GCHERA Statutes

Approved at the GCHERA General Assembly 19 September 2015 held at Nanjing Agricultural University, PR China.

PREAMBLE

GCHERA was conceived in 1998 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of National Agrarian University, Ukraine (now – National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine) by the then President of Iowa State University (USA) – Prof. M. Jischke, Rector of National Agrarian University (Ukraine) – Prof. D. Melnychuk and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture of the Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany) – Prof. E. Lindemann. The Consortium was named the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture (GCHERA) at the time of the first Conference in 1999 in Amsterdam. Membership was based on individual higher education institutions. In the intervening years from 1999 to 2011 seven global conferences have been held the latest in June 2011 at LaSalle-Beauvais France.

It was on the occasion of the 2011 GCHERA Conference that the GCHERA General Assembly approved on 30 June 2011 the reorganization of GCHERA as a Confederation based on membership of higher education associations to be governed by a General Assembly representative of those associations. GCHERA was renamed the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences whilst keeping the acronym GCHERA.

The use of he or his in the Statutes should be read as gender neutral.

SECTION I – DENOMINATION – STATUTORY SEAT

Article 1

The association is named the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA), hereinafter referred to as the Confederation.

The statutory seat of the Confederation is in Paris, France, at 147 rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris, France

The registered office may be transferred on the decision of the General Assembly.

Article 2

The business language of the GCHERA General Assembly is English. As such, it is a firm expectation that all members of the General Assembly will speak English.

SECTION II – MISSION

Article 3

The Confederation is a not for profit organisation representing a confederation of higher education associations in agriculture and the life sciences.

The associations are brought together in support of a mission to encourage mutual understanding and global co-operation among higher education associations and their constituent member institutions in supporting innovation, and to provide within the global context leadership in education, research and outreach in agricultural and life sciences.

The Confederation will achieve this mission through a variety of capacity development programmatic efforts, including relevant education, research, and innovation initiatives by supporting the member higher education associations, and through them their constituent institutional members, in improving the quality of life and human endeavours by the promotion of:

  • the development and utilization of bio renewable resources,
  • sustainable natural resource management
  • remediation and sustainability of fragile ecosystems and environments,
  • food and nutritional security and safety,
  • the enhancement of the economic viability of the food and non-food value chains and reduction of poverty.

SECTION III – MEMBERSHIP OF THE CONFEDERATION

Article 4

Higher education associations that represent a cohort of institutions of the agricultural and life sciences are eligible for Full Membership in the Confederation. Such a higher education association is defined as an association of universities within a country or an association that encompasses a wider geographic region.

To be eligible for Full Membership the higher education association must have no less than five distinct higher education institutional members in good standing. Membership applications from such associations will be considered at the regularly scheduled meetings of the General Assembly of GCHERA.

Article 5

In those instances where there is no appropriate higher education association to which a single higher education institution may belong, that institution is eligible for membership of the Confederation as an Associate Member without voting rights. Such membership applications shall be considered for approval by the General Assembly on an individual case by case basis.

Article 6

The Confederation founding members listed in the Appendix constituted the initial General Assembly General Assembly of GCHERA.

SECTION IV – GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Article 7

The GCHERA General Assembly is the governing body of the Confederation. Each association which has paid its membership subscription for the previous year is allotted a single seat and vote on the GCHERA General Assembly, and shall appoint its representative from the ranks of its institutional members. A permanent named alternate to serve in the absence of the appointed representative shall also be appointed by each member association.

The term of service for the given representatives is to be determined by the appointing association.

Article 8

Vested in the General Assembly are the following authorities to:

  1. Determine and establish the general policies and operating procedures of the Confederation.
  2. Elect the President, the Senior Vice President and the Treasurer of the General Assembly. The Chair of the GCHERA Conference is ex-officio Vice-President of the Confederation. The person responsible for the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize is ex-officio Vice-President of the Confederation Each them will have one vote (five votes in all)
  3. Elect the ordinary members of the Steering Committee
  4. Co-opt others to the Steering Committee.
  5. Recruit, select, approve, and evaluate the appointment of a Secretary General and/or any other personnel charged with the responsibilities to conduct the day-to-day business of the Confederation.
  6. Establish such offices and/or operations as are required to conduct the business of the Confederation.
  7. Admit or exclude members.
  8. Approve the Confederation’s annual budget and effect an annual audit of the Confederation’s accounts.
  9. Determine the annual membership subscription of Full and Associate members of the Confederation.
  10. Make amendments to the Statutes of the Confederation.
  11. Terminate the Confederation.

Article 9

All full members have an equal right to cast one vote so long as the Association has paid its membership subscription for the previous year.

Article 10

The term of office of the President of the General Assembly shall normally be two calendar years with succession occurring at the GCHERA General Assembly.   The term of office of the President of the General Assembly is renewable once. .

The term of office of the Senior Vice President shall normally be that of two calendar years, and will be elected at the GCHERA General Assembly. The term of office of the Senior Vice President of the General Assembly is renewable once.

The term of office of the Treasurer shall normally be that of two calendar years, and will be elected at the GCHERA General Assembly. The term of office of the Treasurer of the General Assembly is renewable once.

The incoming Chair of the next GCHERA Conference will be designated ex officio Vice President at the end of the GCHERA conference, and his term finishes with the Conference. His responsibilities are solely those of preparing for and conducting the biannual conference of the organization.

The persons eligible for election to be President, Vice President or Treasurer of the General Assembly is any person coming from an institutional member of one of the GCHERA Higher Education Association full members.

Upon election as President, Vice President, or Treasurer the said individual will step down from representing his Association at the General Assembly if he is the current representative of his Association. In which case, a new representative will be appointed by that Association to represent the Association at the General Assembly.

The four ordinary members of the Steering Committee will be elected from among the nominated representatives of the Full Association members of the Confederation.  Each of these four elected persons will stand down after they had served two years but will be eligible for immediate re-election in an open election, see Article 8

Article 11

A Secretary General serves at the pleasure of the General Assembly and is an ex officio member of the General Assembly. The Secretary General may not serve as a representative of a GCHERA association member.

Article 12

Full members who cannot attend a General Assembly meeting and whose alternate cannot attend, may be represented at the General Assembly meeting by other full members by sending a proxy form to the Secretary General 7 days in advance of the meeting. Said proxy forms shall designate the General Assembly member to whom the proxy is given and delineate any conditions regarding its exercise. In this case each full member attending the General Assembly meeting may hold a maximum of two member proxies. The number of proxies which can be given to the President of the General Assembly shall not be limited. Such proxies will be considered as contributing to the number required for a quorum.

Article 13

The General Assembly meeting quorum is established when one-half of the General Assembly Membership is present or represented by filed proxies.

Article 14

The General Assembly shall meet at least once each calendar year. The General Assembly meetings shall be called by the Secretary General at least sixty days before the meeting. Upon the written request of one-half of the General Assembly membership, an Extraordinary General Assembly meeting shall be called by the Secretary General or President of the General Assembly.

Convening notices shall contain a provisional agenda and shall be sent to the named representative of each member association.   The final draft agenda and any associated briefing papers on subjects to be considered by the General Assembly shall be transmitted electronically to each representative no less than 14 days in advance of such meeting.

Article 15

As determined by the previous Executive Committee of GCHERA, in recognition of his founding and sustaining efforts, Honorary President Dmytro Melnychuk shall serve as member of the GCHERA General Assembly with the privilege of one vote.

The General Assembly, upon the recommendation of the General Assembly and with a positive vote, may confer Honorary General Assembly Membership status on those persons who have made an outstanding and sustained contribution(s) to the advancement of the aims of the Confederation. Honorary members will be invited to the GCHERA General Assembly meetings without a vote.

SECTION V – STEERING COMMITTEE

Article 16

The Steering Committee members serve as an executive committee of the General Assembly to

  1. execute between scheduled General Assembly meetings the agreed operational objectives of the Confederation as agreed by the General Assembly,
  2. develop and present the strategy and objectives of GCHERA to be approved by the General Assembly,
  3. be responsible for the general administration of the Confederation, within guidelines established and agreed to by the General Assembly, and
  4. define internal working rules (bylaws) within the framework of the Statutes.

Article 17

The Steering Committee shall be composed of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Treasurer and four ordinary members elected by the General Assembly for a period of two years, see Article 8.

The General Assembly has the option to co-opt others to the Steering Committee, see Article 8.

SECTION VI – AMENDMENTS

Article 18

These Statutes will be renewed or be succeeded by new Statutes duly approved at the General Assembly. Amendments or new terms of governance require a two-thirds affirmative vote of a quorate General Assembly. The members should be informed in writing 60 days before the General Assembly of the proposed amendments or new terms of governance.

SECTION VII – TERMINATION

Article 19

The General Assembly may decide the termination of the Confederation under the same conditions as mentioned in Section VI.

In the event of a voluntary termination, the General Assembly shall appoint one or two liquidators and specify their powers.

Article 20

In the event of any termination, whether voluntary or judicial, at any time and for any reason, the General Assembly shall decide by a simple majority to allot the Confederation’s assets, after liabilities have been discharged, to an institution or organisation whose object and purpose are similar to the present Confederation.

Founding members of the Confederation at the GCHERA General Assembly 30 June 2011:

A.P.L.U – Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

AAACU – Asian Association of Agricultural Colleges and Universities

ABEAS – Associação Brasileira de Educação Agrícola Superior/Brazilian Association for Higher Agricultural Education

ACDA – Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture

AMEAS – Asociación Mexicana de Educación Agrícola Superior

ANAFE – African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestory and Natural Resources Education

CAC – Central Asia and (South) Caucuses (CAC) Agricultural University Consortium

CFAVM – Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

CIS – Rectors’ Council of the Leading Agrarian Higher Education Institutions of Commonwealth of Independent States

EPC of CAASS – Education Professional Committee (EPC), of the Chinese Association of Agricultural Science Societies (CAASS)

IAUA – Indian Agricultural  Universities Association

ICA – Association for European Life Science Universities

RUFORUM – Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture

China – National Consortium of Presidents/Deans of Higher Education for Agriculture

Middle East – Association of Arab Universities for Agricultural Studies and Research