Developing and Maintaining an Advisory Committee

Notification of Appointment

Before the selection committee submits list of names to the board for approval, the proposed advisory committee members should be contacted to determine their willingness to serve. You or a member of the selection committee should talk to each nominee, briefly describe the purpose of the committee, it's important, and the contributions he or she can make. The individual, in turn, should be given an opportunity to ask any questions he or she may have about the committee and the specific responsibilities of its members. The tone of the conversation should be pleasant and persuasive, but not demanding. If the proposed member agrees to serve, he or she should be told that an official appointment is necessary and that a letter will be forthcoming.

You should then provide leadership to ensure that members of the advisory committee are properly notified of their appointment. The statement of procedures for organizing the advisory committee - approved by the board of education or board of trustees - should spell out the procedure to be followed in formally appointing members of the advisory committee.

After the board has officially appointed the members and ex-officio members the committee, an official letter of appointment should be sent to each individual, over the signature of a representative of the school (i.e. chairperson of the board, director or dean of occupational education, superintendent, principal, or president). You may wish to prepare a suggested letter of appointment and submit it to the school administration for approval.

The letter of appointment will influence each advisory committee member's attitude. The letter should be written in a professional manner and convey the message that the board views this committee as important to the maintenance and extension of high-quality programs of education. Each advisory committee member should be made to feel important and should be encouraged to actively participate in the committee functions.

The letter usually identifies how the term of office of the newly-formed advisory committee will be determined. A paragraph describing the importance of the committee, including a plea for each member's active participation, may be included. A brief description of the steps to be followed in organizing the committee and how the members will be notified of the time, place, and date of the first meeting should also be included.

A sample letter of appointment for advisory committee members in a secondary school system is provided below. Again, with modification, this letter would be equally applicable to the post secondary level.

Letter of Appointment

Dear ______________:

The Board of Education of _____________ School District is pleased to inform you of your appointment to the school's _____________ Occupational Advisory Committe. We wish to thank you for your willingness to serve on this committee.

The ultimate objective of the _________________ Occupational Advisory Committee is to maintain and improve the educational opportunities for all in the community who can benefit from the educational programs. Your active attendance and participation in the committee's work will be influential in helping to make our community a better place in which to work and live.

We as board members who are contributing our efforts, find there is insufficient time to accomplish all the tasks that are necessary in our dynamic and progressive school system. Thus we asked you to share your valuable time with us to offer advice and assistance as an advisory committee member to help ensure that high quality education is available to our community.

Shortly you will be notified by _____________ about the time, place, dates, and agenda for the first meeting of the committee. This meeting will help you better understand the role and function of the committee and your potential contributions to the committee. You'll have an opportunity to meet other members of the committee, school administration, and instructional staff. At the first meeting, identification of the areas in which the committee may wish to Begin work will be discussed. Thank you again for your interest in your school.

Sincerely yours,

[signed by a representative of the board of education or school administration]