USD law professor earns national appointment Professor Thomas E. Geu of The University of South Dakota School of Law has been named reporter for the Uniform Business Cooperative Act Drafting Committee by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Geu's duties as reporter include acting as secretary and executive assistant to the drafting committee, along with his primary responsibility of drafting statutory language for approval by the committee, the conference, and state legislatures.
As reporter, Geu recently testified at a Senate Finance Committee hearing held in Des Moines, IA, on the cooperative ethanol industry. He was invited to testify to brief the committee on state law issues being considered by the uniform laws committee, and to explain the reasons the drafting committee was formed.
The uniform act will provide a governance framework for cooperatives across the nation if it is ultimately adopted by the commission and by the legislatures of individual states. Several states, including Minnesota and Wyoming, have already amended their cooperative acts and at least two other states are studying amendments to their statutes.
Geu considers his service as reporter to be at the heart of the kind of service to the public required of all faculty at USD.
"We are, of course, primarily teachers; but we also have service and research obligations," he said. According to Geu, "those obligations are independent of teaching but are directly related to staying on the cutting-edge of our substantive fields. Research and service allow us to be the kind of teachers our students expect and the state of South Dakota deserves."
"Cooperatives are very important to the economic development of our state," said Barry R. Vickrey, dean of the School of Law at USD. "I am pleased that Professor Geu has been asked to provide leadership at the national level in the development of this important area of the law."
Geu currently serves as a co-advisor from the Real Property Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association to two other conference drafting committees. He has worked with the Afghanistan Transitional Commercial Law project to rewrite some of Afghanistan's commercial codes.
Geu teaches a variety of business-related courses at the Law School including business associations. He is an author and frequent speaker concerning the laws of business formation and operation, and has been at USD for 15 years.