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Committee Chairman who is also the Board President


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Hi all, I have been looking for an answer to this question in RONR and cannot find it directly addressed.

If the Chairman of a standing committee also happens to be the President of the Board, what occurs when the standing committee reports with recommendations to be debated?

My first impression, as to ensure impartiality of the Chair, is that the President should allow the Vice President to preside for the duration of the debate coming from the committee's report. But it also occurs to me that the President could allow another member to present the report of the standing committee and remain in the Chair during the recommendations, as long as he does not debate of course. This brings up the question of the definition of the reporting member, I have read the sections in the index referring to them, and cannot find a specific definition, other than that they are usually members of the assembly (51:11). 

What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance for your help! 

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12 minutes ago, JustinPappano said:

Hi all, I have been looking for an answer to this question in RONR and cannot find it directly addressed.

If the Chairman of a standing committee also happens to be the President of the Board, what occurs when the standing committee reports with recommendations to be debated?

My first impression, as to ensure impartiality of the Chair, is that the President should allow the Vice President to preside for the duration of the debate coming from the committee's report. But it also occurs to me that the President could allow another member to present the report of the standing committee and remain in the Chair during the recommendations, as long as he does not debate of course. This brings up the question of the definition of the reporting member, I have read the sections in the index referring to them, and cannot find a specific definition, other than that they are usually members of the assembly (51:11). 

What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance for your help! 

What does your organization's By-Laws state about the chairs participation in debate?

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34 minutes ago, R.S.M said:

What does your organization's By-Laws state about the chairs participation in debate?

Nothing on the topic, it is the standard bylaw out of RONR with minor modifications. The Board is a large one, therefore the Chair has always adhered to all of the rules set out in RONR regarding the Rule Against the Chair's participation in Debate as per 43:29. 

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1 hour ago, JustinPappano said:

Hi all, I have been looking for an answer to this question in RONR and cannot find it directly addressed.

If the Chairman of a standing committee also happens to be the President of the Board, what occurs when the standing committee reports with recommendations to be debated?

My first impression, as to ensure impartiality of the Chair, is that the President should allow the Vice President to preside for the duration of the debate coming from the committee's report. But it also occurs to me that the President could allow another member to present the report of the standing committee and remain in the Chair during the recommendations, as long as he does not debate of course. This brings up the question of the definition of the reporting member, I have read the sections in the index referring to them, and cannot find a specific definition, other than that they are usually members of the assembly (51:11). 

What are your thoughts? Thank you in advance for your help! 

This is remarkably similar to the question about the chair of the bylaws committee participating in debate.  Just a coincidence?

In any case, if the chair of the standing committee is also presiding at the meeting where the report is received, the committee can designate another of its members to be the reporting member, and to make any motions arising out of the report.  The president could then preside normally over the meeting at which the report was received.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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22 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Just a coincidence?

Hardly! I was inspired by that question with a situation I have encounter at one of my orgs. 

 

22 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

In any case, if the chair of the standing committee is also presiding at the meeting where the report is received, the committee can designate another of its members to be the reporting member, and to make any motions arising out of the report.  The president could then preside normally over the meeting at which the report was received.

Thank you for this! I think it's the best way to do it, less questioning the impartiality of the chair. 

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2 hours ago, JustinPappano said:

This brings up the question of the definition of the reporting member, I have read the sections in the index referring to them, and cannot find a specific definition, other than that they are usually members of the assembly (51:11).

"In the case of a committee, the committee chairman is the reporting member unless—because he does not agree with the report or for any other reason—he does not wish to give it, in which event the committee chooses another one of its members." RONR (12th ed.) 51:8

2 hours ago, JustinPappano said:

My first impression, as to ensure impartiality of the Chair, is that the President should allow the Vice President to preside for the duration of the debate coming from the committee's report. But it also occurs to me that the President could allow another member to present the report of the standing committee and remain in the Chair during the recommendations, as long as he does not debate of course.

For the board, where the chair is usually also the presiding officer of the assembly, RONR advises that you follow the latter option: "For the report of a board whose chairman is also the presiding officer of the assembly, the secretary or another one of its members acts as reporting member." RONR (12th ed.) 51:8

So I would recommend--as did Mr. Novosielski--that you do the same when it's a committee whose chair is the presiding officer of the assembly.

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Remember also that if this is a relatively small board (not more than about 12 members) operating under the relaxed rules for such boards (RONR, 12th ed. 49:21), the chair can participate fully in debate, so that whether the chair presents the committee report or not, he or she can fully participate in any debate that may arise out of the committee's recommendations.

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33 minutes ago, Bruce Lages said:

Remember also that if this is a relatively small board (not more than about 12 members) operating under the relaxed rules for such boards (RONR, 12th ed. 49:21), the chair can participate fully in debate, so that whether the chair presents the committee report or not, he or she can fully participate in any debate that may arise out of the committee's recommendations.

I was about to suggest that, but this society seems to value the concept of impartiality of the chair to such a degree that I thought it unlikely that they would enjoy using small board rules.  Or was that the other one?

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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