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Appointee to run meeting

Guest Sandra Switzer

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May the Chair/President appoint someone to run the meeting if they are present?

It is the duty of the president to preside over meetings.

However, with the approval of the assembly, it could resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole, with a different (potentially appointed) chairman, to discuss a particular question under committee rules, then rise and report their findings back to the assembly (i.e., back to themselves).

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May the Chair/President appoint someone to run the meeting if they are present?


That is an unusual criterion.

Usually, the question circles around the fact that the president (the regular chairman) is ABSENT.

Oh, well.

But, yes, The Book does allow the president (the regular chairman) to appoint someone, with approval of the assembly, to act as chairman pro tem.

See RONR page 436:

Temporary Occupants of the Chair. If it is necessary for

the president to vacate the chair during a meeting, or if the

president is absent, the chair is, occupied temporarily by an-

other--who also must not be precluded from presiding by

any of the impediments mentioned in the preceding para-

graph--as follows:

1) A vice-president. If the president for any reason vacates

the chair or is absent, the vice-president or first vice-

president normally should take the chair unless he also,

because of involvement in the debate or for any other

reason, should disqualify himself from presiding in the

particular case; and if the first vice-president is absent or

must disqualify himself, the duty of presiding devolves

on the other vice-presidents in order. For this reason,

the bylaws should number the vice-presidencies if there

are more than one, and persons should be elected to

specific positions. It should be noted, however, that if

the bylaws provide for a president-elect, they usually

provide also that the president-elect shall precede the

first vice-president in the right to preside,

2) An appointed chairman pro tem. If the president vacates

the chair during a meeting and no vice-president is avail-

able, he can, subject to the approval of the assembly, as

explained on pp. 382-83, appoint a temporary chairman

who is called the chairman pro tempore, or chairman pro

tem. The return of the president, the arrival of a vice-

president, or the first adjournment puts an end to this

appointment, and the assembly can terminate it even

earlier by electing another chairman (see also p. 642).

The regular presiding officer, knowing that he will be

absent from a future meeting, cannot in advance au-

thorize another member to preside in his place.

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