AVMA proposes revamping governance structure

AVMA has released a new report that examines its current governance structure and recommends a "more nimble" system.

The American Veterinary Medical Assn.'s (AVMA) executive board has made available to membership a detailed report that examines the association's current governance structure and makes recommendations for a proposed system that will be "more nimble and provide for greater member involvement" in AVMA activities. AVMA announced June 11 that the Task Force on Governance and Member Participation's (TFGMP) report is the result of more than a year of extensive internal and external research on issues facing the association and other similar professional organizations across the U.S. and took into consideration hundreds of comments made by AVMA members.

The task force, formed by the AVMA executive board as a result of a AVMA House of Delegates resolution at its 2011 regular annual session, was charged with reviewing and evaluating the association's governance system and determining if the current system is optimal to meet the future needs of the membership, association and profession. Using AVMA's 20/20 Vision Commission Report as the basis for the creation of an evolved organizational structure and governance process, the task force sought to propose a governance model that will:

* Be more responsive to membership needs;

* Provide better value on investment;

* Serve members and the profession more efficiently and effectively;

* Be nimble enough to meet future governance challenges, and

* Provide volunteer opportunities that are rewarding.

In its newly released report, the task force outlines a revamped governance structure for AVMA that includes:

* A Board of Directors, which will act as one body with management responsibility, policy authority and fiduciary duty, in conjunction with Illinois' state law.

* Advisory Councils, which will support AVMA's core strategic areas including Economics and Practice, Animal Welfare & Ethics, Education, Governmental & External Relations, Scientific Activities and Membership & Governance.

* A Volunteer Resources Committee (VRC), which will be responsible for identifying and recruiting the best candidates for various volunteer leadership positions.

* A Veterinary Issues Forum (VIF), which will bring together key stakeholders, including state and allied veterinary associations, to solicit feedback and identify strategic issues where AVMA can strengthen and enhance the future of the veterinary profession.

The Executive Board will form a new Governance Engagement Team (GET), which will be comprised of AVMA volunteer leaders and members, who will lead the next phase of the project by discussing the report during the July House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, Ill. The team will solicit feedback about the proposed structure from AVMA members, the House of Delegates and councils and committees at large, adjust the model as needed and submit a final governance proposal to the executive board.

The report and its appendices can be found on AVMA's website.

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