Q: How does the COE staff support the COE?
A: The AVMA provides the primary support staff for the Council on Education (COE). The AAVMC also provides a staff member to support the Council in addition to those designated by the AVMA. COE staff members attend Council meetings and site visits to support Council members and COE site visitors. The responsibility of staff is not to create policy nor to make accreditation decisions. Rather, it is to provide sufficient background information to allow members to make informed decisions and to execute those decisions. Staff serve strictly an administrative role. They have no vote and limited voice during Council meetings. Staff provide a source of institutional memory and member training to ensure continuity and consistency in the accreditation process.
Staff members are obligated to follow COE policies and procedures first and foremost when carrying out their responsibilities. It is not always apparent to every COE member that staff work through the COE Chair and Executive Committee to serve the Council on a day-to-day basis, which can lead to misperceptions regarding how staff function. If there is any question about the interpretation of COE policies and procedures or a COE decision, the Chair is always consulted. If the issue is time sensitive and the Chair believes the decision or interpretation of existing policy requires wider input, the COE Executive Committee is consulted. If the Chair and/or the COE Executive Committee believe the situation calls for consultation with the entire Council, then e-mails are sent or a conference call is scheduled. Staff notifies the full Council of any significant decisions or actions taken between meetings at the direction of the Chair. Decisions that are not time sensitive automatically go on the agenda for consideration by the full Council at the next regularly scheduled meeting.