Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Alex Meed

Committee officers

Recommended Posts

Can a committee appoint a vice chair, clerk, or other similar officers? Or may the committee's appointing power appoint such officers or confer that ability on the committee itself? Must the clerk or other officer of a committee be a member of the committee?

What responsibilities do such officers have, either as defined in RONR (though I don't recall RONR defining duties of committee officers apart from the chair) or in the practice of organizations with which you are familiar? I presume one responsibility of a vice chair is to preside in the absence of the chair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Alex Meed said:

Can a committee appoint a vice chair, clerk, or other similar officers?

RONR specifically indicates that a committee can appoint a secretary (or "clerk" if you prefer that term). While not explicitly stated, it seems to me that a committee is free to appoint a vice chair as well. The parent assembly could, if it wishes, choose to override the committee's decision in this matter and appoint its own choices for these officers. This all assumes, of course, that the society has no rules of its own governing these matters.

"In small committees, the chairman usually acts as secretary, but in large ones and many standing committees, a secretary may be chosen to keep a brief memorandum in the nature of minutes for the use of the committee." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 500)

I am not certain what "other similar officers" you have in mind, although generally I am inclined to think that the committee is free to appoint such officers as it has a need for and the same rules would apply.

4 hours ago, Alex Meed said:

Must the clerk or other officer of a committee be a member of the committee?

RONR is clear that an officer need not be a member of the body (or even a member of the society). In the case of a committee, however, I am inclined to think that if the committee wishes to appoint persons who are not members of the committee as its officers, it would need to seek authorization from the parent assembly in order to do so. This seems consistent with the rules governing the appointment of subcommittees.

"In most societies it is usual to elect the officers from among the members; but in all except secret societies, unless the bylaws provide otherwise, it is possible for an organization to choose its officers from outside its membership. In many legislative bodies the presiding officer is not a member of the body. A large society with complex financial affairs may wish to employ a professional as treasurer." (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 447-448)

"A committee (except a committee of the whole, 52) can appoint subcommittees, which are responsible to and report to the committee and not to the assembly. Subcommittees must consist of members of the committee, except when otherwise authorized by the society in cases where the committee is appointed to take action that requires the assistance of others." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 497)

4 hours ago, Alex Meed said:

What responsibilities do such officers have, either as defined in RONR (though I don't recall RONR defining duties of committee officers apart from the chair) or in the practice of organizations with which you are familiar?

It is correct that RONR does not define the duties of officers of committees other than the chair (other than briefly mentioning that a committee may have need of a secretary to keep a brief memorandum in the nature of minutes). RONR does, however, define the duties of several officers of a society, and it would seem that a comparable officer of a committee would have those same duties, to the extent that those duties are applicable to a committee.

So a secretary, for instance, "is the recording officer of the assembly and the custodian of its records, except those specifically assigned to others, such as the treasurer's books." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 458) The duties of the secretary are defined in more detail in RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 458-460. In particular, the principal duty of the secretary is to keep the minutes (or in the case of a committee, likely a memorandum in the nature of minutes).

A vice chair, on the other hand, seems comparable to a vice president. So the duty of a vice chair would presumably be to serve as chair in the chair's absence. Unlike a vice president, however, I do not think a vice chair would necessarily become chair in the event of a vacancy in the office of chair, although he certainly could preside until the vacancy is filled.

I did serve in a society once which had its committees elect a vice chair and secretary, and this seems consistent with that organization's practices.

4 hours ago, Alex Meed said:

I presume one responsibility of a vice chair is to preside in the absence of the chair.

So far as RONR is concerned, this is pretty much the only responsibility of the vice chair (unless the organization's rules provide otherwise).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RONR does not mention a "vice chair" of a committee; however, it does seem clear to me that a committee can rely on the rule in RONR (11th ed.), pp. 500, 501 to elect a chairman pro tem to preside over a meeting when the regular chairman is legitimately impeded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that a chairman pro tem can be elected to serve as chairman in the absence of the regular chairman, but I also see nothing in RONR which prohibits a committee from having one or more vice chairs.   I think it depends on the situation, how the  committee was established,  etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...