PSR: Board Committee Chair/Staff Liaison Guidelines

Board Committee Chair/Staff Liaison Guidelines

The relationship between committee chairman and their staff liaison is one of mutual trust and respect. Each should have a clear idea of the difference in Board and staff functions, know what is expected, and have sufficient information to make decisions. Communication should be ongoing and mainly in writing, saving money for telephone and fax in crisis situations. The staff liaison is not a voting member of the committee, but otherwise functions as a regular committee member.

Committee chairmen are appointed by the Chairman of the Board. Staff Liaisons are appointed by the Executive Director after consultation with the Chairman of the Board and committee chairmen.

The following describes roles and procedures for committee chairman and staff liaison:

I. BOARD COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

A. Role

1. Understands and applies basic committee protocol and procedures.
2. Seeks background information and opinions from staff liaison in advance.
3. Seeks information from staff liaison in forming committee and setting goals consistent with LLLI’s long range (strategic) plan.
4. Keeps staff liaison fully informed and familiar with activities and progress.
5. Directs committee in making recommendations and decisions.
6. Conducts and organizes committee meetings, with help from staff liaison.
7. Writes committee report, with staff liaison and committee members input.
8. Uses proper techniques (e.g., proper wording and presentation form for motions or resolutions), with staff liaison help.
9. Communicates the importance of its work with the committee, and its place in LLLI’s long range (strategic) plan.

B. Procedures

1. Discuss committee commission and direction with staff liaison, so that committee chairman and staff liaison are clear about specific responsibilities and committee direction before expectations are written to the committee.
2. Include staff liaison in committee and subcommittee mailings and meetings, when possible.
3. Inform staff liaison when specific information/help is needed.
4. Ensure that meeting minutes are recorded (by staff liaison or others).
5. Take questions or frustrations with each other to staff liaison before the ED or COB, making every effort to settle differences together.

II. STAFF LIAISON

A. Role

1. Acts as a resource to committee chairman at the outset, helping her choose members and set objectives.
2. Provides necessary, timely information to committee chairman when asked. Examples: reference materials, related historical perspective (e.g., past LLLI experience), related statistics, financial information or ramifications, research or information gathering, technical details of various tasks relevant to the daily operation of LLLI.
3. Provides timely opinions to committee chairman, based on staff point of view or experience. Examples: feasibility of ideas/projects, suggestions about how the committee might work with another committee, cost estimates, ongoing evaluation of committee progress, brainstorming.
4. Provides timely staff assistance to help carry out committee work.
5. Advises committee chairman with problems and procedures, helping clarify areas of confusion.
6. Participates in committee meetings when financially feasible, but does not vote (although staff liaison opinions should be carefully considered and included in reporting).
7. Keeps committee chairman aware of happenings at LLLI, items of interest, and staff input helpful to the committee.
8. Is well-versed in LLLI’s long range (strategic) plan and how the committee’s work fits into and enhances the plan.

B. Procedures

1. Communicate directly with the committee chairman unless the committee chairman requests that the staff liaison communicate directly with committee members or others.
2. Take questions or frustrations first to committee chairman rather than the ED, making every effort to settle differences together.
3. Inform the committee chairman as soon as possible when unable to provide assistance, information, or otherwise respond to committee chairman requests.

(Oct 92)