Bylaws and Policies Committee Update
Dilip K. Sengupta, MD
Bylaws and Policies Committee Chair
The Bylaws and Policies Committee is charged with monitoring the bylaws and policies to make certain they are current and consistent with SRS activities. Should a change in bylaws or policies be deemed necessary, the committee is charged with drafting language for approval by the Board of Directors in the case of Policies or the SRS Active Members in the case of Bylaws.
Bylaws are the essential framework for the Society and outline such things as purpose, powers, classes of membership, voting rights, governance structure, terms of office, duties of officers, basic committee information and some legal references that are generally required for non-profit organizations. They are meant to be a lasting document and require majority approval by voting members for any amendments. Therefore, the bylaws generally outline basic requirements in terms of membership and governance, but only general guidelines for accepting new members, electing officers and board members, or appointing committees. Five Standing Committees are outlined in the SRS Bylaws: Education, Fellowship, Program, Bylaws and Policies and Nominating. All other committees are designated by the President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, and may be added, disbanded or changed as leadership determines is necessary based on changing activities within SRS.
The Policies are more of a “working manual” for SRS. In some cases, policies come from board decisions that are made to address a specific issue but will clearly apply to similar or future situations. In other cases, the Bylaws and Policies Committee is asked to develop language for a specific policy in response to a question, request or a change in the way things are done. Policies are meant to be more fluid and change as needed when circumstances or activities change.
Last September, at the request of the Board of Directors, the committee proposed five amendments which were approved by the membership. Three of those made minor changes to governance structure, including amending the Executive Committee to include the President, Immediate Past President, President Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer plus the Education and Research Council Chairs. There was also a change to make Active Fellows who have served as Directors or as Education or Research Council Chairs eligible to be nominated for the office positions of Vice President, Secretary-Elect or Treasurer-Elect. The goal of that change was to be consistent in requiring selection of people who have experience on the Board.
Two amendments added the option for Senior Candidate Fellows, allowing those individuals with twenty years of experience in active practice an option to become Active Fellows after completing requirements for two years of Candidate fellowship instead of five. The final change added the Secretary as an ex-officio member of the Fellowship Committee in order to facilitate better communication between that committee and the Board of Directors.
At their September meeting, at the request of the Board, the committee worked on two policy issues: use of the SRS logo by members and endorsed meetings. Those were presented to the Board for review at their meeting in March. The Board voted at that time to stop endorsing courses due to concerns about possible effect on the SRS brand since SRS has no control over the course and there is an increasing number of requests for endorsement.
The proposal to allow use of the SRS logo by members was approved as follows: “SRS members may use the SRS logo on business cards, letterhead, websites and presentation disclosure slides. The SRS logo may not be used to imply SRS involvement in any course or event.”
Thank you to past chair Karl Rathjen, MD, who led the effort on the amendments to the bylaws and to all of the committee members who contributed to the discussion in September, including 2014-15 Chair Jeffrey Coe, MD.
Chair: Dilip K. Sengupta, MD Past Chair: Karl E. Rathjen, MD Chair Elect: Evalina L. Burger, MD Committee Members: Carl R. St. Remy, MD; Surya Prakesh Rao Voleti, MD; Brian Hsu, MD