ARCHIVED: Committee Chair Responsibilities

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  1. Agendas: The chair is responsible for setting the annual agenda for the committee. The agenda and goals of the Vice-President/President-Elect must be considered when establishing the agenda for the committee. Consultations with the liaison to the committee, past and present, and previous chairs of the committee will be useful. The chair must attend the annual meeting of outgoing and incoming chairs conducted by the Vice-President/President-Elect.
  2. Executive Board Meetings: Items for consideration at any Executive Board meeting (meetings are held in November and March, and the Friday prior to and Thursday subsequent to the annual meeting) must be forwarded to the Executive Director and one copy to the Board the liaison; in accordance with instructions received from the Executive Director eight weeks prior to each meeting (sample memo attached).
  3. Archives: The chair is responsible for transferring the appropriate committee files and documents to the Association's archives. The archives can also be a valuable source of information for the chair and the committee. Following are instructions for transferring materials to archives and for requesting information from the archives.

    The chair shall include a cover letter with any documents sent to the archives which shall indicate the name of the committee, the name of the chair submitting the documents, his/her term of office, and a brief description of the documents being submitted which includes the name and term of the previous chair. The documents shall be sent to: Mr. Bill Maher, University Archives, 19 Library, 1408 W. Gregory, Urbana, IL 61801.

    1. Transfer of Documents: The committee chair shall weed and transfer the files of the preceding chair to the archives at the end of the committee year. The chair shall pass the complete files created during his/her tenure, as well as any older files still needed for on-going projects, to the succeeding chair at or immediately following the annual meeting.
    2. Documents to be transferred to the archives include:

      1. Official records: constitutions and bylaws, minutes and proceedings, transcripts, lists of officers and members, interim and annual reports;
      2. Historical files documenting policies, decisions, committee and task force reports, questionnaires;
      3. Office files: correspondence and memoranda (incoming and outgoing), subject files concerning projects, activities and functions;
      4. Publications: one record copy of all programs, journals, monographs, newsletters, brochures, posters, and announcements issued by the association or its sub-divisions;
      5. Audio-visuals: photographs and sound recordings;
      6. Personal papers of members which relate directly to association work;
      7. Charts and maps.
    3. Records which should not be transferred to the archives and may be discarded include:

      1. 1. Records of specific financial and membership transactions;
      2. Letters of transmittal where the date and routing information is on the document transmitted;
      3. Requests for publications for information after the requests have been filled;
      4. All blank forms and unused printed or duplicated materials;
      5. All duplicate material: keep only the original copy and annotated copy;
      6. Papers, reports, work papers, and drafts which have been published;
      7. Replies to questionnaires if the results are recorded and preserved either in the archives or in a published report.
  4. Retrieving Information from Archives: The Application to Consult and/or Photocopy from the Association Archives contains the policies and regulations applicable to use of the archives.
  5. Budget and Expenses:

    1. Budget: Each committee may receive funds from the Association to cover expenses of long distance phone calls, postage, photocopying. If the committee needs funds, the chair shall prepare a budget request.

      Committees have the authority to spend up to the amount allocated to them.

      Policy: Association funds shall not be used for food and beverages for committees at the Annual Meeting. (AALL Financial Policies VII A. Committees).
    2. Expenses:

      1. Records and reports: The chair shall maintain records of all committee expenses.
      2. Reimbursement policy: Generally speaking, only postage, photocopying charges, long distance telephone calls and expenses approved in the committee's budget for travel, lodging and food for committee meetings will be reimbursed without pre-approval from the Executive Director. Expenses for committee meetings that are not approved in the committee's budget must be pre-approved by the President and Treasurer. Wages for secretarial services will not be reimbursed.
      3. Reimbursement procedures:

        1. The chair shall provide reimbursement forms from AALL for each committee member. Committee members shall file reimbursement requests with the chair. The chair shall promptly file reimbursement requests with the Executive Director.
        2. If reimbursement requests exceed the committee's budget, the chair shall file a fully documented report showing that allowable expenses and reimbursement requests have exceeded the committee's budget.
          Reimbursements greater than the approved budget must be approved by the President and Treasurer.
  6. Calendar: The chair is responsible for seeing that the committee meets all deadlines. While the AALL Executive Staff will provide a "tickler" service, reminding the chair of important dates, the chair must remain aware of major dates which will have an impact on the work of the committee.

    The general calendar is as follows:


    * Annual Meeting Program Proposals due to Program Assistant.

    * Executive Director mails request for Fall Board Meeting agenda items.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect mails first notice to members re: Volunteering.


    * Executive Director sends request to committees for comments on the strategic plan, and their program plans for the future.

    * Fall Board meeting Agenda items due to Executive Director.


    * Meeting Coordinator mails Preliminary Annual Meeting Scheduling form to Committee Chairs.


    * Deadline for responses on strategic plan and plans for the future.

    * Deadline for the return of Annual Meeting Schedule form.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect mails notice to members re: volunteering.


    * Deadline to submit completed volunteer forms to Executive Assistant to the Executive Director.

    * Executive Assistant to the Executive Director compiles binder on volunteers for Vice-President/President-Elect.

    * Strategic Planning Committee meets at AALL to assess progress on the plan, to review responses from the Board, committee and SIS Chairs and others, and to prepare general guidelines and priorities for the Finance & Budget Committee and the Board.

    * Executive Director sends program and budget request memo to committee Chairs.


    * Executive Director mails requests for Spring Board Meeting agenda items.

    * Deadline for program and budget request.

    * Finance and Budget Committee meets at AALL to review recommendations from the Strategic Planning Committee, set budget priorities and guidelines for the next fiscal year.


    * Spring Board Meeting agenda items due to Executive Director.

    * Program Assistant mails Activities Area and Store information out.


    * Vice-President/President-Elect selects volunteers and drafts all letters of invitation.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect mails letters to non-selected volunteers.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect mails appointment letters and acceptance forms.


    * Vice-President/President-Elect completes Board Liaison and Board Subcommittee assignments.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect, Executive Director and Executive Assistant to the Executive Director revise copy for the Handbook and Directory.

    * Deadline for return of Activities Area and Store forms to Program Assistant.


    * Executive Director mails request for Annual Reports

    * Executive Director mails request for Summer Board Meeting agenda items.

    * Executive Assistant to the Executive Director enters Committee Volunteers/Appointees and Representatives into the Leadership Directory.

    * Executive Assistant to the Executive Director compiles new committee rosters and sends them to all committee chairs.


    * Agenda items for the Executive Board Meeting at the Annual Meeting due to Executive Director.

    * Executive Assistant to the Executive Director prepares Committee, Representative, SIS, Chapter and Executive Board rosters.

    * Executive Assistant to the Executive Director mails full set of rosters to the Executive Board.


    * Executive Board approves budget for next fiscal year at the first meeting.


    * Annual Report due to Executive Director and LLJ Editor two weeks after the annual meeting.

    * Committee Chairs weed and transfer previous chair's files to archives.

    * Vice-President/President-Elect and Editor of Spectrum publish article announcing the acceptance of appointments and the location of applications for the next cycle of appointments.
  7. Meeting Attendance:  Committee council: The incoming and outgoing chairs shall attend the committee council meeting at the annual meeting. (See Sec. III. A).
  8. Executive Board: The committee chair shall attend the Executive Board meeting when requested to by the liaison or the President, or when necessary to present an agenda item. If the chair is unable to attend the meeting, s/he shall designate a committee member who can speak for the committee as committee representative.
  9. Liaison from the Executive Board: The President appoints board members to act as liaison for committees. The liaison serves as a channel of communication between the committee and the board. Except for voting, the liaison should be considered a member of the committee, receiving all correspondence that passes among the committee members.

    The liaison should be alert to potential problems, e.g. committee lethargy in execution of its goals or specific assignments from the board, board actions that effect the committee's work, board actions that may duplicate the committee's work, committee concerns that need board response. The liaison should be sensitive to potential duplication of effort not initiated by the board (e.g., duplication of effort between committees or SISs) and attempt to eliminate or minimize duplication by suggesting communication and/or coordination among relevant constituent groups within the Association.
  10. Conducting Committee Meetings: A great deal of committee work takes place in meetings. "Meetings" do not have to occur face to face. They can occur by mail or by conference call. The first step is to verify that everyone knows everyone else in the meeting.

    Restate the committee charge at the beginning of meetings held at the annual meeting, and discuss any questions about the charge. It can be helpful to restate the charge at other meetings as a means of keeping the discussion focused. Establish an agenda and stick to it. Normal agenda order is old business, new business and anything else. The agenda itself should be more detailed, with specific items of old business, new business, etc. identified.
  11. Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure: gives the chair great power and latitude. It is not necessary to be formal in the application of rules and procedure in a committee meeting provided discussion is amicable and the group has a common, understood goal. When the discussion is not amicable, and the goal is not generally understood, it may be necessary to use parliamentary motions as the means to focus discussion on the appropriate agenda item. Throughout the discussion, be sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak. Check in on the ones who have been quiet in the event that they feel intimidated by the more aggressive speakers.
    All AALL committee meetings must be open to all members who wish to attend, except those meetings where confidential deliberation must be maintained, such as discussions on nominations, scholarships, and awards.
  12. AALL Spectrum: The magazine has a regular column for committee news. It is one of the most important responsibilities of the chair to keep the general membership informed of the committee's activities. The magazine is an excellent forum for transmitting such information, asking for member comments and opinions; and the like, either through the committee column or through a separate story when appropriate. The chair is responsible for working with the Editor and meeting the magazine guidelines and deadlines.
  13. Program Planning for the Annual Meeting: Ideas for programs and discussion groups may be generated by any individual or group, including committees, within the Association. The final content of the program and the scheduling of the program are the responsibility of the Program Chair. Association committees are expected to work with the Program Chair in preparing for the annual meeting. Committee chairs will be notified of the time periods in which committee meetings should be scheduled. The current chairs should schedule two meetings, one for the current committee, and one for the succeeding committee. Both meetings schedules should be submitted in time to allow their inclusion in the Preliminary Program. All committee activities during the annual meeting of the Association which may have an impact on the convention program are to be cleared with the Program Chair.
  14. Reports: An annual report is required of each chairperson.
    1. Annual report: The annual report is due two weeks after the annual meeting or sooner, if possible. The report should include goals achieved, progress on goals not achieved, and recommendations for continuance in the following year. All committee members should participate in the annual report. If opinion is not unanimous, a minority report may be filed.

      The annual report should also contain the following information: a summary of activities during the year, summary of events outside the Association which may effect the committee's work, recommendations for action by AALL, and recommendations for future committee activity. The chair should file, with the annual report, the final expense report for the committee, final evaluations of committee members, and an evaluation of headquarters and liaison support. In addition to the formal report, the chair should be ready in early spring to give to the incoming President an account of the members of the committee and their performance of their responsibilities to the committee. This evaluation, together with the formal evaluations, will aid the incoming President in appointments for the coming year.
    2. Special reports and requests for Board action: The chair shall file any special reports requested by the Executive Board or the President, or that are appropriate as a result of the committee's assignments or routine work. The chair shall also prepare and file any requests for Board action that are required to implement or authorize the work of the committee.
    3. Distribution of reports: Generally, reports will be filed with headquarters in accordance with the instructions of the Executive Director or the Association Secretary. Committee members should receive copies of draft and final reports, including financial reports but excluding evaluations of committee members. Draft reports must be shared with those affected, with requests for comments before submitting to the Board. The Board liaison should receive copies of all reports in draft and final form. Final report of a committee may be amended by the Board prior to publication, with changes indicated.