2.8(6) General Charter for University Committees

(President 03/18/1974; Amended 03/1975; 01/1977; 06/1985; 06/1993; 07/2013; 7/1/17)
  1. General Purpose and Method of Operation. University charter committees are established, modified, and disestablished by the collective action of the following 3 organizations, namely, the University of Iowa Student Government, the Staff Council, and the Faculty Senate (herein called "assemblies"), and by the President of the University of Iowa or designee.

    The organization, purpose, and charge of university charter committees are subject to the authority of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and the President of the University of Iowa.

    Charter committees are established in an effort to assure that university-wide services and activities will be carried out in the best interests of education and society. The membership of university charter committees is generally composed of faculty, staff members, and students in varying proportions according to the committee's primary interest. Charter committees are designed to be small working groups. Unless special circumstances dictate, they shall not exceed 11 appointed, voting members. Their general responsibility is twofold: 1) to recommend and to advise on the formulation of university policy, and 2) to assist in the interpretation of university policies to their respective constituencies.

    The composition of each charter committee, the activities of concern to it, and the specific charges to it are set forth in specific charters which follow this General Charter.
  2. Scope of Concern. Within the area to which it is assigned by its specific charter, each university charter committee may recommend university policy and advises on the following matters: 1) formulation of basic policy and objectives; 2) development of plans and programs including financing; 3) development of operations, procedures, rules, and regulations; 4) response to suggestions and inquiries from all persons interested in the university; 5) solicitation of expert opinion and information from any sector of the university when it appears that such opinion and information will help the committee in its advisory capacity; and 6) other matters of mutual interest and concern as they arise. University charter committees are privileged, as are the assemblies and constituencies which the committees represent, to take a position on any question concerning the relation between the area of their immediate concern and the overall welfare of the university. The position taken will be deemed that of the charter committee and not necessarily that of the three assemblies or their constituencies. Upon its request, the charter committee will have access to all relevant public information as defined in Chapter 22 of the Iowa Code.
  3. Authority. Each university charter committee acts only in an advisory capacity within the area assigned to it. Committee recommendations are not binding on the administration. On the other hand, it is expected that the views of the committees will have an important influence on policies and procedures in their areas of concern. Administrators remain responsible to and accountable to the President of the university. Members of the charter committees, on the other hand, should report to and seek the views of the assemblies which have nominated them. Furthermore, it is expected that when administrative officers of the university seek the opinion of students, faculty, or staff, they will use, among other sources of information and advice, the services of the appropriate charter committee. Each assembly, of course, may maintain its own internal committee system. Similarly, the President of the university shall be able to establish committees as deemed necessary by the President.
  4. Appointment Procedures.
    1. Qualifications for Members.
      1. Appointments of committee members by each assembly are to be made in accordance with the procedures adopted by that assembly. Appointments must meet the committee membership requirements of the general charter and of the specific charter for the committee concerned. Appointments must be consistent with the university's affirmative action policy. All such appointments shall be confirmed by the President of the university or designee, who will also make committee appointments if specifically mandated by the charter of a specific committee.
      2. Appointees of the University of Iowa Student Government shall be persons who are currently registered as full-time students at the university in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program on campus.
      3. Appointees of the Faculty Senate shall be persons who are eligible to be members of the Faculty Senate (I-2.8(1)).
      4. For purposes of membership on charter committees, appointees of the Staff Council shall be permanent employees of the university, either full or part time, who are covered by the Board of Regents Merit system, or who are classified primarily as Professional and Scientific Staff.
    2. Annual Term of Charter Committees. Each charter committee shall have an annual term running from September 1 of each year to the following August 31.
    3. Term of Members. The term of appointment for each member of a charter committee shall be fixed by the assembly appointing that member except that no appointment shall be for a term longer than 3 years. Reappointments are possible. However, no person may serve more than 6 consecutive years on a charter committee, except as specified by specific committee charters. Terms of newly appointed and reappointed committee members will begin on September 1 and terms of retiring committee members will expire on August 31. When appointments are made for more than 1 year to a new charter committee, initial appointments from each assembly are to be staggered terms, that is, for 1, 2, or 3 years.
    4. Time of Appointment. To the extent possible, appointments and reappointments are to be made on or before May 15 of each year so that all new and continuing members of the charter committee will be appointed before the committee's first meeting of its next term, commencing on the following September 1.
    5. Selection of Chairperson(s). On or before August 31 of each year, the chairperson and, where applicable, the co-chair of each charter committee will be appointed from among those members of the committee for the next annual term by the President of the university or designee after consultation with the presidents of the 3 assemblies.
  5. Resignation and Replacement. In the event a duly appointed member wishes to resign, the member should notify the president of the appropriate assembly and the President of the University of Iowa or designee. The president of the relevant assembly shall forward the name of any new appointee to the President of the university or designee, who will confirm the appointment if it is consistent with (d)(1) above. If qualified, the person so designated will be appointed to complete the full term of the person who resigned. The President of the university or designee shall send written notice of the appointment to the chairperson(s) of the charter committee to which the person has been appointed, to the presidents of all three assemblies, and, in the case of staff, to the appointee's immediate supervisor.
  6. Removal. A committee member appointed from an assembly may be removed by the president of the assembly if they are absent from at least three consecutive committee meetings or for other good cause. If the committee chair believes that there are grounds for removal, they shall notify the affected committee member and the president of the relevant assembly. If the president of the assembly believes removal would be appropriate, the member will be notified that the committee seat has been declared vacant, and a new member will be appointed to the committee by the appropriate assembly in accordance with its procedures.
  7. Notification Procedures for Appointees and Reappointees; Designation of Administrative Officer to Serve as Liaison with Charter Committees. After charter committee members are appointed and confirmed, the President of the university or designee shall give written notice of full committee membership to the presidents of the 3 assemblies, who will then be responsible for notifying new appointees and reappointees from that constituency of their appointment. The President of the university or designee shall also distribute a consolidated membership list of all charter committees under their oversight to the presidents of the 3 assemblies, to the current chairperson of each charter committee, to each administrator who is a liaison to a charter committee, to the Office of Strategic Communication, and to other centers of communication as appropriate.

    In addition, it is expected that on or before September 1 of each year the President of the university or designee will designate one or more administrators, consistent with the terms of any specific charter, who will work with the charter committees during the following year. The list of administrators who are the liaisons to the charter committees will be sent to the committee in time to permit each committee to hold its first meeting of its annual term with the administrators in attendance.
  8. First Meeting of Annual Term.
    1. Time of meeting. The first regular meeting of the annual term for each charter committee shall be held on or before October 1 in each annual term.
    2. Election of Secretary. At this meeting, the general and specific charges to the committee will be explained to the new members, current committee activities will be reviewed, and a secretary for the annual term will be nominated and elected by the committee.
  9. Regular and Special Meetings.
    1. Frequency: Each charter committee is to hold a minimum of 2 regular meetings during each fall and spring semester falling within the annual term.
    2. Call: Meetings may be called from time to time by the chairperson(s) as business arises. The chairperson(s) shall call a meeting upon petition by one-third of the committee members or upon the request of the administrators assigned to work with the committee.
    3. Notice: Notice of each meeting shall be provided to all committee members, to the administrators designated as liaisons to the committee, to others having business with the committee, to the presidents of the three assemblies and, at the discretion of the committee, to the IMU Campus Information Center for inclusion in the master calendar.
    4. Floor Privilege: Meetings of the charter committees shall be opened to the public and media except when the committee deems it appropriate to meet in executive session. Committee members and the designated administrators (or their representatives) have the right and privilege of the floor at all times; this right may be extended to other persons by majority vote of the committee.
    5. Voting Privilege: Voting privileges are limited to members of the committee. A roll-call record of split votes is to be kept in the minutes when requested by a member of the committee.
    6. Quorum Requirements: A quorum consists of at least one-half of the committee's members. If proceedings are under way to replace a committee member (see paragraph f above) and neither the member facing removal nor an officially appointed successor is able to attend a committee meeting, the seat shall be considered vacant for quorum purposes.
    7. Conduct of Business: Committee deliberations generally should be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, which makes due allowance for the informality appropriate to small working groups. The committee shall follow a prepared agenda. The procedures outlined in this section do not interfere with the prerogative and responsibility of members of the committee to communicate with their several assemblies frequently and informally or to refer a disputed issue to the assembly for broader debate.
    8. Minutes: Minutes from each committee meeting are to be sent to all members of the committee, to the designated administrators who are liaisons to the committee, to the presidents of the 3 assemblies, to the President of the university or designee, and to other persons in the university or to such campus and community media as may be appropriate. At minimum, the minutes should reflect any resolutions or other recommendations or motions of the committee and be fairly reflective of the committee's discussion.
  10. Files. All files and copies of the minutes of the committee shall be kept by the administrator who is the liaison to the committee. The chairperson(s) and secretary may maintain such files as they deem appropriate. Files of the chairperson(s) and the secretary should be sent to their immediate successors in office, or to the administrator who is liaison to the committee.

    At convenient times, as files relating to any charter committee accumulate in the Office of the President of the university or designee or in the files of any of the assemblies, administrators, chairpersons, or secretaries and are no longer needed by others for current reference, they shall be transferred to University Archives. At that time, the presidents of the 3 assemblies may deal with their copies of committee records in accordance with any university records retention policy then in effect.
  11. General Charge to Charter Committees.
    1. Each committee shall concern itself with the matters listed in I-2.8(6)b as these matters apply to the area assigned to the committee.
    2. In terms consonant with I-2.8(6)a and I-2.8(6)c, the committee should at all times seek to advise the administration and to inform the three assemblies of matters of concern. Except as may be provided in the specific charters, there are no ex officio members of charter committees.
    3. When requested by the President of the university or designee, and without prejudicing the role played by the Faculty Senate Committee on the Selection of Central Academic Officials, each charter committee shall be available to advise the President of the university or designee: 1) on the methods of reviewing the functions which come within the scope of the committee's advisory role, 2) concerning the criteria for appointment of new university-wide administrators, some of whose functions come within the scope of the committee's advisory role, and 3) on the selection of such administrators.
    4. Each outgoing committee shall prepare in time for the first regular meeting of the incoming committee in the next annual term a brief report summarizing committee activities for the past year and identifying current issues and future questions to the extent such information is not available from the committee's minutes. Any annual report is to be distributed in the same manner as the committee's minutes.
    5. Committee members shall neither expect nor accept by reason of their service on any committee any gratuities, rewards, or perquisites, including tickets. Preferential treatment shall not be given to any committee member by virtue of service on the committee.
  12. Establishment and Modification of Charter Committees. At least once every 3 years the presidents of the 3 assemblies and the President of the university or designee shall review the committee structure to determine whether charter committees should be established or modified. Before making a final decision, they shall seek the advice of the appropriate constituencies in this review process. To establish or modify a charter committee requires the approval of the 3 assemblies and the President of the university or designee.
  13. Duration of the General Charter. The General charter shall be formally reviewed by the President of the university or designee and by the presidents of the 3 assemblies at least once every 6 years and continued if agreed to by them. It can also be amended at any time by unanimous agreement of these officers.