Role descriptions

Committee Chair

The committee chair leads the committee and enables it to work in an effective and efficient manner, through:

  • a. playing an active role, with the secretary, in fulfilling the committee’s terms of reference and in setting agendas for meetings
  • b. introducing items for discussion and providing background detail
  • c. facilitating discussion and ensuring that all members have their say
  • d. asking the ‘difficult’ questions
  • e. working for consensus and keeping the peace
  • f. summarising key points and steering the committee towards a decision
  • g. ensuring decisions are reached within available time constraints
  • h. ensuring responsibility for action is allocated appropriately

Committee Secretary

The committee secretary provides service and support to the committee, through:

  • a. detailed knowledge of the committee’s remit, and advising the Chair and members of what the committee can and can’t do
  • b. arranging meetings
  • c. preparing agendas
  • d. preparing background/briefing notes on particular topics
  • e. producing timely and accurate minutes
  • f. recording action points, and following these up regularly to ensure that action is completed
  • g. informing relevant people of the outcome of meetings
  • h. providing advice to Chairs and other relevant parties on matters of policy and process
  • i. offering advice to those writing papers on presentational requirements
  • j. maintaining appropriate committee records in an accessible format

Committee Members

The committee members enable the committee to discharge its responsibilities, through:

  • a. using their shared knowledge, skills and ideas in constructive debate of challenging issues
  • b. using their combined deliberations and judgement to achieve an objective appraisal of a problem, and a rational solution to it
  • c. acting as an important channel of communication by transmitting timely information and ideas to other relevant bodies and individuals inside the University
  • d. promoting mutual understanding, team-work and cooperation among colleagues, by bringing together staff from different departments in pursuit of common objectives
  • e. accepting collective responsibility for decisions, and ensuring that powers are not concentrated in or used inappropriately by individuals
  • f. improving the commitment and enthusiasm of their fellow members by encouraging them to contribute their ideas and take part in debate
  • g. using their membership of the committee to learn through experience and to achieve a more integrated view of the challenges facing the University, and possible solutions