- Remember the purpose of minutes—to document the subject of the discussion, decisions made, and action items along with who was assigned responsibility for follow up.
- Less is more. Minutes that are too detailed are less useful and less likely to be reviewed for accuracy.
- Check with the Chair regarding the preferred format and important points to include in the minutes each meeting. Carefully record attendance, noting individuals who abstain from voting because of conflict.
- Stick to the facts. It usually isn't necessary to record exact details of the conversation or who said what. The subject of the discussion, decisions, and follow up are the important points.
- Don't editorialize. Minutes are not the place for personal opinions.
- Remember the audience. As a governmental entity, minutes of University of Utah meetings can be subject to an "open records" request. For this reason, make sure the information recorded is accurate—the minutes themselves could potentially end up in the media or before the public.
- Circulate for accuracy. Ask for direction from the Chair of the meeting on who will review the minutes. Circulate the minutes to at least the Chair, to ensure accuracy.
- Protect sensitive information. Certain information is afforded extra protection from disclosure, such as information about job performance, attorney-client discussions, business strategy, and patient information. Use care to protect minutes that contain sensitive information.
- Store meeting minutes in a retrievable, secure system. Encrypt minutes sent via email.
- Ask for help to respond to requests for disclosure. Call the Office of General Counsel at 585-7002 if you receive requests to view minutes that you feel contain sensitive information, if the requestor is someone outside the University, of if you have other concerns about disclosure. (Last reviewed on Dec. 1, 2011)
Please contact the University Advancement, located at 540 Arapeen Drive, Suite 250, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108-1238, or by telephone at (801) 581-6825, or toll-free at (800) 716-0377. (Last reviewed on Dec. 14, 2011)