August 01, 2009


 Board streamlines travel, representation

Posted July 18, 2009

The AVMA is taking a more strategic approach to the travel of officers and other Executive Board members, who will spend less time on the road while still representing the AVMA at meetings and schools.

The report of the AVMA Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations noted that the time commitment required for officers and other board members has been increasing. The report concluded that "it is necessary to decrease the demands on officers and other Executive Board members to continue to attract the high-quality volunteers who are needed to lead the AVMA."

Recommendations from the task force aimed to reduce duplicative AVMA representation at meetings and to strengthen the Association's relationship with veterinary students.

In April, the board approved a number of recommendations from the task force. In June, the board approved most of the second and final set of recommendations.

The board authorized the AVMA vice president, who is liaison to the Student AVMA, to visit students in cooperative programs such as the one at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The university provides two years of veterinary education to Nebraskans, who then go on to Iowa State University.

The board also approved an annual stipend of $15,000 for the vice president, effective with the 2011-2012 Association year. The vice president's responsibilities and time commitment justify a stipend, according to the background to the recommendation.

A new policy on a "Unified AVMA Vision" received approval. The president, president-elect, and board chair will consult with the executive vice president to develop a vision for the Association year and supporting messages for AVMA representatives. The president, president-elect, and board chair will plan their travel accordingly.

The board requested that the Governance Performance Review Committee consider the feasibility of a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the board's liaisons with AVMA entities and constituent allied veterinary organizations.

In April, the board approved directing board liaisons to develop relationships with allied organizations without attending the groups' meetings. Instead, the AVMA president will represent the Association at the allied organizations' meetings. The board revised the directive in June to also allow liaisons to attend the meetings of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

In other actions relevant to travel, the board approved the following:

  • Authorizing the executive vice president, without individual trip approval by the board, to travel to Mexico and to travel outside North America for meetings of the International Veterinary Officers Council.
  • Decreasing the president's attendance at meetings of state VMAs and similar organizations from 10 meetings to five.
  • Paying for attendance by incoming board members at one board meeting.
  • Paying for travel of an officer's spouse or guest when the officer is traveling to represent the president.
  • Specifying that the AVMA will not pay for board members' spouses or guests to attend the House of Delegates' regular winter session.
  • Mandating a review of board travel expenses if the total projection exceeds 105 percent of the budgeted amount.