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Agendas vary greatly depending on the length of the meeting, the size of the group, and the degree of formality. Here are some general guidelines to consider when preparing an agenda for a typical faculty committee or department meeting.

  1. Keep the agenda as short and simple as possible, preferably no more than a single page.
  2. Put the date, time, and location of the meeting at the top of the agenda.
  3. State the goals of meeting in two or three brief sentences at the top of the page.
  4. Sequence events in a logical flow from information sharing to discussion to decision-making.
  5. Sequence events to provide a feeling of accomplishment and momentum as early as possible.
  6. Anticipate the group’s energy level and tackle difficult tasks when energy is high and positive.
  7. Assign a time to each major item and indicate on the agenda who is responsible.
  8. When possible, distribute the agenda in advance.
  9. At the beginning of the meeting, check with the group to see whether other agenda items need to be added.

For larger more formal groups that meet relatively infrequently (e.g., monthly or quarterly), consider the following additional steps:

  1. Have an agenda committee comprising a representative sample of the group decide which issues need to be raised at the meeting.
  2. Send a draft agenda to all attendees and invite them to suggest additional items.