CFERR Rules of Operation

Revised November 1996
Preamble to the Original Rules of November, 1992
ARTICLE I. Purposes
ARTICLE II. Membership
Section 1. Institutional Membership
Section 2. Delegates to the Commission General Assembly
ARTICLE III. Organization
Section 1. Structure
Section 2. Officers
Section 3. Executive Committee
Section 4. Boards of the Commission
Section 5. The Commission General Assembly
ARTICLE IV. Commission and Board Committees
Section 1. Appointments
Section 2. Commission Committees
Section 3. Board Committees
Section 4. Reports
ARTICLE V. Meetings
Section 1. Commission General Assembly
Section 2. Commission Executive Committee
Section 3. Rules
ARTICLE VI. Elections
ARTICLE VII. Amendments


These Rules of Operation for the Commission on Food, Environment, and Renewable Resources were prepared by the Interim Executive Committee of the Commission appointed by the A۰P۰L۰U President in January 1992 to bring the Commission into full operation at the conclusion of the Association’s 1992 Annual Meeting. The program areas included under the Commission described herein are:
– Agriculture
– Natural Resources
– Oceans and Atmosphere*
– Home Economics*
– Veterinary Medicine
The Interim Executive Committee was comprised of representatives from all the above areas plus the 1890 Land-Grant institutions.
In the preparation of these Rules the following assumptions were made:
– Core programs, unique to individual units (Boards), shall continue in their traditional manner throughout the Commission. The added dimension will be the capability of the Commission to recognize cross-cutting issues/problems and mobilize resources to address them.
– The main focus of the Commission will be to develop and implement a federal relations program on interdisciplinary cross-cutting areas of concern. This will include programs in EPA, Interior, Agriculture and other relevant federal agencies which are cross-cutting and are not considered unique to any one of the Commission Boards.
– The Executive Committee will have the responsibility for identifying the cross-cutting issue areas.
– The Commission will operate within affirmative action policies emphasizing equitable representation at all levels with respect to the 1890 Land-Grant institutions, minorities and women. The affirmative action policy will prevail also to promote the involvement of as many A۰P۰L۰U institutions as possible in the Commission’s programs and to ensure representation where appropriate of specialized areas.
– Operation of the Commission requires that all units (Boards) be organized in a timely manner.
– Restructuring of the Association may require an increase in A۰P۰L۰U staff, and changes in staff duties to meet the federal relations needs of the Commissions.
– The roles of staff serving the Commission will be broad, relating to Congressional committees and government agencies relevant to the Commission’s cross-cutting federal relations agenda.
Top of Page
As Chair of the CFERR Interim Executive Committee, I wish to acknowledge with deep appreciation the work of a task force which worked with me so diligently over many months to establish the philosophy behind CFERR and create an operational structure as outlined in these Rules of Operation.
My sincere thanks go to the members of that task force:
John Byrne Oregon State University
Doyle Matthews Utah State University
David Call Cornell University
Rodney Foil Mississippi State University
Kenneth Farrell University of California
James Davidson University of Florida
Robert Gast Michigan State University
Patrick Borich University of Minnesota
Richard Fowler University of Delaware
Zerle Carpenter Texas A&M University
Paul Hummer Oklahoma State University
Joseph Kunsman University of Wyoming
Bennie Osburn University of California, Davis
Mortimer Neufville University of Maryland, Eastern Shore
Lawrence Apple North Carolina State University
Harold Matteson New Mexico State
Larry Tombaugh North Carolina State
Arnette Mace University of Georgia
Patrick Brezonik University of Minnesota
Boyd Keenan University of Illinois, Chicago
Richard Harwood Michigan State
William Merrell Texas A&M University
Jerry Schubel SUNY, Stony Brook
Rita Colwell University of Maryland
Louie Echols University of Washington
June Henton Auburn University
Thomas Vaughan Auburn University
Jim L. Ozbun
North Dakota State University
Chair, CFERR
November, 1992
Top of Page


The focus of this Commission shall be on broad cross-cutting issues related to: agriculture, forestry, human sciences, natural resources, oceans and atmosphere, and veterinary medicine in the functional academic areas of research, extension and teaching.
The purposes of the Commission shall be to:
— Develop an integrated federal relations agenda on issues that cross the disciplinary areas represented in the Commission.
— Develop and maintain effective communications within the Commission and with all relevant organizations within A۰P۰L۰U.
— Engage in coalition building with appropriate organizations outside of A۰P۰L۰U in pursuit of the Commission’s federal relations agenda.
— Participate actively in the formulation of public policy in areas of concern to the Commission.


Section 1. Institutional Membership
A۰P۰L۰U institutions holding membership in one or more boards of the Commission may be members of the Commission by virtue of involvement of their designated delegates. They may participate in Commission activities through their delegates to the Commission General Assembly. Each member institution shall have one (1) vote in matters of the Commission.
Section 2. Delegates to the Commission General Assembly
Delegates who will conduct the affairs of the Commission shall include:
— Voting delegates – One from each member institution, who is designated by the CEO and who has campus-wide responsibilities in one or more areas of the Commission boards.
— Non-voting delegates – The members of the executive committees of the various boards of the Commission and others as may be named by their member institutions or by A۰P۰L۰U councils or other commissions. Non-voting delegates have all the privileges of membership except the right to vote.
Top of Page


Section 1. Structure

The Commission shall be composed of officers, a Commission General Assembly, an executive committee, boards, standing committees and ad-hoc committees as described below. Initially, the Commission shall be organized into boards pertaining to a) Agriculture; b) Natural Resources c) Oceans and the Atmosphere; d) Human Sciences; and e) Veterinary Medicine. New boards may be added and existing ones dissolved at any time upon recommendation of the Commission executive committee and General Assembly, and approval by the Board of Directors of A۰P۰L۰U.
Each board executive committee may invite representation from other commission boards and from other commissions and/or councils of A۰P۰L۰U.
Each board shall develop its own Rules of Operation outlining its purpose, membership, organization and operating procedures. Such Rules shall conform to relevant provisions of the Commission’s Rules of Operation and A۰P۰L۰U By-Laws.

Section 2. Officers

The officers of the Commission shall be:
— Chair (a CEO)
— Chair Elect (a CEO)
— Past Chair (a CEO)
— Vice Chair (a non-CEO)
— Secretary (a non-CEO)
These officers shall also be the officers of the executive committee and shall be ex–officio members of all committees of the Commission.
The Commission Chair, in consultation with the executive committee, shall a) call meetings of the executive committee and the Commission General Assembly; b) establish the agenda and preside at meetings of the executive committee and Commission General Assembly; and, c) appoint members of standing committees, and ad hoc committees.
A Chair Elect shall be elected annually by the institutional membership and shall succeed to the chair and past chair positions in subsequent and successive years.
The first chair elect and every third chair elect thereafter shall represent the Commission on the A۰P۰L۰U Board of Directors for a three-year term. If the chair elect at the time of his or her election is already on the A۰P۰L۰U Board of Directors, the executive committee shall select a CEO from a member institution to serve on the A۰P۰L۰U Board for a three-year term. Attachment 1 is a schedule for chairs elect to be appointed to the A۰P۰L۰U Board of Directors through 2009.
The Commission Past Chair shall chair the nominations committee.
A Secretary shall be elected annually from the Commission non-CEO members. The position of secretary shall rotate among the boards and the 1890 institutions. Attachment 2 shows the rotation sequence through 2006. The secretary shall succeed to the position of vice chair in the subsequent year.
The Vice Chair shall serve as chair of the executive committee in the absence of the commission chair and shall be responsible in consultation with the executive committee and in cooperation with A۰P۰L۰U staff for the planning and implementation of the CFERR program at the A۰P۰L۰U Annual Meeting and any other Commission meetings during the year.
The term of office for each officer is one year and will begin at the conclusion of the A۰P۰L۰U Annual Meeting.

Section 3. Executive Committee

The overall policies and directions of the Commission shall be established by its executive committee which is responsible to the A۰P۰L۰U Board of Directors for the management of the affairs of the Commission.
The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the Commission, chairs of the standing committees of the Commission, the chair of each Commission Board, one representative of the 1890 land-grant institutions and one non-voting representative invited from each of the other A۰P۰L۰U commissions. The composition of the executive committee is shown in Attachment 3.
The primary responsibility of the executive committee shall be to identify the cross-cutting issues to be explored by the Commission and to create appropriate mechanisms to address them. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 1) planning and implementation of the Commission’s program at the A۰P۰L۰U Annual Meeting and any other Commission meetings during the year; 2) serving as the official channel of communications to other A۰P۰L۰U commissions, to A۰P۰L۰U Councils, and to the A۰P۰L۰U Board of Directors on matters relevant to the Commission’s areas of responsibility.

Section 4. Boards of the Commission

Each board shall organize itself in a manner best suited for the conduct of its affairs. The boards shall develop and implement their individual federal relations activities (appropriations and legislation) in their unique areas, including direct dealings with the Congress and the Executive Branch, concerning appropriation and legislative matters. Each board shall keep the Commission executive committee informed of its federal relations activities.
Each board shall participate through representation at the Commission level in the development and implementation of Commission-wide federal relations programs involving cross-cutting issues as defined by the Commission’s executive committee.

Section 5. The Commission General Assembly

The Commission General assembly includes delegates to the Commission as described in Article II, Section 2, above.
Top of Page


Section 1. Appointments

There shall be equal representation from each board on all Commission standing committees. Appointments to Commission standing committees shall be made by the Commission chair. The terms shall be for three years, staggered initially for one. two or three years so that one-third of the members are appointed annually. Chairs of Commission standing committees that are not specified as ex-officio shall be elected by members of the respective committees and shall rotate among the various boards of the Commission.
The chair of the Commission is authorized to establish such ad-hoc committees as necessary to carry out the purposes of the Commission. Chairs of ad-hoc committees shall be appointed by the Commission chair from among the committee members.
All committees are responsible to the executive committee.

Section 2. Commission Committees

Initially, the Commission shall have three standing committees:
— Nominations Committee: To recommend nominees for Chair-Elect, Secretary and other appropriate positions as determined by the executive committee. The past-chair shall serve as chair of the nominations committee.
— Committee on Federal Legislation: To provide leadership for relevant federal legislative matters of Commission-wide concern which are not the specific responsibility of the legislative committee of any board. The committee shall have the authority to interact directly with the relevant federal agency or agencies and Congressional committee(s). The committee will coordinate such interactions with those of the board committees to enhance the clarity and consistency of representations to the Congress and Executive Branch and strengthen the impact of those representations.
Membership shall include representatives from each board committee on federal legislation and the 1890 institutions.
The committee shall report to the executive committee. The chairmanship shall rotate through the Boards and the 1890 institutions in accordance with the schedule in Attachment 4.
— Committee on Federal Appropriations: To deal with federal appropriation (budget) matters of Commission-wide concern. In its work, the committee shall have the authority to develop budgets and interact directly with relevant federal agencies and Congressional committees. The committee will coordinate such interactions with those of board committees to enhance the clarity and consistency of representations to the Congress and Executive Branch and strengthen the impact of those representations.
Membership shall include representatives from each board’s committee on federal
appropriations and the 1890 institutions. The Committee shall report to the executive committee. In all appointments to Commission committees, the Commission executive committee, through its chair, shall have the authority to appoint members-at-large to assure compliance with the affirmative action policy of the Commission.

Section 3. Board Committees

Each Board shall have committees as specified in its own rules of operation. These include but are not limited to, a committee or committees dealing with federal appropriations and federal legislation. It is the responsibility of each board committee to recommend appropriate action by its board and by A۰P۰L۰U in the areas unique to that board.

Section 4. Reports

The boards, standing committees, and ad-hoc committees shall report on their activities at all meetings of the General Assembly and the Commission executive committee.
Top of Page


Section 1. Commission General Assembly

The General Assembly shall meet at least once per year; other meetings may be called by the Commission chair as deemed appropriate.

Section 2. Commission Executive Committee

The Commission executive committee shall meet at the call of the chair.

Section 3. Rules

Meetings of all bodies within the Commission and Commission boards shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.


A nominations committee, appointed each year by the chair and chaired by the past chair, shall prepare a slate of nominees for vacancies and conduct an election by mail ballot during September of each year.


These Operating Rules may be amended by a two-thirds majority recommendation of the voting members of the Commission executive committee and ratified by a two-thirds vote of the institutional membership. For any amendment to be considered, notification must be given in writing at least thirty (30) days in advance of the voting process.

Top of Page

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Project & Initiative

Powered by Publics is convening nearly 125 change-ready institutions within 16 “transformation clusters” focused on solving different pieces of the student success puzzle. Participating institutions are working collaboratively to increase college access, eliminate the achievement gap, and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025.