College Governance

Staff Guidelines on Committee Participation


The officers of the College determine the need for committees to explore specific topics or issues and develop the appropriate group structure. By doing so, they specifically and tacitly send the message that committee participation is doing the work of the College.

It is important to emphasize the positive impact of the individual’s participation in committee work, both to the individual and the College. The College benefits by having a large number of willing and interested staff from which to choose committee participants and from the knowledge they bring to the group process.

Individual staff participants are able to contribute to the college in a meaningful way, often on matters of interest not directly related to their jobs, and develop a new dimension to their sense of belonging and their ability to make a difference.  It is essential that the individual staff participant communicate with one’s supervisor and assist in determining work schedules and assignments in conjunction with the participant’s work, the work of others, and the effective progress of the department’s work.

Obtaining prior approval from your supervisor is essential for successful committee involvement on the part of the individual staff participant, the College and department operations.  Continued communication with one’s supervisor and co-workers can help prevent work-stress problems.  Communication can also promote equitable committee participation among staff members within a department and consistent work priorities.

Balance Work Load and Committee Assignments:  Assessment Questions for Staff and Supervisors:

Staff participation on committees should be evaluated in order to assess the impact participation will have on the participant’s workload, the workload of others, and daily operations.  The amount of work that may need to be delayed, reassigned, or eliminated needs to be identified and evaluated.  Schedule changes may be required for the participant or others.  Such changes would need to be reviewed for budget and legal FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) impact and compliance.*

The staff participant and supervisor should discuss these and any other pertinent topics.  The following is provided as an aid in evaluating what effects, if any, staff participation on committees will have on the department:

  1. In what other committee assignments is this staff member currently active?
  2. Will a change in work schedule be likely or necessary, since this is paid work time?  If not, is flexible time during the same week available?
  3. Will staff coverage for the department be affected?  How?  What is the solution?
  4. What adjustments in work assignments or deadlines may need to be made?  Which work deadlines cannot be adjusted?
  5. Will committee participation result in reassignment of work to others?  What?  To whom?
  6. What is the expected meeting time commitment?

 *The supervisor needs to view any operational solutions in terms of the impact on the budget and the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The department’s budget will be affected if the staff member is subject to the provisions for the FLSA (at Carleton this is defined as employees who are paid on a bi-weekly basis) and a schedule change results in added hours to a part-time work schedule or the added hours result in overtime pay (hours worked in excess of 40 in any one work week).  It is important to note that paid time off, in lieu of working more than eight hours per day, must be taken in the same work week in which the additional hours per day are worked.  If the staff member works more than 40 hours per week, overtime will be paid for the hours worked over 40.  If the staff member is not subject to the FLSA (at Carleton this is defined as employees who are paid on a monthly basis), there will be no budget impact, but workloads and deadlines should still be reviewed as suggested above.

Last Revised: May 6, 1999

As recommended by the "Committee on Committees" group - June 2006.

For: Staff

Last Reviewed: January 6, 2021

Maintained by: Human Resources