Resolution to halt AVMF promotion defeated

New Foundation board member hopes to help resolve concerns
Published on August 15, 2005
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A resolution brought forward by the California VMA calling for the AVMA Executive Board to suspend promotion of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation to AVMA members was disapproved by the House of Delegates, July 16.

California delegate, Dr. George W. Bishop, told the HOD that the CVMA submitted Resolution 5 after finding that the AVMF's expense-to-income ratio was not common knowledge among delegates from other states in District X.

The resolution called for suspended promotion "until the expense-to-income ratio has been reduced from 79%, as reported in the 2004 Executive Service Corporation report, to the national average of 35% or below."

Dr. Bishop told delegates, "It seems disingenuous to ask members to donate when the funds spent on management and fund raising are excessive." He said that many members no longer donate, and because of management issues, the Auxiliary to the AVMA has removed the Student Loan Fund from the AVMF, which had administered it since 1965.

"The Foundation must survive with a renewed business plan. This resolution will not destroy the Foundation; it will energize it," he said.

With no further discussion, however, the HOD disapproved the resolution.

At a July 15 meeting of Reference Committee 4/Finance, there had been considerable discussion of the resolution. Delegates assigned to that committee listened to information presented by CVMA representatives and by Dr. Robert P. Gordon, then chair of the AVMF, and posed questions. A key point Dr. Gordon underscored is that the AVMF's single biggest expense is grants given, so to get an accurate representation of a foundation's record, grants must be removed from the expenses part of the expense-to-income ratio.

After the HOD defeated the resolution, several members of the AVMA Executive Board and the House Advisory Committee approached Dr. Bishop, asking whether he would be willing to serve on the AVMF board of directors, if he were nominated.

"It seemed rather disingenuous to point out issues that we were concerned about in California but also to not be willing to help make things better," Dr. Bishop told JAVMA. "So, rather than just pointing out problems on the issues, I felt it better that I work on them."

Subsequently, Dr. Bishop was nominated to the AVMF board, and the AVMA Executive Board appointed him July 20. Dr. Bishop already serves Executive Board appointments to the Legislative Advisory Committee and Political Action Committee but says he will find time to do a good job for the Foundation as well.

"My specific interests on being on the Foundation board are more financial, not necessarily fund raising—not that I wouldn't, at all—but to see that the financial affairs are in proper order," Dr. Bishop said. "That's my prime interest, that there's a business plan in place, a marketing plan in place, a strong budget, and that everything is adhered to."

During the AVMA convention, Dr. R. Tracy Rhodes, District IX Executive Board member, succeeded Dr. Gordon as chair of the Foundation. Dr. Gordon continues on the AVMF board of directors.

Dr. R.L. Collinson was honored July 17 as director emeritus of the AVMF for his long and distinguished service. Dr. Collinson was one of the founding directors of the AVMF in 1963, serving as vice president. He also served as chair for several years, stepping down from the board of directors in 2005 after 42 years of service.

Dr. Collinson earned his DVM degree from Colorado State University in 1942. In addition to his involvement with the AVMF, he served on the AVMA councils on Public Relations and Veterinary Service, and as president of the American Animal Hospital Association.

Several sizeable donations were made to the Foundation at this year's AVMA convention.