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1620 - University-Level Committees


  • Position: Faculty Secretary
  • Email:

Last updated: January 01, 2023

A. Purpose
B. Scope
C. Function, structure, and membership of University-Level Standing Committees
D. Regulations governing committees
E. Guidelines for University-Level Committee Chairs

A. PURPOSE. This policy regulates university-level standing committees, including their establishment, discontinuance, responsibilities, appointment, and operation.

B. SCOPE. This policy applies to all university-level standing committees.

C. FUNCTION, STRUCTURE, AND MEMBERSHIP OF UNIVERSITY-LEVEL STANDING COMMITTEES. University-Level Standing Committees comprise all committees listed in FSH 1640 A. The function, structure, and membership of each committee is set forth in FSH 1640 B. The list of members appointed to serve on the standing committees in FSH 1640 A-1 is published on the Faculty Senate website after the beginning of the academic year by the Committee on Committees. Committees in FSH 1640 A-1 are also referred to as “standing committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate.” All faculty who qualify under FSH 1520 II and all board-appointed staff are eligible to serve on these committees.

D. REGULATIONS GOVERNING COMMITTEES. The following is a codification of the general regulations governing university-level committees:

D-1. As used here, “committee” is a general term denoting any university-level standing or special committee, subcommittee, council, board, senate or similar bodies.

D-2. The establishment, discontinuance, or restructuring of, and the assignment of responsibilities to, the University-Level Standing Committees identified in FSH 1640 A-1 are policy actions that require approval by the Faculty Senate.

D-3. Ad hoc committees to advise the president and university-level standing committees that are composed primarily of administrators (e.g., Publications Board) are appointed by the president.

D-4 University-Level Standing Committees identified in FSH 1640 A-2 are appointed, charged, restructured, and discontinued as specified in the committee description.

D-5. The Committee on Committees appoints, subject to confirmation by the Faculty Senate, members of FSH 1640 A-1 committees. The chair of Faculty Senate establishes special Faculty Senate committees and appoints their members.

D-6. Staff and student members of FSH 1640 A-1 committees are selected and recommended by their respective leaderships. The Committee on Committees appoints the recommended members, subject to confirmation by the Faculty Senate. Approved service by staff members on university committees is considered a valuable service to UI, within the scope and course of employment. Provided the staff employee can be released from regular duties, time spent in committee service is not charged against the employee’s annual leave or compensatory time balances, and the employee is not expected to make up time away from normal duties for committee service. (In cases where staff employees are elected to serve, e.g., on Staff Council itself, it is expected that the employee will first secure the consent of their supervisor before becoming a candidate.)

D-7. Ordinarily, no FSH 1640 A-1 committee will be chaired by an officer who is substantially responsible for implementing the policies or recommendations developed by the committee.

D-8. Unless otherwise noted within the structure of a committee in FSH 1640 A-1, chairs are selected by the Committee on Committees. The chairs of these committees generally are rotated so that no committee comes to be identified with one person.

D-9. The president of the university, or the president’s designee, is a member ex officio of all UI committees, regardless of how the committees may have been established or appointed. On committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate, the president or the president’s designee serves without vote.

D-10. The chair of the Faculty Senate is a member ex officio without vote of all committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate.

D-11. Students are to be represented, if they so desire, on FSH 1640 A-1 committees that deal with matters affecting them. Except for student members of the Faculty Senate, the Committee on Committees receives names of those approved by the ASUI, GPSA and SBA to fill positions established for student members of FSH 1640 A-1 committees. If, 21 days after the first day of classes of the fall semester, nominations have not been submitted to fill student positions, the committees on which the vacancies exist are authorized to disregard the vacant student positions in determining a quorum.

D-12. The membership of individual members of FSH 1640 A-1 committees may not be terminated involuntarily except for cause and with the concurrence of the Committee on Committees with the possibility of appeal by the member to the Faculty Senate.

D-13. University-level committees meet on the call of the chair. Committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate may be convened by at least 35 percent of the members of the committee with a three-day written notice to all members.

D-14. A quorum for any committee under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate consists of at least 50% of its voting members, unless otherwise stated in the committee structure.

D-15. Voting

a. Proxy votes are not permitted in committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate.

b. Email voting under some circumstances is allowable. However, it must be agreed to by all members at the meeting. There must be an explicit understanding that anyone can ask that voting be delayed until the next meeting as a group. Examples of allowable email voting include: committee is nearing the end of a meeting and discussion has been sufficient for the secretary/chair to draft a recommendation, confirming nominees/appointments, etc.

D-16. Unless otherwise provided, assignments to standing committees begin on the official opening date of the academic year.

D-17. Open committee meetings.

a. Meetings of university-level committees, committees of the colleges, divisions, subdivisions, and other UI units, and ad hoc committees, however created, are open to the public with the exception of those meetings, or those parts of meetings, that deal with confidential employee or student matters. But see D-17.d.

b. Observers may speak only by invitation of the chair.

c. Observers may use their own recording devices. Also, they will be provided a copy of any recordings made by the committee, if they request a copy through the appropriate channels and pay the full costs involved in producing the copy.

d. An exception to the exception stated in D-17.a is permitted in hearings on appeals when the appellant demands in writing before the hearing board’s first meeting that the hearing be open to the public; nevertheless, the chair of the hearing board has the authority to close the hearing to the public if, in the chair’s opinion, the atmosphere becomes detrimental to the orderly conduct of the proceeding. Moreover, the chair has the authority to exclude prospective witnesses from the hearing until they have testified.

D-18. Standing committees under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate are to keep minutes and to distribute them as provided in E-8.

D-19. Rules of order. See FSH 1520 VI.

E. GUIDELINES FOR FSH 1640 A-1 COMMITTEE CHAIRS. These guidelines were developed by the Committee on Committees as suggestions for the effective handling of committee business and clarification of certain minimal requirements of these committees. The Committee on Committees recognizes that not all items will apply equally to all committees and that some items will not be appropriate to some committees.

E-1. At the beginning of each semester, contact committee members to identify a set meeting time when committee members are available through the semester (for committees that do not have set meeting times already established).

E-2. Hold an organizational meeting as early as possible in the Fall semester to discuss and review the charge of the committee (see FSH 1640), its procedures, and possible agenda items, and if desirable select a secretary.

E-3. To ensure that committee business is not delayed when the semester begins, committee chairs are encouraged to recommend and submit names of faculty, staff and students for any vacant position to the Faculty Secretary’s Office for consideration and confirmation. All names that are recommended will be handled following the normal approval process.

E-4. Establish the best means of getting in touch with each student member.

E-5. Issue a standing invitation to members to submit appropriate agenda items. Call a meeting when enough agenda items have accumulated to warrant it or when a particular agenda item warrants immediate attention. Alternatively, contact committee members periodically to ask if there are matters that need to be considered.

E-6. Send an agenda to all members at least one day (24 hours) in advance of the meeting, if possible.

E-7. Review the minutes of each meeting carefully to make certain that the intent of the committee is accurately represented.

E-8. Send agenda and approved minutes of each meeting of the committee to members of the committee. Also, inform other officers who are directly concerned with the work of the committee. To assist with record keeping, number meetings of the committee consecutively; e.g., “minutes#1_mmddyy.” It’s recommended that you forward the minutes to the next committee chair, after your term is completed.

Committees that address confidential employee or student matters, shall keep such minutes confidential.

E-9. Hold hearings when substantive policy changes are proposed. When feasible, invite those who will be affected by the committee’s action to present their views to the committee.

E-10. Inform those who are affected by the committee’s actions of such actions.

E-11. Promptly submit reports of actions requiring approval by the Faculty Senate in care of the Office of the Faculty Secretary for placement on the Faculty Senate agenda. Be prepared to attend the Faculty Senate meeting to answer any questions that arise.

E-12. Inform the Office of the Faculty Secretary of any resignations from the committee and any excessive absences. Excessive absences will be referred to Committee on Committees to determine whether cause exists to replace the member.

E-13. Prepare a succinct year-end report for submission to the Faculty Senate in care of the Office of the Faculty Secretary for distribution as needed. The report must contain: number and approximate frequency of the committee meetings; committee goals; committee accomplishments. For committees that address confidential matters (see E-8), send the report to the Office of the Faculty Secretary for filing and archiving.

E-14. Prepare a transition file for next year’s chair highlighting past issues (year-end report could be used), issues that are in progress, or issues that still need to be addressed. Plan to attend one or two meetings of the new committee to ease transitioning.

E-15. Call on the Office of the Faculty Secretary for information and assistance concerning points not fully covered in these guidelines.

Version History

Amended January 2024. Comprehensive review. Revised throughout to clarify procedures and to highlight that all faculty with voting privileges and all board-appointed staff are welcome to serve on committees.

Amended January 2018. Changes were made to empower staff and students with making final decisions on whom they appoint.

Amended July 2017. Editorial changes.

Amended January 2017. Minor edits to update processes, to enable committees to vote by email under specific conditions, and to ensure that committee business is not delayed due to staff and student groups who sometimes struggle in finding individuals early in the fall semester.

Amended July 2015. Edit to ensure any major changes go forward to the general faculty to ensure faculty governance.

Amended July 2014. Edits to conform to change in quorum requirements in University Judicial Council/Student Disciplinary Review Board which came about due to student code of conduct policy changes.

Amended January 2014. This edit brought 1620 B-10 into conformity with FSH 1640.93 C which states that “Five members, at least two of which must be students” constitutes a quorum for the University Judicial Council.

Amended July 2010. Faculty Council was changed to Faculty Senate and B-7 was revised to address chair appointments.

Amended July 2008. Minor changes were made to B-2, 13 and C-13.

Amended January 2007. This section was substantially revised to reflect current process.

Amended July 2000. Editorial changes.

Adopted: No adoption date is available for this policy.

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