Introducing the new Executive Council Standing Committees

Read on to learn more about the context and responsibilities of the new Executive Council Standing Committees

As mentioned in the recent blog post, On the governance of The Carpentries, the Executive Council has established standing committees. This post elaborates further on their roles and responsibilities.

What is the Executive Council and how does it operate?

The Executive Council is the official leadership body of The Carpentries. It is responsible for strategic and organisational planning, selecting the Executive Director and evaluating their performance, financial oversight, identifying revenue streams and resource development, approving and monitoring The Carpentries programs and services, and enhancing The Carpentries public image. Members of the council also serve as advocates and ambassadors for the organisation, leveraging their networks to benefit the organisation’s reputation and fundraising. The Executive Council executes these responsibilities through a combination of monthly Executive Council meetings and regular correspondence and collaboration via email and online platforms.

What is the motivation behind the Standing Committees?

In January 2021, the Carpentries Executive Director proposed the following committee structure as a practical way to manage the work and engagement of the Executive Council. The proposed committees include:

  1. Officers Committee
  2. Governance Committee
  3. Finance Committee
  4. Communications Committee
  5. Program Committee

The Carpentries Governance Page Executive Council Standing Committees Section gives detailed composition for each committee.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Standing Committees

Officers Committee:

This committee consists of the Executive Council Officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Act with full authority of the Executive Council between EC meetings when needed in urgent matters, subject to Executive Council imposed limitations on committee action, and prioritize the agenda of the Executive Council meetings
  • Monitor the performance of the Executive Director, conduct their annual performance review, and make recommendations to the Executive Council regarding the Executive Director’s performance goals for the subsequent year
  • Provide a sounding board to the Executive Director and serve as a source of ready advice on operating and personnel matters
  • Obtain and evaluate relevant compensation information and make a recommendation to the Executive Council regarding the Executive Director’s compensation (including all benefits)
  • Provide support to the Executive Director and direction to the Executive Council on oversight of legal and operational issues
  • Lead Executive Council level oversight of the organisation’s long-term strategic plan and short-term annual planning, including annual review of strategic plan performance metrics against anticipated community end results (outcomes).

Governance Committee:

This committee is chaired by the Vice Chair of the Executive Council.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Assessing the Executive Council’s performance as the governing body of The Carpentries
  • Leading the writing, maintenance, and updates to the Carpentries bylaws, revising/amending the bylaws for approval every 2 years, or as needed
  • Organizing the annual Executive Council retreat
  • Leading the process to identify, nominate, and onboard new Executive Council members
  • Suggesting special committees/task forces as needed and preparing for their formation as per the Committee Policy

Finance Committee:

This committee is chaired by the Treasurer of the Executive Council.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
  • Making sure financial reports are accurate
  • Overseeing the organisation’s budget
  • Identifying revenue streams and resource development
  • Advise on a strategy for establishing reserve funds, lines of credit, and short- and long-term investments

Communications Committee:

This committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Executive Council.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Work to enhance The Carpentries public image
  • Prepare Public Statements from The Carpentries when needed
  • Ensure blog posts related to the work of the Executive council are published in a timely fashion
  • Write the Year-in-review summary of the major activities accomplished by the Executive Council

Program Committee:

This committee can be chaired by a member of the Executive Council.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Evaluating The Carpentries programs and services
  • Making recommendations to strengthen programs and services in line with the Carpentries mission, vision, and strategic plan

The most up-to-date documentation on the Executive Council operations can be found in the Carpentries Handbook.

The Executive Council is excited about this new structure as it will provide Executive Council members the opportunity to bring their subject matter expertise to specific governance and operational priorities, deal with issues and projects more effectively and efficiently, and maximize time and resources between meetings. The ultimate goal of this new structure is the Executive Council to serve the Carpentries community better.

Dialogue & Discussion

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