AVMA delegates consider changes at annual meeting

By Robert Knapp, DVM, M.S.
AVMA Ohio Delegate

The summer meeting of the AVMA House of Delegates was held July 9 and 10 in Boston, in conjunction with the AVMA Annual Convention. Highlights included: Dr. Gary Holfinger (Toledo) was recognized for his years of service as a trustee for the GHLIT; Dr. Joe Kinnarney (Reidsville, N.C.) assumed the presidency for the upcoming year; and Dr. Thomas Meyer (Vancouver, Wash.) became president-elect. Additionally, the U.S. Army Veterinary Corp, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, showed a video honoring individuals in service to our country.

A number of Bylaws Amendments and Resolutions, summarized below, were also discussed and acted upon.

Bylaw Amendment 3 – PASSED: Term limits for Board of Directors changed to six years

Bylaw Amendment 4 – PASSED: Expands who may be eligible to represent veterinary medical colleges on Council on Research to include dean, associate dean of research or equivalent, and director of acomparative medicine or veterinary sciences

Bylaw Amendment 5 – PASSED: Adds two positions to Board of Governors

Resolution 7 – PASSED: Revised Policy on Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing and Education

Resolution 8 – Referred to committee for revision/clarification: Policy on Veterinary Pharmacology Education for Pharmacists

Resolution 9– Referred to committee for review/revision: Revised Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics

Resolution 10    Amended and PASSED: Voting transparency

Resolution 11 –  FAILED: Established a one-year moratorium on all new accreditation actions

Resolution 12 – FAILED: Establish a Veterinary Accreditation Review Board

Resolution 13 – FAILED: Establish a veterinary education accreditation agency

Resolution 14 – FAILED: Organizational options for an accrediting agency

Resolutions 11, 12, 13 and 14, all concerning the Council on Education (COE), generated a significant amount of debate during open discussion sessions for Delegates, Reference Committee meetings, District Caucuses and on the Floor during the official session. The primary concerns centered on the lack of autonomy or possible influence on the COE by AVMA’s Board of Directors or staff, as well as changes in accreditation standards or uneven application of those standards. During these discussions, we reviewed past changes in the COE selection process and COE composition, and comments addressing the difficulty getting a new accrediting body established and recognized in a timely manner. Additionally, there are currently a number of accreditation standards under review, which, if enacted, may address some stated concerns.

After reviewing the Resolutions’ supporting documents, recent changes to COE membership and participation, proposed accreditation standards, and the uncertainty around whether a new accrediting agency could be established and recognized within the proposed one-year timeframe proposed (and if would even be significantly different than the COE as it has already been restructured), the House, including Ohio, voted against all four Resolutions by significant margins.

Issues surrounding the Council of Education have obviously been a source of significant debate. For more information on specific questions and concerns, view the COE FAQ document (pdf).

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