Board gives opinion on adding seats in House, changing start date of officer terms

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Two proposed amendments to the AVMA Constitution were considered for introduction to the House of Delegates, July 21 in Salt Lake City. One would provide representation for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges in the HOD and the other changes when the new AVMA officers' terms commence. The board recommended disapproval on the former and approval on the latter for introduction to the HOD.

During his address to the HOD in New Orleans as incoming president, Dr. Leonard F. Seda suggested that the AVMA provide a seat in the House for the AAVMC. During the April 6-8 board meeting, Dr. Seda explained that the AVMA is working closely with the AAVMC (as well as AAHA) in developing a plan of action in response to the Megastudy, through organizing the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI).

Some board members feel, however, that the AVMA/AAVMC alliance is already established because of the NCVEI, and therefore, allowing the AAVMC to be seated in the House is unnecessary.

In the other proposed amendment, which will be introduced in July, the board recommended that the HOD amend the constitution to allow the president, president-elect, and vice president to begin their terms at the first regular meeting of the Executive Board following the close of the annual session of the House of Delegates at which the individuals were elected. Currently these officers take office at the end of the Annual Convention following the HOD session at which the individuals were elected, which is after the first Executive Board meeting of the new association year.

Bylaws changes are acted on the same year they are proposed to the HOD.

The board recommended amending the AVMA Bylaws to add to the section about duties of the Executive Board: "Be responsible for organizational vision planning and coordination" (see related story, page 1706).

In addition, the board recommended approval to change the bylaws section about ownership of papers presented during the AVMA Annual Convention. The copyright on materials printed in the AVMA Convention Notes would remain with the person(s) or entity holding copyright at the time the material is submitted for inclusion in the Convention Notes.

The board also recommended approval of a change to the bylaws to have two faculty advisors elected by each student AVMA chapter. The intent of the recommendation is to allow increased participation of advisers at SCAVMA functions. Currently the bylaws call for "at least one but not more than two" advisers.

Approval was recommended by the board to delete reference to maximum earning limit established by the US government among the criteria to be met by members seeking dues exemption after retirement.

The bylaws change would ensure compliance with the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which President Clinton signed into law April 7. The new law protects the Social Security benefits of workers ages 65 to 69, regardless of their income.

The final proposed bylaw change, which the board recommended the HOD approve, defines more clearly when the board's fifth meeting of the year is held.

For text of all the proposed amendments to the AVMA Constitution and Bylaws, see page 1709.