It is up to you to make the final decision in the form of an official vote on the proposed changes to the ASHI Bylaws. The Council of Representatives (CoR) agreed in January to present a motion to reduce the size of the Board of Directors. This motion was presented at the April Board meeting and the Board approved it. A vote of the membership will be conducted this summer to see if ASHI members agree to this change in the bylaws. It is very important that all members participate by voting, as it takes a considerable number of responses to have a valid vote to change the bylaws. Watch your email for your e-ballot and when you receive it, please cast your vote. It will take only a moment of your time.
The proposed amendment will reduce the number of Directors from 15 to 12. The balance of power will remain the same, as the Officers will lose a vote by the Immediate Past-President becoming a non-voting position. The bylaw change is worded as follows:
6.4 Composition of the Board. The Board shall consist of twenty-one 17 voting members: fifteen 12 directors and six five officers. The Immediate Past-President will be an ex-officio member of the Board with no vote.
6.4.0 The above composition will be achieved by reduction of seats available and attrition over three years, allowing for 14 Directors in 2016, and 13 Directors in 2017 and ultimately 12 Directors in 2018. This provision will sunset with the induction of the 2018 Directors.Pros
The CoR’s rationale is that reducing the number of members of the Board of Directors will enable the Board to operate more efficiently, reduce the burden on the CoR to fill candidate positions and save funds that can be put to better use enhancing value to our members.
- A reduction in Board size can save ASHI approximately $16,000-$20,000 annually.
- A reduction in Board size will allow for more comfortable meeting arrangements at the ASHI office facility.
- A reduction in Board size could allow for a more efficient work environment, potentially resulting in more work getting done and in a timely fashion.
- A reduction in Board size will bring ASHI’s composition closer to the norm for association structure.
- A reduction in Board size will reduce the burden on the Director, Nominating Committee, to fill slates each year.
- The removal of the vote from the Immediate Past-President position will maintain the perceived balance of power within the Board by compensating for the loss of three votes by Directors.
Discussion surrounding this issue also has included dialogue that is not in favor of reducing the size of the Board. The following points represent the opposing positions:
- The original premise to save money is a moot point, as costs have been cut and we have a surplus due to the hard work of staff and the Board.
- Currently, ASHI has 10 active Directors and five “freshmen” who are being mentored into the position. Directors fall into the following three distinct classes:
- “Freshmen” who have no experience and who spend most of their first year of service getting up to speed on ASHI policies and procedures, as well as the politics involved;
- “Sophomores” who begin to contribute to the process and who have the experience to serve in different capacities;
- Seasoned Directors who are immersed in the process, who typically serve on several task forces, who are actively involved with ASHI Education, Inc. (AEI) and the Foundation, and who may be ready to move on.
- Volunteers cannot always devote a significant amount of time to ASHI as they all continue to run their businesses. This factor alone dictates the need to have more volunteers, not fewer volunteers.
- We (like the U.S. Congress) may be large; however, some elected Directors do not contribute in a meaningful way to ASHI during their three-year term. Because this is inevitable, we need other Directors to pick up the slack.
- Words like “nimble” no longer apply. With the ability to call a webinar in a matter of a few days, any major issue can be handled in a judicious and expedient manner.
A projected savings of up to $20,000 from meeting expenses could be allocated to improve ASHI and better serve its members.Please vote! When you receive your e-ballot, please take a minute to vote. Remember, it is your decision because it is your ASHI.