GOVERNANCE & LEGAL AFFAIRS
Section 215 Remote Public Meetings
Last Revised: 8/24/21
Responsible Office: Clerk of the Board
Scope and Applicability:
The University of Maine System (UMS) Board of Trustees Policy on Remote Public Meetings applies to all meetings conducted by the Board of Trustees and its committees and subcommittees that are subject to the Freedom of Access Act, 1 MRSA Ch. 13 (collectively “UMS Public Meetings”). This Policy supplements but does not amend or nullify any provision of the University of Maine System charter, bylaws, policies, or any other rules related to UMS Public Meetings (“Additional Procedures”). Please refer to such Additional Procedures where this Policy is silent.
Remote; Remotely: The use of interactive technology that enables participation in a UMS Public Meeting through live, two-way communication which may be audio-only such as telephone, or video and audio such as an online video conferencing platform.
Any UMS Public Meeting may be held Remotely subject to the conditions outlined in this Policy and the provisions of State of Maine Law PL 2021 ch. 290, An Act Regarding Remote Participation in Public Proceedings.
Members of the UMS Board of Trustees and its committees and subcommittees (“Members”) are expected to be physically present at UMS Public Meetings except when being physically present is not practicable. Circumstances in which physical presence is not practicable include:
- An emergency, urgent issue, or illness;
- Temporary absence from Maine;
- Significant distance a Member must travel, or impediments to travel such as inclement weather; and
- Other circumstances as determined by the Chair of the UMS Board of Trustees or the Chair of the committee or subcommittee holding the UMS Public Meeting.
When one or more Members will participate in a UMS Public Meeting Remotely, the public will also be provided remote access, and reasonable accommodations may be provided when necessary to provide access to individuals with disabilities. If an opportunity for public input is allowed or required during a UMS Public Meeting with Remote participation, an effective means of communication between the Members and the public will be provided.
Notice and Location:
Notice of any UMS Public Meeting with Remote participation will be provided according to UMS Board of Trustees Bylaws and related policies governing UMS Public Meetings. Additionally, notice of a UMS Public Meeting with Remote participation will state the means by which members of the public may access the UMS Public Meeting Remotely and a location for the public to attend in person unless there exists an emergency or urgent issue that requires an all-Remote meeting as determined by the Chair of the UMS Board of Trustees or the Chair of the Board committee or subcommittee holding the UMS Public Meeting.
A Member who participates in a UMS Public Meeting by Remote methods is present for purposes of a quorum and voting;
All votes taken during a UMS Public Meeting using Remote methods will be taken by roll call vote that can be seen and heard if using video technology, and heard if using only audio technology, by the other Members and the public.
In accordance with applicable law, UMS will make all documents and other materials considered by UMS available, electronically or otherwise, to the public who access the meeting by Remote methods to the same extent customarily available to members of the public who attend UMS Public Meetings in person.