University Councils are created to carry out oversight functions that concern particular, well-defined activities of the University that report to specific members of the administration. Councils function on a permanent, long-term basis, and are established to exercise an integrated advisory role over specified campus units and their associated activities. Councils are jointly sponsored by the University Senate, the campus administration, and the chief administrative officer(s) of the designated unit(s). Councils may be assigned reporting responsibilities to any member(s) of the administration at the dean level or above. Councils often sponsor hearings on issues within their purview that are of concern to the Senate and the campus community. They provide a mechanism for communication with the campus community on major issues and respond to charges sent by the Senate Executive Committee. Councils also typically provide an annual written report to the Senate on their activities, including the status of unresolved issues. Councils often advise on budget, space, and other material resources, in addition to personnel staffing and other human resources. In addition, Councils advise on administrative policies and practices, as well as on charges to be given to periodic internal and external review committees. They respond to requests for review, analysis, and advice from the designated administrative officer and meet at least annually with the officer to review major issues facing the particular unit and its activities on campus.
Task Forces are typically established to work on a specifically defined task or activity. These groups often function for a pre-determined length of time on particular projects, and are usually jointly sponsored by the University Senate and an administrative unit on campus. Task Forces, or Joint Task Forces, are normally formed for the expressed purpose of reviewing a problem, evaluating solutions, and recommending action.