At its meeting in March, the Council on Education (COE) took several actions that impact AVMA-COE interactions. At their April meeting, the AVMA Board of Directors also took several actions that impact the relationship.
In fall 2014, the COE selected a subcommittee of members to review the existing Board of Directors liaison as well as the policy regarding AVMA board members attending site visits. At the March COE meeting, the subcommittee recommended to the COE that AVMA Board members no longer be included on site visits; the COE approved this recommendation and policies and procedures document will be revised to reflect this change. Because this is a COE policy, no Board of Directors vote is required to enact it; however, the COE sent a memorandum to the Board to inform them of this policy change. The Board is fully supportive of this change.
The subcommittee also recommended, and the COE agreed, that the Board of Directors non-voting liaison to the COE should be discontinued. Because the board liaison position was established by AVMA Board of Directors policy action, the COE forwarded a recommendation to the AVMA Board of Directors requesting discontinuation of the liaison. At its board meeting on April 9-11, the AVMA Board of Directors approved the recommendation.
The Board of Directors also approved a recommendation, submitted by the AVMA Office of Executive Vice President, to approve funding to cover fees for outside legal counsel to provide legal advice to the COE.
In addition, the Board discussed the membership of the COE Selection Committee that selects AVMA members who serve on the Council. A recommendation was put forth by a board member, based on that discussion, that revised the committee composition to remove the two BOD and one HOD members and replace the positions with three at-large positions. In addition, the approved recommendation also states that no members of the COE selection committee can simultaneously serve in the HOD or BOD. The revised committee entity description will be posted on the AVMA website.
We’ve listened. AVMA leadership and COE understand that members are concerned about the strength of the firewall between the COE and AVMA Board of Directors. Both groups felt these actions were necessary to reassure members that although the COE is under the umbrella of the AVMA, its actions and decisions are not influenced by AVMA leadership. The COE has preserved and advanced the integrity of veterinary medical education for nearly 80 years, and our profession’s faith in and support of that service is critical to the continued advancement of the veterinary profession. The COE and AVMA leadership appreciate members’ input on accreditation, and are confident that this feedback can strengthen the process.
If you’d like to receive more information and updates from the COE, please sign up for the COE Standard email newsletter (available to AVMA members only). The AVMA will also be sharing COE Standard content and accreditation updates on the AVMA@Work blog. We will keep you informed of accreditation issues and the progress and status of the COE’s recognition through these channels.