TABLE OF CONTENTS
COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP GUIDELINES 2
I. STANDARDS FOR ALL COMMITTEES 2
A. Governance:........ 2
B. Committee Structure: 2
C. Responsibilities:. 2
D. Succession:......... 2
E. Committee Objectives and Projects:. 3
F. Communication:........... 3
II. INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS.......... 4
A. Agenda: 4
B. Minutes:.................. 4
C. Dialogue Between Meetings: 4
D. Regional Meetings: 5
E. Recommendations to the Executive Committee: 5
III. MISCELLANEOUS: 5
A. External Communication:........... 5
B. Committee Size:......... 6
C. Member Terms and Turnover: 6
D. Selecting Committee Members: 6
E. Terminating a Committee: 7
F. Initiating A New Committee: 7
G. Annual Report:.... 7
The following suggestions should have wide applications to committee chairs and
vice-chairs. They should be distributed to current committee chairs, vice-chairs and all
future chairs as they assume responsibility for a committee.
All committee meetings shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order.
All standing committees will have a chair and a vice-chair.
The chair is the prime mover and ‘grand facilitator’. As such, the chair is responsible, with input and support from the Executive Committee, for developing the longer-term objectives, creating a plan for their implementation and facilitating with other committees, the Executive Committee and Headquarters. The chair is also responsible for writing the annual report and other reports unless assigned, developing and recommending potential leaders including the vice or co-chair. The chair is ultimately responsible for recruiting new members to the committee, making new members aware of their expected involvement so that they, in turn, can clarify commitments with their employers in order to gain support and sponsorship, and for recognizing in writing committee members that provide meritorious service. The chair may be responsible for seeing that the committee creates products and services, e. g. publications, symposia, forums, articles, schools, etc.
The vice-chair is the principle assistant and also the committee secretary and should take thorough minutes of each meeting. The chair, however, is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the minutes and should review them prior to their distribution and acceptance. The vice-chair also assists in developing committee objectives, designing the implementation of projects, and balancing workloads.
Ultimately, the President of the Association is responsible for choosing committee chairs. Nonetheless, the committees themselves should always be developing new leaders and bringing them to the attention of both the President and the Committee on Committees. The vice-chair may be a chair-in-training, but this is not ‘right of succession’.
There should be a clear-cut but evolving mission statement, reviewed annually or biannually and an evolving set of objectives for the committee. Each committee member should be fully aware of the mission statement and objectives. Projects developed in the committee should naturally align themselves to these objectives. As projects are proposed, a sponsor should be identified from the committee members for that project to promote and develop the project. Since responsibilities of some AAPG Committees overlap and are interrelated, it is important that the chair or the project sponsor maintains communication with all related committees. Discussions leading to changes of the mission statement and/or objectives may include the Executive Committee Liaison.
Subcommittees should carry out committee projects. It is important that the chair or project sponsor discussing the concept of a project, which may overlap other committees’ interests, first communicates with other committee chair before initiating the project. Each subcommittee should have a chair. The subcommittee chair can select members from that committee or from outside the committee subject to committee chair approval. Those selected from outside the committee should be considered for membership on the committee.
The staff liaison for each committee shall maintain an archive of previous “mission statements” and a compiled history of the original intent of the committee and subsequent modifications. This shall be provided each new chair to provide a foundation of understanding relative to the scope of the committee’s objectives and responsibilities in order to judge whether they should be modified. It is recommended each committee review its “mission statement” annually.
Each chair and vice-chair will be provided a copy of Clement Bruce’s An Abbreviated History of the Origin and Responsibilities of Committees of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1917-1992. Bruce’s document provides a very short (one, or two paragraph) summary of the purpose of each committee. The summary would be useful for each committee chair to read as a means of gaining an overview of the range of committee activities within AAPG and for judging whether other committees have overlapping interests.
Before turning over the reins, each chair should provide the incoming chair with a list of responsibilities and a timetable specific for that committee. This may not be appropriate for each committee, but some committees operate on a yearly schedule (Convention, grants-in-aid, etc.). The list and timetable should be compiled in consultation with the staff liaison.
Note: E-mail can and should be used, as much as possible and independently of future Web site development, to increase efficiencies and cut costs.
Each committee should strive to communicate committee activity not only to committee members, but also to the Committee on Committees, the AAPG staff and to the Executive Committee through the assigned Executive Committee Liaison.
Some means of communicating between committees and voiding unnecessary duplication include:
1. Having the committee chairs send copies of his/her newsletters and agendas to other chairs of committees with similar interests.
2.“Cross-pollinating” committees (i.e. assign one committee member to more than one committee.) It is the responsibility of that individual to receive correspondence from both committees, attend meetings of both committees, and make sure that relevant information is brought to each committee’s attention.
3. Publish committee reports, abstracts, and summaries in the House of Delegates Newsletter (aside from annual report).
Additional methodologies for communicating are suggested in the following paragraphs.
Every committee meeting should start with an agenda prepared by the committee chair and distributed prior to the meeting.
Sending out timely committee meeting minutes is essential. The vice-chair should make certain that:
1. Action items are noted,
2. Those who performed the action are identified, and
3. The expected timing for the activity is specified.
The chair should follow up with those responsible for completing each action item.
A newsletter is a good way to keep committee members informed. It can be mailed or sent via e-mail. The vice-chair and the chair, with input from subcommittee chairs, have responsibility for putting the newsletter together. The newsletter should be sent to the Committee on Committees, staff liaison, Executive Director and to the Executive Committee Liaison. Abstracts or summary information should be submitted to the House of Delegates secretary/treasurer
It may be necessary to hold regional meetings in order to conduct committee business. Each committee should keep its members informed of activities, progress on old issues, and upcoming issues at regional meetings. The committee chair is encouraged to travel to centralized locations where a substantial group of members reside. Minutes from these meetings must be sent to all members of the committee. The burden of conducting the regional meetings falls on the chair and/or the vice-chair.
Recommendations to the Executive Committee should include the following information:
1. A statement on the purpose of the recommendation.
2. Background (why is it needed?),
3. What segment of AAPG will be affected (…entire membership? …students?)?
4. Have discussions with other relevant committees or divisions occurred?
5. Estimated cost to implement.
6. Implementation plans.
a. Who will do it.
b. Timetable for implementation.
c. How the results will be conveyed to the affected membership or group.
The AAPG has prepared an initial set of web pages for each standing and ad hoc committee. Each committee should maintain their AAPG Committee Web Pages following the guidelines posted at the Committee area of the AAPG Website. A committee’s web pages should contain a mission statement, goals, projects, list of committee members, past committee reports, meeting schedules and other information of interest to AAPG members. Each committee chair should appoint a member to coordinate the committee’s web pages, ensuring they are current and contain the recommended content. The committee’s web appointee does not need special skills. The appointee contacts the AAPG’s Webmaster to have new material and changes made to the committee’s web pages. AAPG’s Webmaster will make the actual web page changes.
A committee should be able to accommodate members interested in contributing to the committee’s goals and projects. It can be allowed to expand for the creation of subcommittees or task forces. If subcommittee or ad hoc groups become sufficiently important they may be recommended to the President and the Executive Committee as a new standing committee.
The term for each individual is three years. Two consecutive three-year terms are suggested as a maximum. If a member is asked to be a vice-chair and eventually chair, the term for that member could extend to nine years. The Chair may, at their discretion, limit the term of Vice Chair to one year. There may be exceptions and those can always be dealt with as exceptions. Such member term limits encourage active members to move up and take over Chair duties or be moved off the committee. The appointment of a Chair and Vice Chair shall be for one year beginning July 1St; said appointment may be subject to reappointment. No Chair of a standing committee may serve as such for more than three consecutive years
Data from the AAPG member-preference polls should be used. It is recommended that there should be representation from every section and other geographic areas; representation from academia, research institutions, government, and industry, from needed technical disciplines and with diversity in gender and age of members.
In addition, membership renewal forms could also include information on committee interests. Divisions and affiliated society sources should be tapped for attracting new members to committees, especially from divisions, sections and affiliated society committees with similar goals or charges.
The President appoints committee members. The long-standing and prescribed procedure for adding new committee members is for the chair to present a list of potential new members to the President. The President will then make the appointments. The President may seek assistance in this matter from the Committee on Committees.
At the discretion of each committee chair categories of membership may be established, e. g.: 1) active (involved in all committee activities); 2) advisory (occasionally active); 3) corresponding (interest in one or two activities); and, 4) student (in preparation for future active membership). Categories may enable more AAPG members to become involved in committee activities.
Committees should continually be evaluated. The Executive Committee (with approval by the AAPG President) can terminate standing committees.
Proposals for new standing and ad hoc committees must be submitted in writing to the AAPG Executive Committee.
It is, however, good practice to work with a member of the Executive Committee in developing a proposal. That person can then present and explain the proposal in depth to the rest of the Executive Committee. Note: Such proposals should include not only the things AAPG ought to do, but MUST contain a description of the implementation phase (i.e., who will do what and by when).
The committee chair is responsible for submitting an annual report of committee activity and accomplishments by July 1st. The report will be published in the December issue of the AAPG Bulletin.
Aapg-coc.doc July 31, 2000
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