June 01, 2004


 AVMA to streamline organizational documents

Posted May 15, 2004

To align the AVMA's practices with the current practices of other progressive associations, the AVMA has begun a revision of its Constitution and Bylaws to create a single, cohesive document.

During the Executive Board meeting April 1-3, the board recommended the introduction of an amendment to the House of Delegates to strike the AVMA's current constitution to allow potential adoption of a new bylaws document.

The board also recommended that the HOD approve revisions to the AVMA Bylaws to expand the Council on Education's charge to include accrediting international veterinary programs. The HOD will vote on the second recommendation at its annual session in July (for all the proposed amendments to be considered by the HOD in July, see pages 1737-1739).

The effort to streamline the governing documents began in July 2003, when the Executive Board established the Executive Board/House Advisory Committee Constitution and Bylaws Review Task Force to review and revise the AVMA Constitution and Bylaws. The task force was instructed to identify and eliminate any inconsistencies and redundancies that exist between the two documents, and to make them easier to interpret and apply.

During the review, the task force identified many redundancies and ambiguities. Additionally, the task force identified information that should be transferred to other governing documents, such as the Manual of the House of Delegates.

After consulting the AVMA parliamentarian and being reassured that a set of bylaws may include some proposed articles that require more rigorous review than others prior to adoption, the task force decided to create a single document from the AVMA Constitution and Bylaws. The new document will be called the AVMA Bylaws.

The document is intended to:

  • Establish membership rights
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the HOD, Executive Board, councils, and committees
  • Clearly define the governing documents
  • Remove administrative details from the new bylaws document and add them to the appropriate governing documents
  • Provide levels of difficulty for changing the official documents
  • Be broad enough to allow organizational flexibility
  • Have long-term structural integrity

A draft of the new bylaws document is being reviewed by various AVMA entities. It will undergo a rigorous revision process over the next year, and the HOD is expected to review and vote on the final draft bylaws document in July 2005.