University of Vermont

Board of Trustees

Public Comment Protocol

COMMUNICATIONS TO TRUSTEES AND ACCESS TO BOARD MEETINGS

Board and Committee Meetings

Under the University Bylaws, the President prepares the agenda for Board meetings in consultation with the Chair of the Board. The agendas of the Committees of the Board are set by the Committee Chairs in consultation with the Board Chair and with liaisons to the respective Committees. The Board and/or Committees may go into Executive (closed) Sessions only as permitted by the State Open Meeting Law.  On those occasions, the agenda will identify the exemption, anticipated length of the session, and whether any action is anticipated following Executive Session discussions.  The Chair decides, in consultation with the administrative liaison, and the Office of General Counsel, any non-trustee individuals who may remain during the Executive Session. Attendance is limited to persons from whom information is needed. 

Agendas are publicly noticed in advance of meetings posted on the Board webpage (http://www.uvm.edu/~trustees) once established.  Meetings are noticed via posting on the UVM calendar of events and through communications to Senior Leaders, Governance Leaders, Communications Office, and Dean’s Offices.  A campus wide communication is issued in advance of each regularly scheduled full Board meeting with instructions for accessing meeting materials posted on the Board of Trustees website.

Questions related to Committee and/or Board agendas may be directed to the Office of the Board Coordinator at 656-7898 or 656-0358.

Access to Board Meetings

During open sessions of Board or its Committee meetings, members of the public will be given a reasonable opportunity to express opinions on matters under consideration by the body during the meeting, as long as order is maintained. Opportunities to comment shall be subject to reasonable rules established by the Board or Committee chairperson.

Additionally, time is reserved at the beginning of each regularly scheduled Full Board meeting (customary held on Saturday morning) for a public comment period for members of the public to express views on issues germane to the Board.  Requests to address the Board during the established public comment period must be submitted in writing in advance of the meeting. The Protocol for Public Comment and the Request Form is posted on the Board Webpage at:  http://www.uvm.edu/trustees/?Page=public_comment.html

Communications to Trustees

Individuals, groups, and organizations are at all times welcome to communicate to the Board Chair, Trustees, and/or the President regarding matters pending before the Board, or otherwise. Correspondence may be directed to the attention of the Office of the Board Coordinator, 85 South Prospect Street, 358 Waterman Building, Burlington, VT, 05405 or submitted electronically to trustees@uvm.edu. The Board Chair serves as the spokesperson for the Board. 

All communications (written or submitted electronically via the trustees@uvm.edu e-mail account) received through the Office of the Board Coordinator are shared with the Board Chair.  It is the practice of the Board Chair to manage communications in one of the following ways:

(a) respond directly to inquiries as to which a response from the Chair is appropriate;
(b) refer advisement to the President or an appropriate Vice President for a response; or
(c) take under advisement a communication that does not require a response. 

The Chair exercises discretion whether to forward a communication and/or a response to the Board as a whole or to administrators.  On a regular basis, Trustees receive copies of all correspondence submitted through the Office of the Board Coordinator.

The distribution of invitations to University events and communications such as college/school newsletters are coordinated with the Office of the Board Coordinator following the established guidelines.

  1. Requests for distribution of invitations to University events and/or University related communications should be made to Trustee Coordinator Corinne Thompson (corinne.thompson@uvm.edu or 656-7898) and copied to Assistant Trustee Coordinator Erin Dickinson (edickinson@uvm.edu or 656-0358) at least two days in advance of desired date for distribution.  All requests are reviewed with the Board Chair to determine appropriateness, recognizing that Trustees are volunteers, some of whom live out-of-state, and their attendance at ceremonial and social events outside of the regularly scheduled Board meetings may be limited.
  2. In addition to sending electronic PDF copies of invitations and/or University related communication, the following information is requested:
    • Desired distribution date
    • Name & title of the person the invitation/communication should be issued under (or on behalf of) and e-mail address for receiving replies, if applicable
    • A brief overview of the event (depending on the type of event this might include the expected attendees, objective of the event, program details, role of the trustees, and web link to information about speaker/honoree(s), if applicable)
    • Requested RSVP date, if applicable
  3. Requestor will receive an e-mail confirmation from the Office of Board Coordinator following issuance of invitation/communication.
  4. Sponsoring office is requested to follow up with the Office of Board Coordinator on the RSVP due date to provide a list of trustees, and their guest(s) if applicable, planning to attend the event.

In the event that electronic invitations/communication is not possible:

  1. The Office of Board Coordinator will provide mailing labels to the sponsoring office.
  2. The sponsoring office will provide a copy of the invitation to the Office of Board Coordinator.
  3. Sponsoring office is requested to follow up with the Office of Board Coordinator on the RSVP due date to provide a list of trustees, and their guest(s) if applicable, planning to attend the event.

As endorsed by the Committee on Board Governance: December 12, 2011

Last modified July 02 2014 02:33 PM