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May 15, 2009


 Board refines officer travel

Posted May 1, 2009

Starting in July 2010, the AVMA president will spend more time at national, international, and regional meetings, and less time at gatherings of state VMAs.

The new strategy is just one of several AVMA officer-related provisions added to the AVMA Travel Policy on recommendation of the Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations and approval of the Executive Board. The changes are designed to most effectively provide AVMA representation while also making the position of AVMA president less onerous.

The policy concerning the role of the AVMA president was proposed by the task force as a means for the president to give greater attention to the broader gatherings. The policy states:

Part of the role of the AVMA President (and the President-Elect, Immediate Past President, Executive Board Chair, and Vice President, when representing the President) is to represent the AVMA at national (including the meetings of Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations and SAVMA Symposium), international, and regional meetings (where there is a leadership component to the meeting and not just continuing education), and to represent the AVMA at up to ten meetings of the Principal Veterinary Organizations (veterinary organizations representing each state, district, territory, and possession of the United States of America as determined by the House of Delegates) unless extenuating circumstances exist. It is the role of Executive Board District Representatives to represent the AVMA at meetings of state veterinary medical associations in their District.

Other roles of the President include national public relations appearances to advocate for AVMA policies and building relationships with national associations and industries related to veterinary medicine.

The President and President-Elect will develop national and international travel plans in consultation with the AVMA CEO to maximize the benefits and value of such travel. All officers are expected to manage their travel so that the individual officer's semi-annual travel budget is not over spent.

The change is effective beginning July 2010 (2010-2011 Association year).

The task force estimated that the AVMA president annually expends about 340 travel days for the Association. About 130 of those days have been for attendance at meetings of the state VMAs.

Under the new plan, the president has more time to attend gatherings of constituent allied veterinary organizations, the Student AVMA Educational Symposium, regional leadership meetings, other nations' veterinary meetings, the World Veterinary Congress, PANVET meeting, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe meeting, and the International Military Veterinary Symposium.

This plan will also reduce the time commitment of the president-elect, immediate past president, Executive Board chair, and vice president to represent the president at meetings, according to the task force.

The board approved the following other additions to the AVMA Travel Policy:

Part of the role of the AVMA President-Elect is to utilize AVMA resources to best educate himself or herself on the policies and issues that would prepare him or her for their role as President. This includes attendance at meetings of AVMA entities (e.g., councils, committees, task forces) as deemed appropriate by the President-Elect. This also includes serving as the liaison from the Executive Board to the House Advisory Committee.

Executive Board members, including the Chair but not other officers, shall attend the annual meeting of each Principal Veterinary Organization (veterinary organizations representing each state, district, territory, and possession of the United States of America as determined by the House of Delegates) in their district. If attendance by that Board member is not possible, the Executive Board Chair will appoint a substitute.

Executive Board members, other than the President, are not authorized to attend regional meetings except by approval of the Executive Board Chair in consultation with the Executive Vice President.

Executive Board liaisons to councils and committees are authorized, but not required, to physically attend one meeting of that entity each year in whole or in part, when beneficial to the entity or to the Executive Board. Attendance at an additional meeting in the Association year will require approval of the Executive Board Chair.

Executive Board members will be appointed by the Executive Board Chair to serve as liaison between the AVMA Executive Board and the assigned Constituent Allied Veterinary Organization and to assist the AVMA President in his or her role to represent the AVMA at meetings of the Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations.

The Executive Board liaisons are not authorized to attend the meetings of the Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations but will develop relationships with the allied organization leadership through other means. The Executive Board Chair, in consultation with the Executive Vice President, may approve exceptions to this policy. If the President or his or her designee cannot attend the annual meeting of a Constituent Allied Veterinary Organization, then the Executive Board liaison will be authorized to attend.

Officers are expected to manage their travel so that travel expenses do not exceed the approved budgeted amount for their travel. Officers are provided with monthly financial statements to assist with monitoring and projection of expenditures.

Because the travel expenses of other Executive Board members are consolidated into one budget line item, it is more difficult for individual Executive Board members to monitor and project travel expenses for the Executive Board. However, Executive Board members are also expected to manage travel so that travel expenses do not exceed the approved budgeted amount. AVMA staff will assist with monitoring and projection of Executive Board travel expenditures.

Reimbursement of travel expenses after the approved budgeted amount for an officers travel is exceeded by more than $1,000 will require approval of the Budget and Financial Review Committee.