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POLICY #5.23 
SUBJECT: Public Meetings


To define the open and Public Meetings policy of the University, implementing the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, Utah Code §§ 52-4-101 to 52-4-305. The Southern Utah University (SUU) Board of Trustees (a Public Body) and the University President are tasked by Utah law with conducting and taking the official business of the University, as further defined in those statutes and USHE regulations. As a Public Body, the Board of Trustees must follow the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act when conducting its delegated duties.


  1. Board of Trustees: See SUU Policy 5.4.
  2. Electronic Meeting: A Public Meeting convened or conducted by a Public Body means of a conference using electronic communications.
  3. Executive Session (or Closed Meeting): A portion of an otherwise Open Meeting which has been closed to the public as allowed by law.
  4. Public Meeting: The convening of a Public Body, with a Quorum (simple majority) present, whether in person or by means of electronic equipment, for the purpose of discussion or acting upon a matter over which the Public Body has jurisdiction or advisory power. An Open Meeting does not apply to a chance meeting or social gathering; however, a chance meeting or social gathering cannot be used to replace or circumvent an Open Meeting.
  5. Public Body: Any administrative, advisory, executive, or legislative body of the state created by state law and given the authority to make decisions regarding the public's business. The Southern Utah University Board of Trustees is the Public Body given such express authority on behalf of SUU. The University President has authority to develop policy for the institution, as delegated by the Utah Board of Higher Education, subject to the approval of the SUU Board of Trustees.
  6. Quorum: A simple majority of the membership of a Public Body, present either in person or in real time by electronic means, but not by proxy.
  7. Recording: An audio or an audio and video recording of the proceedings of a Public Meeting or Executive Session that can be used to review the proceedings of the meeting.


  1. Scope of Policy. This Policy generally applies to the SUU Board of Trustees, as a decision-making body/Public Body. Per SUU Policy 5.4, meetings of the Board of Trustees Executive Committee are also called in accordance with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act. Nothing in this Policy is meant to conflict with SUU Policy 5.4 so long as compliant with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act. The University President has decision-making authority for the University as delegated by applicable law. Individual business decisions made by the University President are not made by a Public Body and therefore not subject to the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, although these decisions are sometimes reported to the Board of Trustees in a subsequent Open Meeting, as relevant to the Board of Trustees' delegated duties.
  2. The SUU Board of Trustees is a Public Body. All meetings of the Board of Trustees, including any committee meetings that take action on behalf of the full Board of Trustees, shall be in compliance with the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act. All standing committees (other than the Executive Committee when acting on behalf of the full Board) are advisory only and are not subject to the requirements of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act.
  3. A Quorum for conducting the business of the Board of Trustees shall consist of six (6) members, whether present in person or present by means of electronic equipment. Board action may be taken by majority vote whenever a Quorum is present.
  4. The SUU Board of Trustees (or its Executive Committee) shall give at least 24 hours' public notice of the agenda, date, time, and place of each of its meetings. Notice will include an agenda that lists the specific topics the Public Body will consider. Public notice is to be posted on the Utah Public Notice Website and at the physical anchor location of the meeting (see below for electronic meetings).
    1. Discussions may occur during an Open Meeting that are not listed on the agenda, but the Public Body may not take final action on the item at that time.
  5. Where Open Meetings Can be Conducted; Electronic Meetings.
    1. A meeting of a Public Body can occur in person, by telephone, through email, or on a web site. A Public Meeting occurs when the majority (i.e. six members of the SUU Board of Trustees) of a Public Body communicate, through any medium, for the purpose of discussing and taking action on the body’s business or affairs. Members of a Public Body may not be counted towards a Quorum, or vote, when appearing by proxy.
    2. Electronic Meetings. Public notice must be given the same as if the meeting was being held at a typical physical anchor location. Notice should also be posted at the typical anchor location and should describe how members of the public may access the electronic meeting. If possible, an electronic meeting should be broadcast for the public at the typical public physical anchor location. Votes taken in an electronic meeting shall be taken by roll call.
      1. An electronic meeting may be held without an anchor location if the chair of the Public Body makes a written determination that conducting the meeting at the anchor location poses a substantial risk to the health and safety of those who may be present. Such a written determination should:
        1. Include facts upon which the determination is based;
        2. be included in the public notice for the meeting;
        3. describe how the public can access the electronic meeting; and
        4. be read at the beginning of the electronic meeting.
  6. Meetings of Public Bodies are Open.
    1. Every meeting of a Public Body where the public’s business will be discussed and action taken is open to the public unless closed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the body proposing to close the meeting for specific reasons allowed by law.
    2. Written minutes and a recording of all open Public Meetings. Written minutes shall be kept of all open meetings. Such minutes shall include:
      1. The date, time, and place of the meeting;
      2. The names of the members present and absent;
      3. The substance of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided, and a record, by individual member, of votes taken;
      4. The names of all citizens who appeared and the substance in brief of their testimony; and
      5. Any other information that any member requests be entered in the minutes.
    3. All Open Meetings of a Public Body shall be recorded. A recording is not required for site visits of a Public Body.
    4. Attendees may be removed from an Open Meeting for disruptive behavior. This Policy shall not prohibit the removal of any person who willfully disrupts a meeting to the extent that orderly conduct is seriously compromised.
  7. Executive/Closed Sessions of Public Meetings:
    1. Public Bodies may recess Open Meetings for Executive Sessions for the purposes of discussing certain reasons listed in Section IV.G.5. below and those reasons only.
    2. An Executive Session or closed meeting must originate from an open Public Meeting. A closed meeting shall be commenced upon announcement of the Chairperson of the desire to enter into Executive Session and the statutorily allowed reason for closing the meeting (listed below). The Executive Session will be closed upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at an Open Meeting, provided a Quorum is present.
    3. Written minutes shall be kept of all closed meeting Executive Sessions. Such minutes shall include:
      1. The date, time, and place of the meeting;
      2. The names of members present and absent;
      3. The names of all others present except where such disclosure would infringe on the confidence necessary to fulfill the original purpose of closing the meeting.
    4. Written minutes of Executive Sessions should also contain the reason or reasons for holding a closed meeting, and the vote, either for or against the proposition to hold such a meeting, cast by each member by name.
    5. No Executive Session of a Public Meeting is generally allowed except that an Executive Session of a Public Meeting may be held for any of the following reasons:
      1. Discussion of the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual;
      2. Strategy sessions with respect to collective bargaining, litigation, or purchase, leases, exchange of real property;
      3. Discussion regarding the disposition of security personnel or devices; and
      4. Investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct; or
      5. Any other reason to hold a closed Executive Session of a Public Meeting as allowed under the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act.
    6. No ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, contract, or appointment shall be approved at a closed meeting.
    7. Members may not take a vote in a closed Executive Session, except for a vote to end the closed portion and return to an Open Meeting. A closed Executive Session should always end with a vote to return to an Open Meeting.
    8. Executive Sessions in the form of closed meetings are required by law to be recorded and the recordings shall be preserved and maintained permanently. Closed Executive Session recordings are for archival and court purposes only and may only be disclosed under a court order.
  8. Meetings of SUU entities or groups that are not Public Bodies created by state law are not otherwise subject to the requirements of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act because they are not bodies of the state created by state law and not given the authority to make decisions regarding the public’s business like the Board of Trustees.
  9. Meetings of groups of employees at SUU should remain focused on administrative and operational matters, ensuring that the categories of decision making delegated to the SUU Board of Trustees is not infringed.




The responsible office for this Policy is the Office of the President. For questions about Open and Public Meetings, contact the Office of the President.


Date Approved: July 27, 1990

Amended: September 23, 2022