Committees and Meetings

Campus Governance Leaders Toolkit


What is an Executive Committee and how do I use it?

The Executive Committee of the campus governance body should function as the steering committee for the campus governance organization and should be chaired by the CGL. Under the leadership of the CGL, the Executive Committee assists in creating priorities for action and, in many cases, helps establish the agenda for meetings of your campus governance body. By-laws differ; Executive Committee members may be appointed by the campus governance leader, elected by the College as a whole or by the members of your campus governance body, or serve as ex officio members. The Executive Committee serves the campus governance leader by raising questions, providing counsel, functioning as the liaison to campus groups and offices, and representing their different constituencies.

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gavelHow do I run an effective meeting?

In most shared governance situations, the Chair of the governance body is responsible for conducting the meeting. The following brief guidelines with assist in running meetings effectively and efficiently:

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What is a resolution and what is a position statement? Why and when do you seek a resolution?

Position Statements and Resolutions should be created as necessary to establish the general consensus of the governing body.

 A Position Statement documents the position of the campus governance body on broad policy issues such as academic Freedom, intellectual Property, campus civility, environmental practices at the campus, open access issues, etc. They can also relate to specific issues such as standardized testing, on-line labs, data usage and reporting, etc. Generally, position statements do not call for an action, but they are, instead, positions held by the body which, until changed, must guide the actions and negotiations of the CGL and the campus governance body. A Position Statement is not directed toward any specific person and does not require a response.

A Resolution is the presentation of an argument through the use of "Whereas" clauses that leads a call or calls for action by the parties to whom the resolution is addressed in the "Resolved" clauses. Most often campus governance resolutions are addressed to the Campus President, but they can be addressed to others, such as the Faculty Council, the Chancellor, the SUNY Board, the local board, etc. A Resolution requires a response and follow-up activity to assure the will of the campus governance body is recognized.

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How do I use committees effectively?

The purpose of committees in a governance body is to do the assigned work of the campus governance body.  Committee members often become the experts on the particular subject matter of the committee, and while the CGL can delegate work to the committee, generally, committees should work to achieve their charge and agreed-upon initiatives even without direct supervision from the CGL. If a committee does not think it can perform the work delegated by the CGL, the chair of the committee should work with the CGL to determine the best course of action.

The most essential functional committees in faculty governance are curriculum, academic standards, teaching and assessment (of learning outcomes), as well as anything related to academic student support. These responsibilities are within the sole purview of faculty.  The voting members on these committees should be faculty members, although they may wish to have ex officio members on the committee to produce the best possible decisions for the college.  Other committees that are commonly found in a faculty or campus governance body include: mission/planning; student affairs; budget; awards; nominations; or committees which serve a larger campus purpose.

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What is SUNY?