University Committees Rules
The American University in Bulgaria relies on University committees for advice to key administrators on matters of policy. Standing University Committees address ongoing concerns of the University. Ad Hoc University committees are constituted as needed to address temporary University concerns. These University committee rules apply both to University Standing and Ad Hoc Committees.
Difference Between University and Faculty Committees
The Faculty Assembly convenes faculty committees and these rules do not apply to them. These committees usually deal with issues directly related to the teaching/learning mission of the University. University committees are formed as described below and usually deal with issues of a general administrative nature.
Listing University Committees
In the month of September, a list of University committees and their memberships will be posted on the web page.
Convening University Committees
The AUBG President is empowered to convene and dissolve University committees with the concurrence of the Provost and proper notification of the committee members. However, any member of the AUBG community (students, faculty, staff) may ask the President to consider appointing a committee to address an issue. The President’s Office will make an announcement to the University community when a new committee is formed.
The President determines the composition of the committee. Wherever possible, committees will contain representatives from all University constituencies (faculty, students, and staff). In any case, the President will notify the Student Government and the Chair of the Faculty Assembly that a new committee will be formed and will announce the committee’s composition. The President will respond in writing to questions about committee composition.
Choosing Committee Members
Normally, the Faculty Assembly Chair will nominate a faculty member to fill posts on University committees reserved for faculty members. Likewise, the Chair of the Student Senate will nominate individuals to fill committee positions reserved for students. The President in consultation with the Committee Chair will ordinarily accept these nominations. Staff positions on University committees will be filled by the President.
University Committee Chairs
The President will ask one of the members of the committee to serve as Chair.
Terms of Service
All committee assignments end September 1st of each year. Terms of service for ad hoc committees may be shorter, if the committee’s task is completed.
In the month of September, the committee Chair ordinarily will establish the membership for the upcoming academic year. At this point, changes in committee composition may be made by the President.
Committee meetings are convened by committee Chairs. The Chair of a committee will convene a meeting outside of the normal meeting schedule upon receipt of a written request to do so signed by at least two committee members.
Advertisement of Meetings
A list of all University Committees, including membership, agendas and minutes of the University Committee will be posted on the web page. Ordinarily, meetings will be announced two working days in advance. The time and place of the meeting will be included in the announcement, as well as a brief description of the meeting’s agenda.
Participation of Non-members
Normally, committee meetings are open to all members of the University community. However, certain committees, among them the Conduct Council and the Honorary Degree Committee, are open to non-members only under exceptional circumstances. The Chair has the right to determine when non-members may attend committee meetings. In cases where non-members are permitted to attend meetings, the Chair may exercise the right to recognize non-members to speak. Only members of a committee are permitted to vote.
Should a committee member not be able to attend a meeting, that person may send someone else to represent him/her. The Chair must give permission for such a substitute in advance of the meeting. Substitutes do not have the right to vote.
In some circumstances, a majority of committee members may declare a meeting closed. Any non-members in attendance will be asked to leave for the duration of the closed session.
Committee executive sessions which are called without prior notice can be postponed one working day if any member of that committee objects that timely notice of the executive session has not been given prior to the meeting
The proper areas of confidentiality in committee work are primarily those dealing with decisions regarding individuals: namely, admissions; personnel matters including evaluation; and faculty search and hiring. Individual student information regarding academic, social, and/or financial status, including financial aid, is confidential as is financial information not related to student specific interests. Committee members are presumed to have permission to discuss matters that are not of a confidential nature with appropriate constituencies, preserving the committee chair and members’ discretion.
Minutes are not usually kept during closed meetings, but any recommendations for action will be confirmed in open session. If all or part of a meeting was closed the overall minutes for the meeting will reflect this fact.
A quorum is necessary in order for a committee to take a vote. A simple majority is sufficient to make committee decisions. In reporting results of votes, exact numbers for or against a certain motion will not be reported, unless at least one member of the committee requests that the actual vote tally be announced.
Committees chairs are responsible for producing minutes for meetings. Chairs may delegate the actual production of minutes to another committee member. Attendance will be recorded in minutes.
Within five (5) working days after a meeting, the Chair will send draft minutes to all members of the committee. Any corrections must be submitted to the Chair within three (3) working days after draft minutes are distributed. Corrections must be approved by the Chair. The Chair then has one full working day to finalize the minutes and to post them on the web page. In addition, a hard copy is placed in the folder designated for the purpose in the reserve section of the Library. Finally, the Chair will also give one hard copy to the Administrative Assistant to the President for archiving purposes.
If a committee member believes there is mistake in the final version of the minutes, s/he may ask at the next committee meeting for a review of the previous meeting’s minutes. If the Chair rules that the minutes from the previous meeting do, in fact, contain an error, a correction will be noted in the minutes of the current meeting.
Committees are advisory bodies that report to the President or his/her designee. The President or designee is not required to implement committee recommendations but will usually give some explanation to committee members, if s/he takes a decision at variance with a committee’s recommendation.
By Commencement Day each year, chairs of committees will file reports on the actions of their committees during the year. If a committee has not met during the year, this will be noted in the annual summary. Committee chairs will post these summary reports on the web page, place a copy in the folders reserved for this purpose in the Library, and will give a copy to the Administrative Assistant to the President for archiving purposes.
(Reviewed October, 2007)