Producing, Filing, and Transferring Committee Minutes

Producing Minutes

Meeting minutes serve as the official records of the actions that occurred at a meeting.  Often, notes are taken during the meeting by a designated member who proofreads and prepares the final meeting minutes after the meeting.  Members want to make minutes as complete as possible to serve as a historical record which is stored in the University Archives for future generations.

When creating meeting minutes, please keep these things in mind:

  1. Place the minutes in a usable form.  Because minutes typically are taken down by hand, this process involves turning these notes into a digital or typed format, such as Microsoft Word.  Convert and save a copy of the document in a PDF format to preserve it and prevent it from being altered.
  2. Always follow the same format. When you are unavailable, provide a sample copy if your replacement will have to prepare minutes for you.
  3. Use some type of consecutive numbering within the document. The purpose is to help verify the completeness of a set of minutes. This can be done in any or all of the following ways:
    • Consecutive page numbers, starting over with page one each year or continuing indefinitely, including the year, for example 2010-01, 2010-02, etc.
    • Consecutive actions, including the year (88-01, 88-02, etc.) and perhaps the committee initials (CAR 88-01).
    • Consecutively numbered meetings (Fifty-first Meeting of the University Archives Committee), although this will not indicate any missing pages
  4. Be consistent in using the official name for the committee.  Although you may be aware that these are all the same committee, someone else may not be sure. In the above example, the committee records might be difficult to retrieve because of the differences in names.
    • Do write: Education Textbook Planning Committee
    • Do not write: Textbook Planning Committee, Off-Campus Textbook Planning Committee, Instructional Materials Planning Committee, Committee on Educational Textbooks
  5. Ad hoc committee minutes should show to which standing committee, department, or administrative group they report.


Filing Minutes

  1. File all minutes and attachments in a separate file, preferably in a private file accessible only to you and a select few, as necessary.  ITS is able to create a private file for you to use. 
  2. Organize the files by school year, for example, labeling the file 2017-2018.
  3. Within these yearly files, folders can be created either monthly or with each meeting.  A good way to organize the files is by placing the date first and then the name of the meeting.  For example, 2018-04-09 Math Minutes.
  4. Include all meeting materials such as minutes, agenda, attachments, and related correspondence.  These can be born digital or scanned documents.
  5. Do not file minutes of related committees in the same folder.
  6. Minutes of different boards and committees should be kept separate from each other and numbered separately. Andrews University, for example, produces the following separate series of minutes:
  • Andrews University Board of Trustees
  • Academic Affairs Subcommittee of Andrews University Board of Trustees
  • Audit Committee of Andrews University Board of Trustees
  • Andrews University Executive Committee
  • Andrews University President's Committee
  • Andrews University Constituency Meeting


Transferring Minutes

  1. If you produce minutes for a committee, please be sure to send a copy of the minutes to University Archives.  This can be done monthly, per semester, or yearly and can be sent via Archives dropbox, email, or shared if you have a Google drive.  The University Archivist should be alerted if minutes are available online for download as well.
  2. To submit documents via the Archives dropbox, you must be logged into the campus network. In general, if you are logged into a campus office computer, you will be logged into the network.  After opening the link obtained from the Archivist, you will be able to drag copies of individual documents or zipped files into the Archives dropbox.  The system will send an email, alerting the Archivist that there are documents in the dropbox.  You can delete or edit materials from your office up until the Archivist removes them, and no one has access to your files except you and the Archivist.  Please contact the University Archivist with questions or problems.
  3. If you have paper minutes to transfer to the University Archives, please be sure to fill out a transfer form to place with the records.  The official set of minutes, containing original signatures, corrections and backup materials, should be transferred to the Archives when you no longer need them for frequent reference, usually after five or six years.