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COMMITTEE CHAIR TOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS. 2009. Transportation Research Board New Chair Orientation. Sunday, January 11, 2009. What Do TRB Committees Do?. Stimulate and synthesize research Keep transportation communities apprised of research findings Review and recommend papers for publication

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    1. COMMITTEE CHAIRTOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS 2009 Transportation Research Board New Chair Orientation Sunday, January 11, 2009

    2. What Do TRB Committees Do? • Stimulate and synthesize research • Keep transportation communities apprised of research findings • Review and recommend papers for publication • Co-sponsor special activities • BUT THAT IS NOT THE REAL MESSAGE

    3. TRB Committees Provide Opportunities • Networking with fellow transportation professionals • Staying current on emerging issues • Participating in the advancement of the practice • PROVIDING THESE OPPORTUNITIES TO YOUR MEMBERS IS WHAT YOUR WORK AS CHAIR IS REALLY ABOUT!

    4. TRB Committee Structure • TRB committees are combined into Groups and sometimes in Sections • The combination is based on the committee topic and scope • The Sections and Groups provide an opportunity to work together on cross-cutting topics and activities

    5. Elements Needed for Success • Strategic plan • Communication tools • Leadership skills • Understanding of administrative requirements

    6. Strategic Plan

    7. A Strategic Plan Focuses the Committee • MissionWhy does the committee exist? • ScopeWhy does the committee exist? • GoalsWhat does the committee want to achieve? • StrategiesHow will the goals be achieved? • Action PlanWhat is planned for the next three years to accomplish goals & strategies?

    8. Strategic Plan Development • See Page 37 of the Leadership Guide for more information: • Update every 3 years—coordinate with incoming chair if rotating within triennial period • Use as an activity to engage committee members • TRB Leadership adopted a new strategic plan in June of 2007 and may be found at

    9. ? ? Strategic Plan Development • What’s worked? • What hasn’t? • Ideas to share? ? ? ? ?

    10. Communication Tools

    11. Potential Communication Strategies • Newsletters • Committee Chair Letters • List serve • Websites • Teleconferences The specific technology or media is less important than communicating regularly!

    12. Newsletters • Issue semi-annually or quarterly • Post on website or member published and distributed Committee Chair Letter to Members and Friends • Less effort than newsletter, but can “grow” into newsletter Listserves • Fosters dialogue among committee members and friends via e-mail • Requires maintenance and updates by the host organization

    13. Committee Websites • Committees are responsible foraccuracy and maintenance • TRB will link TRB On-Line Directory tothe committee home page • Preferred style reference is Elements of Style for Web Design by Christine A. Quinn • Contact your committee staff person to have the page connected

    14. Conference Calls • Provides additional opportunityfor conduct of committee businessbetween meetings • TRB Leadership Guide provides tips for conveners on Page 69: • Consult with your TRB Staff Representative for additional assistance

    15. ? ? Communication Strategies • What’s worked? • What hasn’t? • Ideas to share? ? ? ? ?

    16. Leadership Skills

    17. Ultimately, It’s About Leadership... • Selecting committee members • Encouraging participation • Delegating responsibility • Running organized meetings • Communicating early and often

    18. Selecting Committee Members • Be selective!!! • Don’t accept every applicant • Include members that bring different expertise or connections to other communities. • Contact leaders in the field and follow up on their suggestions • Tell prospective members what youexpect and make sure they canmake the necessarycommitment

    19. Encouraging Participation • Establish well-defined, challenging and reasonable tasks • Link assignments with each individual’s interests • Set deadlines and follow up • Praise accomplishments in privateand public • Make sure each member iscontributing • Follow up with new participantsto encourage additionalparticipation and commitment

    20. Delegating Responsibility • The more independent subcommittees or work groups the better! • Activity generates more activity • Don’t feel you must be personally involved in every task • Monitor, guide, cheerlead • Stay connected to ensure the committee need is being met • Broaden the leadership base

    21. Delegating Responsibility (continued) • Consider appointing members to some specific duties, such as: • Secretary • Newsletter editor/web master • Research subcommittee chair • Paper Review Coordinator • Annual meeting chair • Liaison chair • Other program or activity chair • Succession planning. It may seem a long way off, but it is important to be aware of those that might be good candidates for future committee leadership.

    22. Running Organized Meetings • Prepare and distribute an agenda in advance • Include presenters’ names and timeframes for each item • Include reports on ongoing tasks and allow for committee/friends input to keep things lively • Include discussion items and encourage informal interaction • Avoid debates • Maintain a sense of humor! • Stay on schedule

    23. Communicating Early and Often • Contact those engaged in relevant research • Connect with external sources of relevant information • Communicate, communicate, communicate! • With the committee as a whole • With subcommittees and work groups • One-on-one with subcommittee leaders, existing and prospective members • With your TRB staff contact

    24. ? ? Committee Leadership • What’s worked? • What hasn’t? • Ideas to share? ? ? ? ?

    25. Understanding of Administrative Requirements

    26. At First It Seems Like a Private Club With Secret Rules... • But the administrative information is readily available • TRB website has comprehensive on-line resources at • Leadership Guide • On-line paper review system guide • Calendar of important dates • TRB staff and committeechair directory • And TRB staff is ready andwilling to help!

    27. Administrative Highlights: Committee Membership • Chair nominates members after discussion with TRB staff • Appointments are made by TRB Executive Director for a 3-year term

    28. Administrative Highlights: Committee Membership (continued) • A committee is limited to 25 members, with some exceptions • Unlimited number of Emeritus Members • 2 Young Members (35 years or younger) • 5 International Members (non-US) • Unlimited number of “friends” • There is no limit to the number of young members or international members – each committee can appoint 2 and 5 that do not count against the member limit • TRB is committed to a one-third rotation in membership each third year

    29. Administrative Highlights: Annual Meeting Planning • TRB staff coordinate with chairs to schedule sessions • Paper or Presentation sessions (approximately two per committee) • Poster sessions • Joint committee sessions (within the committee session limit) • Committee and Subcommittee Business meetings • Session Planning webinars are held each year

    30. Administrative Highlights:Mid-year Meetings • Not all committees hold mid-year meetings • Locations determined several years in advance • Generally many committees meet together • Some individual committees hold meetings with local sponsors • TRB staff coordinate with chairs to schedule business meetings, plenary sessions, and joint committee workshops

    31. Administrative Highlights: Meetings and Minutes • Meetings are open unless the chair designates an executive session • Visitors and “friends” may take part in discussions but may not propose motions or vote • Minutes are no longer confidential and may be widely distributed

    32. Administrative Highlights:Paper Review Process • Chair or appointee selects paper reviewers • 3 reviewers per paper (at the very least) • Reviewer’s names to be kept confidential • Chair or appointee notifies the author of evaluation result • Paper review webinars are held each year to help you navigate the system

    33. Administrative Highlights:Paper Review Process (continued) • In advance of the “August Avalanche” • Have a plan—who, which, where? • Volunteer reviewers—commitment and interest • An updated mailing list—phone, fax, e-mail • Internal deadlines • Alternatives structures • Committee Chair • Subcommittee • Paper Review Coordinator or Publications chair

    34. Administrative Highlights:Travel Expense Reimbursement • TRB policy is to help defray travel costs of committee chairs to either the annual or mid-year meeting when they cannot obtain funds elsewhere and to the extent funds are available • TRB will not cover committee member or speaker expenses

    35. Administrative Highlights: Specialty Conferences and Workshops • Approval of the TRB Executive Committee must be obtained prior to development • Must be self-supporting (registration fees and/or outside funding) • Governing Board of the National Research Council must approve events sponsored with outside funding

    36. Remember the Resources • TRB Division A Leadership website: • • On-Line Directory (full contact information for all TRB members) • Email list for all your committee members • Printed Calendar • and ….

    37. If all else fails……. • Call or e-mail your TRB staff officer • Peter 202-334-2983 • Kim 202-334-2968 • Tom 202-334-2907 • Christy 202-334-2970 • Elaine 202-334-3206 • Joedy 202-334-2167 • Martine 202-334-3177 • Or their project assistant • Freda Morgan 202-334-2965 • Brie Schwartz 202-334-3015 • Mary Kissi 202-334-3205 • Matt Miller 202-334-2608