I am/was the Vice President of Finances for a club at my university. Over the summer, someone new was elected who will become the new VP Finances. The position is still being transferred, meaning that the new officer hasn't assumed the full role of Finances, but I am technically not the VP of Finances anymore, the new person is.

I need to write a number of letters, emails, etc. to companies about sponsorships and the like. I typically would sign them:

John Christianson
Vice President of Finances

but now that I am not VP of Finances, what title should I use? Is there a specific word that means 'the position is in the process of being transferred'?


6 Answers 6


Outgoing Vice President may work better than incumbent, as it refers specifically to

an elected official whose successor has already been elected or will be soon.

  • 15
    Sure, but it does sound like an extrovert just showing off
    – Strawberry
    Jun 18, 2021 at 8:46

Until your successor is “sworn in” and formally doing the duties of the office, you are the VP Finance, and should sign as such. Once your successor is actually sworn and doing the duties, you are the former VP Finance. If you are the former VP Finance, but still sending out letters, it would be proper for you to omit a title for yourself, and sign as

John Christianson, for
«successor’s name»
Vice President of Finances


If (for whatever reason) you are not officially in the post, but are fulfilling the duties nonetheless, you might describe yourself as acting Vice President of Finances (see the adjective definition here).

Another expression for being in a role for a short time is pro tem (short for pro tempore, "for the time being"), but this tends to be used for someone who is actually appointed to the role, but for a fixed limited period, so is likely not appropriate here.

  • 1
    Your given definition of acting is : "someone who does a job for a short time while the person who usually does that job is not there." I don't think this applies, as the VP is indeed there.
    – rajah9
    Jun 18, 2021 at 12:17
  • 1
    @rajah9 The VP isn’t ready to take over the OP’s remaining jobs, so for those jobs, the OP is representing the organisation as the acting VPF. He wouldn’t have the authority to represent the organisation otherwise, as he’s already vacated the ‘real’ VPF seat.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 18, 2021 at 12:56
  • @rajah9: Yes - don't take that definition too literally; what's important is that the acting VP is actually doing the work, while the "real VP" is not (for whatever reason). See, for example, the definition here.
    – psmears
    Jun 18, 2021 at 13:06

You are the current VP still and are in your "lame duck" period.

Until they've officially assumed your responsibilities, you can continue to sign as VP like you've always done.


The fact that you are in your last days or weeks in the post does not in any way change the fact that you are in it, so you should continue to call yourself by the full appropriate title. It'd be smart to use this communication to introduce the incoming person, so as to prepare your correspondents for dealing with them and (very important) to assure them that the transition is pre-planned and that your organization is stable. But none of that takes away from the fact that you are V-P until the very last day.

"Acting" would mean that the V-P role is currently vacant and you're just a placeholder; "designate" means you're the new person who hasn't really taken over yet (like "elect" for a public office); "emeritus" means "former" but you still have a tab the faculty club. None of these seem to be case here.

A journalist or historian who is documenting the transition might correctly describe you as the "incumbent", but that's not a qualifier you'd put on your title—though it might be worth it just to show you know what it means; a lot of people conflate it with "incoming" and use it to mean the exact opposite.

So enjoy being V-P right up to the last minute.


Some things worth considering for related use cases that don't exactly fit:

You could consider Vice President Emeritus. Though, I would tend to associate this more with someone who retains the title but not the responsibility of the role.

Also close but not quite right, is interim (e.g. Interim Vice President). However this is almost the opposite problem - where you do not (yet/may not ever) possess the title, but have the responsibility of the role anyway.

Also, I don't think these things work well together transitively.

Do not consider: Interim Vice President of Finances Emeritus.

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