By-Laws of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Experiment Station Section
Board on Agriculture Assembly
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

(formerly the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges – NASULGC)

Approved April 13, 1993
Amended July 13, 1996
Amended August 15, 2000
Updated August 13, 2001


The name of this organization shall be the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors, hereinafter called the Association, which is established in conformity with the constitution of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (formerly the National Assocation of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges- NASULGC).

ARTICLE II – Purposes

The purposes of the Association include but are not limited to the following:

  • Represents the Administrators of the State1 Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAESs) in the Southern Region in their collective dealings.
  • Provides a forum for consensus seeking among members and represents and provides service to the individual Directors on matters of regional, national and international concern.
  • Plans and develops programs of cooperative research that expand the quality and effectiveness of individual member land grant institutions and their impact in the states of the Southern Region.
  • Initiates, monitors, and reports the results of a series of multistate research activities including projects, cooperative efforts and communications.
  • Functions as the regional linkage between the State Agricultural Experiment Stations (SAESs) of the Southern Region and the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (formerly the National Assocation of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges- NASULGC), the Congress, and other parts of the federal science establishment.
  • Takes appropriate action in cooperation with the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA (CSREES) and other regional associations of Experiment Station Directors to achieve a relevant and coordinated multistate research program, as authorized by law.
  • Facilitates cooperation among its member SAESs, with federal and other state agencies, with industry and others in the planning, programming, financing, implementing and performing of all agricultural and related research.
  • May employ and pay the salaries and/or benefits of the Executive Director and other staff as well as other expenses related to the functions of the Executive Director.
  • Collects and disburses dues, enters into contracts with cooperators and/or granting agencies as agreed upon by the Association.
  • Procedures of the Association not specified in the By-Laws are assembled in a document entitled, “Guidelines for Southern Directors.” These guidelines may be amended by a simple majority vote at any duly called meeting at which a quorum exists.
  • The Association (1) elects members to ESCOP2, (2) may formally exchange information between the regional and national levels via input to the Experiment Station Section of the Board on Agriculture Assembly or ESCOP, (3) is the normal channel for Directors of SAESs in the Southern Region to engage the Board on Agriculture via the Section or ESCOP. The meetings of the Section provide a forum for formal adoption of policies and procedures proposed by ESCOP or the Regional Associations, and for information exchange.
  • The Association shall conduct its affairs in conformance with the Rules of Operation of the Experiment Station Section and of APLU.

1 The use of the term “State” includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, each of which have agricultural experiment stations that receive funds via the Hatch Act of 1887 and are members of the Association.

2 When combined, the four Regional Associations of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors and the Association of Research Directors (1890) comprise the Experiment Station Section of the Board on Agriculture Assembly of APLU. The Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) acts on behalf of the Experiment Station Section, functioning in most ways as an Executive Committee of the Experiment Station Section.

ARTICLE III – Membership

The formal voting members of the Association (those who will vote to commit SAES resources or deal with policy matters of the Association) shall be fifteen in number consisting of the Directors (Chief Operating Officers [COO], or their duly authorized representatives from the individual SAES) of the State Agricultural Experiment Stations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Virginia. Associate and Assistant Directors (non-COOs and others holding similar or equivalent titles) of the member SAESs of the Southern Region shall also be members. Non-COOs may vote on matters other than funding and policy. The Chair may stipulate when a formal vote on policy matters is to be taken. The Administrator of CSREES (or his/her designee), the representative of the Agricultural Research Service, USDA (or his/her designee), and the Executive Director shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Association.

ARTICLE IV – Meetings

Meetings may be held as determined by the Association or on the call of the Chair, but no less frequently than once per year.

ARTICLE V – Officers

A. Officers:

The officers of the Association shall be the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past-Chair, Treasurer, and Executive Committee Member-at-Large. Normally, the Chair-Elect will be nominated from the ranks of the Chief Operating Officers of the member Experiment Stations. (Under certain, generally unusual circumstances, the Association would be best served to elect a senior non-COO as Chair-Elect. In this case, the Nominating Committee operating under the authority of the Executive Committee, may nominate such persons for that position.) The normal progression will be to serve one-year terms in each position of Chair-Elect, Chair, and Past-Chair. Once elected as Chair-Elect, the progression through the offices is automatic. The Treasurer shall be the COO of the SAESs host institution for the Office of the Executive Director. The Executive Committee Member-at-Large will be elected for a two-year term by the members of the Association from nominations from the entire membership (including non-COOs). Normally members of the Executive Committee would not succeed themselves.

B. Elections:

The Officers of the Association, except for the Treasurer, shall be elected by the membership (one vote per state). Nominations shall be submitted by a Nominating Committee named by the Chair. A simple majority vote is required for election. In the event the Chair is unable to serve, the Chair-Elect will assume the Chair’s office and the remaining members of the Executive Committee shall arrange a special election to fill the term of the Chair-Elect (with full progression privileges). The same procedures will be followed to fill a vacancy in the positions of Executive Committee Member-at-Large or the Past-Chair. If the Treasurer’s position is vacated, the Executive Committee will name the person who assumes the decision-making role at the host institution’s SAES to the Treasurer’s position. Terms of officers begin with the conclusion of the annual meeting of the APLU (regardless of whether there is a meeting of this Association) and ends at the same time the following year.

C. Executive Director:

There may be an Executive Director chosen and employed by the Association under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement among the member Experiment Stations (1966), with duties as specified therein and as updated from time to time as recorded in the minutes of the Association.

D. Duties:

The Chair shall preside at business meetings of the Association, at meetings of its Executive Committee and on all other occasions where the head of the organization is to be recognized. He/she is the chief executive officer of the Association. The Chair acts on behalf of the Association in taking interim actions between meetings, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee on matters of policy and precedent.

The Chair-Elect shall undertake such duties as the Chair prescribes. He/she shall become Chair for the unexpired term should the Chair resign or otherwise become unable to serve. He/she shall preside in the absence of the Chair and will normally be expected to become the Chair in the subsequent year. Election as the Chair-Elect of the Association includes election as the first year (incoming) member of ESCOP.

The Executive Committee Member-at-Large shall serve on the Executive Committee. The Past-Chair will preside over the affairs of the Association in the absence of the Chair or Chair-Elect. The Past-Chair represents the Association as its senior representative to ESCOP.

The Treasurer proposes an annual budget for the Association, which is reviewed, modified as necessary and approved by the Association. He/she provides an annual financial report to the Association and assesses each member institution for its share of the budget for the office of the Executive Director. He/she performs such other duties involving finances and the transfer of funds as may be required.

The Executive Director, under the oversight of the Chair and the Executive Committee, provides leadership and support for activities of the Association. He/she maintains the official documents, and has the responsibility for taking, maintaining, and distributing Minutes of meetings of the Association. The Executive Director can be a voting member and/or officer of regional and national committees. He/she serves as the Executive Vice Chair of ESCOP, when the Chair of ESCOP is from the Southern Region.

ARTICLE VI – Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past-Chair, Executive Committee Member-at-Large, Treasurer, and Chair of the Multistate Research Committee. The Executive Director shall be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee through the Chair executes the established programs of the Association and provides oversight for the activities of the Executive Director.

ARTICLE VII – Committees and Designees

Committees may be established and Administrative Advisors and other designees named by the Chair, in pursuit of the Association’s mission and business. Administrative Advisors to various multistate research committees may be drawn from the administrative teams of member Experiment Stations. Heads or Chairs of Departments from member Experiment Stations may serve as Administrative Advisors to Information Exchange Groups and Southern Extension Research Activity-Information Exchange Groups.


For purposes of doing business of the Association, a quorum shall consist of a minimum of ten formal members or their officially designated representatives present and voting at any duly called meeting where written notice and agenda are set out in advance of a meeting. A simple majority resolves all issues except amendment of the by-laws (see below).

ARTICLE IX – Parliamentary Authority

The emphasis in all meetings shall be an orderly process to achieve an objective decision by those present and voting. Should there be a parliamentary challenge, however, it shall be answered by reference to Roberts Rules of Order.

ARTICLE X – Amendment of By-Laws

These by-laws may be amended at any business meeting of the Association provided the proposed amendment has been made available to all members one month in advance of the meeting. To change the by-laws, a quorum of the formal membership must be present and a two-thirds majority of the formal membership present must vote in favor of the amendment.