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How to waste meeting time


Guest Kantor
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The chair of my department in my university came from a country with a dictatorial regime and have no idea about RR or democracy.  Most of the faculty are foreign born and they just want to get along.  The chair is not interested in hearing any opinion.  He sets the agenda, (without a 'new business item' ) and talk most of the time about the agenda items that he proposed before the meeting.  There are practically no motions to be approved.  Basically, he is succeeding in wasting the meeting time.

Should the agenda be approved in the meeting?

I know, just to discuss issues without specifying a time limit is against the rules.  There is a motion to discuss an issue for a certain time, with a time keeper appointed, but is there a rule that says you can not just talk without a time limit and without a motion?

What I am asking is what could be done so that the meeting time is not wasted .

Thank you.

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Perhaps get and give (Christmas is coming!) your dept. chair a copy of ...

RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will really need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening. Get both RONRIB and RONR (scroll down) at this link. Or in your local bookstore.

It might be just what the parliamentarian ordered.

 

 

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Take a look at the link offered by Daniel, and then buy two copies of RONR: In Brief - one for you to read (and refer to) and one for the Chairman.

From an RONR point of view, if enough members leave then quorum is lost.  And basically don't attend a meeting, or stay in a meeting, if you don't want to be there - at least from an RONR point of view.  However, as this is related to your job, try using RONR: In Brief to get the Chairman to do a better job handling a meeting, or look for a job either in another department, or with another organization if the Chairman still refuses to listen.

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Thanks for all the responses and especially to Daniel.

 I actually have a few copies of RR, I stopped looking at them more than 20 years ago.  According to the Dept bylaws, we should follow RR in our meetings.  The issue is how to prevent a chair from becoming a dictator.  I guess if conditions are right (or wrong), then dictators can arise no matter what the rules are.

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Dr Kantor, be mindful of Mr Brown's remarks (as do all of prudent and circumspect sensibility).  As I understand the nature of department chairmanship, your meetings are likely not assemblies of peers, all the members, including the chairman, of equal status; rather, the chairman is The Man In Charge.  Is that not so?

2 hours ago, Guest Kantor said:

... I actually have a few copies of RR, I stopped looking at them more than 20 years ago....

Do try RONR-IB (usually the hyphen is neglected by college graduates -- you know how it is), as you have been advised, Dr Kantor:  it will provide both a refresher, after 20 years, and an up-to-date view of contemporary parliamentary procedure.

On the other hand ...

2 hours ago, Guest Kantor said:

...  According to the Dept bylaws, we should follow RR in our meetings....

So, then, Dr, perhaps you have some educating to do. :-)

2 hours ago, Guest Kantor said:

...  The issue is how to prevent a chair from becoming a dictator.  I guess if conditions are right (or wrong), then dictators can arise no matter what the rules are.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

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"There is a motion to discuss an issue for a certain time, with a time keeper appointed, but is there a rule that says you can not just talk without a time limit and without a motion?"
 
1) RONR (11th ed.), p. 43, ll.4-7: "In the debate, each member has the right to speak twice on the same question on the same day, but cannot make a second speech on the same question so long as any member who has not spoken on that question desires the floor."--unless you have, or adopt, a rule to the contrary.  Also, RONR (11th ed.), p. 43, ll. 11-14:  "Without the permission of the assembly, no one can speak longer than permitted by the rules of the body--or,, in a non-legislative assembly that has no rule of its own relating to the length of speeches, longer than ten minutes."
 
2) RONR (11th ed.), p. 34, ll. 27-33:  "Unless the assembly has specifically authorized that a particular subject be discussed while no motion is pending, however, such a discussion cab be entered into only at the sufferance of the chair or until a point of order is made; and in the latter case, the chair must immediately require that a motion be offered  or the discussion cease."
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