Procedures for Addressing the Board

  1. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees shall have the proposed agenda for the Board’s formal session available to the public before each scheduled formal session. Agenda items may be removed or added prior to or at the Board’s formal session.
  2. Persons wishing to address the Board of Trustees must request to do so in writing before the beginning of the formal session, except if a person wishes to comment on an agenda item added during the formal session. On the day of the formal session, the Secretary to the Board of Trustees will provide public comment request forms outside the meeting.   Public comment request forms are also available in the Board office, 3050 Seibert Administration Building, prior to the day of the formal session. It is encouraged that public comment requests be submitted prior to the formal session to the Board Secretary, who also may be contacted via, or at (269) 387-2360.
  3. Those who wish to speak must provide their name and address in writing (for potential follow up communications). They also need to indicate which action agenda item they wish to address, or if they instead wish to make a non-action agenda item public comment.
  4. In order to allow more people to address the Board, before a person would be allowed to speak for more than one three minute period, other persons’ requests to speak would be heard prior to any additional requests. Individual presentations are limited to three (3) minutes. Signs or other means will be provided to remind speakers when they have 30 seconds left to speak and when their time is up.
  5. Up to fifteen (15) minutes is provided for public comment regarding any one action agenda item. Accordingly, a maximum of five (5) individuals will be allowed up to three (3) minutes each for this purpose. These public comments will be heard within the time allotted before a vote is taken on the discussion action agenda item.
  6. Up to thirty (30) minutes total is provided for all remaining public comments regarding non-action agenda items or other topics during the general public comment section of the formal session. Since time allotted for public comment may not allow for all persons who wish to speak, requests will be generally accommodated on a first-received basis. Presidents (or one alternate) of the University’s collective bargaining units who have submitted requests to address the Board regarding non-action agenda items will be heard first within this thirty minute public comment time period.
  7. The time limits and other restrictions specified herein shall not apply to the president of, or designated speaker for, the Faculty Senate, Western Student Association, and Graduate Student Association. However, the Board Chair (or presiding Trustee in absence of the Chair) may limit the time to speak to ten minutes each. The agenda will indicate the point during the formal session in which these faculty and student governing bodies’ officers are scheduled to address the Board.
  8. Any individuals who have submitted a public comment request prior to the formal session but who were not able to address the Board before the time allotted for public comments is up may submit their comments in writing to the Board Secretary, who will provide those comments to the Trustees after the formal session.
  9. Generally, requesters may not give any of their comment time to someone else. Exceptions may be made by the Chair in compelling circumstances, such as to accommodate a special need or if the requester needs to leave the formal session before the Board hears public comments on non-action items.
  10. Power Point or other audio-visual equipment is not permitted during public comment. However, written materials may be provided to the Board if received by the Board Secretary prior to the beginning of the formal session or as otherwise permitted by the Board Chair. If the individual providing the documents is also scheduled to make oral comments, s/he should give 15 collated copies to the Board Secretary who will distribute them to the Board members at or before the time of the comments.
  11. Nothing herein shall preclude or limit members of the Board of Trustees from requesting comments from any person attending the formal session or from requesting the attendance of any individual at the formal session to make appropriate comments or provide information to the Board.
  12. The Chair of the Board may authorize modifications to these procedures.

Updated in March, 2015 as authorized by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.