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Relevant System Policy

UH Regents Policy 7.202 Chartered Student Organizations (CSO)


Charter – A document defining the purpose, organization, practices, and character of a group, all of which must align with the group’s directive.

Directive – A document, produced by a sanctioning authority, calling for the creation of a group.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this policy is to establish requirements and guidelines for chartered groups in order to foster increased shared governance, accountability, transparency, and clarity of the roles and functions of those groups on campus.

Chartered groups have the following characteristics:

a. Chartered groups are groups that provide for the involvement of faculty, administrators, staff, students, and members of the community regarding day-to-day and long-range planning, policies, and operations for the college, but that do not appear on the college’s organizational chart. Chartered groups may include standing committees, ad hoc committees, task forces, departments, and advisory groups.

b. Chartered groups are groups officially sanctioned by the college through a directive, which is generated by the person or body from which the group derives its authority. This directive can take the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum of Agreement, or a similar memo or policy delegating authority.

c. Chartered groups will have an approved charter that documents the character of the group, including the elements specified below.

Policies and Procedures

A. Elements of Group’s Directives

A group’s directive should include, at minimum, the following sections:

  • The initiator
  • Date of implementation and length of existence
  • The purpose of the group
  • The scope of activity
  • Requirements for the group’s structure, membership, and character
  • Reporting lines, such as interactions with other groups.

B. Elements of a Group’s Charter

The group’s charter specifies the group’s purpose, jurisdiction, internal functioning, and connection to the college at large. A group’s charter must include the following sections.

1. Name

The name of the group.

2. Relevant System and College Policies

List external policies that the group is subject to, if any.

3. Sanctioning Authority

A group’s charter must specify the source of authority under which it operates. From whom or what does the group derive authority? The delegation of authority can arise through any appropriate memorandum that indicates the origins and scope of authority.

4. Oversight

The group’s charter must specify who will monitor the group’s ongoing activity to ensure compliance with the group’s charter, such as the frequency of meetings and the timely posting of minutes.

5. Purpose

The charter will describe the purpose, responsibilities, goals, or desired outcomes of the group, including a list of tasks assigned to the group. Tasks may include investigating, discussing, reporting, communicating, consulting, advising, and taking action on a specific range of issues.

6. Membership

The group’s charter shall specify how the members of the group are chosen and replaced, the term for each member, and, where appropriate, any special expectations of the members.

If the composition of the group’s membership is representational, then the structure of representation, such as which groups or positions are included, needs to be clear and the selection process ought to be fair and open.

If membership in the group is unrestricted, then this section could simply say: “Membership is open to any college employee or member of the community.”

A list of the people who are members of the group must be posted on the college’s website. The group’s leadership will send membership updates to the web administrator.

It is the responsibility of the group’s leadership to ensure that the membership list is up-to-date.

7. Leadership

A group’s charter must specify how the group’s leadership is selected, the term of office, and the leadership’s responsibilities. For example, the leadership may be appointed, chosen by the members of the group, or elected in a campus-wide vote.

8. Compensation

The charter shall document what assigned time or compensation, if any, shall be given to the leadership and members of the committee. The compensation structure may also consider possible additional compensation for 11-month employees, 9-month employees working during non-duty periods, students, and members of the community.

9. Meetings

The group’s charter must specify how meetings are scheduled. For example, the group may pre-schedule meetings, the group’s leadership may schedule a meeting, members of the group may request that the leadership schedule a meeting, and the group may meet asynchronously via email or other media.

If a group meets only during the Spring and Fall semesters, the charter may include provisions for deliberations during the summer months.

The charter should specify what rules are followed during deliberations. If no procedures are specified, then the basic structure of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed.

10. Decision-Making Procedures

The group’s charter shall include any decision- or recommendation-making procedures, including, as appropriate, a timeline of key activities or tasks, and appropriate parties to consult and inform.

The charter must also specify whether or not voting can be done via email or through a secure online voting system. If permitted, a reasonable time must be given to vote, a clear voting deadline must be given, and a motion will be considered successful if a majority of the group’s membership votes in favor before the deadline.

11. Subgroups

Groups may create subgroups as desired to assist in specific tasks. The subgroups are directly and only responsible to the group and the subgroup’s membership shall be composed of members of the larger group.

Long-standing subgroups ought to be formalized in the group’s charter or transformed into a separate group.

12. Documentation

The charter will specify what documents must be created, such as agendas and minutes, and who has access to them. Other documents can be posted as decided by the group.

In general, minutes should record the date, time, and place of the meeting, a list of people at the meeting, and the decisions that were made. Minutes should not include a transcription of conversations and should never record confidential information.

All documents must be properly labeled, including title, date, status (such as draft or final), the group’s name, and other appropriate information.

The group’s charter must specify who is responsible for sending new or updated information to the person responsible for maintaining the college’s website.

13. Assessment of the Group

The charter must specify if the group is to be assessed and, if so, the method of assessment. Governance groups ought to participate in campus-wide assessment surveys. Less formal advisory groups might only respond to an informal email seeking input for the following year.

14. Dissolution of the Group

The charter must specify if a group’s existence is indefinite or if it has a specific length of term, termination date, or action which dissolves it.

15. Modification of a Group’s Charter

The charter must specify how the charter can be modified, including how changes are solicited, considered, and accepted.

Unless otherwise specified, the sanctioning authority can change the group’s charter and a simple majority of the group’s members can recommend a change to the sanctioning authority.

C. The College’s Support of Groups

The person responsible for maintaining the college’s website will include each group on the college’s website and maintain webpages that include at minimum a membership list, the charter, documents, and a way to contact the group.

The Office of the Chancellor will ensure that information about chartered groups on the collegeʻs website is up to date, including a list of the sanctioned groups, their directives and charters, their membership, and other documentation required by each group’s charter.

The Office of Administrative Services will maintain lists of employees (faculty of different ranks, APT, clerical, etc.) who are eligible to serve on groups.

The Office of Student Services will maintain a list of students who would be eligible to serve on college groups.

Effective Date

February 7, 2012

Revised April 19, 2024