Arthur E. Bonfield

Allan D. Vestal Chair and Associate Dean Emeritus

Professor Bonfield's professional and law reform activities are extensive. He was a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (1990-95) and also consultant to that agency (1968-76). He was an Iowa Commissioner on Uniform State Laws from 1984-2000, and was a Reporter-Draftsman for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws 1981 Model State Administrative Procedure Act. From 1977 to 2003 he was Chair of the Constitutional Law Committee of the Multistate Bar Examination. In addition, he was Chair of the 7000 member American Bar Association Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice in 1987-88 and the Chair of the Iowa State Bar Association Committee on Administrative Law from 1971 to 1985. In 1983-84 Professor Bonfield chaired the Iowa Governor's Committee on the Public Records Law and in 1985-92 he chaired the Iowa Governor's Task Force on Uniform Agency Rules of Procedure. Professor Bonfield also acted as Reporter-Draftsman for the Iowa State Bar Association Task Force on Administrative Law Reform in 1994-96. In addition, he was General Counsel to the Administrative Procedures Act Joint Subcommittee of the Iowa General Assembly in 1973-74 and was Special Counsel on Administrative Procedure to the Executive Branch of Iowa in 1974-75. In 1999-2000 Professor Bonfield acted as chair of the Iowa Governor's Taskforce Team on the Regulatory Process, Rule Making, and Rules Review. During 2007, he acted as consultant to the Joint Interim Study Committee of the Iowa General Assembly on Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, and Public Records. In 1980, Professor Bonfield also acted as a consultant to the Arkansas State Constitutional Convention, and during the last twenty-five years has been a consultant to many different state legislatures on the reform of their state administrative procedure legislation.

Practice and Teaching:

His teaching and research interests centered on state and federal Administrative Law and Constitutional Law. He taught courses on both of those subjects until 2016 when he retired. 


Professor Bonfield is a member of the Iowa and Connecticut Bars, is a Life Member of the American Law Institute, and was the AALS Delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies (1984-94).


Professor Bonfield is the author of three books and more than 30 law review articles. In addition he was the principal draftsman of three different Iowa Civil Rights Acts (1965, 1967, 1978), the Iowa Administrative Procedure Act (1974), the Iowa Open Meetings Law (1978), major amendments to the Iowa Public Records Law (1984), major amendments to the Iowa Administrative Procedure Act (1998), and the 2012 statute establishing the Iowa Public Information Board. His books include State Administrative Rule Making (Little Brown & Co., 1986) and State and Federal Administrative Law (West Publishing Co., 1989 and 1998). Some recent articles include "Administrative Procedure Acts in an Age of Comparative Scarcity," "The Quest for an Ideal State Administrative Rulemaking Procedure," and "State Administrative Policy Formulation and the Choice of Lawmaking Methodology."


BA, Brooklyn College, 1956

JD, Yale Law School, 1960

LLM, Yale Law School, 1961

DHL, (Honorary) Cornell College, 1999

Awards and Honors:

Professor Bonfield has received many professional awards for his work as a professor, scholar, and law reformer including an award from the Iowa Civil Liberties Union for Outstanding Service to Civil Liberties, a Hancher-Finkbine Outstanding UI Faculty Member Award, an Iowa State Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, an Iowa State Bar Association President's Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to the Bar and Public, a University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award (1996), a College of Law Teaching Award (2006), an honorary degree from Cornell College for his work in law reform (1999), and an Iowa Freedom of Information Council Friend of the First Amendment Award (2013).