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Proposed amendments to the APA bylaws

Wednesday, December 02, 2015  
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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At its November 2015 meeting, the board of officers proposed the following amendments to the association bylaws. View the current APA bylaws.

 


 

Amendment 1: Term Limits for Standing Committee Chairs

Chairs of the APA’s six standing committees (Academic Career Opportunities and Placement; International Cooperation; Inclusiveness in the Profession; Lectures, Publications, and Research; Status and Future of the Profession; Teaching of Philosophy) currently have the strictest term limits of any members of the APA board of officers. Even the chair of the board, whose term is once renewable, faces no explicit prohibition on future terms. It would be more appropriate to make committee chairs subject to the same term restrictions as the chair of the board.  Further, committee chairs are selected through the same process as other committee members—nominated by association members and appointed by the board—rather than elected by the board. Therefore, the board of officers proposes the following amendment to the bylaws of the association.

Current Bylaws

7.6. Chairs of Standing Committees: Election, Term of Office. 
The chairs of standing committees shall be elected by the board. Chairs shall normally serve a full term of three years, and under normal circumstances shall be ineligible after the completion of their terms to serve as chair of any standing committee. Under no circumstances shall a person serve more than two consecutive, full terms as the chair of the same standing committee.

Proposed Amended Bylaws

7.6. Chairs of Standing Committees: Election, Term of Office. 
The chairs of standing committees shall be nominated by one or more members of the association and appointed by the board. Chairs of standing committees shall serve a term of three years, once renewable.

Amendment 2: Notice of Board Meetings

The APA bylaws currently require 10 days’ written notice of any board meeting. However, now that the board has the option to meet via electronic means, this amount of notice is not always necessary. Further, the amount of notice required to call a board meeting need not be specified in the bylaws and instead should be set by the board itself. Therefore, the board proposes the following amendment to the bylaws of the association.

Should the following amendment be adopted, the board has adopted the following policy for notice of board meetings:

Notice of Board Meetings

The executive director shall provide at least 10 days’ notice of each in-person meeting of the board of officers. The executive director shall provide at least two business days’ notice of each board meeting that is to be held via teleconference or other electronic means.

The board of officers affirms that all of its meetings must be accessible to all board members, and that providing accessibility accommodations supersedes the above requirements for minimum notice of a meeting. If any member of the board requires additional notice of a board meeting to secure appropriate accommodations, the amount of notice that board member requires shall be deemed the minimum required notice for that meeting.

Current Bylaws

7.9. Meetings of the Board of Officers. 
A. The board shall meet at least once a year. The executive director shall provide at least ten (10) days written notice of each board meeting to the officers, stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

Proposed Amended Bylaws

7.9. Meetings of the Board of Officers. 
A. The board shall meet at least once a year. The executive director shall provide notice of each board meeting to the officers, stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

Amendment 3: Implementation of Amendments to Divisional Bylaws

The legal review of the APA’s governance and structure presented to the board in November 2014 recommended that the board provide advance permission for any divisional bylaws amendments, and also that, in the event of any inconsistencies with the national bylaws, the latter should prevail. The second point is already incorporated in article 6.2.B of the APA bylaws, but could perhaps be made more explicit. The first point as it stands does not sit well with APA culture. However, the essential force of the recommendation could be achieved by requiring the divisions to wait to implement any new bylaws until after the board has the opportunity to consider whether they are consistent with the APA bylaws. A 90-day implementation delay for divisional bylaws amendments will allow for the board to consider any such changes at its next quarterly board meeting or call a special meeting if none is currently scheduled during the review period. Therefore, the board of officers proposes the following amendment to the bylaws of the association.

Current Bylaws

6.2. Bylaws of the Divisions. 
B. A division may adopt such divisional bylaws as it sees fit, including bylaws for amending and adding bylaws to the divisional bylaws, unless, within a twelve-month period, the Board determines that they are not consonant with the purpose of the Association or are not consistent with the bylaws of the Association.

Proposed Amended Bylaws

6.2. Bylaws of the Divisions. 
B. A division may adopt such divisional bylaws as it sees fit, including bylaws for amending and adding bylaws to the divisional bylaws, unless the Board determines that they are not consonant with the purpose of the Association or are not consistent with the bylaws of the Association. In order to allow the Board to make this determination before any new or amended divisional bylaws are implemented, new or amended divisional bylaws shall not come into effect until at least ninety days following their approval by the Division.


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