Much of the administrative and academic decision-making at the university is performed by committees, councils, advisory boards and similar elective and appointive bodies. Committees may be struck by any campus unit at any time for any purpose. Standing committees are ongoing while Ad Hoc committees are struck for a single purpose, then disbanded once that goal has been achieved.

The U of S Records Retention and Disposition Schedule recognizes four types of committees: university governance bodies (Senate, Board of Governors, Council, General Academic Assembly, President's Executive Committee, and Deans' Council), college committees, departmental committees, and service/administrative committees.

With few exceptions, all committees have as officers a chair (usually responsible for preparing agendas and directing meetings) and a secretary responsible for recording the minutes of meetings and circulating them together with the attendant agendas, reports and other attachments. One office or officer usually is responsible for maintaining the official copy of these documents. As a rule this responsibility falls to the secretary of the committee or the office the secretary represents.

Committees often strike subcommittees to deal with specific portions of the committee's overall mandate and to report back to the main committee. Any reports, deliberations, recommendations or other documents generated by a subcommittee usually are forwarded to the main committee and become part of the official record, obviating the need for the subcommittee to retain its own records for an extended period. Exceptions occur and are dealt with individually.

As a publicly-funded body the University of Saskatchewan must abide by the provisions of the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Under the Act the university must provide access to its records while protecting the privacy of individuals and organizations mentioned in them. To facilitate this, confidential portions of committee records should be printed separately from the main body and be included as an attachment. These private documents include all faculty and student actions, scholarship and award information and documents containing any combinations of student names, grades, and identity numbers.

For information or advice on the Act and how it affects the University, please contact the Corporate Administration Office.