Memorandum 11 – Academic Visiting Committees
Revised September 2013
The objective of this policy is to encourage the establishment of a system of Visiting Committees throughout the University that will attract individuals capable of providing expert advice to the academic units of the University. It is the further purpose of this policy to provide for uniformity of appointment and composition; to ensure participation and involvement; to attract the highest quality individuals to participate in Visiting Committee activities, support excellence in teaching, scholarship and self-assessment through the infusion of ideas and resources; provide support and assistance to the academic unit through job placement and internships, among other things; and promote attention to committee recommendations at the highest levels of the University’s administration.
A system of visiting committees will support Norwich University’s academic mission.
Academic units within the University eligible to establish Visiting Committees include Schools, Departments, Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs. The creation or deletion of a Visiting Committee must have the approval of the President, the SVPAA and the Executive Committee of the Board of Fellows.
Charges and Functions:
SeniorVice President for Academic Affairs
The SVPAA through the Deans will ensure the committees are supported administratively and are well informed concerning the administration’s goals and objectives for the university. Specifically, the SVPAA’s Office will:
- Ensure an adequate budget is available for Board of Fellows activities.
- Ensure timely and accurate communications between the academic units and academic Visiting Committees. This includes making available the individual school Board of Fellow reports to all other Board of Fellows chairs.
- Aggregate data and publish Board of Fellows Rosters, distributing them to the fellows, appropriate levels at the university, and to the Executive Committee.
- Ensure logistical support for the Board of Fellows Fall Meeting including Minutes taken at the meeting.
The Executive Committee of the Board of Fellows will act in an advisory capacity to the SVPAA. It is composed of a Chair, Vice Chair (both selected by the President of the University) and the Chair of every Visiting Committee. Officers (Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Board of Fellows) will be elected at the Fall meeting. Officers will serve for a two-year term. Officers shall be limited to one (1) two-year term. Specifically, the Executive Committee will:
- Assist the SVPAA to aggregate issues that require communication to the highest levels of the University’s administration.
- Ensure that the Fellows are fully informed on administration policies and institution level issues.
- Assist in the selection of new committee members and conduct orientation, as required.
- Confirm the winners of the Fellows Faculty Development prize, and nominate potential recipients of the Board of Fellows medallion (to be confirmed by the Board as a whole).
Visiting Committees will generally assist in promoting the academic and general well being of the academic unit, which it serves. Specifically, a Visiting Committee is expected to:
- Act in an advisory capacity to the academic unit about general trends external to the University which may impact the academic unit’s operations in some substantive manner.
- Assist the academic unit to continually improve its academic quality and reputation.
- Assist the academic unit to attract more and better qualified students and to make each school’s respective students better prepared for their chosen career objectives.
- Assist the academic unit in the development and presentation of workshops and seminars for the benefit of Norwich students.
- Serve as a forum for discussing issues related to timely or newly pertinent course content, research, professional development and academic excellence in a forthright and knowledgeable manner.
- Provide advice on the modification(s) that the academic unit might make to keep educational and research programs attuned to the needs of the private/public sectors and the profession(s).
- Assist in securing external resources of benefit to the academic unit, working within institutional guidelines established to support such activities, including those pertaining to activities for development. These activities should be planned and implemented in such a way that they complement, strengthen and broaden the institution’s overall effort in these areas. Priorities for such fund-raising activities must be developed in coordination with and the full knowledge and endorsement of the SVPAA and the VP Development/Alumni Relations.
Visiting Committee Chairpersons
Visiting Committee Chairpersons shall be elected annually at the Fall meeting of each Visiting Committee. The responsibilities of the Visiting Committee Chairperson are as follows:
- Represent the individual school on the Executive Committee of the Board of Fellows.
- Coordinate with the respective school Dean on the timing and agenda for the Visiting Committee meetings.
- Coordinate the participation of Visiting Committee members on the various School events.
- Assist the Dean with the identification and selection of School speakers.
Composition and Organization
- Visiting Committees shall be authorized to have up to nine members. Members carry the title of University Fellow. A Visiting Committee Chair has the discretion to appoint additional qualified people, if required, as Resource People but not as members.
- The collective of all committee members shall be called the “Board of Fellows.”
- Membership is not limited to alumni/ae. The academic units are encouraged to nominate academic members of distinction on a selective basis.
- When identifying candidates for membership, only individuals whose education, work experience and interests relate to the specific interests of the academic unit and its Visiting Committee are to be recruited.
- Membership shall be divided into three classes designated by the calendar year with classes divided such that one-third of the membership shall have terms expiring each year. Individuals shall serve for three years, subject to reappointment for no more than six years total service before leaving the committee for at least one year.
- Individual Fellows can have their terms extended up to two years in situations where their particular expertise or continuity is needed on a Visiting or Executive Committee. This extension must be requested by the Executive Committee and the SVPAA and approved by the President of the University.
- If agreed upon by the School’s committee membership, a School’s Presidential Fellow may be asked to attend the fall and spring meetings as the student representative for that school.
In forming a new Visiting Committee, the SVPAA, Chair of the Board of Fellows and the unit administrator shall compile a list of possible candidates. Consultation with serving fellows and other members of the University community is encouraged. The nominations should consider current and projected need of the Visiting Committee. The standard candidate nomination process will be followed.
Standard Candidate Nomination Process
- Nominations, with appropriate documentation, can come from a variety of sources such as, but not limited to, the following: President, SVPAA, VPDevelopment/Alumni Relations, current University Fellows, Honorary University Fellows, faculty and alumni. For each nominee, a nomination form (appendix 1) with pertinent information will be completed by the Dean and the appropriate Committee Chair, and be submitted to the Vice Chair of the Board of Fellows who will collect all nominations from all committees. This process will take place between March and December of a calendar year.
- Once nominated candidates have been reviewed internally by the Dean, Chair and other appropriate Fellows and faculty, these names shall be forwarded to the SVPAA and the VP Development/Alumni Relations prior to any contact with the candidates. The purpose of this review shall be to determine if any conflict interest or service may exist and to evaluate the amount of service any one individual may be asked to perform on behalf of the University. This review will take place in January.
- The list of candidates will then be reviewed by the Executive Committee in January or February. This review will normally take place via a conference call.
- Following final approval by the President, the Executive Committee shall contact the candidates to determine their interest in serving the University in this capacity.
- The President of the University shall then send formal letters of appointment. New University Fellows will be brought onto their assigned Board at the fall meeting. The entire membership process is shown in Appendix 2.
In the event that a Visiting Committee must bring on a new member to fill a vacancy or meet a new requirement during the course of the school year, the name and nominating data of the new member will be forwarded to the SVPAA and the VP Development/ Alumni Relations for approval. Once approved, the name will be forwarded to the Executive Committee. When the Executive Committee approves the new member, the Chair of the Board of Fellows will notify them that they have been appointed as an Associate Fellow. They will be formally nominated in the next nomination cycle and be formally appointed by the President of the University along with the other new members.
The membership roster of each Visiting Committee showing year-group titles, professional affiliations, preferred mailing addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and spouse’s/partner’s name shall be provided to the office of the SVPAA and the Chairperson of the Board of Fellows on an annual basis by each unit with a Visiting Committee. The SVPAA’s office shall consolidate these separate committee lists into a Fellows Roster to be distributed to the President, VP Development/Alumni Relations and all Fellows annually. Updates which may occur during the year should be circulated to the same offices as are noted. Updates can be provided through the use of email.
Suspension of Service
In the event that a University Fellow desires to resign from the committee prior to the completion of a full term of service, the Fellow will submit a letter of resignation to the Chair of the Board of Fellows. The letter could include a request that the Fellow be allowed to resume service at some future date without having to follow the Standard Candidate Nomination Process. The Chair will bring the request to the Executive Committee for a vote.
In the event that a University Fellow’s attendance and participation does not meet the expected requirements, the Chair of the School’s committee may submit a request to the Chair of the Board of Fellows asking that the University Fellow be removed from the committee. The Chair of the Board of Fellows will convene the Executive Committee for a discussion and vote. If a vote is taken to recommend removing the University Fellow, the University President will be informed and asked to make the final decision.
- It is recommended that a Visiting Committee meet no less than twice each year with additional meetings if necessary or appropriate. The full Board of Fellows shall meet in the Fall or Spring. The Meeting will bring all of the Fellows together as a Board to facilitate updates on administration policies, institution level issues, and to provide a feedback mechanism for individual committees to the Board as a whole. The entire Board of Fellows will have a dinner meeting at which time the Fellows Faculty Development Prize and the Medallions are awarded.
- Meetings shall be jointly scheduled and agendas jointly established by the committee chairperson and the head of the unit which the committee has been established to advise/visit.
- Meeting notices and all related materials shall be sent to the President, SVPAA and VP Development/Alumni Relations.
- Meetings shall normally be held at the University. The length of each meeting is to be established by the unit head in consultation with the committee chairperson.
- A representative from the development office will be assigned to each committee to facilitate coordination on all fund-raising issues.
- The Executive Committee will meet two times a year, but more often by conference calls. These Meetings will be at the call of the Chair or SVPAA. Meeting notices and all related materials shall be sent to the President, SVPAA, and the VP Development/Alumni Relations.
Committee members shall not receive honoraria or other compensation for attending meetings.
Reports reflecting the activities of Visiting Committees shall be submitted by the committee chairperson to the President, SVPAA and VP Development/Alumni Relations on a regular basis.
Visiting Committees shall be recognized by publication of members’ names in appropriate unit publications. Additionally, Board of Fellows accomplishments within their assigned schools should be regularly noted in appropriate University publications. Fellows that have served the University and the Board of Fellows may be recognized as Honorary Fellows.
Criteria for Honorary Fellows:
- Must have served for at least two completed terms of service as a member of the Board of Fellows
- Must have been an active participant during his/her terms of service.
Honorary Candidates approved by the Executive Committee, will then be forwarded to the President for approval. The honorary designation will be awarded at the fall meeting of the Board of Fellows.
The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs through the Deans is responsible for administering the Academic Visiting Committee policy described in Article C.
- SVPAA: Ext. 2025
- VP Development/Alumni Relations: Ext. 2300