September 15, 2003


 Delegates approve 12 amendments

Posted Sept. 1, 2003

In Denver, the House of Delegates approved all 12 proposed amendments to the AVMA Constitution and Bylaws. Ten were to the bylaws and two to the constitution.

The Executive Board, the House Advisory Committee, and the House of Delegates Reference Committee on Administration (Reference Committee 1) had all recommended approval of each of the 12 proposed amendments.

Proposed amendments to the constitution are presented to the HOD over two consecutive years. The first year, they are introduced, and the next year, voted on. In contrast, bylaws amendments are voted on the same year they are forwarded.

The HOD took final action on two constitutional amendments introduced to delegates during their 2002 session. The first amends the portion of the AVMA Constitution dealing with the Board of Governors, changing "chairman" of the Executive Board to "chair." The second amendment defines the HOD annual session as meaning "the official annual business meeting" of the HOD convened and conducted in accordance with the bylaws and the Manual of the House of Delegates.

The 10 newly approved bylaws amendments are as follows.

One amendment automatically grants active membership in the AVMA to graduating members of student AVMA chapters, provided that a faculty adviser certifies the graduates are members of the student chapter in good standing.

A dues increase was approved, beginning in 2004 (see also Sept. 1 News, page 572). Dues for AVMA active members will increase $25 to $250 annually. A $25 dues increase for associate and affiliate members raises their dues to $225 per annum. Graduating fourth-year veterinary students in good standing with their student AVMA chapter will pay $110 rather than $100. The $110 fee applies also to veterinarians applying for AVMA membership who have not been in good standing with their student AVMA chapter. Moreover, active or associate members pursuing a full-time program of graduate study, internship, or residency in specified programs will also receive the $10 increase.

An amendment affecting accreditation standards now requires that the standards pertain to "organization, finances, physical facilities and equipment, clinical resources, library and information resources, students, admissions, faculty, curriculum, research programs, and outcomes assessment."

The AVMA Council on Education is mandated by another amendment to evaluate veterinary schools and colleges and make accreditation decisions without review or influence from any other AVMA entity.

A change to the makeup of the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service, brought about by another amendment, reduces the three at-large members to two and creates a recent graduate category. By another amendment, one of the charges to the council will be revised to reflect that it will advise and assist organizations represented in the HOD on matters concerning veterinary service.

Another amendment redefines the charges to the AVMA Council on Public Relations. Its duties are fostering a positive image of the AVMA, its members, and veterinary medicine; using marketing analysis to help in the creation and refinement of communication programs; and aiding the Executive Board in developing resources to accomplish communication programs.

The HOD approved an amendment that adds to the House Advisory Committee's list of duties: "Act as the constitution and bylaws committee for House of Delegates."

A change to the portion of the bylaws pertaining to the AVMA Annual Convention requires that suggestions for future sites for the annual meeting be delivered in writing to the director of the AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division rather than to the convention manager, as specified previously in the bylaws.

The section dealing with student organizations was updated through an amendment to refer to accredited versus approved schools/colleges.