History & Purpose
A Little History of CPAE
In May of 1955, 15 professors of adult education assembled in Monticello, Illinois "to discuss the role of the university in providing professional training in adult education." What became known as "The Allerton Park Conference of Professors of Adult Education" was held under the auspices of the Section on Training of the Adult Education Association of the U. S. A.
The Commission of Professors of Adult Education (CPAE) is part of what is now the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), a proud descendant of this early effort to provide a forum for the discussion of important issues related to the academic preparation of adult educators. We are a very diverse group made up of faculty members from programs all over the world.
The Main Purposes of the Commission
The following five purposes define the purpose and work of the Commission:
- To act as a vehicle for strengthening and supporting excellence in academic programs in adult education
- To identify and disseminate resources that support adult education as a field of study, research and practice.
- To provide opportunities for the professional development of professors of adult education.
- To study and disseminate positions on social issues of concern to adult education.
- To provide a forum for critical reflection and dialogue on scholarship and practice that reflects the diversity in adult education.
An additional and important purpose of CPAE is to provide a caring, supportive and collegial community for professors of adult education. We seek to achieve this through our annual meeting in conjunction with annual AAACE conference, usually in November. CPAE meetings include sessions designed to address current concerns of members in addition to building community and conducting the business of the Commission. Active Special Interest Groups (SIG’s) include critical theory, faculty development, human resource development, instructional improvement, international/intercultural issues, research & theory, women's research, and neuroscience. There is also often an additional less formal meeting at the annual Adult Education Research Conference (AERC) in early June .
The Commission also maintains an active listserv used to disseminate information to members and others concerned with the preparation of adult educators.
We hope this website is a valuable source of information not only about the Commission and its activities, but also about matters of broader concern to the adult education community, and that the information on the website will answer many of the questions you have about CPAE.
Members of AAACE are welcome to join CPAE. To become a member of CPAE, please join AAACE and select CPAE as one of your commissions. CPAE members may be
- Full time faculty in Adult and Continuing Education and related fields,
- Part-time and Adjunct faculty,
- Graduate Students, and
- Other interested AAACE Members
Thanks to Lee Pierce of the University of Southern Mississippi CPAE has access to an inclusive and accurate database of people working in adult education at the university level. Lee has maintained this database for several years, never turning up at conferences without a binder of information for people to update. We are honoured to be able to make it available on-line. Lee will retain ownership of this database and CPAE will simply make it available to people and take care of email requests for changes.
Go to the Directory of Adult Education Colleagues.
Commission of Professors of Adult Education
Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the Commission of Professors of Adult Education (hereafter referred to as the Commission or CPAE). The Commission is part of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
Article II. Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be:
1) To identify and disseminate resources that support adult education as a field of study, research, and practice.
2) To act as a vehicle for strengthening and supporting excellence in academic programs in adult education.
3) To provide opportunities for the professional development of professors of adult education.
4) To study and disseminate positions on social issues of concern to adult education.
5) To provide a forum for critical reflection and dialogue on scholarship and practice that reflects the diversity in adult education.
6) To provide a caring, supportive and collegial community for professors of adult education.
Article III. Membership
Section 1. Membership. There shall be two kinds of membership
A) Professional membership. All AAACE members are eligible for membership in the Commission. Membership shall be encouraged for any AAACE member who devotes at least one quarter time to teaching and/or research in a university graduate program with a major in adult, continuing, extension education, or related fields.
B) Emeritus membership. CPAE members who have provided leadership and service to the Commission who have recently retired from their academic positions are eligible for emeritus membership. At the annual meeting of CPAE, any individual who meets the criteria for emeritus membership may be nominated for this distinction. A majority vote will confer this status.
Section 2. Membership is annual. Fees for membership will be collected by AAACE.
Article IV. Officers
Section 1. The elected officers of the Commission shall be:
Section 2. A three-person nominating committee selected by the Commission Executive Committee shall present a proposed slate of officers to the membership at the annual meeting. Additional nominations shall be accepted from the floor or by petition.
Section 3. The duties of the Chair shall be to call meetings of both the Commission and the Executive Committee and to be the presiding officer at those meetings. It is also to represent the Commission of Professors on the AAACE Board of Directors. The Chair or Secretary-Treasurer will send copies of all minutes, budgets, and other official documents and actions to AAACE.
Section 4. The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be to keep the minutes of the Commission and the Executive Committee; carry on general correspondence in behalf of the Commission; keep a current list of the membership; send notices of all meetings; and be responsible for Commission funds. The Secretary-Treasurer will also be responsible to submit appropriate bills to AAACE for payment.
Section 5. The Chair will be elected into the position as Chair-Elect for one year and subsequently serve a two-year term as Chair. The Secretary-Treasurer shall be elected to a two-year term. Both officers may not succeed themselves for a second-term.
Article V. Executive Committee
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, the past Chair, the Secretary-Treasurer, and four additional elected members. In addition, every other year, the Chair-Elect will be part of the Executive Committee.
Section 2. The four additional elected members shall be selected from a slate of candidates proposed by the nominating committee and presented to the Commission members at the annual meeting.
Section 3. The four additional members of the Executive Committee shall be elected to two-year overlapping terms with two to be elected each year. These members of the Executive Committee may succeed themselves for a maximum of two terms.
Section 4. The AAACE Commission Director for the Commission of Professors of Adult Education will be elected by the guidelines and policies of AAACE and will serve as liaison from the AAACE Board to the Commission. Nominees shall be selected from a slate of candidates proposed by the CPAE nomination committee and presented to the Commission members at the annual meeting.
Section 5. The Executive Committee shall serve as the oversight committee for the Commission to recommend issues and task forces for action by the membership. Each task force shall designate member(s) as Chair or Co-Chairs to be a liaison to the Executive Committee. Suggestions regarding issues and task forces are welcomed from any Commission member.
Section 6. A quorum for an official Executive Committee meeting shall be at least one-half of the members.
Article VI. Executive Committee Member Responsibilities
Section 1. CPAE Annual Program Leadership. Two or more members of the Executive Committee will be responsible for the annual CPAE meeting, its organization of program, distribution of papers, and to work cooperatively with AAACE to secure appropriate conference facilities.
Section 2. Houle Award for World Literature in Adult Education and Imogene Okes Research Awards. One member of the Executive Committee will be responsible for the administration, selection of committees, and the report to AAACE of the Houle and Okes Awards. The guidelines, which have been established by AAACE concerning the Awards Committee membership and criteria for selection of the award, will be followed in the awards process.
Article VII. Meetings
Section 1. The Commission shall meet at least once a year for the annual meeting.
Section 2. A quorum for an official Commission meeting shall be those in attendance at the annual meeting.
Section 3. A simple majority vote of members present and voting at an official meeting shall be required to approve all Commission business, except for decisions to take public positions. For the CPAE Commission to take a public position, two-thirds majority of CPAE Conference attendees will be required for approval.
Section 4. Members of the Commission shall elect the officers and members of the Executive Committee at the annual CPAE meeting. A simple majority vote, with runoffs if needed, shall be required for election. Election results shall be forwarded to AAACE for certification.
Section 5. A mail ballot may be used for purposes of voting on any Commission business, as long as background information related to the ballot is sent to all members at least one month prior to the mail ballot, and at least two weeks are allowed for return of ballots. An email ballot may also be used for purposes of voting on any Commission business as long as background information related to the ballot is sent to all members at least one week prior to the ballot and at least one week is allowed for the returned ballots. An email ballot may also be used for purposes of voting on any Commission business as long as background information related to the ballot is sent to all members at least one week prior to the ballot and at least one week is allowed for the returned ballots.
Article VIII. Standing Committees
Section 1. A standing committee will be formed based upon a designated set of Commission activities which require representation and involvement of membership, reflect ongoing efforts through several years, and occur beyond the scope of the Commission Annual meeting.
Section 2. A standing committee may be proposed by any Commission member to the Executive Committee. The specific purpose and objectives of the standing committee, and the functions and terms of the committee chair and members should be included in this proposal. The request to form a standing committee will be presented to the membership of the annual meeting and ratified through a majority at that time.
Section 3. The chair and members of the standing committee shall be decided by the Commission Chair with ratification by the Executive Committee.
Section 4. No standing committee or subgroup of the Commission may take a public position on behalf of the Commission, except when ratified by the membership of the Commission.
Section 5. Prior to submission of an issue for a Commission public position by a standing committee, the issue must be analyzed by the committee and a written statement must be submitted to the membership at least one month prior to the annual meeting or by a mail ballot. If the issue is to be voted upon at an annual meeting, time must be allowed for discussion before the vote.
Article IX. Task Forces
Section 1. Creation and termination of Commission task forces shall be proposed by the Executive Committee and ratified by the membership in an annual meeting or by mail ballot with a simple majority.
Section 2. Any Commission member may propose to the Chair a task force on any Commission activity or issue of interest.
Section 3. A proposal to create a task force shall include: the specific purpose of the task force, the probable task duration, the name of the task force chair, and the other task force members from the Commission.
Section 4. Additional members of the task force shall be decided by the Commission Chair with ratification by the Executive Director.
Section 5. No task force or subgroup of the Commission may take a public position on behalf of the Commission, except when ratified by the membership of the Commission.
Section 6. Prior to submission of an issue for, a Commission public position, the issue must be analyzed by a task force and a written statement must be submitted to the membership at least one month prior to the annual meeting or by a mail ballot. If the issue is to be voted upon at an annual meeting, time must be allowed for discussion before the vote.
Section 7. Task forces may be organized to conduct an external review of graduate programs with a major in adult, continuing, and extension education, and other related fields.
Section 8. An external review of a graduate program by a special task force may be proposed by persons associated with the graduate program or by Commission members; but for the review to proceed, concurrence by both parties is required.
Section 9. Commission members are encouraged to suggest to the Executive Committee the creation or termination of task forces. Ten or more Commission members are required for a petition to create or terminate a task force. This petition does not require concurrence by the Executive Committee before being submitted to the membership for ratification.
Article X. Special Interest Groups
Section 1. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are specific inquiry or affinity groups which meet during the annual CPAE meeting.
Section 2. Special Interest Groups are formed through a petition of 15 or more members of the Commission with a simple majority vote at the CPAE business meeting.
Section 3. Special Interest Groups will be expected to reflect strong membership interests. If a SIG does not have continuing leadership and/or sufficient attendance, the Executive Committee or any CPAE member may request closure of the SIG. Approval to eliminate a SIG will be by a simple majority vote at the annual business meeting.
Section 4. Chairs of SIGs will be selected by the members present at the SIG annual meeting.
Article XI. Parliamentary Authority
Section 1. The rules for the orderly transaction of Commission business shall be developed by the Executive Committee and ratified by a two-thirds majority of the members present at the annual business meeting.
Section 2. All rules of procedure shall be consistent with Roberts Rules of Order.
Article XII. Methods of Amending the Commission Procedures
Section 1. Amendment(s) shall be proposed by the Executive Committee or by ten or more Commission members. Amendments shall be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the members present at the annual business meeting.
Section 2. A proposal to amend the Procedures must be announced to the Commission membership one month prior to Commission consideration of the proposal.
Section 3. The Commission Procedures and any amendments shall be consistent with AAACE policy and procedures and comply with IRS guidelines.
Amended October 1999
Reprinted October 2001
Amended November 2013