Foreign accreditation, AVMA governance to be reviewed

AVMA board forms task forces to address HOD questions
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AVMA leadership session
AVMA House Advisory Committee chair Dr. George Bishop (center) believes members of the House of Delegates will be satisfied with the work of the two new task forces. (Photo by R. Scott Nolen)

The AVMA Executive Board has approved the goals and structures for two task forces in response to AVMA House of Delegates' requests for evaluations of Association governance and the role of the AVMA in accrediting foreign veterinary schools.

Each of the resolutions recommending the assessments won majority support during the HOD regular annual session this past July (see JAVMA, Sept. 1, 2011).

The VMAs from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah submitted the resolution calling for a task force studying whether U.S. veterinarians benefit from the AVMA Council on Education's accreditation of foreign veterinary schools.

Questions about the role of the HOD brought about the resolution submitted by the Executive Board and House Advisory Committee to appoint a task force charged with determining whether the current AVMA governance structure will meet future needs of the membership, profession, and Association.

After conducting a thorough review of the two resolutions, the Executive Board structured the task forces so as to provide appropriate participation and proper focus on the issues, observed the HAC chair and HOD liaison to the Executive Board, Dr. George Bishop.

"I think the HOD will be pleased with the seriousness the Executive Board has demonstrated in establishing the task forces and will be very satisfied with the outcome," Dr. Bishop said.

Foreign veterinary school accreditation

The Task Force on Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation is charged with evaluating several issues, starting with the current environment and projected over 10 years. The group is to prepare a written informational report, "without prejudice," for the Executive Board.

Those issues will be the impact of foreign veterinary school accreditation on the U.S. veterinary profession, and the quality of standards for the U.S. veterinary profession; the impact of not requiring certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Medical Education for graduates of AVMA Council on Education-accredited foreign schools; how foreign veterinary school accreditation serves the needs and interests of the public and of AVMA members; the existence of any international pressure on the COE to accredit foreign veterinary schools; and the logistic resources required to accredit foreign veterinary schools.

Nominations for the 11-member task force are already being accepted. Members will be appointed by an ad hoc committee consisting of the Executive Board chair, president, president-elect, executive vice president, House Advisory Committee chair, Student AVMA president, and task force chair. The task force chair will be appointed by the executive vice president and AVMA Board of Governors, which consists of the AVMA board chair, president, and president-elect.

The board appropriated $25,000 for the task force's work, including up to two two-day meetings at AVMA headquarters.

AVMA governance

The Task Force on Governance and Member Participation is charged with reviewing and evaluating the AVMA governance structure, including the Executive Board, HOD, councils, committees, task forces, commissions, trusts, and all other entities.

The review should account for an entity's purpose and effectiveness; member election or appointment method; and the quality, outcome, and satisfaction of membership involvement.

Additionally, the governance evaluation should determine whether the current structure will meet future needs of the membership, the profession, and the Association. The task force will develop a vision of the AVMA governance that considers the qualities and attributes of governance as generally outlined by the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission in its final report to the board.

The board encourages the task force to use such resources as member input, external experts and consultants, and other information to leverage and complement its knowledge and evaluation of AVMA governance.

The 11-member task force will be appointed by the same ad hoc committee that will name the Foreign Veterinary School Accreditation Task Force.

The board designated $45,000 for the task force, which is authorized to hold up to three two-day meetings at AVMA headquarters.

Both task forces will be sunset following submission of their reports to the board.