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Policy – Committee Chair Roles

Committee Chair Role and Responsibilities

Effective committee chairs are essential for ensuring that committees operate efficiently and productively, make informed decisions, and work to achieve the strategic objectives of the College.  

The exact role will vary depending on the specific Terms of Reference (TOR) for a committee, but responsibilities include: 

  • Governance: The Board forms committees under the College’s constitution and delegates powers and authority as defined in the committee’s TOR or by a direction of the Board. The chair is responsible for communicating directions from the board to the committee. When chairs are also Directors of the College, their primary responsibilities are those of a director, including maintaining the confidentiality of Board discussions and the presenting decision of the Board as unanimous.  
  • Leadership: Chairs lead committee meetings, set the agenda, and ensure discussions stay focused and productive. They are responsible for setting focus areas and guiding the committee toward its goals. Chairs coordinate the efforts of the committee and committee members. 
  • Decision-Making: Chairs often have a significant influence on decision-making within the committee. They have the authority to prioritise agenda items. 
  • Board Communication: Chairs are responsible for conveying Board decisions and priorities to the committee and reporting progress of the committee to the board. 
  • Supporting Committee Members: Chairs ensure members have the necessary information and material relevant to the committee, and support members to fulfill their roles.  
  • Meeting Facilitation: Chairs facilitate discussions, encourage participation from all members, and ensure that diverse viewpoints are considered when making decisions. 
  • Meetings and Agendas: Chairs are responsible for setting meetings and agendas, and for reviewing minutes from meetings. The chair collaborates with the committee’s designated office staff member to schedule meetings, send out invitations, prepare agendas, and distribute relevant documents. 
  • Conflict Resolution: In cases of disagreement among committee members, chairs mediate to find solutions that align with the committee’s objectives. 
  • Advocacy: Chairs advocate with members and stakeholders for policies and initiatives relevant to their committee. 
  • Office Liaison: Chairs are the point of contact between the committee and office. The chair’s ability to maintain a positive and efficient relationship with office staff is crucial for the smooth functioning of the committee, as it ensures that administrative tasks are handled effectively, allowing committee members to focus on their core objectives. 
  • Resource Allocation: Chairs work with the Executive Manager to identify resources and budgets necessary to meet the committee’s focus areas. 
  • Procedures: In cases where the committee’s decisions require procedural changes, chairs work with office staff to implement these changes effectively.