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Frequently Asked Questions About the IDSA Governance Changes

Our bylaws, created in the 1960s, are outdated and changes are necessary to keep up with governance best practices and the needs of the society. IDSA believes timely, nimble governance is strong governance, and we ask you to support the proposed bylaws change that both entrusts the board with the ability to modify the IDSA bylaws, as appropriate, as well as maintains a pathway for member-initiated bylaws changes. These proposed bylaws changes are yet another step to building a stronger, contemporary IDSA. 

The proposed bylaws change will allow the Board of Directors to amend the bylaws to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Allowing the board to vote on changes ensures critical decisions can be made on a timelier basis and that important staff and financial resources are not directed away from our strategic priorities during an extended bylaws voting process.

This nimble approach to governance could, for example, allow the Board to consider additional ways to engage state and regional societies. A nimble governance will also help foster our inclusion, diversity, access and equity work, allowing the society to expeditiously advance our new IDA&E roadmap.

These are the types of updates that many associations are currently making.

Our current process requires that we approach the full voting membership – currently over 9,000 people -- each time a bylaws change is needed, and two-thirds must vote in the affirmative. This is required even for revisions as simple as a grammatical error or changing the name of a committee.

The process to enact a bylaws change can be cumbersome, time consuming and expensive and directs staff and financial resources away from our strategic priorities.

The proposed bylaws change will allow the Board of Directors to amend the bylaws by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors present and voting at any regular or special meeting of the board.

With the approval of this proposed bylaws change, members will still have a mechanism for recommending a revision that would first be voted on by the board.

Upon written request of at least 10% of the voting membership, an amendment may be submitted to the board for consideration and vote at its next meeting. If the board votes against the member-proposed revision, it would then go to the full membership for a vote at the next meeting of members.

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