During the association year 2000-2001, 19 amendments to the AVMA Constitution and Bylaws have been proposed. Of those, 13 are bylaws amendments, which the House of Delegates votes on the same year they are submitted. Constitutional amendments, on the other hand, are introduced one year and voted on the next. One constitutional amendment was introduced to the HOD last year and will be voted on this July; five will be introduced to the HOD this July and voted on in 2002.
At its April meeting, the Executive Board discussed 14 of the proposed constitutional and bylaws amendments and made recommendations to the HOD for approval or disapproval (for text of these amendments, see page 1703). The board had already made its recommendations on the other five amendments last November (see JAVMA, Jan 15, 2001, page 177).
This year, the proposed bylaws amendments have the most direct consequences for AVMA members. One would increase the annual dues for active members from $200 to $225 beginning with calendar year 2002. Dues for other membership categories would be raised proportionately. The Executive Board recommended approval.
A related amendment would clarify which internships and residencies qualify an AVMA member for reduced dues while they are engaged in that pursuit. To be eligible, an active or associate AVMA member must be pursuing a full-time program of graduate study, postgraduate study, internship, or residency at an accredited college or university or in a residency program approved by an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty board or college. The Executive Board recommended approval of this amendment. (The current reduced dues rate is $90, but that would increase to $100 if the HOD approves the amendment to increase annual dues.)
An amendment to the existing apportionment bylaw would realign the 11 Executive Board districts in two phases, between 2002 and 2006. The stages are described in the text of the proposed amendments on page 1703 of this issue. The Executive Board recommended approval.
The three constitutional amendments reviewed in April relate to the AVMA officers. The Executive Board recommended approval of the two that are being introduced this year. One provides that if the office of president-elect were vacated, the vice president would assume the duties and responsibilities of that office, but not assume the title of president-elect or be eligible to ascend to the presidency. The other would synchronize the beginning of the officers' terms with the first Executive Board meeting of the new association year, held within a few days after the close of the HOD annual session.
The board recommended disapproval of the third constitutional amendment that is up for final action in July. Its intent is the same as the other amendment to synchronize officers' terms, but its language is less precise.
The Executive Board recommended approval of a proposed bylaws change that would enable permanent residents of the United States and Canada as well as citizens to apply for affiliate membership in the AVMA. This category is for teachers of veterinary medicine or allied sciences, and persons engaged in veterinary research. Affiliate members have the same rights as active members, but cannot hold office or vote.
The Student AVMA submitted a bylaws amendment that retains the provision that the Student AVMA president serve as delegate to the AVMA but would enable the Student AVMA to select its alternate delegate. Presently, the alternate delegate is the president-elect, who serves in that office only from March to July. The Executive Board recommended approval.
The board recommended approval of another bylaws amendment to restructure the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents by increasing its membership from 10 to 12 and adjusting the composition.
Several other bylaws amendments are housekeeping items, and the board recommended they be approved. They would:
- replace the term "colleges" with "schools/colleges" in a section of the bylaws relating to the Council on Education
- revise the charge to the Council on Research
- redefine the HOD reference committees so their assignments fall more consistently along lines of subject matter and their workloads are more evenly distributed
- change the name of the American Association of Swine Practitioners to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians in the listing allied organizations currently represented in the HOD
- set forth the operational procedures and order of business for HOD annual sessions in an HOD manual rather than in the bylaws, offering more flexibility than the general order of business currently observed.