develops printed and electronic promotional material for use in presentations, trade shows and mailings.

Participation Subcommittees:

  • Social – Plans and implements a year-round program of social events and activities.
  • Member Relations – This group works to help new members feel welcome and to assist hem in getting acquainted and involved with Osher activities.
  • Osher Announcements – A monthly membership newsletter.


The Treasurer provides financial expertise and guidance to the Osher Council. The Treasurer prepares an annual budget, provides monthly financial reports and presents the year-end financial report at the annual Membership Meeting.


The Secretary records minutes and maintains other written records of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Council and Executive Committee meetings.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee, consisting of retiring officers and three at large members, serves, as requested, in an advisory capacity to the Osher Council.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee submits a slate of candidates at the annual Membership Meeting for the pertinent elective offices.

Endowment Committee

The Endowment Committee oversees the Endowment Fund and reports monthly to the Council. The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to support the long-term growth of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and enhance its academic programs.


In 2006, we became an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, joining a growing national network of more than 120 university-based centers for older learners.