FAQs for Committee Chairs
If you are new to the role of chairing a committee, the Office of Faculty Governance is here to help you get started.
Yes, depending on the size of your committee. The Office of Faculty Governance manages a conference room in Carr Building (200B) that seats up to 14 people. We can reserve the room for committees as needed. If your committee requires a larger space, our staff can locate and reserve an appropriate room.
Always. North Carolina open meetings laws generally require that public business is conducted in public with sufficient notice provided prior to the meeting so that members of the public may attend. In the case of faculty committees and the Faculty Council, meeting notifications that include date, time and location must be submitted 10 days in advance of the meeting date to UNC News (email@example.com) for inclusion on the open meetings calendar. Faculty Governance staff will send the required notice for your meetings automatically if you inform us of your meeting schedule.
Meetings involving personnel issues, such as Faculty Grievance Committee and Faculty Hearings Committees meetings, must be noticed on the open meetings calendar with language indicating that the meeting may go into closed session.
For more detailed information on open meetings policies, see Guidelines on Defining “Public Body” within the Meaning of the Open Meetings Act in the Code and UNC Policy Manual and North Carolina Open Meetings Law Requirements. If you still have questions, contact our staff or the Office of University Counsel.
Yes. North Carolina open meetings law GS § 143-318.10 states that “Every public body shall keep full and accurate minutes of all official meetings, including any closed sessions held pursuant to G.S. 143-318.11. Such minutes may be in written form or, at the option of the public body, may be in the form of sound or video and sound recordings. When a public body meets in closed session, it shall keep a general account of the closed session so that a person not in attendance would have a reasonable understanding of what transpired. Such accounts may be a written narrative, or video or audio recordings. Such minutes and accounts shall be public records within the meaning of the Public Records Law, G.S. 132-1 et seq.; provided, however, that minutes or an account of a closed session conducted in compliance with G.S. 143-318.11 may be withheld from public inspection so long as public inspection would frustrate the purpose of a closed session.”
Unfortunately, there are too many committees for us to keep and distribute committee minutes in a timely manner. We recommend that each committee either designate a secretary at the beginning of the academic year, or rotate responsibility for creating the minutes among all committee members.
Yes. Our office creates a Sakai site for each committee where the chair and members of the committee can upload working documents, meeting minutes, agendas, links to articles and other materials as needed. Sakai sites are closed spaces that require ONYEN login. Tools can be added and removed as needed depending on each committee’s needs. A listserv tool within Sakai is available to send communications electronically among committee members.
We maintain public webpages for each committee that include the current and past rosters and annual reports to Faculty Council. However, we can also post meeting minutes, reports, statements, or other materials the committee would like to make publicly available. The Fixed-Term Faculty Committee and the Faculty Athletics Committee both include additional public documents.
Yes. While the Faculty Code is usually explicit about who may be elected or appointed as voting members of faculty committees, nothing in the Code precludes the committees from involving relevant campus officials or liaisons to pertinent offices or constituencies in their work. If these individuals attend the meetings on a regular basis and need to be included in the committee’s regular communications via Sakai, we can add them to the committee rosters as “non-voting consultants.” If your committee includes such individuals, please let our office know.
Every committee with an active Sakai site has access to a built-in listserv communications tool. Email messages can be sent from committee members’ UNC accounts to your site’s unique Sakai listserv address, and the message will be delivered the committee members’ UNC email addresses (no need to log in to Sakai to do this). All emails sent to the committee members via the Sakai listserv address are automatically archived within Sakai. We’ve found that integrating listserv communications with Sakai’s document storage capability has made records management for committees much easier. If you need help using this tool, please contact our office.
Committee chairs are required to transfer committee records to University Archives. The General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule outlines the retention period for administrative records. If you are a committee member, please pass your records, including handwritten notes, to your committee chair. Sections 1.12 and 1.19 outline retention and disposition instructions for committee, Council and task force records and state the following:
1.12 Committee, Council, and Task Force Records
Records documenting the actions of committees, councils, or task forces appointed, elected or ad hoc that are concerned only with administrative matters within the University. This series may include but is not limited to: minutes, notifications of meetings, agendas, reports, briefing materials, working papers, photographs, correspondence, and related documentation.
Confidentiality: Comply with applicable provisions of G.S. 126-22, 126-23,126-24 regarding confidentiality of personnel records. Comply with applicable provisions of 20 U.S.C. 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974) regarding confidentiality of student records.
a. Permanent for minutes, agendas, reports, photographs, and correspondence. Transfer to the custody of University Archives after 3 years.
b. Destroy in office remaining records after 5 years if no litigation, claim, audit, or other official action has been initiated. If official action has been initiated, destroy in office after completion of action and resolution of issues involved.
Disposition Instructions: Destroy in office when reference value ends.
1.19 Faculty Governance Records.
Records documenting the actions of faculty governance bodies, such as the faculty senate or council and committees. This series may include but is not limited to: minutes and attachments, correspondence, reports, faculty code, and related documentation and correspondence.
Confidentiality: Comply with applicable provisions of G.S. 126-22, 126-23, and 126-24, regarding confidentiality of personnel records. Comply with applicable provisions of 20 U.S.C. 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974) regarding confidentiality of student records.
Permanent. Transfer records to the custody of University Archives after 5 years.
Disposition Instructions: Destroy in office when reference value ends.
Records may be sent to our office for transfer to University Archives. If all committee records are stored in Sakai, there is no need to resend the records to our office. Our staff will pull the records from Sakai and transfer them to University Archives at your request.
The annual committee reports schedule is updated before the first Faculty Council meeting of the fall. The faculty program specialist will write to the committee chairs in the fall to with a tentative schedule. You can request an alterations to the reporting schedule as long as you notify our office well in advance of the reporting date.
We would like to receive the report about two weeks ahead of the scheduled Council reporting date so that the Agenda Committee may review it and plan accordingly. Advance receipt of the report is especially important if your committee is planning to present any resolutions to Faculty Council.
Committees should submit their resolutions to our staff well in advance of the Faculty Council meeting at which they wish to present so that the Agenda Committee can ensure that a resolution is in order, and that enough time is reserved on the agenda for thorough discussion. Questions about language and formatting of resolutions should be directed to the secretary of the faculty.
The Joint Rules of Procedure of the General Faculty and Faculty Council state that “The text of any resolution exercising the legislative powers of the faculty or expressing the sense of the faculty on any matter of concern is presented in writing to the secretary at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting at which it is to be considered”; and “Final action may not be taken on any resolution without due notice. Due notice consists of either (i) introduction and discussion of the proposal at the preceding meeting or (ii) distribution of the text of the of the proposal in connection with the agenda for the meeting at which action is to be taken.”
Committees often hold listening sessions, public forums and other special events that they wish to advertise to the general faculty. We automatically include these events in our monthly Faculty Governance News newsletter that is sent to all faculty. Our office uses an all-faculty listserv to send timely communications like event invitations, special statements, or informational notices when they do not fall within our regular newsletter schedule. We are active on Facebook and Twitter and regularly post announcements and news items that are of interest to faculty across campus.
If a committee anticipates posting frequent public statements, we can arrange to host those within the committee’s public page on the Faculty Governance website. As an example, see the Faculty Athletics Committee’s page, which links to its statements page.
Our staff is equipped to provide research assistance on educational policy issues by locating information about our peer institutions’ practices, creating and deploying Qualtrics-based surveys to UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and directing committee chairs to institutional policies and procedures.
We are often able to provide basic demographic data on various faculty constituencies to enable faculty committees to understand and communicate with specific subgroups of faculty.
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