Since minutes are the “formal” record of meetings, it is important to ensure that all items presented, discussed and those in which actions are taken, are documented in a concise and timely manner. The following guidelines are provided to assist anyone responsible for the recording of minutes. They are not intended to be all inclusive.
Submission of Minutes
- Timely submission of minutes ensures that all parties are provided with information and actions taken as soon as possible.
- It is recommended that you draft your minutes at the earliest possible time after the adjournment of the meeting. By doing this, the items will be fresh in your mind and you will be able to provide the most complete information. This will also allow you to confirm information on items for which you may have questions.
- After your draft is complete, have another person in attendance, preferably the chair of the commission/committee, proof the document. By doing this, you can ensure that all items presented and actions taken are documented properly.
Content of Minutes
- The content of your minutes should include all information pertaining to items on the approved agenda and be recorded in that same order.
- Keep the information short and to the point.
- Ensure that any items requiring action to be taken, such as motions and amendments, are moved, seconded and approved by vote. (especially effective dates of approved items, if appropriate)
- Discussion items should be recorded as any other items, keeping your information precise and identifying the major points of interest. Include only pertinent information to the topic being discussed. (It is not necessary to include every word that is discussed, nor identify each speaker by name; use your judgement based on the item being discussed.)
Distribution of Approved Minutes
Once approved by the respective committee, minutes of committee meetings should be forwarded to the appropriate commission(s) for information and to the secretary of University Council for posting on the governance website.
Once approved by the respective commission, minutes of commission meetings should be forwarded to the secretary of University Council for placement on the agenda of the next University Council meeting and, upon acceptance by University Council, for subsequent posting on the governance website.
University Council Minutes
Once approved by University Council (via electronic vote), minutes of University Council meetings are posted by the secretary of University Council to the governance website.
- KISS – Keep it Short and Simple.
- Know your commission/committee.
- Prior to your meetings, review the agenda and minutes of the last meeting with the chair.
- Use your listening skills to know what should and/or should not be included in your minutes.
- Know the charge of your commission/committee and the reporting structure. (to whom your group reports or those groups which report to your group)