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Electing Chair in Standing Committee


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Hello, friends--

First, thank you all for the help you've provided me in the past; it has been indispensable to helping me fulfill the duties of parliamentarian for my society. I have what I think is a very quick, non-urgent question. I have looked through RONR 11th and can't seem to find a direct answer to this:

If the procedure for the appointment of chairs of standing committees is not established in the by-laws (or anywhere else for that matter), and the committee chair's seat vacates after the initial appointment of a chair (for example, when the committee chair's term is up), is the assumed procedure:

A) The empty seat remains a chair's seat per se, and the assembly appoints the committee chair specifically,

B) The assembly appoints someone to the committee to fill what becomes non-specific seat, and the committee itself then appoints the new chair, 

C) The assembly appoints someone to what becomes a non-specific seat and then appoints the new chair from that committee, or

D) Something else (if so, what?)


Thank you in advance!

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I'm pretty sure that RONR doesn't address your question explicitly (so you are not losing your ability to look things up!).

The starting point is the rule (p. 177) that the original member appointing authority has the power to fill vacancies so, by a reasonable extension, the authority can fill a chair vacancy too.

Which doesn't really answer your question -- you'll have to look back in the minutes for the motion that established the committee and, presumably, specified how its members are appointed. That "how" would therefore have the authority to appoint a new chairman.

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I agree with Dr. Stackpole. The person or body that had the authority to make the original appointments almost certainly has the authority to fill vacancies.

As far as who serves as chairman, that will also depend on how the committee was initially created and populated. If the chairman was appointed by the president, then the president probably has the authority to appoint a new chairman. If the committee elected its chairman, then the committee most likely has the authority to elect a new chairman.

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