Western Association of Graduate Schools Constitution

Article I. NAME

The name of this organization, hereinafter known as the ASSOCIATION, shall be THE WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF GRADUATE SCHOOLS.


Section 1. Exempt Purposes: The ASSOCIATION is organized and operated exclusively for educational and scientific purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All other functions and purposes of the ASSOCIATION described herein will be limited by the exempt purposes stated in SECTION 1 of Article II. No part of the net earnings of the ASSOCIATION shall inure to the benefit of its officers or to other private persons, except that the ASSOCIATION shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distribution in furtherance of the functions and purposes of the ASSOCIATION. Further, the ASSOCIATION will not, as a substantial part of its activities, attempt to influence legislation or participate to any extent in a political campaign for or against any candidate for public office.

Section 2. Graduate Study. The ASSOCIATION shall have as its primary purpose the
consideration of mutual problems among the member institutions relating to graduate student, graduate faculty, and research. It will cooperate with other agencies for this purpose by dissemination of information, improvement of standards, encouragement of research, and assistance to institutions embarking upon graduate programs. It shall provide a forum for the consideration of current problems and issues confronting graduate education. The ASSOCIATION shall function in liaison with other national and regional educational bodies and serves as a western regional representative on graduate affairs for the institutional members.

Section 3. Academic Standards. The ASSOCIATION will take continuous interest in the activities of other bodies that concern themselves with the standards of graduate work. The ASSOCIATION shall not assume the role of an accreditation agency.

Section 4. Special Studies. Studies in graduate education may be undertaken by the ASSOCIATION or the ASSOCIATION may designate other organizations to conduct studies for it under its supervision. The ASSOCIATION, through actions of the members at the annual meeting or by its Executive Committee, may accept grants and bequests for special studies in graduate education and research, and for other purposes consistent with the objectives and functions of the ASSOCIATION.

Section 5. Binding Actions. Although the ASSOCIATION may be regarded as a representative and spokesperson of its constituent members, no action taken by the ASSOCIATION or any of its representatives is to be regarded as binding upon any institutional member, except for such dues as may be fully approved as provided hereafter.


Section 1. Membership. Regular or associate membership in the ASSOCIATION shall be by institution.

a. Regular Membership. Institutions of higher education in the western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, North Dakota, the Canadian
provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Yukon
Territory, all of the states in Mexico, and institutions of higher education in countries along the Pacific Rim, which offer advanced academic degrees above the baccalaureate in more than one academic area, have a formally organized administrative unit responsible for graduate study, and are accredited by regional, professional or other agencies acceptable to the ASSOCIATION are eligible for regular membership. Eligible institutions outside of the specified areas listed above may apply for regular membership provided that their membership would contribute to the regional purposes of the ASSOCIATION.

b. Associate Membership. Associate members have all privileges of regular members except those of voting or holding office. Institutions eligible for associate membership as follows:

1. Graduate degree-granting institutions with appropriate accreditation status from states, provinces or countries other than those listed above (Section 1.a.). Appropriate accreditation shall be determined by the Executive Committee of the ASSOCIATION.

c. Affiliate Membership. Affiliate Membership. Affiliate members have all privileges of regular members except those of voting or holding office. Institutions eligible for associate membership as follows:

1. Non-degree-granting organizations, both profit and non-profit, whose purposes and principles are supportive of graduate education such as research institutes, testing and evaluation centers, government and industrial research and development organizations, etc.

d. The Executive Committee of the ASSOCIATION shall consider all applications for membership and if its judgment is favorable, shall recommend admission to the ASSOCIATION for final action. Membership shall be completed by the payment of the regular institutional dues.

e. Termination of Membership. An institutional member or associate member may be dropped for failure to pay dues or to maintain the approved criteria for membership. Such actions may be taken by the Executive Committee for the ASSOCIATION and at the request of the affected institution shall be subject to review by the ASSOCIATION.

Section 2. Dues. Dues shall be collected on an institutional basis, unless otherwise ordered by the membership at an annual meeting.

a. The amount of annual dues shall be recommended by the Executive Committee and approved by a majority of the voting membership at the annual meeting. The last voted amount of dues shall continue in effect until changed by formal vote.

b. The dues structure will be two-tiered. Regular membership and Associate membership shall constitute tier one. Affiliate membership shall be considered tier two.

c. The amount of annual dues for both tiers shall be recommended by the Executive Committee and approved by a majority of the voting membership at the annual meeting. The last approved dues amounts shall continue in effect until changed by a formal vote.

d. Dues are payable to the Treasurer. (The fiscal year begins January 1 each year, beginning January 1, 2003).


Section 1. Annual Meeting. There shall be an annual meeting of representatives of the institutional members, to be held at a time and place designated by the Executive Committee. A member institution is not limited in the number of members sent to attend the annual meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be authorized by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Voting. Each regular member institution shall have one vote that shall be cast by the official representative of the member institution.


Section 1. Powers. Policy action or general statements affecting the ASSOCIATION as a whole shall be valid only when approved by a majority of the institutions represented in the regular annual business meeting, or by a majority of the institutions represented responding to a mail ballot. A simple majority of institutional membership shall constitute a quorum. Other powers may be delegated by the representatives as they see fit, except for duties specifically designated hereafter.

Section 2. Officers. Newly elected officers shall be installed at the annual business meeting and take up their official duties at the close of the annual meeting. The officers shall be a President, a President-Elect, Secretary, and a Treasurer.

a. The President shall be responsible for the following: Coordinating all functions of the ASSOCIATION, serving as program chair and coordinator for the annual meeting, presiding at the annual meeting, announcing all meetings, serving as chair of the Executive Committee and performing the usual duties of a presiding officer in directing the activities of the organization. The term of office shall be one year, commencing with the close of the annual meeting.

b. The President-Elect shall assist the President in conducting the affairs of the ASSOCIATION and shall serve as a replacement for the President in the event of the latter’s inability to serve. The term of office shall be one year, commencing with the close of the annual meeting.

c. The Secretary shall be elected for three year term at the annual meeting when the previous term expires or is vacated. The Secretary shall be responsible for correspondence dealing with but not limited to conducting mail ballots and facilitating communication to the full membership. The position shall maintain the official records of institutional memberships (in conjunction with the Treasurer [see dues]) and their designated representative and members. This individual shall be reimbursed for the ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out the prescribed duties.

c. The Treasurer shall be elected for a three year term at the annual meeting with the previous term expires or is vacated. The Treasurer shall be responsible for correspondence of notification of dues (directory information shall be coordinated with the Secretary), collecting and disbursing all monies of the ASSOCIATION, keeping full and accurate records of financial transactions, and delivering a complete Treasurers Report three times per year to the Executive Board. This individual shall be bonded and reimbursed for the ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out the prescribed duties.

d. The Executive Committee shall make an ad interim appointment to fill a vacated office until the next annual meeting of the ASSOCIATION.

Section 3. Committees

a. The Executive Committee shall be composed of eight members as follows: the President of the ASSOCIATION, the President-Elect, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the immediate Past-President and four members-at-large. The members-at-large shall be elected at the annual meeting of the ASSOCIATION to serve staggered terms so that two individuals will be elected for a two-year term at each annual meeting of the ASSOCIATION.

The Executive Committee shall act for the ASSOCIATION between meetings on all but policy or general statement matters that are reserved for the official representatives. It shall act as a nominating committee, a program committee, and, in general, represent the ASSOCIATION, but the chair shall call for nominations from the floor prior to election at any regular meeting of the ASSOCIATION and take other actions necessary for the operations of the ASSOCIATION. It shall assume the function of liaison with other professional and educational organizations. The immediate Past-President shall normally serve as an ExOfficio representative of the ASSOCIATION on the Board of Directors for the Council of Graduate Schools. If the Past-President cannot serve in this capacity, then the Executive Committee shall appoint a representative from among its members. With the advice of the Executive Committee, the President may request other representatives of the ASSOCIATION to perform functions relating to local arrangements, the program, etc., as deemed proper.

b. Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the President of the ASSOCIATION as necessary, the term of such committees to expire with the term of the appointing President, or with the conclusion of the committee’s assignment, whichever occurs first.


Section 1. Adoption. The Constitution of the ASSOCIATION shall become effective for each institution upon approval by its official representative at the organization meeting or within six months thereafter.

Section 2. Amendments: Following adoption of the Constitution, proposed amendment thereto must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee, and by it be made available for consideration by all member institutions at least two months in advance of a formal vote at the annual meeting. A majority of two-thirds of the members’ institutions is required to adopt such amendments. In the case of insufficient representation at the annual meeting, a subsequent mail vote from all member institutions may be conducted by the Executive Committee.


Section 1. Upon dissolution of the ASSOCIATION, all assets of the ASSOCIATION shall be disposed of by the Executive Committee in such a manner that no members, officer or any private individual shall personally benefit through material or financial gain and the distribution of any assets remaining after all financial obligations of the ASSOCIATION have been met shall be for purposes of furthering graduate education and research in accordance with exempt purposes within the meaning of the section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Adopted March 8, 1995

Edited July 23, 2001

Edited July 30, 2003

Revised March 26, 2010

Revised March 28, 2012

Revised February 6, 2016