Guidelines For Standing Committees

Membership - Selection and Responsibility

The purpose of standing committees at Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) is to implement and ensure shared governance of the College by making recommendations concerning said governance. A key consideration in determining committee membership should be equitable representation of the College and its diversity. Membership on College Standing Committees is one of several opportunities and obligations available to faculty, staff, and students to serve the College and the greater community.

The email to faculty and staff for membership requests, via the VSCC Standing Committee Survey, will come from the President's Office in February. Faculty and staff may volunteer or be appointed to serve on committees. Full-time faculty and staff are eligible to serve on committees after their 1st year of employment at VSCC. Students may volunteer or be recommended by college faculty or staff to serve on committees. Due to specified guidelines for federally funded grant programs, employees who are funded 100% by a grant may only serve on standing committees or councils that are related to the grant's objectives. The College Steering Committee will make recommendations for membership on committees. Faculty members in the promotion and tenure process will receive priority in committee appointments. It is the faculty member's responsibility to self-identify as (promotion and/or tenure seeking) on the February VSCC Standing Committee Survey. After review and approval by the President's cabinet, the College Steering Committee chair will notify faculty, staff and students regarding committee assignments. The members of each committee are responsible for fulfilling each committee's purpose and for maintaining effective two-way communication between the committee and their constituencies they represent. Members of each committee shall serve a maximum of three (3) years on the same committee unless they are voted as Chair during their 2nd or 3rd year on the committee, at which time their maximum service would be four (4) or five (5) years respectively. Maximum years of service does not apply to membership service by title or Ex. Officio. Participation in committee activities is an important function and will be reflected in employee evaluations.

Committees have the ability to delegate projects to sub-committees which report findings and results to the main committees. Sub-committee members may be existing members of the primary committee, may volunteer, or may be appointed by the primary committee Chairs.

All committees and sub-committees will keep minutes which, after approval, are to be recorded, stored, and available electronically and accessible by all College employees. Sub-committees must record and store minutes as above, but may do so by including them in the minutes of the larger committee under which they serve. The College Steering Committee Chair will send reminders during the fall and spring semesters to the college community about the electronic availability of committee minutes.

Timeline for Committee Selections

Changes to VSCC Standing Committee Membership or VSCC Standing Committee Guidelines

All requests for changes to the VSCC Standing Committee List or the VSCC Standing Committee Guidelines shall be submitted via email to the Chair of the College Steering Committee by the 15th of each month (August- March). The change request should include justification and supporting details (i.e. committee name, guidelines page number, faculty/staff name, title and department, and/or any other details outlining the changes). Requests will not be approved by the College Steering Committee Chair. They will be voted upon by the College Steering Committee and then submitted to Cabinet for a final vote. The status of the requests will be communicated to requestor as soon as Cabinet makes a final decision.

Chairperson - Selection and Responsibility

Each current standing committee will select a Chair for the upcoming academic year no later than the last meeting in February. Faculty or staff may not serve as chair if their job responsibilities would be impacted by the decisions of the committee. If a Chair is not selected by the committee, then the College Steering Committee will recommend the Chair. Chairs shall serve a maximum term of two years. Chairs should not chair more than one Standing Committee or Council concurrently. Only faculty and staff may serve as Chair. A Chair's term concludes at the end of the spring semester after their 2nd year; the new Chair's term shall begin at this point. First-time committee Chairs will attend a Committee Chair and Recorder Training provided by the College Steering Committee. Chairs will:

  1. Solicit agenda items.
  2. Conduct all meetings.
  3. Contact any member who has missed two meetings or who has not responded to any emails.
  4. Act as liaison with Vice President to whom the committee reports.
  5. Approve and ensure accurate reporting and posting of committee minutes.
  6. Be a nonvoting member but serve as a tie breaker in the event of tie.
  7. Identify and invite persons with expertise as the need arises.
  8. Submit recommendations to the Vice-President to whom the committee reports and maintain communication until feedback is received. If there is no communication from Vice-President, then the recommendations should be submitted to the College Steering Committee for feedback.
  9. Follow Robert's Rules of Order. (http://www.rulesonline.com)
  10. Recognize when a quorum has or has not been met. A quorum will be a majority of the committee membership. A Chair may be included in a quorum count. Any attendance or quorum issues should be reported to the Vice President to whom the committee reports. If there is no resolution, then the issues should be reported to the College Steering Committee.

Recorder - Selection and Responsibility

The Recorder is selected by volunteer or through nomination, voted on by the committee membership, and approved by the Chair for a term of at least one year. The Recorder should be a voting member of the committee and should be appointed without regard to the person's position within the college. If the committee cannot select a recorder, then the College Steering Committee will make the appointment. First-time committee Recorders will attend a Committee Chair and Recorder Training provided by the College Steering Committee.

The Recorder will:

  1. Record attendance.
  2. Report the proceedings of each meeting accurately.
  3. Post public minutes of meetings in the official repository. Confidential details and records will be housed in the Office of the Vice President to whom the committee reports or area designated by that Vice President.
  4. Follow Robert's Rules of Order. (http://www.rulesonline.com)

Ex-Officio Members

Ex-Officio members will:

  1. Serve as non-voting members.
  2. Be selected due to their expertise.
  3. Serve as liaison between the committee and the departments they represent.
  4. Not be included in the total membership ranges nor be counted for quorum.
  5. Attend meetings at their discretion.
  6. Not be eligible to serve as Chair.


Members-at-large will:

  1. Represent any position of the institution
  2. Fill the maximum number of committee members specified in the committee's guidelines but may not exceed the maximum membership indicated for the committee.

Meetings - Number

Committees shall meet once a month, or more/less if needed. Standing Committees shall try to conclude all business by the end of spring term since many serving faculty members are not on contract during the
summer. Standing Committees typically do not meet during the summer; however, some standing committees may need to do so at the discretion of the Vice President of those committees. Certain committees meet only as needed, such as the Food Service Committee, the Bookstore Committee, the Discipline Committee, the Financial Disclosure Review Committee, or the Intellectual Property Committee. Refer to the schedule for initial committee meetings.

Reporting Relationships

Reporting relationships are described in the guidelines for each committee.

Annual Report

An annual report of actions and/or recommendations should be completed and submitted to the President's office by April 1st of each year. Brief descriptions of the work of sub-committees should be included.

Guidelines for Ad Hoc Committees

Only the President or a Vice-President may form an Ad Hoc committee, and he or she must notify the College Steering Committee of the proposed committee formation with guidelines, membership, and a Chair and Recorder before the committee is established.

The function of the college's Ad Hoc committees (formerly known as task forces) is to take action on a specific task as the need arises. An Ad Hoc committee should only be appointed to fulfill a task that falls outside the assigned function of an existing standing committee. The administrators overseeing the work of the committee will appoint members. When an Ad Hoc committee's task is accomplished and its report delivered to the appointing authority, the committee automatically ceases to exist. Ad Hoc committees must conform to the same reporting rules of standing committees in regards to recording, storing, and publishing minutes.


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