Experience Requirement for Nomination to Board or President
There has been considerable discussion over the past few weeks regarding a change to the policies and procedures for nomination to the Board of the Academy. Primarily, there has been concern expressed about the 10-year experiential requirement to the Board and the 15-year experiential requirement for nomination for President. The primary concern has been that this requirement excludes younger professionals from serving on the Board, some of who may have experiences that are felt to prepare them for service at this level.
The proposal to change the policies and procedures to include these requirements was made nearly two years ago by a task force created to inject greater objectivity into the nominations process. In addition to the changes in the experiential requirements, the changes also included the development of a rubric to provide the Nominations Committee with a more consistent means of evaluating the qualifications of nominees, and to provide a venue at the convention where candidates could present their perspectives and goals to the membership. The task force that proposed these changes included members with less than ten years of experience. The Board, including a representative of the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA), vetted the proposals before adopting the changes.
The Academy has a process to follow to change policy and procedure, including the experiential requirement for serving on the Board. (The President cannot unilaterally change a policy or procedure.) That being said, the Nominations Committee this year had already been tasked with evaluating the current nominations process for gaps, areas for improvement, or means of streamlining the process. We are now almost through the second cycle of the current process, so the time is appropriate to review the process put in place two cycles ago. This is not to say we are abandoning the current process, only that we look to strengthen it.
In direct response to the concerns expressed, we have added additional young professionals to the nominations review process. I have also asked some of those individuals who contacted me directly to consider other means to assure the input of young professionals into the large operations and decision processes of the Academy. I cannot argue with the reality that the young professionals have a good majority of their working life ahead of them and therefore should be involved in their professional organization.
The Academy does appreciate the thoughtful and enthusiastic input from our younger colleagues, as well as input from all our members. I will report back when the process has run its course, and any proposed changes emerge. Thanks to everyone for the feedback.