University Committees Policy


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on University Committees



This policy standardizes how University Committees as defined herein are formed, operate, report findings, and dissolve.

Scope of Applicability

All University Committees as defined herein are subject to this policy.


  1. University Committee. A University Committee is any multi-person body, working group, task force, authority, board, commission, committee, subcommittee, council, or similar body, regardless of title, that meets all of the following criteria:

    1. It is established by or at the direction of the chancellor, provost, a vice chancellor, or any combination of those officials;

    2. Its function or subject-matter jurisdiction is institution-wide or otherwise of significant institutional concern, rather than limited to a particular unit, school, or division; and

    3. It is authorized, directed, or expected to provide advice or recommendations to senior leadership concerning policy or administrative action; or to otherwise adjudicate matters or take any other administrative action.

    The term “University Committee” does not include the following:

    1. The Faculty Council, committees of the Faculty Council, and the Faculty Executive Committee.1

    2. Student Government.

    3. Employee Forum.

    4. Any standing or special committee of the Board of Trustees.

    5. Search Committees.

    6. Multi-person groups consisting exclusively of administrative staff of the University.

  1. Standing Committee. A Standing Committee is a University Committee that the Office of the Chancellor has determined will have continuous existence unless and until disbanded by the chancellor or the chancellor’s designee.

  2. Special Committee. A Special Committee is a University Committee that the Office of the Chancellor has not designated as a Standing Committee. Special Committees may include subcommittees of Standing Committees.

  3. Administrative Staff of the University. Permanent non-faculty employees of the University.


Policy Statement

A. General Requirements

1. Approval Required to Create a University Committee

All University Committees exercise functions that ultimately derive from the authority and responsibility of the chancellor.2 Therefore, University Committees may only form or operate with written approval from the Office of the Chancellor. Please see Section B of this policy for specific information about obtaining required approvals.

2. Importance of Diversity in University Committees

When identifying individuals to serve on committees, committee chairs should invite individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines with different experiences.

3. Appropriate Functions of University Committees

University Committees must not undertake functions that are otherwise performed by the University’s administrative staff. Special Committees must not undertake functions within the jurisdiction of or that can be performed by any of the Standing Committees unless that Special Committee is a subcommittee of the relevant Standing Committee.

4. Limitations on Special Committees

Special Committees must disband when their functions are complete or six months following the approval of the Special Committee’s charter, whichever is earlier, unless the Office of the Chancellor provides written approval for additional six-month periods.

5. Serving on a University Committee
  1. Faculty Serving on University Committees. When considering faculty for University Committee appointments, committee chairs should recognize and accommodate the need for faculty members’ primary focus to be teaching, research, service, and other responsibilities. Further, the faculty members’ relevant Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committees should consider service on a committee as "University service" for all faculty reviews and evaluations.
  2. Students Serving on University Committees. When considering students for University Committee appointments, committee chairs should ensure that service is in the students’ best interests and should account for and accommodate the primary focus students have on their curricular, extra-curricular, and other responsibilities.
  3. Compensation for University Employees Serving on University Committees. Because committee service is an ordinary component of campus employment, University faculty and staff serving as members of University Committees, including committee officers, are not entitled to additional compensation for their committee service.
  4. Length of Time University Employees May Serve on a University Committee. University employees are limited to one-year renewable terms for Standing Committees and six-month renewable terms for Special Committees. Continued service on a University Committee by an employee is subject to the discretion of the employee’s department head, dean, or other supervisor in consultation with the Office of the Chancellor.
6. Charter

All University Committees must operate according to and within the limits of a written charter. The charter must contain, at minimum, the following components:

  1. Purpose statement describing the reason for the committee’s formation and its goals and objectives.
  2. Description of committee duties, responsibilities, activities, and deliverables.
  3. Statement of authority for the committee (i.e., policy, statute, or UNC officer, other).
  4. Designation as a Standing Committee or a Special Committee. If a Special Committee, the committee’s charter must include the limitations on Special Committees described in Section A.4. of this policy.
  5. Reference to the list of members, including name, title or affiliation, and unit, which may be maintained separate from the charter by assigned staff.
  6. Identification of a chairperson.
  7. If the committee will require staff support, designation of staff personnel, including:
    1. Staff person responsible for preparing and keeping committee records, including agendas, materials, minutes, and summaries of meetings.
    2. Staff person responsible for Open Meetings Act compliance if the committee is a public body.3
    3. Staff person within the Office of University Communications who will receive inquiries and communicate on behalf of the committee.
    4. Counsel within Office of University Counsel.
7. Communications and Reports

Except for intra-committee communications, drafts, and other communications with committee members and relevant University administrative staff, the Office of University Communications must review and approve public statements issued by University Committees.

University Committees must not formally issue or publish any final report or deliverable without the approval of the Office of the Chancellor.

8. Publishing Lists of University Committees

The Office of the Chancellor is responsible for publishing and maintaining updated lists of all University Committees, which may be accomplished through the University’s website.

B. Establishing University Committees

The Office of the Chancellor will evaluate the following written information before approving the establishment of a University Committee:

  1. The need for the committee, including why the need cannot be effectively met by the University’s administrative staff or through an existing University Committee.
  2. Draft committee charter containing the minimum components set forth in Section A.6. of this policy.
  3. Draft appointment letters to committee members, to include a description of member duties and responsibilities; estimated time commitment; and requirements and expectations concerning communications, reports, and continued committee service.
  4. Proposed committee work plan, meeting schedule, and due dates for deliverables.
  5. If needed, a proposed committee budget, including identification of source of funds.
  6. If needed, identification of any requests for the chancellor’s direct involvement in committee affairs, such as requests to charge the committee, attend one or more meetings, review reports or recommendations, or to include mention of the committee and its work in official communications.




  1. The Faculty Council is maintained under the Chancellor’s authority within the institution as provided in Section 502 D(2) of The Code of The University of North Carolina.
  2. Please see Section 502 of The Code of The University of North Carolina for more information about the chancellor’s roles and responsibilities.
  3. See UNC Policy Manual Section 1300.4[G], Guidelines on Defining “Public Body” Within the Meaning of the Open Meetings Act.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contact

  • Name: Tom Shanahan
  • Title: Acting Chief Administrative Officer - UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Email:
  • Phone: 919-962-4588


Article ID: 138009
Fri 2/11/22 4:05 PM
Mon 2/21/22 2:09 PM
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02/21/2022 12:00 AM
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02/21/2022 12:00 AM
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