Scope and authority of special committees

[Advice to Divisional Chair Jeffrey Gibeling 5/11/2000]

Committees can be formed by anyone for any reason within the scope of their authority to delegate - it is a question of what they can do and to whom they report and are responsible.  A special committee under the bylaws answers to the RA and may be empowered to act in the same ways that other committees can act subject to review but not direction from the RA.  These other committees are informational/advisory.  They can't act on behalf of the Division.  But equally they need not be directly accountable to the RA in the same manner as a bylaw created committee would be  Instead they report to the Executive Committee.  But, with few exceptions, the Executive Committee can't take actions directly, but must rely on other committees including the RA to do so.  A committee of the Executive Committee is not a way round that.  But given those constraints, there seems nothing wrong to me - and indeed much right - with creating committee through a variety of mechanisms to achieve particular ends.