Microsoft Teams - Managing Teams

This article is targeted towards whomever is going to be managing a team for a department/committee/etc.

When we say managing - we are referring to the person or people who are going to:

  • Add and remove new members
  • Decide how your department/committee team will be organized

For a more in-depth tutorial, log in to LinkedIn Learning (via and search for Microsoft Teams.  There are several options for training there.

When a Microsoft Teams site is created - we typically recommend at least two people are set as 'owners' of the team.  Owners are able to (and responsible for) adding people to, and removing people from, the Team.  We usually suggest the department/division/school's director, chair, dean, etc., be one of the owners, as well as the secretary or administrative assistant.  

Managing Teams webinar recording 


Team Organization

Before you get started with Teams - you may want to think of how you want to organize it.  You can change this later - but understanding how to organize it before you start doing a ton with it will be beneficial in the long-term.

Here are some examples - but they are examples only based on usage we've seen on-campus.  Your usage may vary.

  • A department team - this would have all members of a single academic or administrative department in the Team.
    • Separate channels could be created for department committees or sub-committees, for different sub-groups within the department (by job role or academic discipline for example)
  • A division-wide or school-wide team - with private channels for each department.  An example of this would be if a Team was created for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S).  The owners of the Team could be the Dean and Associate Deans within LA&S, and the administrative staff there as well.  Within this Team - private channels would be created for:
    • The Dean's Office - this area would be restricted to the Dean, Associate Deans, and administrative staff in the college.
    • Per-department areas - these would be created for collaboration between each department within LA&S and the Dean's Office.  For example, there would be an Anthropology channel that would have the department chair and secretary for the Anthropology department, as well as the LA&S Dean's office on the access list for this channel.  Similarly there would be an area for each other academic department within LA&S.  For each of those - the department chair, secretary, and the Dean's office staff would be members of this private channel.
    If you need people from across different departments/divisions/etc. (for example, a faculty governance committee), a separate Team is best for this as opposed to a private channel within another team.  On the other hand - perhaps "Faculty Governance" as a larger team, with private channels for the various committees (Academic Senate, Curriculum Committee, etc.) may be of value.

Whether to create a channel as standard (available to all members of the team) or private (available only to those added to that channel) depends on your department and your department's needs.  If you want to restrict an area so only certain people have access - private channels are the way to go.  If you want to organize things, for example by job roles, sub-categories of an academic discipline, etc., you may not necessarily need them as private.  Once a channel is created though - it cannot be changed (i.e. you can't make a standard channel private, or change a private channel to standard).

In addition - for people to see the content of a Private Channel in a Team - they need to be members of that Team.

Think about and discuss with your department/committee/team/etc., what level of organization is needed.  You can also consult with ITS for recommendations.


Managing Team Membership

The owner(s) of a team are responsible for managing membership of their own team.  This means both adding new faculty/staff who need to be in a team, as well as removing people when they transfer departments, resign, retire, etc.

  1. To get started with this - go to your team and hover your  mouse over the team name.  A button with three dots will come up to the right of the team name.  Click on it and choose Manage Team.
    Screenshot showing the three dots for more options, then the manage team option
  2. When you are within 'manage team' there are several tabs.  You start in the 'Members' tab, and are shown two lists, Owners and Members. (Note: you may have to click on "Members and guests" to show the members.

    Example: Member list not expanded:
    Screenshot showing the member list is collapsed by default

    Example: Member list expanded so you can see the members:
    Screenshot with memberlist expanded

Adding members to a team

Once in the "Manage Team" section as per the above instructions, do the following.

  1. Click the Add member button at the top right.
    Screenshot highlighting the "Add Member" button
  2. You can start typing a or email address of a faculty, staff, and student at New Paltz, then click on their name when it comes up, then click Add.
    Screenshot showing addition of member to team
  3. Repeat that step as needed for any others that you want to add.
  4. Click Close when done.


Removing members from a team

While still in the "Manage Team" section, you will notice next to any non-owner member an "X" button.  Click on the X to the right of a person to remove them from the Team.  It will remove them from any private channels that they are in as well.

Screenshot showing Team member removal button

Note: You will note that there is no 'x' next to users who are owners of a team.  If you need to remove an owner from a team, you must first change them to a regular member.  To do so - click the arrow next to "Owner" to the right of their name, and change them to "Member".  Then you will see an 'X' to the far right of their name which you can click on to remove them.


Setting a team member as an owner of a team

When an existing team member is set as an owner, they can manage members of the team, add new channels, etc.  To promote a person to owner of a team - they have to first be a member of the team (as per the "Adding members to a team" section above).  Once they are a member of the team, you can promote them as follows:

  1. Go Manage Teams - then the Members section (as per the first two steps under "Managing Team Membership")
  2. Expand "Members and guests" so the team members (not just the owners) are shown
  3. In the row of the person you want to promote to a team owner, click where it says Member and change it to Owner as in the screenshot below.

     Screenshot showing the manage members section of a team - with the role highlighted in red


Adding and Managing Channels

Channels are sub-areas within a team.  They may be for a department sub-committee, or an area for the department director/chair and secretary to store files for example.  Using Information Technology Services for example, we have private channels for our sub-areas such as Academic Computing, or Telecommunications.

If you create a standard channel, all members of the Team can see what is in it.  If you create a Private channel, only those you explicitly add to the channel can see it.

Adding people to channels (or removing them from channels) is basically the same as adding people to or removing people from the team as a whole.  One thing to note: You cannot add a person to a private channel in a team, without them first being a member of the team itself.


To create a private channel:

  1. To get started with this - go to your team and hover your  mouse over the team name.  A button with three dots will come up to the right of the team name.  Click on it and choose Add Channel.
  2. Give your channel a name.
  3. Set Privacy to Private (note: this cannot be changed later).
  4. Click Next.
  5. Add members to the channel (which is the same as adding members to the team).  Just remember - someone has to be in the team before they can be added to a private channel within a team.
  6. When adding people - you will notice "Member" to the right of their name.  If you want them to be an owner of the channel, you can click on Member and change it to Owner.


To create a standard channel:

  • Same as above for the Private channel, just skip steps 3 & 5.


Managing an existing private channel

  1. Go to your team and hover your  mouse over the private channel name.  A button with three dots will come up to the right of the team name.  Click on it and choose Manage Channel.
  2. Then - it's the same as adding members to - or removing members from - the Team as a whole.


Article ID: 130522
Wed 3/17/21 2:57 PM
Wed 9/13/23 12:54 PM