National Association of State Universities
Land-Grant Colleges
Adopted November, 1998*

*Developed from a merger of the "By-Laws of Experiment Station Section, Division of Agriculture" and "Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP), Purposes, Organization and Procedures"


The name of this organization shall be the Experiment Station Section (ESS) (herein after called the Section), an entity of the Board on Agriculture (BOA) of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). The Section is established in accordance with the constitution and rules of operation of NASULGC.


The Section shall represent the Directors of Agricultural Experiment Stations associated with the 1862 Land-Grant Universities, including the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at New Haven, and the directors of the Agricultural Research Stations at the 1890 Land-Grant Universities, including Tuskegee University, in their collective dealings with other units of NASULGC, agencies of the federal government, farm organizations, commodity and agricultural business groups, and the public. For purposes of these Rules of Operation, the title, Director, refers to the Chief Operating Officer of the experiment station and his/her associate or assistant directors. The will of the Section's majority for issues that are ratified by, reported to, or recommended to NASULGC, shall be conveyed to the BOA (and through the BOA chair to other officers or committees of NASULGC, as appropriate) by the Section chair. The Section shall conduct its affairs in accordance with the Rules of Operation with one vote for each member.


The individual members of the Section comprise the legislative body of the Section. An annual Section Business meeting shall be held in the fall, usually in the month of September. Interim business is handled by the five regional associations and by the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP).

State Agricultural Experiment Station (SAES) directors are organized into four geographically based associations. A fifth association is made up of the directors of the Agricultural Research Stations (ARD) of the 1890 Land-Grant Universities. These five regional associations arrange for and conduct their business independently, including the collection and disbursement of funds for purposes agreed to among the members of each association. Such funds are used for relevant association purposes, such as the employment of an Executive Director, for authorized travel of members on regional association business, and for other special purposes. These associations are autonomous, and their funds are not the responsibility of the Section, the BOA, or NASULGC, either as to program content or accountability.

The five associations elect members to ESCOP, make recommendations to ESCOP and to the Section, and respond to proposals from ESCOP and the Section.


The voting membership of the Section shall consist of one representative from each of the 1862 and 1890 universities of the dues-paying member institutions of NASULGC. The Administrator, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), United States Department of Agriculture (or his/her designee), the five EDs, and the Director of Federal Relations for Agriculture for NASULGC shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the Section.


A. The officers of the Section shall be: a chair, who also serves as chair of ESCOP, and a chair-elect, each serving one-year terms; and a representative from the Section to the Executive Committee of NASULGC appointed for a three-year term (as per the rotation in the Rules of Operation of BOA). The Section chair represents the Section to the Executive Committee of the Board on Agriculture. The one-year terms of the chair and the chair-elect shall expire at the close of the Section's business meeting. The BOA Executive Committee representative's three-year term expires at the close of the annual meeting of NASULGC in the last year of his/her term.

B. Elections. Each year at the annual business meeting of the Section, a chair-elect shall be elected. The BOA Executive Committee representative shall be elected at an annual Section meeting every third year, at the end of the term of the current representative.

Nominations for chair-elect and representative to the BOA Executive Committee shall be made to the Section for their consideration, drawing nominations from the current membership of the regional associations. Nominations of other candidates from the Section's membership may be made by Section members-at-large from the floor.

C. Duties. The chair, as the chief executive officer of the Section, assigns duties and directs the activities of all standing and technical subcommittees, appoints ad hoc committees, and communicates with the chair of the BOA, or through the chair of the BOA to other officers or committees of NASULGC. The chair is also responsible for final approval of all meeting agenda and presides at the business meetings.

The chair-elect shall serve in the absence of the chair. The chair-elect is also responsible for planning the program of the annual Section meeting. The chair-elect shall undertake such other duties as the Section chair shall direct, and shall become Section chair for the remainder of the term, should the chair resign or otherwise be unable to serve. The chair-elect shall recommend to the chair committee slates for the coming year, and notify all committee appointees prior to the annual meeting, so that the committees may meet immediately after the business meeting of the Section.

All Section officers are responsible for maintaining and then transferring to their successors complete sets of official documents and records of a continuing and directive nature. A permanent copy of all such documents also shall be made available to the NASULGC office as the official Section record.

D. Executive Committee. ESCOP serves as the executive committee of the Section (see Article VII).


The Section provides for interaction with other groups involved in research that is similar or complementary to the research done within the SAESs (1862) and the Agricultural Research Stations (1890) through their affiliation with the Section. Presently established affiliated groups are Board on Human Sciences, the National Association of Professional Forestry Schools and Colleges (NAPFSC), and the Board on Veterinary Medicine. NAPFSC, which includes institutions that are not members of NASULGC, is presently affiliated with the Section under a memorandum of agreement.

Other groups may become affiliated with the Section upon mutual agreement among the group or groups and the Section.


ESCOP is the executive committee of the Section empowered to formulate policy and to act in behalf of the Section, subject to the will of the Section as expressed at business meetings of the Section, or through referenda conducted during the interim between business meetings. ESCOP handles continuing business and attends to organization and policy matters, oftentimes through relationships within NASULGC, with agencies of the federal government, and with farm organizations, commodity and agri-business groups that are referred to it by the Section or by the regional associations.

ESCOP shall handle continuing business, and organization and policy issues that are generated within ESCOP, or referred to ESCOP by the Section, BOA, NASULGC, or the regional associations. These issues may involve relationships within NASULGC, or with agencies of the federal government, farm organizations, or commodity and agribusiness groups.

The voting members of ESCOP shall include the chair of ESCOP (who also serves as the chair of the Section), the chair-elect of ESCOP (who also serves as the chair-elect of the Section), the immediate past chair of ESCOP, three members elected from each of the five regional associations (i.e., 15 representatives) each serving a three-year term on a staggered basis. In addition, voting representatives (one each) shall come from the NASULGC Boards on Human Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, and one representative shall come from the NAPFSC. Each of these representatives shall serve at the pleasure of their respective associations.

Nonvoting ex-officio members and nonvoting liaison representatives are:

Ex-Officio Members
Administrator, CSREES
Chair, Budget, Legislative, Advocacy and Marketing Committee
Chair, ESCOP Planning Committee
Section representative to the BOA
Director of Federal Relations for Agriculture for NASULGC
Executive Directors of the Five Regions

Liaison Representatives (one representative from each)
Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP)
Academic Programs Committee on Organization and Policy (ACOP)
International Committee on Organization and Policy (ICOP)
Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET)

The Officers of ESCOP shall be the chair, the immediate past chair, the executive vice-chair, and the chair-elect. The ED representing the geographic region of the ESCOP chair serves as executive vice-chair, with the prior approval and agreement of that regional association.

The positions of the Section chair and of the ESCOP chair shall be held by the same person. The positions of the Section chair-elect and of the ESCOP chair-elect shall be held by the same person.

The Duties of ESCOP Officers are:

Chair: The chair provides leadership, direction, and counsel for all activities of ESCOP in its collective relationships with: other units of NASULGC; organizations contracted to act in behalf of ESCOP (i.e., AESOP Enterprises, Ltd.); the regional associations; agencies of the federal government; farm organizations; commodity and agricultural business groups; and the public. The chair initiates action on issues of importance referred to ESCOP by the regional associations, and he/she chairs meetings of ESCOP, the ESCOP Executive Committee, and the ESCOP Chair's Advisory Subcommittee. The chair approves agendas for these meetings, assigns duties, and coordinates the activities of this committee and subcommittee. The chair, with the assistance of the executive vice chair, prepares a list of all committees and subcommittees at the close of the annual fall meeting and prepares and distributes minutes of all meetings. The chair also is responsible for maintaining communications between ESCOP and other units of NASULGC, and represents ESCOP to the BOA.

Executive Vice-Chair: The executive vice-chair performs those responsibilities delegated by the chair. Those duties have customarily included staff support service in such activities as (1) development of agendas and minutes of meetings, policy option statements, and drafts of testimony; (2) follow-up on ESCOP Committee activities and initiatives; (3) identification of possible nominees for various ESCOP Committees; and (4) continuing liaison with agencies of the federal government, farm organizations, commodity and agricultural business groups, and the public.

The executive vice-chair provides direct and continual support to the chair, monitors day-to-day activities which affect ESCOP, notifies the chair when ESCOP attention or action is appropriate, makes facility arrangements for meetings of ESCOP, and assures that the documents and materials required to conduct the business of ESCOP are available to the chair, and others as appropriate.

Chair-Elect: The ESCOP chair-elect shall serve as chair in the absence of the chair, and becomes the chair for the remainder of the term, should the chair resign or otherwise be unable to serve. The chair-elect shall assist the chair in preparation of meeting agenda, and undertake such other duties as the chair shall direct. The chair-elect is also responsible for obtaining an annual report from each committee chair.

Past Chair: The ESCOP past chair provides advice to the chair and other ESCOP officers, and chairs the ESCOP Nominations Subcommittee.

Records Maintenance and Transfer:

All officers are responsible for maintaining and transferring to their successors complete sets of official documents of a continuing and directive nature.

Meeting Times:

Three (3) meetings are scheduled for ESCOP each calendar year. They are the winter (February), summer (July) and fall (September) meetings. The fall meeting is held in conjunction with the Section Business meeting usually in September.

The chair of ESCOP has the authority to cancel trimester meetings, based on his/her best judgement. The ESCOP chair is empowered to call special meetings to consider emergency or extraordinary issues. However, issues which require action between regular meetings of ESCOP normally are handled by the Executive Committee, which may meet twice each year; once in April and once in November.

Meeting Agenda:

In advance of each meeting, the chair of ESCOP shall request members to submit items for the agenda, including any actions from the regional associations that are referred to ESCOP. The chair shall distribute the agenda to all members at least one (1) week prior to the ESCOP meeting. This may be accomplished electronically.

The chair shall actively encourage new directors to attend the September Section Business meeting.

Procedures Relative to Actions of ESCOP:

By mutual consent of its members, certain selected actions of ESCOP are handled by seeking formal approval of the NASULGC organization. Other actions are taken directly. Points of departure or issues of difference with NASULGC shall be resolved by referring to the NASULGC Rules of Operation.

Actions Requiring NASULGC Approval:

The development of the formal BOA budget request for the Section and other nonfederal affiliated research units, and entitling legislation relative to that budget, are matters requiring formal action of NASULGC. This is because the recommendations will later be considered for formal support by NASULGC. Other issues requiring formal NASULGC approval may arise from time to time. Procedures for seeking NASULGC approval are:
  1. A written statement should be prepared by ESCOP indicating the support of the majority of the voting members of ESCOP.
  2. The chair of ESCOP shall present the statement to the Section for discussion and approval or disapproval.
  3. When approved by the Section, it is submitted by the chair of ESCOP to the BOA for approval.

ESCOP's functions are accomplished principally through the work of its committees and subcommittees. To provide continuity to the committees, a committee chair and a committee chair-designate, each for two-year terms, are appointed via the ESCOP nominations process. Furthermore, to provide staff support to core committees, each is assigned an executive director from one of the five regional associations to serve as an executive vice-chair. However, this designation does not preclude an executive director from serving as a core committee's chair-designate or chair. Each core committee is authorized to form subcommittees. Such subcommittees should be appointed by the core committee's chair. Subcommittees elect their own chair. Subcommittees are temporary and function for defined periods of time, working with specific charges, and reporting to its sponsoring core committee.



The ESCOP Committee on Budget, Legislative, Advocacy and Marketing is charged with developing annual justifications for the federal budget process, in consultation with the BOA, AESOP Enterprises, Ltd. and others; recommending appropriate science and technology programs that are linked to multi-state and national research initiatives; providing guidance in the assessment of impacts resulting from SAES system; and leading ESCOP's advocacy efforts.

The membership of this committee is as follows: ESCOP COMMITTEE II. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The ESCOP Committee on Science and Technology is charged with organizing the collection of national research projects into a cohesive portfolio of research programs that support sustained federal appropriations for SAES research endeavors. In this process, the committee will link regional and national multi-state, multi-functional and multi-disciplinary activities. Additionally, coordination of regional and national research programs with national initiatives such as CROPS 99 and FAIR 2002 is expected.

The membership of this committee is as follows: ESCOP COMMITTEE III. PARTNERSHIPS

The ESCOP Committee on Partnerships is charged with creating greater opportunities for agricultural research partnerships between land-grant universities and other public and private sector groups in order to address priorities and areas of focus. This is accomplished through sustained dialogue, formal and informal networks and collaboration arrangements. Traditional and nontraditional partners who have the potential for supporting the section's broad research agenda will be engaged. Emphasis should be focused on opportunities for multi-state, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations.

The membership of this committee is as follows: ESCOP COMMITTEE IV. PLANNING

The ESCOP Committee on Planning is charged to create a forum within the land-grant university community, its partners, and stakeholders to solicit information on research issues and priorities, and incorporate them into ESS's ongoing strategic planning process. Concomitantly, the committee should develop recommendations for new research initiatives, and strategies for implementing strategic plans in ways that benefit multi-state, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary approaches. The committee should also recommend ways to support the development of impact statements derived from the implementation of the ESS strategic plan.

The membership of this committee is as follows: ESCOP COMMITTEE V. EXECUTIVE

The ESCOP Executive Committee is charged to assist the chair on actions needed between regular meetings of ESCOP, including, but not limited to handling the continuing business of ESCOP and ESS; attending to all organization and policy matters with NASULGC, agencies of the federal government, farm (commodity and agribusiness) organizations and groups; assessing the goals and purposes of the organization on a continuing basis; recommending changes in the structure and organization of ESCOP to meet society's needs and the needs of the section; assuring that appropriate lines of communication are identified and effectively implemented and maintained; identifying expertise among stakeholders and within the section for possible service in various roles (e.g., advisory groups).

The membership of this committee is as follows: ESCOP subcommittees may also be established by the chair of ESCOP. Standing subcommittees are established for an indefinite period of time to guide the administrative and operational functions of ESCOP. They include the following:

The Chair's Advisory Subcommittee meets frequently with the ESCOP chair to offer advice and counsel on current and future problems and opportunities. The subcommittee meets at the request of the ESCOP chair. Members are: the ESCOP chair, the ESCOP chair-elect, the ESCOP past chair, the Executive Directors of the five regional associations, the chair of the ESCOP Budget, Legislative, Advocacy and Marketing Committee and the President of AESOP Enterprises, Ltd., or his/her nominee.

The Nominations Subcommittee shall annually submit nominations for the chair and chair-elect from the present membership of ESCOP. All nominations shall be submitted and the election held during the last meeting of ESCOP, prior to the annual Section meeting held in the fall. The terms of office shall commence and expire at the close of the regular Section business meeting. These terms of office shall be for one year, except that the chair and the chair-elect may be elected to serve a second term. The Nominations Subcommittee also submits nominations for ESCOP Committee chairs to be appointed at the time of the annual Section meeting. The chairs of ESCOP Committees are to be selected on the basis of their ability and willingness to serve, without regard to rotation by region, or by seniority of service on the subcommittee. Nominations Subcommittee members are: the chair, who is the immediate past chair of ESCOP plus five senior representatives of the regional associations, all appointed by the chair of ESCOP.

The Resolutions Subcommittee prepares and introduces proposed resolutions to ESCOP and the Section. Members of the subcommittee are a chair and three additional ESCOP members, appointed for one-year terms by the chair of ESCOP.

ESCOP-ACOP Leadership Development Subcommittee has the responsibility of conducting leadership development programs designed for scientists in the system who have potential for and interest in positions of leadership. This subcommittee also looks for opportunities to merge ESCOP-ACOP leadership development activities with others. Members are appointed by the chair of ESCOP.


Proposals to prepare publications by ESCOP, its committees and subcommittees, or any special group representing ESCOP, should be submitted to the chair of ESCOP and be approved by ESCOP in advance of preparation. The procedures for undertaking an ESCOP publication are outlined in Appendix A.


In order to facilitate ESCOP committee reports and requests for approval for planning activities, the following annual timetable is established:
AUGUST 1 ESCOP chair-elect requests an annual report from each committee chair. The reports will include:
  • Activities undertaken during the year;
  • Plans for the upcoming year;
  • Requests for approval of special activities; and
  • Committee membership changes.
AUGUST 15 Committee reports available to ESCOP chair-elect for review.
SEPTEMBER 1 Committee reports are made available to Section members for the fall meeting of the Section.

The annual committee reports shall include (as applicable to each committee) information on: (1) the committee's previous year actions and activities, including those of any subcommittee of the committee; (2) the committee's plans for the next year, vis-a-vis the committee's charge; (3) specific requests for ESCOP or Section approval of committee actions or recommendations; and (4) suggestions concerning the committee's future. These reports will be recorded in the ESCOP minutes.

ESCOP provides representatives to a variety of other committees, agencies, associations, and organizations. Representatives are appointed by the chair of ESCOP. These appointments include: ICOP (R-2), ECOP (R-4), ACOP (R-5), CARET (R-6), National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program Steering Committee (R-7), AOSCA Advisory Committee (R-8), USDA Plant Variety Protection Advisory Board (R-9), NACD Conservation, Research and Technology Committee (R-11), NAPFSC Executive Committee (R-12), NAPFSC Research Committee (R-13), ECOP Strategic Planning (R-17), Food and Agricultural Education Information System (FAEIS) Advisory Council (R-19), USDA Gypsy Moth Working Group (R-20), Planning Committee for Lay Leaders Seminar (R-21), National Pesticide Information Retrieval System (NPIRS) Advisory Council (R-22), National Extension Leadership Development Program (R-23), National Genetic Resources Program (R-24), National Cattlemen's Association (R-25), NASULGC Board on Agriculture (ESCOP Liaison) (R-26), Grazing Lands Conservation Task Force (R-27).


For purposes of doing business of the Section or of ESCOP, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the duly constituted voting membership at any officially called meeting for which written notice and agenda are sent out at least one week in advance of the meeting. A simple majority resolves all issues except amendments to the Rules of Operation and on questions on financial assessments, which shall require a two-thirds majority of those voting.


The emphasis in all Section and ESCOP meetings shall be on orderly process to achieve an objective decision by those present and voting. Should there be a parliamentary challenge it shall be answered by referring to the most current edition of Roberts' Rules of Order.


These rules of operation may be amended at any business meeting of the Section provided the proposed amendment has been mailed, electronically or hard copy, to all members at least one month in advance of the annual meeting, and the question is passed by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present at the meeting.


Assessments that are invoiced through NASULGC shall annually be a singular annual request, and an orderly process conducted in accordance with the following schedule:




Approval and Review Procedures

Proposals to prepare publications either printed (hard copy) or electronic by ESCOP, its committees, or any special group representing ESCOP, should be submitted to the chair of ESCOP and be approved by ESCOP in advance of preparation. Requests for USDA funding for the preparation of special publications or proceedings from states, regions, committees of ESCOP, or the full membership ESCOP should be submitted to the chair of ESCOP, approved in advance by ESCOP, and submitted by the chair of ESCOP to the administrator of CSREES or other administrator, if appropriate.

Publication guidelines should be considered in the early stages of preparation of ESCOP reports, especially those intended to impact policy makers in the Executive Branch or in Congress.

Drafts of ESCOP publications will be submitted to the chair of the Planning Committee (acting as a clearing house) for review. The chair of the Planning Committee will ask for an appropriate group to review the document with respect to its utility for the intended audience. Reviewers may include congressional staffers or other potential users, if appropriate. Reviews will be conducted in a timely manner.

Format Requirements:
Title Pages: The title pages shall include the following essential information. (Publishers may vary the location of the information on the individual title pages.) Back of the Title Page or Second Electronic Page Distribution of Publications will be by electronic means except where printed copy is the only form accepted by the requestor. Distribution of publications to the National Agricultural Library (NAL) will be by direct notice to the Head, Gift and Exchange Program, NAL. The notification will include the publication title and location/access information, e.g., server address, URL, etc. The NAL will catalog (or index) the publications which will become part of the AGRICOLA data base and other electronic data bases, as they deem appropriate. Notice of the publication should also be sent to the following: 10/98