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Let Me Hear From You

Let Me Hear From You

Bylaws Update

By M. Patrick Feeney, PhD

We heard you! The Academy Board of Directors thanks the members who provided comments during the extended comment period on the proposed Bylaws changes. The board reviewed the comments that had been received by the time of the board meeting on January 15-16. Additional comments were received until the end of the extended review period.

I would like to address one issue for which comments, pro and con, were received. That is section 3.2.3a, the formation of an Executive Committee composed of the president, past president, and president-elect, all who sit on the Board of Directors, and the executive director. The purpose and composition of the Executive Committee as indicated in section 3.2.3a of the proposed Bylaws is as follows:

“For purposes of continuity and mentoring of presidential leadership, an Executive Committee (EC) shall be established, to be composed of the president, past president, president-elect, and executive director. The EC has no voting rights or power to act for the board. Its purpose is to maintain consistent communication and to streamline agendas for the Board of Directors via regularly scheduled meetings.”

For years, the Academy president has had a weekly call with the past president, the president-elect, and the executive director for the purpose of continuity, mentoring, maintaining consistent communication, and organizing the flow of information to the Board of Directors. On these weekly calls, the business before the Academy (which may originate from a member of the board, an Academy member, an outsider organization, etc.) is organized so that issues that may wait for discussion at the next quarterly meeting of the board are set for that agenda. Issues that are more urgent and may not wait for a quarterly meeting may be placed on the monthly board conference call agenda, and issues that may not wait for a monthly board call are dealt with accordingly (e.g., by email to the Board of Directors, emergency conference call, call to a member by the president, etc.). There are some issues that may be referred directly to one of the 17 standing committees or task forces of the Academy for them to provide advice and recommendations to the board via their quarterly reports. There are some issues that may be referred to Academy staff through the executive director to be researched and the information brought back to the board. In all cases, this business before the Academy is managed initially on these weekly phone calls by the president, president-elect, past president, and executive director. The proposed change in the Bylaws gives this group a name, Executive Committee, and a specific purpose: “continuity and mentoring of presidential leadership.” The board reviewed comments for and against the Executive Committee concept as outlined here, and made the recommendation to the Governance Task Force to sustain the proposed amendment in the draft Bylaws.

This and other suggested changes in the proposed Bylaws for which the board received member comments have been sent back to the Governance Task Force to be considered for modification and final construction. Once final recommendations and changes are made based on member input, the board will then vote on the acceptance of the proposed Bylaws changes. The amended Bylaws will then be available for the membership on our Web site. The board is indebted to the Governance Task Force consisting of members: Karen Jacobs, Therese Walden, Kris English, Ted Glattke, and Chuck Martinez, and staff liaison Ed Sullivan, for their dedication to this arduous task, and to their deliberation and judgment on behalf of the membership in proposing these changes.