CGA Organizational and Operational Guidelines

I. Overview

A. Purpose:

In agreement with the purpose of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the purpose of the Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA) shall be (1) the consideration of the effects of federal and other governmental actions on APLU institutions of higher education, individually and as a group; (2) the devising and undertaking of appropriate action on proposed and actual governmental policies, issues, and programs affecting member institutions; and (3) the professional development of its members.

B. Objectives:

1. To represent to APLU the effects of federal and state actions on member institutions and to convey APLU’s positions to members.

2. To monitor federal activity affecting higher education in the programmatic, legislative, and regulatory areas.

3. To advance APLU initiatives by improving communication, developing consensus where possible in governmental relations activities, and influencing legislative activity and agency responses.

C. Methods:

1. Exchanging information available to individual CGA members through institutional and governmental contacts with other CGA members.

2. Participating in CGA committees and APLU Councils and Commissions to contribute, gather, and develop information and appropriate recommendations.

3. Serving in an advisory and resource capacity in federal relations matters to APLU officers and staff members, APLU Board of Directors, and other organizational units of APLU.

4. Strengthening the efforts of the CGA by cooperating and collaborating with other associations and organizations in monitoring and influencing federal issues while maintaining an APLU focus.

II. Membership

Membership in the CGA shall be open to APLU institutional representatives with substantial responsibility for public policy or governmental relations. Each APLU institution shall have one vote, but may have multiple non-voting participants in the CGA.

Affiliate non-members of APLU sharing the concerns and interests of the CGA may have non-voting membership in the CGA.

III. Meetings

The CGA shall meet at least three times a year, once during the APLU annual meeting, once during the Summer meeting and once during the Winter meeting. It may meet at other times if meetings are called by the CGA Executive Committee.

IV. Officers

The Officers of the CGA shall be:
1. Chair
2. Chair Elect
3. Secretary
4. Secretary-Elect
5. Past Chair

Effective January 1, 2017, the CGA shall be chaired by a member of the CGA elected by the full CGA membership. The Chair may elect to serve as the primary representative on the APLU Board of Directors or may designate another member of the CGA to serve in her/his place, to be confirmed by a majority of the CGA officers. The designee to the APLU Board of Directors shall be invited to attend meetings of the CGA Executive Committee.

V. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the CGA shall be responsible for conducting CGA business between meetings of the CGA. The Executive Committee shall consist of 15 members elected to staggered three-year terms, plus the CGA officers, who will also serve in similar capacities as officers of the Executive Committee. The immediate past Chair will serve one additional year as a member of the Executive Committee in the interests of continuity.

The duties of the CGA Executive Committee are to plan the various meetings of the CGA, with the assistance of the APLU staff. In addition, the Executive Committee is charged with keeping the CGA membership informed of the various legislative issues as appropriate.

The CGA Executive Committee shall meet in person three times a year: (1) at the APLU Annual Meeting, (2) during the Summer meeting of the CGA, and (3) at a meeting early in the calendar year. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to set the meeting location for both the Summer meeting and to organize the program for all three meetings. Special committees may be appointed for this purpose. Members of the CGA Executive Committee are expected to participate in a minimum of 80% of in-person CGA and Executive Committee meetings (cumulative) throughout the year.

VI. Elections

A. Timing and Terms

The election of officers and CGA Executive Committee members shall take place at the meeting of the CGA during the APLU Annual Meeting. The term of office for the CGA officers shall be one year in duration. The initial Executive Committee members shall be appointed to staggered terms of one, two, and three year terms. Subsequently, five members will be elected each year to serve three-year terms. Election shall be by simple majority vote of those present. No members of the Executive Committee shall be eligible to serve two full consecutive terms. However, a member who has been appointed to fill an unexpired term is eligible for re-nomination.

B. Succession

The Chair-Elect shall automatically become the elected Chair at the next Annual Meeting and the Secretary-Elect shall automatically become the elected Secretary at the same time. In the event that the elected Chair or Secretary is unable to complete a term, the position shall be filled by the Chair-Elect or the Secretary-Elect, respectively. No individual may hold two CGA offices simultaneously, but must resign one of the positions. The Nominating Committee shall nominate a replacement from the membership to fill the remainder of the term, subject to ratification by the CGA Executive Committee. If a member of the Executive Committee is unable to complete a term, the Chair shall appoint a replacement from the membership to complete the term.

C. Nominations

1. The Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee from members of the Executive Committee, who are not candidates for officer and executive committee positions, to select candidates for the several CGA positions. In the event a nominating committee member becomes a candidate, the Chair shall replace the member choosing an alternative member of Executive Committee to serve. Recommendations for candidates for Executive Committee and Officer positions shall be sought from the membership. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of nominees drawn from the CGA membership for CGA approval. The slate shall be distributed to the membership of the CGA at least two weeks before the Annual Meeting. Nominations for any position elected by the membership of the CGA may be made from the floor at the time of the election by any member of the CGA. If more than one candidate shall be recommended for any office, the election for that office shall be by secret ballot.

2. The Nominating Committee is directed to make nominations in a way that will ensure that the CGA officers and the Executive Committee are broadly representative of the CGA and of the membership of APLU. Factors including, but not limited to, race, gender, geographic balance, range of experience, and size of school represented are appropriate. It is assumed that it would be preferable to have no more than one representative from any one institution. The CGA recognizes the exception to this principle may be justified in the case of university systems with multiple APLU memberships.

VII. Other Committees

A. Membership

The Executive Committee may establish standing and ad hoc committees of the CGA. Such committees shall be chaired by a member of the CGA. Chairs and members of committees shall be appointed by the Chair with the concurrence of the Executive Committee. Chairs will be ex-officio members of the CGA Executive Committee. Membership of these working committees shall be open to all members of the CGA. CGA committee chairs shall serve for a one-year term with reappointment possible.

B. Duties

Standing committees and ad hoc committees have the following responsibilities:

1. Develop an agenda of issues to be pursued by the committee;
2. Establish subcommittees or working groups appropriate to the tasks undertaken;
3. Keep the CGA Executive Committee informed about matters pertaining to the committees’ areas of responsibility;
4. Foster the exchange of information and expertise about committee matters, especially by preparing programs for CGA meetings;
5. Develop affiliations with groups within or outside the higher education community which are important to securing information and taking actions on those issues of concern to the committee;
6. Monitor governmental activities directly related to the committee’s area of responsibility;
7. Develop and implement action plans where action seems appropriate;
8. Develop recommendations/resolutions to be brought forward to the full CGA and to APLU.

VIII. Commission Interaction

The CGA Executive Committee will assign, as deemed necessary, one or more members to serve on each APLU Council and Commission to serve as a representative of CGA. Where possible, members will be appointed to a Council or Commission because of an expertise or substantial interest in the area of the Commission. The CGA member assigned to a Council or Commission shall represent the CGA position and inform the Executive Committee or an appropriate CGA committee chair of any pending, governmental affairs recommendations.

IX. Changes

Changes to “Organizational and Operational Guidelines of the CGA” may be made upon recommendation of the Executive Committee and ratification by the full CGA by a majority of those present at a regular CGA meeting.

X. Bylaws

The general bylaws of APLU shall apply to the activities of the CGA.

Last updated November 15, 2015