Committees and Task Forces Policy

  • Custodian of Policy: President
    Relevant Minnesota State System Policy: n/a 
    Effective Date: Spring 2020
    Last Review: Spring 2020
    Next Review: Spring 2027

    Rationale

    Minnesota State University Moorhead has a committee and task force structure that is designed to advise the administration on various University activities that are critical to the mission via a process that honors the principles of shared governance.

    Policy

    Committees and task forces are composed of appointed faculty, staff and students who provide their time and expertise in service of the MSUM mission. Employee appointments are done in compliance with the represented collective bargaining agreements. Student appointments are done by the Student Senate. The administration reserves the right to appoint administrative members (or a designee) based on position or expertise. Efforts should be made to ensure diversity and inclusion of people and ideas when making appointments.

    All committees and taskforces are advisory to the President or their designee. The designated person the committee is advisory to, is responsible for:

    1. Convening the first committee meeting to facilitate a democratic process of the committee members to determine the Committee Chair unless the Committee Chair has been appointed by the administration.
    2. Attending the first committee meeting to review the committee charge and expectations.
    3. Acting as a resource for the Committee Chair as needed and ensuring that any recommendations are brought through the appropriate consultative process.
    4. Ensuring that the committee submits a report of their activities and/or recommendations at the end of the year.

    Committee Chairs are either appointed by the administration or determined by the committee members through a democratic process. Committee Chairs are responsible for scheduling meetings, setting agendas, presiding over meetings and overseeing the preparation and distribution of meeting minutes.

    Committee Chairs will ensure that when at all possible, meeting times are scheduled in a manner that aligns with the academic calendar and class schedule, and except in matters of extreme urgency, all committee members will receive advanced notice of meetings and meeting agendas.

    Committee Chairs will ensure that all committee members have the opportunity to add relevant items to the agenda and to speak for and against proposals that fall within the committee charge, and deciding whether there is time available for discussion by visitors. Recommendations from a committee require a recorded vote and their recommendations are forwarded to the administration, Faculty Senate, Student Senate and other representative bodies for consideration. Certain committees are charged with work that involves confidential matters. In such cases, the committee meetings are not open and the committee does not forward recommendations to the Faculty Senate, Student Senate and other representative bodies for consideration.

    Committee Chairs will ensure the committee membership, meeting schedule, meeting agendas and meeting minutes are made available to the campus community in a timely manner by a process determined by the administration.

    Committee Chairs will ensure a report of their activities and/or recommendations is made available to the campus community in a timely manner at the end of the year.

    Specific committee names, charges and membership are found at: https://sp.mnstate.edu/sites/committees-and-task-forces/

    Proposals from any member of campus or group, to establish new committees or task forces, or to discontinue an existing committee or taskforce, are considered via the Meet and Confer process. An Ad Hoc Committee on Committees will be formed, via the Meet and Confer process, every two years to review and make recommendations about the status of existing committees and task forces. This review should be done to align with the biennial committee member appointment process.

    Definitions

    These definitions are a general charge for each category of committee.

    Advisory Committee. A group of diverse stakeholders that convene regularly to provide advice and hands-on support to another group.

    College Committees. A committee, on which the majority of the members are faculty, who are charged with considering areas and activities of primary importance to that academic unit.

    Compliance Committees. A committee that is created and operates under federal, state or other external guidelines, and is charged with ensuring compliance with these external regulations.

    Programmatic Committee. A committee charged with considering curricular issues of academic programs where two or more departments share equivalent responsibility for offering the requisite coursework. Recommendations from Programmatic Committees are made to the appropriate dean/s and are shared with the departments involved in the program. These recommendations do not replace departmental recommendations on curricular issues.

    Steering Committee. A committee that is advisory to the administration about the strategic direction for a specific project or initiative. Any Steering Committee recommendations regarding any affiliated academic program do not replace departmental recommendations on curricular issues.

    Student Affairs Committee. A committee, on which the majority of voting members are students, that is charged to consider non-academic areas and activities of primary importance to students. Student Affairs Committee recommendations are made to the President or their designee.

    Subcommittee. A subcommittee which consists of members whom are all drawn from a larger committee, and which reports back to that larger committee, requires no additional consultation with represented collective bargaining units. If the subcommittee desires input from anyone who is not a member of the larger committee then notice should be given to the represented collective bargaining units for appointment to be made as an ex-officio, non-voting member. A subcommittee reports their recommendations back to the larger committee for discussion and a required, recorded vote.

    Task Force. A group charged with making recommendations to the President about an institutional concern. A Task Force has an ending date, and appointments will only continue beyond this date after consultation between the President and the appropriate bargaining units and/or Student Senate.

    University Committee. A committee charged with considering areas and activities that impact the University community as a whole. University committees have a defined membership established by the administration in consultation with relevant bargaining units and Student Senate as appropriate. University Committee recommendations are made to the President, or her/his designee.

    Working Group. A Task Force that does not have a set ending date.