University System of New Hampshire

Executive Council Charters

I. Academic Executive Council Charter

Purpose: The Academic Executive Council (the Council) is a standing body within the University System of New Hampshire. The Council is advisory to the USNH Administrative Board and is charged to consider, decide, and/or recommend strategic or operationally significant academic matters, according to the policies and processes of USNH.

Membership and Structure: Membership of the Council will be the USNH Chancellor and the Provosts of Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, and the University of New Hampshire (or their interim appointments). The chair of the Council will be the USNH Chancellor. The Chancellor may assign a USNH system office staff member to support the committee. Other campus or USNH system staff may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of each member of the Council.

Meetings: The Council will have regular meetings sufficient to meet its objectives in support of the outcomes expected from its annual work plan. The meetings will be at times and locations convenient to membership.

Objectives:

  • Identify standards and establish quality criteria for academic programs in order to effectively meet the public higher education needs of New Hampshire.
  • Develop efficient processes to respond to changes in the higher education landscape.
  • Support academic excellence at the four institutions.
  • Promote systemwide collaboration where appropriate.
  • Support the appropriate agenda and preparations for the USNH Board of Trustees and its Committees, particularly, but not limited to, the Educational Excellence Committee.

II. Finance Executive Council Charter

Purpose: The Finance Executive Council (the Council, or FINEC) is a standing body within the University System of New Hampshire. The Council is advisory to the USNH Administrative Board, and is charged to consider, decide and/or recommend strategic or operationally significant financial matters, according to the policies and processes of USNH.

Membership and Structure: Membership of the Council will be: USNH Vice Chancellor of Finance/Treasurer, USNH Associate Treasurer, Granite State College Chief Financial Officer, Keene State College Chief Financial Officer, Plymouth State University Chief Financial Officer, and the University of New Hampshire Chief Financial Officer (or their interim appointments). The chair of the Council will be the USNH Vice Chancellor; a vice chair will be selected by the Council annually from among the campus CFOs. The Chair and Vice Chair shall collaborate on agenda preparation for FINEC meetings and the preparation of materials for ultimate consideration by the Administrative Board and the Board of Trustees. The Vice Chancellor may assign a member of his or her organization to staff the committee. Other campus or USNH system staff may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of each member of the Council.

The Council’s functioning as a collaborative group will be distinguished by consultation across all its members on agenda items; planning for matters such as relevant Trustee Committee and Administrative Board agendas; identification of responsible individuals to undertake tasks agreed to by the Council; and other work products of the Council. The chair is responsible for promoting the collaborative nature of the group and for ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, items of collective interest are shared in a timely fashion so as to permit thoughtful consideration of potential actions and advice from the Council. In all of its functions, the Council will support complete and fact-based work product(s) that leverage standard and best practices and tools in support of decision- making or other actions.

Meetings: The Council will have regular meetings sufficient to meet its objectives (currently monthly) in support of the outcomes expected from its annual work plan. The meetings will be at times and locations convenient to membership and include at least one meeting per year at each campus. Some meetings may be held via video conferencing to reduce travel time and create operational efficiencies.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate and monitor financial opportunities and risks posed by, but not limited to, capital projects, debt, and budget allocations; advise the Administrative Board accordingly.
  • Develop and recommend board or system level policies and procedures necessary to ensure system resources are managed prudently, efficiently, and effectively.
  • Be an effective and high functioning group.  As such, create and maintain a charter, an annual work plan that reflects campus and system strategies and major operational goals, and determine agendas that are appropriately triaged and logical. Assign all items that can be delegated to operational units. For all deliverables and work, allow sufficient time and effective process for consulting with stakeholders, particularly campus leadership. Conduct a self-evaluation periodically, and participate in larger evaluations as appropriate.
  • Assume primary leadership role for implementing and developing the Shared Services model as well as ongoing oversight. Examples of Shared Services include information technology, purchasing, enrollment management, facilities project management, and technology transfer.
  • Serve as Executive Steering Committee for any projects within its annual work plan, supporting standard and best project practices.
  • Share materials with and review relevant materials from other Councils and where applicable, the Council will work proactively and effectively with other councils, committees or groups as appropriate.
  • Receive and review financial reports, in order to monitor the progress against plan of USNH financial metrics and trends, and determine corrective action, if and when necessary, to be undertaken.
  • Support the quality and efficacy of major USNH deliverables, including but not limited to capital project prioritization, biennial and capital budget requests to the state, annual budgets and multi-year financial plans.
  • Support the appropriate agenda and preparations for the USNH Board of Trustees and its Committees, particularly, but not limited to, the Financial Affairs Committee.
  • Accept ad-hoc assignments from the Administrative Board as directed.
  • Other items may be considered such as assessment of system office and campus functions/shared services, especially as they relate to effective and efficient operation; rewards/recognition; and measures of success.

This Charter will be reviewed annually by June 30.

III. Government Relations Executive Council Charter

Purpose: The Government Relations Executive Council (GREC) is a standing body within the University System of New Hampshire. The Council is advisory to the USNH Administrative Board, and is charged to consider, decide and/or recommend strategic or operationally significant government relations strategies to assist USNH in its interactions with public officials.

Membership and Structure: Membership of the GREC will be five members: one designated by each of the four presidents and the Chancellor. The chair of the Council will be chosen by and from the members of the Council. Other participants may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of Council members.

The Council’s functioning as a collaborative group will be distinguished by consultation across all its members on agenda items; planning for matters such as relevant Trustee Committee and Administrative Board briefings and action items; identification of responsible individuals to undertake tasks agreed to by the Council; and other work products of the Council. The chair and each of the members are responsible for promoting the collaborative nature of the group and for ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, items of collective interest are shared in a timely fashion to permit thoughtful consideration of potential actions and advice from the Council. In all of its functions, the Council will support complete and fact-based work product(s) that leverage standard and best practices and tools in support of decision-making or other actions.

Meetings: The Council will have regular meetings sufficient to accomplish its objectives in support of the outcomes expected from its annual work plan. The meetings will be at times and locations convenient to membership and include conference calls.

Objectives: 

  • Carry out the directions and support the agenda of the Administrative Board.
  • Assume the primary leadership role for developing and implementing strategic initiatives to assist USNH in their communications and advocacy with state government leadership.
  • Plan, evaluate and monitor advocacy and media outreach to further elected and appointed State officials' understanding of the USNH and individual universities and colleges, the need for adequate operating and capital budget support, the USNH position on legislative priorities, and the importance of public higher education to New Hampshire.
  • Develop and recommend board- or system-level communications, policies and procedures to assist in furthering the mission of USNH with state decision makers.
  • Be an effective and high-functioning group. As such, create and maintain a charter and an annual work plan that reflects strategies and major operational goals. For all deliverables and work, allow sufficient time and effective process for consulting with stakeholders, particularly university and college leadership. Conduct a self-evaluation periodically and participate in larger evaluations as appropriate.
  • Share materials with and review relevant materials from other Councils and, where applicable, work proactively and effectively with other councils, committees, or groups.
  • Support and prepare information for relevant Board of Trustee Committees and in response to Trustee requests.
  • This Charter will be reviewed biannually between the conclusion of the legislative session and Election Day.

IV. Human Resources Executive Council Charter

Mission: The HR Executive Council’s (HREC) mission is to serve USNH as the guiding body on human resources matters. The HREC is charged with identifying, analyzing, and presenting recommendations – incorporating campus needs, best practices, policy, employee impact, and financial considerations - to the USNH Presidents Council to advance the goals of attracting, retaining, developing, and rewarding our faculty and staff. Additionally, HREC is committed to ensuring integration and partnership in its core services and service delivery with other executive councils and in tandem with HR affinity groups, as deemed necessary and appropriate.

Membership: The HREC will consist of the following members (as determined by the HREC): KSC Chief HR Officer, PSU Chief HR Officer, UNH Chief HR Officer, USNH Chief HR Officer, each member of the HREC may invite members of their staff to attend HREC meetings as needed and when relevant to the agenda. The Chair of the HREC (by committee vote) will be the USNH Chief HR Officer. While a Vice Chair was deemed not necessary, in situations where the Chair cannot attend an HREC meeting, an alternate Chief HR Officer will be appointed to serve as temporary Chair.

Roles and Responsibilities: The HREC members are responsible for participating in each discussion, representing the specific needs of their campus, thinking of solutions that are based on fact and best practice, and collectively making recommendations that will promote the HREC mission (as stated above) and support and advance the goals of each campus and USNH. The HREC members will utilize other subject matter experts and invited guests and participate in training (as needed) to complete the charge of identifying, analyzing, and presenting recommendations.

The HREC Chair will be responsible for coordinating the review and finalization of agenda topics, creating and distributing the agenda and meeting notes, meeting locations, and dates/times. The Chair will serve as the primary liaison to the President’s Council for recommendations and subsequent discussions. The Chair is also responsible for ensuring an effective, efficient, and thoughtful discussion of ideas and to help the Council finalize and formalize relevant conclusions, decisions, and recommendations.

Goals and Objectives: The high-level HREC goals and objectives include:

  • Develop, recommend, and implement HR topics, services, and supporting technology to support and advance campus needs and a system-wide mission of attracting, retaining, developing, and rewarding faculty and staff.
  • Evaluate and monitor internal and external factors, data, legal requirements, best practices, risks vs. rewards, and trends and incorporate these factors into informed and fact-based recommendations and implementations.
  • Promote transparency of work, agendas/notes, and discussions and seek partnerships and integration opportunities with other councils. Create opportunities for ‘inter-council’ discussions/reviews at HREC meetings and present at other council meetings as needed and invited.
  • Review, update and make appropriate recommendations on all relevant USY and BOT HR policies.
  • HREC will establish working groups or subcommittees as necessary to complete key projects or tasks.
  • HREC will integrate and gather necessary feedback from affinity groups to adjust policy and general HR recommendations as needed. HR-related task forces are advisory to HREC, which will make the final determination on issues within our authority or final recommendations to the President’s Council on items requiring their approval.
  • Follow the established workflow for review and approval of all topics, as identified here:

1. HREC discusses issue/topic; input from each campus; recommendations finalized.

2. CHROs for each campus reviews recommendation with the campus president/cabinet.

3. Assuming approval from each campus (item 2), HREC makes a final recommendation to the President’s Council. If approval by all campuses is not achieved, the item does not go to the President’s Council for review.

4. Following approval from the President’s Council, implementation of recommendations takes place on each campus by CHRO (with support from System Office as needed).

  • Support and prepare information for relevant Board of Trustee Committees or Trustee requests.
  • Serve as a task force for resolving time-sensitive and/or priority tasks that are identified by the Board, Presidents, Chief Administrative Officer, campus leadership or from external requests that require a timely and fully vetted response.
  • Creation of an annual, strategic work plan with priorities and deliverables that align to campus/System goals and deliverables. In alignment with this work, the HREC charter will be reviewed and adjusted annually.

Meeting Structure: The HREC will meet monthly. The HREC may also need to schedule additional meetings/calls as needed from time to time. Where necessary and appropriate, video and voice conferencing will be used to limit travel time and gain efficiencies in cost and time. Key components of each meeting include:

  • Creation and distribution of agenda prior to the meeting. Agenda items submitted by all HREC members.
  • Meeting start and end times will be honored. Engagement and participation supported.
  • Meeting notes will be taken and included in the next meeting packet.

V. Information Technology Executive Council Charter

Purpose: The Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC) is a standing body within the University System of New Hampshire. ITEC advises the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Administrative Board, and is charged to assist the Presidents and their institutions to achieve their stated vision and mission objectives.

ITEC is responsible for examining existing technology capabilities and services provided by the Enterprise Technology and Services (ET&S) organization against emerging needs (both single and multi-institutional), resource constraints, and technology and cybersecurity risks to assess and prioritize strategic improvements to the IT enterprise.

To that end, ITEC will regularly assess where economies of scale can be leveraged, where skill sets can be leveraged across the University System for to improve effectiveness, efficiency and/or quality of service, cost savings and cost containment, and in continuously expanding and enhancing opportunities for cross-institutional collaboration. This focus will consider institutional strategic plans and priorities.

Guiding Principles: ITEC will be distinguished as a collaborative group with consultation across all its members on agenda items; planning for matters such as relevant Trustee Committee and Administrative Board agendas; identification of responsible individuals to undertake tasks agreed to by the Council; and other work products of the Council.

  • ITEC will ensure appropriate, timely and broad USNH community engagement with USNH Executive Councils and business office leaders in support of all product and service initiatives.
  • ITEC will focus on the ways technology can help USNH institutions improve effectiveness and efficiency, and engage all institutions in shared and common goals.
  • ITEC's membership is inclusive of all USNH member institutions, and the USNH/UNH Chief Information Officer (CIO). ITEC supports fact-based decisions and recommendations, seeks consensus, and resorts to voting and escalation only when it has reached an impasse.

Membership: Membership is comprised of the four campus IT site leaders of the USNH higher education institutions (Granite State College, Keene State College, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire) and the USNH/UNH CIO, who will serve as chair.

Objectives:

  • Advise and guide the USNH Administrative Board on Technology opportunities and risks;
  • Provide consistent and comprehensive USNH technology leadership that is aligned with the strategic priorities of individual institutions and the University System;
  • Support the appropriate agenda and preparations for the USNH Board of Trustees as requested by the USNH Administrative Board;
  • Follow established processes/procedures that ensure individual institutions are appropriately consulted, represented, informed, accountable and/or responsible regarding the planning, deployment and operations of system-wide technology;
  • Ensure that processes, behaviors, and procedures are in accordance with policies and within tolerances to support decisions (risk management);
  • Facilitate efficiency and effectiveness through system-wide collaboration and the provision of technology shared services, while maintaining institutional academic autonomy;
  • Facilitate technology and system development practices that successfully evaluate, select and execute implementation of system-wide technology.

Council Chair: The Chair is responsible for convening ITEC and its meeting logistics, agenda creation and triage. The Chair actively promotes the collaborative nature of the group and ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, items of collective interest are shared in a timely fashion so as to permit thoughtful consideration of potential actions and advice from other members and the institutions they represent. The Chair serves as primary point of contact for the USNH System Office, Executive Councils and the Administrative Board, and is responsible for ensuring the relationships between ITEC and other committees are maintained.

All ITEC Members’ Responsibility: Each member of ITEC will be expected to:

  • Proactively engage with “home” campus committees, councils, and other bodies as warranted and/or assigned, to maintain appropriate levels of communications and achievement of strategic goals and priorities.
  • Monitor and ensure transparency regarding costs and campus allocations.
  • Manage - either directly or through an assignment by the Chair - ITEC’s engagement with committees and business offices.
  • Ensure shared deliverables are completed.

VI. Communication and Marketing Executive Council Charter

Purpose: The Communication and Marketing Executive Council (CMEC or Council) is a standing body within the University System of New Hampshire. The CMEC is advisory to the USNH Administrative Board and is charged to consider, decide, recommend and/or implement strategic or operationally significant marketing and communication matters, according to the policies and processes of USNH.

Membership and Structure: The CMEC shall have five members, one from each of the USNH institutions, appointed by the respective president, and one from the system office, appointed by the Chancellor. Other campus representatives may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of Council members.

Membership Structure/Roles: The Council through discussion and voting establishes its Chairperson. If membership in the Council changes, discussion and voting will again occur to elect a Chair.

Council Chair
The Chair is responsible for convening the CMEC and its meeting logistics, agenda creation and triage. The Chair actively promotes the collaborative nature of the group, and ensuring that, to the fullest extent possible, items of collective interest are shared in a timely fashion so as to permit thoughtful consideration of potential actions and advice from other members and the institutions and/or functions that they represent. The Council Chair serves as primary point of contact for the USNH System Office, Executive Councils and the Administrative Board, and is responsible for ensuring that relationships between the CMEC and other committees are maintained.

Member Responsibility: Members of the CMEC are expected to:

  • Proactively engage with and seek approval from home campus leadership, committees, councils and other bodies as warranted and/or assigned, to maintain appropriate levels of communications and achievement of strategic goals and priorities.
  • Actively share communication and marketing activities that could be of significant or relevant interest or concern to the overall university system.
  • Ensure shared deliverables are completed.
  • Ensure that accepted standards, shared processes and best practices in communication and marketing are followed.

Meetings: The Council will have regular meetings sufficient to meet its objectives in support of the outcomes expected from its strategic roadmap. Meetings will be at times and locations convenient to membership. Some meetings may be held by video conferencing to reduce travel time and create operational efficiencies.

Objectives:

  • Respond to the direction and support the agenda and initiatives of the Administrative Board.
  • Create and execute a cohesive ongoing plan for conveying the value of strong and sustainable public higher education to the citizens of New Hampshire.
  • Advise and guide the USNH Administrative Board on communication and marketing opportunities and concerns, including proactive and reactive situations. 
  • Identify, share and adopt communication and marketing best practices, work products and processes for the benefit of the university system.
  • Facilitate and promote efficiency and leverage in the use of communication and marketing services, contracts and related purchasing.  
  • Establish and follow processes and procedures that ensure individual institutions are appropriately consulted, represented, informed, accountable and/responsible regarding the planning and distribution of communication impacting or representing the university system.
  • Ensure a responsive, coordinated and collaborative process for responding to events, media coverage, crises, and other episodic experiences that affect the university system and its campuses broadly.

VII. Student Affairs Executive Council Charter

Establishment: The Student Affairs Executive Council (the Council, or SAEC) is hereby established as an executive council within the governance system of the University System of New Hampshire, reporting to and under the oversight of the Administrative Board.

Purpose: The Council advises the USNH Administrative Board, on all matters relating to or arising out of student affairs across the university system and at each of the component institutions and executes such further responsibilities as directed by the Administrative Board.

Membership: The members of the Council shall be the chief student affairs officers at each of the component institutions, as designated by the president of the institution. The Council shall select a Chair from among its members, to serve at the pleasure of the Council. Other campus or USNH system staff may be invited to attend meetings at the discretion of the Council.

Meetings: The Council will have regular meetings sufficient to meet its objectives in support of the outcomes expected from its annual work plan. The meetings will be at times and locations convenient to membership and may be held via video conference.

Duties: The Council shall:

  • Meet and discuss matters of common interest, share experience and expertise, and otherwise collaborate to advance the interests of the university system and its component institutions;
  • Advise the Administrative Board on critical, strategic, and emerging issues in student affairs both within the university system and across higher education;
  • Execute such further functions and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Administrative Board from time to time;
  • Periodically report to and otherwise appropriately advise the Administrative Board on the work of the Council; and
  • Develop and follow an annual work plan, establish meeting agendas, record and maintain meeting minutes, assess annually the performance of the Council, periodically review this charter, and recommend charter revisions the Administrative Board for review and approval.