AVMA Task Force Posts a Report on Revamping the Association’s Governance Structure

After more than a year of extensive research into issues facing U.S. associations today, AVMA’s Task Force on Governance & Membership Participation has released its much-awaited report, which proposes a new governance structure. The Task Force believes that the proposed new system will be more nimble and provide for greater member involvement in the activities of the Association. The report, which AVMA’s Executive Board is making publically available today, incorporates hundreds of member comments collected throughout the yearlong process. All AVMA members are encouraged to take a look at the report and provide their comments on NOAH.

In response to recommendations from the AVMA 20/20 Vision Commission Report and requests and resolutions from both the House of Delegates and the Executive Board, the Task Force was charged with evaluating the association’s governance system and to design a new structure that will meet the future needs of our membership, association and profession. The Task Force used the latest best practices in association governance, the results from the Governance Summit attended by veterinary leaders from diverse backgrounds, discussions from the most recent AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, input from the House of Delegates and Executive Board, and much appreciated feedback from hundreds of AVMA members to synthesize into its report. The result is a proposed new governance system that:

  • Is designed to be more responsive to members’ needs for information and assistance;
  • Will provide greater value on association expenditures;
  • Will create more volunteer leadership opportunities for members for either short- or long-term time commitments; and
  • Will ensure that individual members have a vote, and that the association maintains a strong voice.

The proposed governance model will consist of:

  • Board of Directors – comprised of four officers, 13 directors, the Executive Vice President and the Assistant EVP serving ex officio. Eleven of the 13 directors will represent current geographic districts.
  • Advisory Councils – that will provide support for each of AVMA’s core strategic areas, including: Economics and Practice, Animal Welfare and Ethics, Education, Governmental and External Relations, Scientific Activities, and Membership and Governance.
  • Volunteer Resources Committee – that will help identify and recruit the best candidates for various leadership positions.
  • Veterinary Issues Forum – that will be an evolution from the House of Delegates and serve as a gathering place for in-person meetings with all interested stakeholders, including state and allied veterinary groups.

Since the Task Force has delivered its report and therefore concluded its work, the Executive Board has formed a team of AVMA volunteer leaders named the Governance Engagement Team to communicate with members about the report, solicit feedback, and submit a final governance proposal to the Executive Board.

As we have seen this year and will learn more about at our July convention, AVMA has a rich 150-year history that has continued to adapt to meet changes in global veterinary medicine, technology, communication, business operations and human capital. In order to continue meeting the challenges of the next 150 years, we need a governance structure that is more efficient and engaging for all generations of veterinarians.

For more information on the Task Force, including its history and links to the report and related documents, see AVMA’s website.

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