Constitution of The Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS)

NAGS Constitution (PDF)

Article I.  NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.


Section 1. Graduate Study. The Association shall have as a primary purpose the consideration of mutual problems among member institutions relating to graduate study 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. The Association shall function in liaison with other national and regional educational bodies and may serve as a representative on graduate affairs for the institutional members.

Section 2. Academic Standards. The Association will take continuous interest in the activities of other bodies which concern themselves with the standards of graduate work. The Association shall not assume the role of an accreditation agency.

Section 3. Special Studies. Special studies in graduate education may be undertaken by the Association upon authorization of the membership at an annual meeting, or the Association may designate other organizations to conduct studies for it under its supervision.

Section 4. Gifts and Bequests. The Association, through actions of the members at the annual meeting or by its Executive Committee, may accept grants and bequests for making of special studies in graduate education 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 spokesman of its constituent members, no action taken by the Association of any of its representatives is to be regarded as binding upon any institutional member, except for such dues and assessments as may be fully approved as provided hereafter.


Section 1. Membership. Membership in the Association shall be by institution.

  1. Membership shall be drawn from institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the District of Columbia,and the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Institutions to be eligible must have a formally organized administrative unit responsible for work leading to graduate degrees above the baccalaureate in more than one area of academic endeavor. The institution must be accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency. Any eligible institution having regional or professional accredited status by agencies acceptable to the Association, and now offering graduate degrees, may apply for membership.
  2. The Executive Committee of the Association, or any such membership subcommittee as it may appoint, shall consider applications for membership and if its judgement is favorable, shall recommend admission to the Association for final action. Membership shall be completed by the payment of the regular institutional dues.
  3. Associate membership, carrying all privileges except that of voting, may be extended to any institution contemplating the offering of graduate work, or any institution offering graduate work but not fully accredited as defined above, for such period as determined by majority vote of the Executive Committee. Associate membership shall be completed by the payment of regular institutional dues.
  4. Sustaining membership, without voting privileges, may be granted to profit and nonprofit organizations that directly support graduate education and are committed to the goals of NAGS.

Section 2.  Representation. Each institutional member shall designate one official representative who shall cast the member’s vote on all ballots and votes taken on official actions. A member institution may send as many delegates or participants to meetings as it desires.

Section 3.  Dues. Dues shall be collected on an institutional basis.

  1. The amount of the annual dues shall be recommended by the Executive Committee and established only by a majority vote of the member institutions and incorporated in the By-Laws. The last voted amount of dues shall continue in effect until changing by formal vote.
  2. Dues are payable to the Secretary-Treasurer. (The fiscal year begins July 1 each year.)

Section 4.  Assessments. Assessments upon the member institutions may be made only in advance of expenditures necessitating such assessment, and must be approved by two-thirds of the official membership of the Association. No assessment may be larger than the amount of the annual institutional dues in effect at the time of the approval of the assessment.


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, unless otherwise determined by vote or poll of representatives on such time and place. Upon written request of one or more representatives such poll by mail may be authorized by the Executive Committee or vote taken on the motion in any business meeting of the Association.

Section 2.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings may be authorized by the Executive Committee after a poll of the representatives of the members of the Association.

Section 3.  Regional Meetings.  Sub-divisions of the Association are authorized and may meet for discussion at will; but actions taken at such meetings will not be binding upon the Association.


Section 1.  The Association shall be operated as a non-profit organization.

Section 2.  Powers.  Policy actions 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 institutions responding to a mail ballot. A simple majority of institutional membership shall constitute a quorum. Other powers may be delegated by the representatives, acting as specified in this section, except for duties specifically designated hereafter.

Section 3.  Officers. Newly-elected officers shall be installed at the close of the annual business meeting.

  1. The President shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a term of one year and shall be responsible for coordinating all function of the Association, shall preside at the annual meeting, shall perform the usual duties of a presiding officer.
  2. The President-Elect shall be elected for a period of two years and, in the first year, shall serve as a replacement for the President in the event of the latter’s inability to serve, and as President during the second year.
  3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected for a term of three years at the annual business meeting when the previous term expires or is vacated, and shall record all proceedings of the Association, maintain the official record on institutional membership and the designated representative of each; shall be responsible for notice of dues, announcements of all meetings, conduction of mail ballots, the collection and disbursement of all monies of the Association, and the maintenance of full and accurate records of such transactions. This officer shall be bonded, and the cost thereof and of all ordinary and reasonable expenditures involved in carrying out prescribed duties shall be defrayed by the Association.
  4. The Executive Committee shall make an ad interim appointment to fill a vacated office until the next regular business meeting.

Section 4.  Committees.

  1. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of 16 members as follows: the President of the Association, the President-Elect, the immediate Past-President, the Secretary-Treasurer, and twelve elected members-at-large. The members-at-large shall be elected at the annual business meeting of the Association with terms staggered so that normally four individuals will be elected for three-year terms at each annual meeting. Elected members may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms.

Liaison with the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States shall be maintained by a designated member of the Executive Committee who has been duly elected to that Board, or there being no such person, a member designated at the annual business meeting, who by virtue of this appointment shall also serve on the Executive Committee if not already a member.

The Executive Committee shall act for the Association between meetings on all but policy or general statement matters which are reserved for the official representatives as a whole. It may authorize minor expenditures incidental to the general functions of the Association and take other actions necessary for the operations of the Association. It shall act as a nominating committee, a program committee, a committee on committees, 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. In addition to the regular duties as a member of the Executive Committee, the liaison member of the Council of Graduate Schools will communicate information and views between the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Association’s Executive Committee. The Association President may fulfill these functions in the liaison member’s absence.

  1. Ad Hoc Committees. With the approval of the Executive Committee, the President of the Association may appoint ad hoc committees 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.

Article VI.  BY-LAWS

The representatives may adopt or amend by-laws by a majority vote of the member institutions. Proposed by-laws and amendments must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee and by it be made available for consideration by all member institutions at least 30 days in advance of a formal vote at the annual meeting of the Association. A majority vote of the member institutions present at the annual meeting 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.  Adoption. The Constitution of the Association shall become effective for institutions whose official representatives vote to adopt and accept the Constitution at the organization meeting or within six months thereafter. Subsequent to formal adoption by the founding institutions, election to membership shall be by procedures set forth in Article III, Section 1.

Section 2.  Amendments. Following adoption of the Constitution, proposed amendments thereto must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee, and by it be made available for consideration by all member institutions at least 30 days in advance of a formal vote at the annual meeting of the Association. A majority vote of the member institutions present at the annual meeting 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.


By-Law 1.  The Annual institutional dues for the Association for Regular and Associate members are $100 and $300 for Sustaining members.

By-Law 2.  Conduct of the business meeting of the Association shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

By-Law 3.  Motions and resolutions to be introduced at the annual meetings should be submitted to the Executive Committee and circulated to the membership in advance of the meeting.


Original 1975; Revised, 10/80; 10/82; 4/94; 4/97; 4/99, 4/03; 3/07

* This clause is applicable only for the organization meeting and subsequently only if a previously elected President-Elect should be unable at the appropriate time to succeed to the Presidency.