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Other standing committees

The Bylaws also provide for the creation of other standing committees and special committees. Historically, the Board has had a number of such committees. Policies ultimately adopted by the full Board often take shape at the committee level.

“Committees are created so the business of the Board can be done with greater efficiency and focus,” Schumann explains. “Subsets of the Board can consider and weigh in on significant issues simultaneously and then make recommendations that can be discussed by the whole Board. It is a time-proven way in which to refine issues and present them for debate or discussion by the full Board.”

In addition to the Executive Committee, the Association currently has six additional standing committees — Activities, Breed Improvement, Communications and Public Relations, Finance and Planning, Member and Affiliate Services, and Research Priorities.

Though some of these committees, such as Breed Improvement, have remained intact for the duration of my tenure at the Angus Journal, many of the other committees have fluctuated over the years according to the changing landscape and the resulting focus of the Board.

Creation of a standing committee requires adoption by a majority vote of the full Board. To assure flexibility in the work of each committee, the Bylaws provide that they shall address those tasks that are delegated to them “from time to time” by the Board of Directors.

Standing committees conduct regularly scheduled meetings in conjunction with the full Board meetings, though they can conduct meetings in between. Written reports of each committee are presented to the full Board at its meeting, and proposed actions become official with approval of the full Board. So, a committee cannot take action without the approval of the full Board. Many times, items are brought up and discussed within committee, then referred to the full Board for broader discussion.

To be efficient in its meeting time, the last few years, the Board has made sure it conducted the Breed Improvement Committee at a time when all Board members could attend, allowing all Board members to participate in the original discussion. This year, Finance and Planning will also meet when all can attend. Other committees, such as Activities, Communications and Public Relations, and Member and Affilate Services, are usually convened concurrently. As the committee assignments are set at the beginning of the Board year, the agenda of the regularly scheduled Board Meetings is taken into consideration so a director is not assigned to two committees that would meet at the same time.

The Research Priorities Committee, though a standing committee, is convened only when necessary and therefore may or may not be part of the agenda of a regularly scheduled Board meeting.