In 2018 it was determined that the AAAP bylaws needed a major overhaul. Over the years, the current bylaws had developed numerous inconsistencies, discrepancies from current or desired practice and critical omissions. It was also felt that certain parts of the bylaws needed clarification. 

An ad hoc committee was formed to address these issues.  This committee consisted of Nathaniel Tablante, AAAP President, John Smith, AAAP Past President, Eric Jensen, AAAP President-Elect, Suzanne Dougherty, AAAP Executive Vice President, Sam Christenberry, AAAP Director and Janece Bevans-Kerr, AAAP Director of Member Services.  John Smith chaired the committee and is the principle architect of the revision.

The proposed revision is now ready to be presented to AAAP members. It contains remedies to the above-mentioned flaws to the bylaws, new additions such as adding an associate member and student member to the Board of Directors. The proposed revision was reviewed by Adrian Hochstadt, a lawyer for the AVMA who made suggestions for improvement. The AAAP Board of Directors has reviewed the proposed revision and recommends the membership vote to approve it.

Changing AAAP’s name was recommended by a AAAP task force committee with advice from an outside consultant. Since a name change would be such a significant change for our organization, a separate amendment on that issue alone will be presented to the membership for a vote in August 2019 as well.

Members will also be asked to vote on the rest of the revised bylaws in August.  Because this is a major revision of the bylaws as opposed to amending smaller portions of the bylaws, the proposal is to approve or disapprove the bylaws revision in its entirety (except for the name change.)  If the revised bylaws are approved by the membership, amendments to specific portions of the bylaws can be proposed at a later date. The proposed bylaws revision will be discussed at the AAAP Business Meeting held in Washington D.C. on Sunday, August 4th at 10:45 am EST.  In August 2019 the membership will be asked to vote on the proposed amendment via an electronic vote.

Right now, members are asked to review the proposed revision and supporting documents. Members are invited to comment on and discuss the proposed revisions via the blog in the link below between now and the meeting in Washington D.C. The Board will periodically respond to questions and comments in this blog.

  1. Motion from Committee to Revise Bylaws
  2. Proposed Bylaws
  3. Proposed Bylaws with Comments

Click Here to Comment/Discuss

Major changes contained in proposed new bylaws

  1. Elimination of Districts:
    1. Districts will no longer be used in defining membership categories.  This change will result in elimination of “International Associate Member” as a member type, which will now be encompassed in the “Associate Member” category.  Currently, veterinarians in District 5 (Central and South America and Caribbean) can be full Members, but those in District 6 (International) can only be Associate Members, and Members in District 5 can vote only if present at a meeting.  Under the new proposal, veterinarians anywhere in the world can be full Members with voting rights, and Associate Members will have equivalent rights of membership regardless of where they reside.  (US veterinarians still must be AVMA members to be full Members.)
    2. Districts will no longer be used in the election of District Directors; there will be only Directors at Large. 
  2. An Associate Member will be added to the Board of Directors, with voting rights.
  3. A non-voting Student Member will be added to the Board of Directors
  4. All Directors (except the Student Director) to serve 4-year terms.  Under the old bylaws, the term of the District Directors was unclear and possibly only one year, but they have been serving 4 years.  The term of the Directors at Large was 2 years.
  5. Email voting for all Directors and Officers, and a call for nominations from the membership for all Directors and Officers.  (In addition, a Nominations Committee will continue to offer a slate of candidates.)  Under the current bylaws, only the District Directors are elected by email; the Directors at Large, the President-Elect, and the EVP are all elected at the annual meeting.
  6. Directors and Officers must reside in North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico).
  7. The amount for membership dues will be set by the Board of Directors.