The purpose of this document is to provide governance and operational guidelines for the functioning and work of MCN’s Annual Conference Program Committee (hereafter “Program Committee”).

Under the oversight of the Executive Director and/or a Board Liaison, the Program Committee is a volunteer group that supports the work of MCN management and staff by shaping the annual conference theme and program, and by facilitating the participation of presenters and other community members’ contributions to MCN’s annual conference. The Committee is composed of two Chairs working in tandem with two junior Co-Chairs in training on a rotating basis, and of about twenty to thirty Committee Members.

Program Committee Members roles & responsibilities


The Program Committee is chaired by two Chairs assisted by two Co-Chairs, each serving a two-year term starting in January. In their first year of service, newly appointed Co-Chairs serve as junior co-chairs learning from the Chairs, before becoming Chairs themselves in their second year, where they are now responsible for onboarding two new Program Co-Chairs and passing on the Program Committee knowledge, operational practices, responsibilities, processes and workflows to them.

Qualifications, Appointment and Term

  • The Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs cannot be current Board Members
  • Co-Chairs must have attended a previous conference at least one year or two prior to their service, and ideally should have a history of regular conference attendance, and/or service as a Committee Member
  • Each year, following the annual conference, the Program Chairs for the upcoming year share a public call for two Co-Chairs
  • After reviewing applications and interviewing candidates, the Chairs select two nominees to be discussed and approved together with the Executive Director and/or a Board Liaison
  • Once the nominations are approved, the Chairs officially appoint the two Program Co-Chairs to serve a two-year term
  • The application and review process is to happen in November and December, with successful candidates notified, appointed, and announced before the Holiday break in December


  • Appoint and oversee Program Committee Members.
  • Select conference presentations through review of applications.
  • Make an in-person visit of the conference site in order to choose locations for off-site events, assess the conference venues for planning and programming.
  • Create the conference program through the assessment, organization, and scheduling of panels, presentations, paper sessions, readings, performances, exhibitions, installations, workshops, and special events.
  • Serve on the Conference Planning Committee and attend the monthly calls from January to October.
  • Work with presenters to refine ideas and workshop presentations in order to deliver cohesive sessions and realize an overall vision for events.
  • Facilitate sessions and appoint session chairs or facilitators for events.
  • Create and coordinate program schedule, and produce content in support of the printed and digital conference program.
  • Build solid, sustainable processes and relationships for the long-term delivery and success of the conference.
  • Manage communications with conference participants and other conference organizers during the application and selection process, conference lead-up, the conference itself and post conference wrap up.
  • Assign and manage the work of the Program Committee Members.
  • Co-Chairs: In the first year of service, Co-Chairs are considered junior. In addition to the Responsibilities listed above, Co-Chairs are specifically tasked with working to learn their role, and setting themselves up for success the following year when they take over as Chairs.
  • Chairs: In the second year of service, Co-Chairs become Chairs and are considered senior. In addition to the Responsibilities listed above, Chairs are specifically tasked with identifying the primary lessons from the previous year and implementing changes accordingly, with helping to recruit and appoint the incoming Co-Chairs and with mentoring them once in place, and with ensuring a smooth transfer of knowledge and responsibility at the end of their term.

Other MCN Points of Contact

  • Executive Director and/or a Board Liaison
  • Conference Manager
  • MCN’s Marketing Committee to help promote the conference, and ensure that communication is best reflects the program
  • SIG Chairs to ensure ongoing communication with the SIGS, and ongoing development of the SIG–conference relationship
  • Local Events Committee – although the Chairs do not work explicitly with the local events committee, it can be useful to connect with them when seeking local advice and considering extra-curricular activities at the conference.


  • This is a volunteer role and as such does not offer compensation
  • Complimentary conference registration
  • Site visit travel expenses fully reimbursed upon presentation of receipts
  • Listing in the print and digital conference programs
  • Mention in the conference opening and/or plenary events



Between twenty to thirty people, each serving a renewable one-year term, not to exceed three terms.


  • Work with Chairs and Co-Chairs to determine the conference theme
  • Help to shape the conference by suggesting and recruiting speakers, developing new program formats and initiatives, and promoting the session proposal process to their communities
  • Review submitted proposals
  • Participate regularly in Program Committee communications and discussions
  • Serve as session chairs or facilitators for special events at the conference

Other MCN Points of Contact
Concerns or questions from Program Committee members should be referred to the Executive Director via the Chairs.

Qualifications, Appointment and Term

  • The total number of Members is flexible and may vary year-on-year, but ideally shall be between twenty and thirty
  • Each Member is appointed for a one-year term renewable twice (three terms max) and at the Program Committee Chairs’ discretion
  • Members can self-nominate through the annual conference survey, or through direct communication with the Program Chairs
  • Members are appointed annually, and solely by the Program Chairs and Co-Chairs.
  • Program Committee Members shall reflect the full range of MCN represented institutions and constituencies


  • Discount on conference registration
  • Listing in the print and digital conference programs
  • Mention in the conference opening and/or plenary events



The Executive Director and/or a Board Liaison support and advise the Program Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs on the overall development of conference program, ensure that the programming and other committee initiatives are aligned with MCN’s current strategic direction, and act as a communications conduit between the Program Committee and Board.