The ASCLS Board of Directors is recommending the following changes to the ASCLS Bylaws. These amendments will be discussed and voted upon at the House of Delegates meeting to be held Thursday, August 2, 2018, at the Swissotel Chicago.
Background: For the last two years, ASCLS leadership, including the board, and the membership, policy and procedures, and bylaws committees have been working on a reforming the membership dues structures and the governance structures aligned with them. Leadership identified a number of shortcomings with the current system, which had evolved organically over many years. These bylaws amendments, along with changes to existing policies (see related article) clarify the membership classes, aligns them with the House of Delegates and Board of Directors structures, and brings congruence with the Forums and those eligible to join and lead them.
strikethroughs are deletions. Words that are underlined are additions. Where there are inconsistencies in naming conventions, the amendments voted on the latest take precedent.
Amendment 1: Changing Membership Class Names
Rationale: Changes in this section address changes to the naming conventions for membership classes and clarify what benefits are available to each class.
Emeritus Members: Currently, there are a significant number of members who are eligible for the lower dues and other benefits associated with this membership class. However, many choose not to take advantage because they continue to be involved in the profession (some continuing to work on a part time basis) and feel the name “emeritus” reflects an inaccurate image of disengaging from the profession. For those that have devoted so much time and effort over their lifetimes to ASCLS and the profession, this membership should celebrate these members’ contributions and reward them. Changing the name to “Platinum Professional” and removing the requirement that the person be retired from “gainful employment” allows ASCLS to provide a reward for our most loyal members.
Collaborative Members: This class was originally designed for those with other society memberships, but this has been unpractical to maintain appropriate records assuring membership in other societies is maintained. Still, a need exists for a simpler, lower cost membership with a narrower set of benefits for people who simply want to stay up to date on what is happening in the profession. Currently, less than 300 individuals take advantage of this type of membership.
New Professional Members: ASCLS experiences a significant drop off in renewals from First Year Professional Members who receive discounted membership dues in their first year out of school to the second year when they become regular professional members and their dues increase. Earlier this year, the ASCLS Board approved extending these lowered dues levels for up to five years for those new graduates. This now aligns this membership category to the definition of “New Professional” in the ASCLS governance structure. A revised name shifts the focus from their transition into the profession (“new”) to their development as professionals, which is the goal of ASCLS membership.
Student Members: ASCLS wants to build a sense of professionalism in its members from the moment they enter school. Renaming the student membership to one focused on the growth of these individuals into the profession through their current educational settings (“Developing Professional”) establishes that sense of professionalism from the very beginning.
ARTICLE III — MEMBERSHIP
Membership in this Society is open to all persons interested in the clinical laboratory sciences and shall consist of the following classes: professional,
collaborative community, emeritus platinum, student developing, ascending, and honorary. The Board of Directors of the Society shall from time to time review the classes of membership with the qualifications and the rights and privileges of each.
B. Membership Classes
The general qualifications for each class of membership are as follows: Each category of membership requires that the individual be a member of a constituent society. For each category of membership:
Professional membership shall be open to all persons certified or engaged in the education process and/or the practice of the clinical laboratory sciences, including those with an active interest supporting the goals of this Society;
Collaborative Community membership shall be open to all persons. who currently hold membership in any other health related membership organization.
Emeritus Platinum membership shall be open to any member who has retired from gainful employment achieved a minimum standard of continuous membership and age.
Student Developing Professional
Student Developing Professional membership shall be open to any person enrolled in a program of clinical laboratory studies;
Honorary membership shall be awarded by vote of the House of Delegates in recognition of outstanding service or contributions to the field of clinical laboratory science.
First Year Professional Ascending Professional
Ascending Professional membership is open to any
student member or individual eligible for student membership, upon completion of requirements for P professional membership, if the individual has not held previous membership other than Student Developing Professional or Ascending Professional membership in this Society and is within five years of graduation from a program of clinical laboratory studies.
C. Rights and Privileges
1. Professional and
FYP Ascending Professional members are entitled to all rights and privileges to include voting, holding office and serving in any formal capacity recognized by the Society.
Emeritus Platinum Professional members are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Society to include voting, holding office, and serving in any formal capacity recognized by the Society associated with that class of membership held at the time of application for emeritus membership.
Student Developing Professional members are entitled to serve as voting members of the House of Delegates when serving as official delegates from a constituent society, and to have all other rights and privileges of the Society with the exception of holding elective positions.
Collaborative Community and honorary members are entitled to defined all the rights and privileges of the Society with the exception of holding elective or appointive positions and serving as voting members of the House of Delegates.
Amendment 2: Appointment of the New Professional New Member Director
Rationale: The current arrangement for transition from Student Director to New Professional New Member (NPNM) Director is problematic. There is no requirement that the Student Director be in the final year of their undergraduate program. Under the current Bylaws, it is possible that a Student Director more than a year away from graduation, could move into the NPNM Director position, but not be a New Professional, nor be eligible to join the NPNM Forum. The revised language parallels that used for the Student Director. As a past chair of the Forum, it is also believed that a more experienced board member would bring a fuller understanding of the Forum’s issues to the Board of Directors.
Article IV, B
The Student Director, if eligible, shall move into the position of New Professional and New Member Director and the Student Forum shall elect a new Student Director.
The New Professionals and New Members Forum Chair, if eligible, shall move into the position of New Professional and New Member (NPNM) Director upon completion of the one (1) year Chair term. The New Professionals and New Members Forum shall determine the qualifications for the NPNM Director.
Amendment 3: Changes to Board of Directors Representative Names
Rationale: Brings the names of the representatives on the Board of Director in line with the names of the membership classes.
ARTICLE IV – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The number of voting directors shall be sixteen (16) — the President, President-elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Past President, and ten (10) Regional Directors elected by the House of Delegates in a manner prescribed by the Board of Directors of the Society. There shall be one (1) voting
Student Developing Professional Director elected by the Student Developing Professional Forum of the Society and one (1) New Professional and New Member Ascending Professional Director.
Each director shall serve a term of three (3) years or until a successor is elected with the exception of the
Student Developing Professional Director and the New Professional and New Member Ascending Professional Director who shall serve for a term of one (1) year or until a new Student Developing Professional Director is elected. The Student Developing Professional Director, if eligible, shall move into the position of New Professional and New Member Ascending Professional Director and the Student Forum shall elect a new Student Developing Professional Director.
A board member may be eligible for re-election, except the
New Professional and New Member Ascending Professional Director, but may not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. The House of Delegates shall elect by majority vote the appropriate number of directors each year at its annual session.
All directors at the time of their election, with the exception of the
Student Developing Professional Director and the New Professional and New Member Ascending Professional Director, must have been a Professional or emeritus Platinum Professional member of the Society for five (5) consecutive years immediately prior to their election.
The Student Forum of the Society shall determine qualifications for the
Student Developing Professional Director.
Amendment 4: Changes to House of Delegates Representative Names
Rationale: Brings the names of the representatives on the Board of Director in line with the names of the membership classes.
ARTICLE V – HOUSE OF DELEGATES
C. Each duly charted constituent society shall be entitled to at least four (4) delegates [two (2) delegates-at-large, one (1)
new Ascending P professional, one (1) student Developing Professional delegate] plus one (1) delegate per each 50 P professional, Ascending Professional and Platinum Professional emeritus members or major fraction thereof to the House of Delegates, to be designated in accordance with established procedures.
Each delegate, or a duly authorized alternate, and each member of the Board of Directors in attendance at the annual meetings of the House of Delegates shall be entitled to one (1) vote.
Two-thirds of all duly authorized and properly certified delegates must be present for the meetings to constitute a quorum of the House of Delegates. The House of Delegates shall act by majority vote unless a higher percentage is specified in the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or other applicable law.
Note: It is technically possible to accept changes to the membership classes without changes to the HOD delegates. However, congruence of terms throughout the document is preferred.
Amendment 5: Renaming Forums and Bringing Congruence to Structures
Rationale: This amendment renames the Student and New Professional New Members (NPNM) Forums to align with the new membership classes. The amendment also narrows the focus of the NPNM Forum to just new professionals. The Society’s leaders believe that the needs of those entering the profession are different than established professionals who may be joining ASCLS later in their careers. By narrowing the focus, the Forum can focus on the needs of those entering the profession for the first time. The change will align the Forum with representation on the Board of Directors and the House of Delegates, as well as the class of membership. One other change aligns the governance structures of the two forums to reduce confusion.
ARTICLE X – SOCIETY FORUMS
Student Developing Professional Forum of the Society
Student Developing Professional Forum shall coordinate the involvement and interest of students of clinical laboratory science in this Society.
Student Developing Professional Forum shall be governed by guidelines, which shall be submitted to approved by the Board of Directors of this Society for approval.
3. A P
professional or Platinum Professional emeritus member of this Society, appointed by the President of the Society with the approval of the Board of Directors shall serve as an advisor to the Student Developing Professional Forum.
New Professionals and New Members Ascending Professionals Forum
New Professionals and New Members Ascending Professionals Forum shall engage and facilitate the involvement and interest of New ascending professionals and new ASCLS members in this Society.
The New Professionals and New Members Ascending Professionals Forum shall be governed by guidelines, which shall be approved by the Board of Directors led by elected officers and appointees as outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures.
3. An advisor shall be appointed to the
New Professionals and New Members Ascending Professionals Forum for a term of three (3) years.