Board of Governors - APPENDIX III - November 22, 2001
Recommended: That the following items be approved and/or received for information by the Board of Governors by unanimous consent:
Report of the Property & Finance Committee - Appendix IV
Report of the Campus & Community Affairs Committee - Appendix V
Report of the Senior Operations Committee - Appendix VI
Report of the Joint Pension Boards - Appendix VII
Items Referred by the Senate - Appendix VIII
In response to discussion that took place at the recent Board of Governors Retreat, the Senior Operations Committee introduced the unanimous consent agenda to proceedings of the Board, on a trial basis starting in September 2001.
The Board's parliamentary authority -- Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure -- explains the consent agenda:
Organizations having a large number of routine matters to approve often save time by use of a consent agenda, also called a consent calendar or unanimous consent agenda. This is a portion of the printed agenda listing matters that are expected to be noncontroversial and on which there are likely to be no questions.
Before taking the vote, the chair allows time for the members to read the list to determine if it includes any matters on which they may have a question, or which they would like to discuss or oppose. Any member has a right to remove any item from the consent agenda, in which case it is transferred to the regular agenda so that it may be considered and voted on separately. The remaining items are then unanimously approved en bloc without discussion, saving the time that would be required for individual votes.
A number of Canadian university Boards have employed the consent agenda format to include not only routine approval items, but also information items. One reason for using this format is to allow the Board to focus on major items of business. While approval of an omnibus motion saves time at Board meetings, Board members will want to review the agenda materials carefully in order that they properly discharge their responsibilities.
How it works:
The Secretary identifies action and information items that are routine and/or likely non-controversial. In so doing, she may consult with the Chair of the Board, the relevant committee chair, and principal resource persons. In each Committee's report, these items are flagged. (In this agenda package, such items are marked with a graphic in the right margin.) The unanimous consent motion lists each of the flagged items [see the motion on the reverse of this page]. Action and information items on the agenda and in committee reports that are not flagged will be presented singly for discussion and voting (when appropriate).
When members receive their Board agendas, they should review all reports in the usual manner. If any member wants to ask a question, discuss, or oppose an item that is marked for the consent agenda, he or she can have it be removed from the consent agenda by contacting the Secretary of the Board of Governors prior to the meeting.
At the Board meeting, before the unanimous consent motion is presented for approval, the Chair of the Board (1) will advise the Board of items that are to be removed from the list, based on prior requests from Board members; and (2) will ask if there are any other items that should be removed from the list. The remaining items are then unanimously approved en bloc without discussion, saving the time that would be required for individual presentation and voting. Those matters that have been struck from the consent agenda will be handled in the usual way as each Committee's report is presented.
The minutes of the Board meeting will report matters approved as part of the consent agenda as "carried by unanimous consent". Information items received as part of the consent agenda will be reported as received.