General information on joint committees

A page within Chancellor

(Revised September 2009)

These guidelines are intended to help new conveners, chairs and recorders in fulfilling their roles within their University Joint Committees.


All committees are to follow Robert’s Rules of Order. Answers to some frequently asked questions can be found at  All committees must comply with the Open Meeting Law

In particular, the law requires the following:

The provision in Wis. Stat. § 19.84(3) requires that every public notice of a meeting be given at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting, unless “for good cause” such notice is “impossible or impractical.”  If “good cause” exists, the notice should be given as soon as possible and must be given at least two hours in advance of the meeting. Wis. Stat. § 19.84(3). 

This notice can be achieved by including Chancellor's Office in all meeting notifications and posting the meeting announcements following the procedure outlined on the UWL open meetings webpage.


Unless your committee has a regularly scheduled meeting time, contact all committee members (including student members if applicable) for their schedule and find a time to hold the organizational meeting. Call the organizational meeting to order and conduct an election for committee chair. Communicate information from the convener’s meeting to the new chair.


Promptly notify Chancellor's Office of the results of the election of officers. Make arrangements for meetings and give notification of date, time and place of meeting. Be sure to comply with the Open Meeting Law.  Send out an agenda for each meeting* at least a few days prior to the meeting. The agenda need not be long, but should include: 

  • Name of the committee
  • Date, time and location of the meeting
  • Topics that will be discussed at the meeting
  • If appropriate, a statement indicating that the meeting may go into closed session (for student appeals, etc.)  Run the meetings following Robert’s Rules of Order

*For consistency in the postings, consider using the following standard SUBJECT LINE:  committee name_minutes_date. (For example: CAPS_minutes_10-15-09)

Keep the Chair apprised of any issues with the committee (member not attending or not participating or issues with charges or the committee's ability to complete the charge, etc.). Submit an end-of-year report that includes the activities of the committee over the year as well as any suggested charges for next year’s committee.


Take clear, concise minutes for each meeting. (See below for recommendations on what goes into the minutes.) Type up each set of minutes and distribute to the committee members in a timely fashion. After the minutes have been approved by the committee (preferably at the next scheduled meeting), send the approved minutes to Chancellor's Office for posting. Confidential information (student names in appeals, etc) should be removed before posting approved minutes. NOTE: If the job of recorder is rotated through committee members, the chair should take this responsibility.

Suggestions on taking meeting minutes.  Minutes should include the following: 

  • Name of Committee
  • Date and Location of Meeting
  • Attendees (members & visitors)
  • Absent members and whether the absence is excused.
  • Meeting Time (when called to order & adjourned)
  • Name of person who took the minutes.
  • A summary of the committee discussions (not the content of every comment or who made the comment). Remember that minutes are the official record of what happened, not what was said, at a meeting.
  • Complete statement of any motions and the results of the vote. Reports, statements, etc. should not be included in the text of the minutes. Rather, they should be attached to the minutes.  

*For consistency in the postings, consider using the following standard SUBJECT LINE:  committee name_minutes_date. (For example: JP&B_minutes_10-15-09)