The Merit Advisory Council (MAC), formed in 1998, provides Merit’s Members with a forum for communication with each other and with Merit. Each year Merit’s non-governing Members elect new representatives to serve on the MAC for three year terms. The MAC meets a minimum of twice each year to discuss Merit’s services and to provide direct feedback to Merit’s staff and Board of Directors.
The following individuals have been elected to serve on the Merit Advisory Council: Randy Schapel of Mott Community College serves as the Chair, and Wayne Snyder of NextEnergy serves as the Vice Chair.
Upcoming Virtual MAC meeting:
Webex (Login details included in invitation)
Merit Advisory Council Guidelines
Revised October 2012
The Merit Board has established the Merit Advisory Council (MAC) in order to advance Merit’s relationship with K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, and other Member communities to better meet our common objectives in advancing the use of networking for education in Michigan.
The Council’s Charter is to:
Provide advice and recommendations to Merit staff and the Merit Board of Directors on matters related to Merit policies and services;
Promote, through education and collaboration, the development of advanced applications that meet the needs of constituencies served by Merit Members;
Facilitate opportunities to offer continuing education programs of interest to Merit Members.
Representatives are elected by current Merit Members in each of the categories listed below, with the representatives for a category coming from that category.
- 3 from K-12 schools.
- 2 from libraries
- 2 from community colleges.
- 2 from other colleges and non-governing Member universities, including private institutions.
- 2 from health care.
- 2 from government.
- 2 from others, including not-for-profit agencies, research, and for-profit businesses.
In addition, an alternate may be selected for each category to serve if elected representatives cannot. Each person is to be representative of their whole community or category (i.e. K-12, or libraries, or….), not just their home organization. They each should play a role in gathering information from their communities and feeding information back to their colleagues.
Those eligible organizations are Directly Attached Merit Members, Full-service or Additional Attachment Members (those who pay the additional Dedicated Consortium Internet Access Fee per year to have direct contact with Merit even though they are Members of a group Member).
If a group Member, such as a regional Hub, contains organizations that are in more than one of the categories above, that Member must itself decide in which category it belongs. In general, throughout the discussions of representation there is a desire to be somewhat flexible about how the representation is handled, because the structure of Members is both complex and changing.
In the event that a position is vacated and there is no alternate available or willing to fill that position, or in the event that an alternate position becomes vacant, an ad hoc committee will be formed, made up of:
- the Chair and/or Vice-Chair
- at least one serving member of the category with the vacated position
- at least one of the Merit liaisons
This ad hoc committee will select an individual from the category to fill the position. The committee should consider all suggestions equally, keeping in mind that the individual, and not the organization, is elected to serve on the MAC. The individual selected by the committee shall be submitted to the MAC for confirmation (a simple majority vote) and will fill the remainder of the vacated position’s term.
The Advisory Council will meet in person twice a year and on-line as needed, at times set by the Council. The Council will also provide an opportunity for Member input at the Merit Member Conference.
III Merit Board Relationship with the Advisory Council
The Board may select non-voting liaisons to attend Advisory Council meetings. These are to be people from member institutions, but need not be the Board representative. They would also be expected to attend Merit Board meetings, in keeping with their role as liaisons. The Chair of the Advisory Council, or designee, is to attend all Merit Board meetings as a non-voting representative of the Advisory Council. Topics arising from the Advisory Council are to be included where appropriate on the Merit Board agenda. When the Merit Board meets in Executive Session, the Advisory Council Chair is not included.
IV Merit Staff Relationship with the Advisory Council
Merit’s President may select two non-voting liaisons to the Advisory Council from Merit staff. More are encouraged, with this to be decided in collaboration with the Advisory Council Chair.
V Election of Advisory Council Representatives
Council elections will be held annually in April. New Council members will take their seats at the Spring Council meeting.
At the fall meeting the Council Chair will appoint a nominating committee to develop the slate of candidates put forth to the membership for election. The nominating committee shall include two Council members with continuing membership and a Merit staff member. The slate must include at least two candidates per open seat.
If the nominee is not the Member administrative contact as defined by the Merit database, then the nominee will need authorization from the Member administrative contact stating that they can run under their organization name.
The Nominating Committee will email the slate of candidates to the full Council no later than the 15th of March. Council will vote via email to accept or reject the ballot.
Merit will distribute the ballot by email and via the web to all qualified Members. Members must vote by the deadline indicated on the ballot. Merit staff will put in place the necessary controls to insure each Member votes only once, and in the appropriate category.
The chair of the Nominating Committee, in conjunction with Merit staff, will count the votes and announce the results of the election to the Council chair.
The candidate receiving the most votes in their category will win the 3-yr term seat. The candidate receiving the 2nd most votes in their category will win the 1-yr alternate seat. In the event of a tie, both parties will be notified by the Election Committee Chair. A random process agreed upon by all three parties will determine the outcome of the tie. The Council will review and modify these procedures on an as needed basis.
VI Term of Advisory Council Representatives
The Advisory Council representatives will serve a 3-yr term. Alternates will serve a minimum 1-yr term. If there is no election in the Alternate’s category at the expiration of their 1-yr term, the term will extend until the next category seat election.
VII Selection of Advisory Council Chair and Vice-Chair
The Advisory Council will elect a Chair and Vice-Chair annually at its spring meeting. The Chair or Vice-Chair shall not serve more than 6 consecutive combined years in either a Chair or Vice-Chair capacity.
VIII Staff Support for the Advisory Council
Merit staff will provide support to the Advisory Council for setting meeting dates, doing minutes, and other basic needs for its operation, as determined in collaboration between the Advisory Council Chair and Merit staff.
IX Merit Board Re-Authorization of Charter
At its June 2002 meeting, The Merit Board of Directors re-authorized the charter of the Merit Advisory Council for an indefinite period of time. Previously, the Council had a charter which needed to be reviewed every two years.
The Advisory Council is encouraged to focus on substantive issues rather than devoting major time to organizational structure, creation of By-Laws, or various process-oriented issues.