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Proposed Amendment to AsMA Bylaws

January 22, 2020

Proposed Amendment to AsMA Bylaws


In accordance with Article XVI (Amendments) of the Bylaws of the Aerospace Medical Association, the following proposed amendment to the Bylaws is made available for AsMA member review.

The amendment will be voted upon at the next Annual Business Meeting to be held at 12:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Savings Time) on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia. The meeting is open and all members are encouraged to attend (no lunch purchase is necessary to participate in the meeting).

The omissions are listed as strikethroughs.  The additions are italicized and underlined

A flowchart of the proposed amendment can be viewed here for clarification but will not be included in the Bylaws.
 
ARTICLE III.  MEMBERSHIP
 
SECTION 2.  Expulsion of Members and Appeal Review of Ethical Concerns.
A member may be expelled for cause or conduct which the Council deems contrary to the best interests of the Association.  For any cause other than non-payment of dues, expulsion may occur only after the member in question has been advised in writing of the complaint and been given an opportunity to respond.  Such member shall be notified by the Executive Director and entitled to a hearing before the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee shall hear the case and provide a ruling.  The Executive Committee shall have, but not be limited to, the following powers: dismissal of the complaint, censure, probation for a period not to exceed two years, suspension for a period not to exceed three years, or expulsion of a member, as the findings warrant.  A two-thirds vote of the full membership of the Executive Committee is required for any ruling.  The aggrieved member shall have the right of appeal to the Council.  A two-thirds vote of the full membership of Council is required to modify or reverse the action of the Executive Committee.  Failing to achieve modification or reversal from the Council, the action of the Executive Committee is confirmed.  Action of the Council is final.
 

  1. Application: The Ethics Policy of the Association, as defined in the Policies and Procedures Manual, shall apply to all categories of Association members.
  2. Ethical Concerns:
    1. An ethical concern should be resolved at the lowest level possible within the Association.
    2. Should the ethical concern not be resolved at lower levels, the concern may be elevated to the Executive Committee using the process delineated below.
    3. Ethical concerns addressed through this process shall be limited in scope to conduct deemed contrary to the best interests of the Association, to include the business and governance of the Association, the annual scientific meeting, and the Association’s official journal.  The Executive Committee shall determine if the concern is within the scope of this process.
    4. Any member may raise an ethical concern regarding another member who is believed to have violated the Ethics Policy of the Association, to include the business and governance of the Association, the annual scientific meeting, and the Association’s official journal. The Executive Committee shall determine if the concern is within the scope of this process.
    5. The Executive Committee shall initially review the written ethical concern to determine the validity of the concern and whether a formal investigation is warranted. The Executive Committee may dismiss the concern if it is deemed not valid or outside of the scope of this process.
    6. If the Executive Committee determines the ethical concern has validity and is within the scope of the process, the concern will be referred to the Ethics Body for investigation as described in the Policies and Procedures Manual.
    7. The respondent shall be advised in writing of any ethical concern regarding him or her and be provided an opportunity to respond to the Ethics Body and the Executive Committee.
    8. Once the investigation is complete, the Ethics Body shall provide a summary report of the investigation to the Executive Committee.
    9. For any ethical concern regarding a member of the Executive Committee, the Council will assume the role of the Executive Committee in this process.
  3. Administrative Action:
    1. Upon receipt of the report from the Ethics Body, the Executive Committee shall determine the appropriate administrative action.
    2. The Executive Committee shall have, but not be limited to, the following powers: dismissal of the ethical concern, censure, probation for a period not to exceed two years, suspension for a period not to exceed three years, or expulsion of a member, as the findings warrant.
    3. A two-thirds vote of the full membership of the Executive Committee is required for any ruling.
  4. Appeal Process:
    1. Proposed administrative actions may be appealed to the full Council and shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Director.
    2. Should an appeal be requested, no administrative action shall proceed until the appeal process is complete.
    3. A two-thirds vote of the full membership of Council is required to modify or reverse the action of the Executive Committee. Failing to achieve modification or reversal from the Council, the action of the Executive Committee is confirmed. Action of the Council is final.
 
Rationale: While Article III Section 2 Expulsion of Member and Appeal describes the process for expulsion of a member for cause or conduct the Council deems contrary to the best interests of the Association, it does not delineate a means to investigate allegations against a member. The Executive Committee has received several ethical concerns in the last few years that required each President to determine how to investigate the allegations. This change creates a process for investigation using an Ethics Body with the responsibility to investigate allegations of unethical behavior by a member. More detail on the membership of the Ethics Body and the process will be described in the Policies and Procedures Manual.