Global Policy on Board and Hybrid Committees

[Adopted Feb. 19, 2015]

The Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia relies upon energetic, committed, visionary members and friends to serve on committees and task forces to help carry out the mission of our church. The board is eager to draw volunteers from the rich diversity of our congregation and endeavors to recruit committee members reflecting that diversity in terms of ethnicity; national, geographical or historical origin; color; gender; physical or mental challenge or attributes; affectional or sexual orientation; gender identity; age; and class.

Board Committees

Board committees will be established by board policy to help carry out the board’s responsibilities. Board committees will be used sparingly to promote the goal of the board functioning as a whole and will never interfere with delegation from the board to the executive team. The board may reconstitute or disband any board committee when deemed appropriate by the board. The following principles apply to board committees:

  1. Board committees may not speak or act for the board except when formally given such authority for specific and time-limited purposes. Such authority will be carefully stated in order not to conflict with authority delegated to the executive team.
  2. Board committees are to help the board do its job, not to help the staff do its job. Committees will assist the board chiefly by preparing policy alternatives for board consideration and by assisting the board in its oversight functions. Board committees will not be created to advise staff.
  3. Board committees cannot exercise authority over staff. The board will not impede its delegation to the executive team by requiring approval of a board committee before an executive team member action. The executive team works for the board, never for a board committee or board/church officer.

Hybrid Committees

Hybrid committees will be established by board policy, with the concurrence of the executive, to assist both the board and the executive team in carrying out the church’s mission. Such committees will report to both the board and the executive. Such committees may be reconstituted or disbanded by board action with the concurrence of the executive.

The primary role of hybrid committees with regard to the board is to assist the board in its oversight functions. Hybrid committees also may be asked to prepare policy or strategic alternatives for board consideration.

The primary role of hybrid committees with regard to the executive team is to advise the executive team and otherwise assist the executive team regarding matters within each committee’s area of responsibility.

Operational/Ministry Teams Not Affected by This Policy

As the board has delegated operational and ministry matters to the executive, operational and ministry teams are solely under the authority of the executive and are not affected by this policy. The executive has sole discretion and authority to establish, reconstitute, disband, and define the functions of operational and ministry teams.