Starting as far back as October 2017, the Board has considered changes in AUPHA bylaws as part of efforts to enhance inclusion into AUPHA leadership. Specifically, the discussion centered on enabling faculty from Associate and Affiliate and other membership categories to serve on the Board. For those that did not have the opportunity to read my memo to AUPHA members from May 7, 2019, you can download the memo
. That memo discusses the specifics of the current bylaws, the changes required, and a summary of the “pros and cons” of the decision.
During the March face-to-face meeting of the Board, staff presented and the full Board discussed the following recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Modify AUPHA bylaws to enable a limited and specified number of faculty from a variety of membership categories to assume Board seats going forward.
Recommendation 2: Explicitly specify in the AUPHA bylaws that only faculty from Full Member programs can assume leadership roles on the Board.
The specified number of Board members from the various categories of membership being considered:
- Full Member Programs - No less than 10 Graduate and Undergraduate
- Associate Member Programs - No more than 1
- Affiliate Member Programs (Practitioners) - No more than 3
- Individual Members - No more than 1
- International Members - No more than 1
- President/CEO - No more than 1
During the last month, many of you have provided your comments as summarized below. For those planning to attend the Business Meeting in New Orleans on Thursday next week, we hope that reading this in advance will facilitate an informed decision. Member Comment
Overall. The responses received were generally more positive toward favoring the proposal than oppose but a number of responses represented uncertainty.
Reasons to Favor
- Favor 62.3%
- Oppose 22.6%
- Uncertain 15.1%
. Generally, favorable responses focused on having the Board become more diverse and inclusive of membership. A sampling of the comments with minor edits for space considerations:
Reasons to Oppose
- Diverse and inclusive Board, which will benefit the organization and the field as a whole.
- Board diversity, in terms of backgrounds and perspectives of its members, is valuable and should be valued. Good governance demands it.
- Broadening appeal is important to the long-term viability of AUPHA.
- Support inclusivity. Allow smaller, local programs to have a voice.
- AUPHA is a membership organization …. should serve ALL its members.
- Not all programs can obtain Full Member status, , ….. that does not mean the program is not rigorous and meeting the curriculum standards.
- Programs that are not Full Members can also help shape the future of certification and provide valuable insight.
- Higher education has been changing for some time and AUPHA needs to stay ahead of the changes and be more inclusive of all program types.
- Cultural change points to inclusion as a guiding principle.
- I personally believe in a big tent that will get the views from a variety of AUPHA affiliates. The seats available to the "non-traditional" member are limited and so they will not take from the Full Member programs, but rather add to the views coming from a different category of membership.
. These comments tended to fall into two general categories: value and quality.
Some of the value comments included:
- Full member programs are bearing the brunt of the cost. They should keep the privilege associated with this status.
- Programs should seek to attain full AUPHA membership. It would make more sense to alter the definition of "full" member than to do what is being proposed
- .…full member program, we pay additional dues and this is part of the premium benefit package. Are the associate programs interested in paying more in dues to have an opportunity to be a board member?
Some of the quality-related reasons to oppose comments included:
In the Middle
- One cannot be certain about the quality of the educational experience provided by programs that are not accredited or certified.
- The business of AUPHA is about improving the quality of education - programs on the board need to be able to demonstrate their commitment to this. Accreditation is a way programs can demonstrate their commitment to quality
- Those not having gone through the rigorous certification process cannot protect the integrity of the process and thus would weaken the purpose of AUPHA
. Naturally, some people expressed both sides of the argument in one way or another.
- I agree that the organization should seek to be more inclusive of the variety of educational programs……. I have two concerns
- There should be advantages in being a full dues paying member………
- I also strongly believe that board membership should be limited to programs that are accredited or certified.
- The accreditation or certification requirement does not need to be limited to CAHME and could include programs that are housed in accredited schools of public health or businesses, or other accrediting bodies.
. There were a number of clear misunderstandings of how AUPHA leadership operates such as enabling faculty not part of AUPHA to be appointed to Board, Certification standards could be set by those not certified and confusion regarding who currently votes on issues (program or faculty). There were also some interesting ideas presented:
- Select on Board based upon faculty qualifications and not that of Program.
- Conversation should be held in person at the annual meeting.