December 15, 2009

 

 Proposed Amendments to the AVMA Bylaws

posted December 1, 2009
 
In compliance with Bylaws Article XV, the following amendments are submitted. Type that has a continuous line through it is proposed for deletion. Proposed new wording is underlined. The 2007 AVMA Bylaws are published in the 2008-2009 AVMA Directory and Resource Manual on pages 27-40. The 2009 AVMA Bylaws are published online at www.avma.org/about_avma/governance/vla/avma_bylaws.pdf.

 

 

 

 

Student AVMA president at Executive Board meetings

1 Amend Bylaws ARTICLE V—Executive Board, Section 3—Invited Participants, to add the President of the Student AVMA to the list of invited participants for attendance and participation in meetings of the AVMA Executive Board. Proposed wording is underlined.

Present and Proposed Wording

  Article V, Executive Board.
    Section 3, Invited Participants.

The Treasurer, Chair of the House Advisory Committee, President of the Student AVMA, Executive Vice President, and Assistant Executive Vice President shall be invited to attend and participate, without vote, in all regular and special meetings of the Executive Board.

Statement about the Bylaws Amendment

Currently, the President of the Student AVMA attends some Executive Board meetings as a guest. While the SAVMA President is sometimes called upon to provide information, presence as a guest somewhat curtails active participation in the meeting by the SAVMA President. Attendance as an invited participant with a seat at the table, like the Chair of the House Advisory Committee, will foster improved dialogue.

The Vice President will continue to speak on the student issues and retains his or her vote but the presence of the SAVMA President "at the table" can improve the Executive Board's understanding of veterinary student issues and recommendations, and also the Student AVMA's understanding of AVMA Executive Board actions.

Role of alternate delegate

2 Amend Bylaws ARTICLE VII—House of Delegates, Section 2-Composition, to better define the role of the Alternate Delegate. Proposed wording is underlined.

Present and Proposed Wording

  Article VII—House of Delegates
    Section 2, Composition.

The House of Delegates shall consist of one (1) delegate ("Delegate") and one (1) alternate delegate ("Alternate Delegate"). The Delegate and Alternate Delegate shall have equal authority and responsibility within the House of Delegates with the exception of voting rights (as defined in Article VII, Section 16). They are appointed by the following veterinary organizations:

  1. Each of the Principal Veterinary Organizations (as defined in Article VII, Section 3);
  2. Each of the Constituent Allied Veterinary Organizations (as defined in Article VII, Section 4);
  3. The Uniformed Services Organization (as defined in Article VII, Section 5); and
  4. The Student American Veterinary Medical Association (as defined in Article VII, Section 6).

Additionally, all of the Association's officers and members of the Executive Board shall be ex-officio members, without the right to vote, of the House of Delegates.

Statement about the Bylaws Amendment

The proposed bylaws amendment identifies that Delegates and Alternate Delegates have equal roles, other than voting rights. The amendment clarifies that the term "Alternate" does not have the meaning it has in other areas of AVMA governance, which is a person formally accepted as a substitute for a regular representative.

Term limits for delegates and alternate delegates

3 Amend Bylaws ARTICLE VII—House of Delegates, Section 9-Terms for Delegates and Alternate Delegates, to change the term of service of delegates and alternate delegates from a four (4) year term and to create new term limits of two three (3) year renewable terms for the delegate and the alternate delegate. Type that has a continuous line through it is proposed for deletion. Proposed wording is underlined.

Present and Proposed Wording

  Article VII-House of Delegates
    Section 9. Terms for Delegates and Alternate Delegates.

Delegates and Alternate Delegates shall each serve a four (4) year termno more than two consecutive three (3) year terms or until such time as their successors are appointed, qualified, and assume their duties.and take their position, subject to such term limits as may be imposed by the House of Delegates. An individual may serve up to twelve (12) consecutive years of combined service as Delegate or Alternate Delegate representing any organization in the House of Delegates. Fulfilling an unexpired term of one (1) year or less shall not be considered a full term, and shall not apply toward the term limit. Following the conclusion of their second three year term, the Delegate or Alternate Delegate shall only be eligible to serve in the converse position for no more than two three (3) year terms. Delegates and Alternate Delegates who complete twelve (12) consecutive years of service in the House of Delegates shall not be eligible to serve again for a period of three years.

With the proviso that: This amendment shall become effective at the conclusion of the current term of each Delegate or Alternate Delegate in position on January 9, 2010. The term limits in this amendment are only applicable after the Delegate or Alternate Delegate's current term has concluded.

Statement about the Bylaws Amendment

Discussions have identified and acknowledged the need for the House of Delegates to attract new members and fresh ideas. While many constituent organizations in the House of Delegates already have their own term limits, there are those who do not. As such, there are individuals who have served continuously in the House of Delegates for more than twelve years. While the argument exists that this issue belongs with the constituent organizations, this is the AVMA House of Delegates and as with all other AVMA entities, the AVMA sets the parameters of service.

While something can be said for having a certain amount of institutional memory in the House of Delegates, more can be said for fresh ideas brought about by the inclusion of new, diverse, and sometimes younger members. It is time that the House of Delegates got beyond being referred to as the "old boys network."

Twelve years of continuous service in the House of Delegates affords plenty of time for an individual to become acclimated, understand the workings, and become an effective member of the HOD.

There is a contention that some allied groups or smaller organizations represented in the House of Delegates might have problems finding replacements but finding a new person to fill a seat every six years is certainly feasible. In some cases, allied groups have their executive directors serving in the House of Delegates. Some would contend that a term limit would become problematic for this particular issue. Statistically, executive directors of associations usually serve no more than ten years.

Last but not least, most AVMA entities have terms of service that align with multiples of three years. Council and committee members serve no more than two consecutive three (3) year terms, House Advisory Committee members can serve two consecutive three (3) year terms, and Executive Board members serve for terms of six (6) years.

The House Advisory Committee will need to make appropriate adjustments to the House of Delegates Manual under the heading "Selection and tenure of delegates and alternate delegates" as necessary if this Bylaw amendment is approved.