The Visiting Committees and Councils are charged with providing advice, advocacy, and philanthropy to the Divisions and Schools they serve, and through their work, also increase the understanding of the Board of Trustees and other friends of the University in various operations of the University.

The members' ability to perform this function is facilitated by the active participation of the Deans and Directors, the President, and the Administration, who provide the members of the Visiting Committees and Councils with the information they need to carry out their responsibilities.

While all the committees and councils have common purposes – to serve as ambassadors for the unit in the larger community, to support the Dean or Director, to be a source of funds for the unit – each committee necessarily emphasizes those purposes correspondent to the unit’s specific needs. The professional schools may rely upon their committees to help with career placements, while the divisions may find their committees better suited for other tasks. Members may also be requested to provide advice and counsel at the behest of the Dean or Director.