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ASSP's Association Governance: Next Steps

Oct 05, 2021
As part of the virtual House of Delegates meeting on Sept. 28, 2021, ASSP At-Large Director Maribeth Anderson talked with delegates about the next steps planned for continuing to adjust the proposal to change governance.

The vote is now slated for early 2022, and the Board of Directors will continue to engage with delegates to gather information and feedback leading up to the vote.

Teddi Penewell

Until the design of the Advisory Group is defined, I will advise our chapter to vote no on this package, even though the board should have control and not have to wait a year to make decisions  However, ASSP is asking me to vote without knowing all the outcomes of a "yes" vote. 

These are my comments to my board:


The September 28th Governance Meeting clarified the 2 changes that will happen with a vote to modernize governance.  

1.      Give all authority to the Board of Directors, which, after research, seems to be the standard for boards today. It will make the board more flexible and able to respond quickly to emerging situations that require board action. I am in favor of this portion of the change.

2.      Eliminate the House of Delegates and replace with an advisory board.  ASSP’s selling point on the advisory board would be to make ASSP more inclusionary. This is a volunteer organization, and our chapter is inclusionary.  Anyone that wants to participate is welcome and encouraged.  What is the mechanism that makes the new advisory board more inclusionary than anything that has been done in the past? There is no description of what this advisory board will look like.  Will each chapter have a representative no matter the size of the chapter?  Will there be one representative from each state?  Could a chapter take control of the advisory board by volunteering for all positions first?  What happens if someone from every ethnicity, gender, age, etc. doesn’t volunteer? Until the make-up of this advisory board is defined, I am not in favor of the change.   We will be voting in January.  The delegate committee will keep the board apprised of information as it is received.  

If there is anything I can do to assist in the development/design of this group, please let me know.  Teddi Penewell



Matthew Parker

I am also opposed to this change.  Unlike Teddi (above), I recommend we vote "no" on the changes altogether.  First, I am not even clear on whether there would be two votes to accomplish this governance change.  While I understand there is potential concern for a divided board (the legal implication), I have not heard that such a concern ever manifested or even approached.  The House of Delegates (HOD) may be the old of way of doing things, but it has served the Society well for a long time.  I have asked for examples of where the Board was not able to act in a timely manner to address needed actions.  These have not been clarified.  Conversely, as a member of the old guard, I have seen when the HOD successfully mounted an opposition to a Board position.  This check and balance will be lost in the proposals now being discussed.

I believe the HOD can serve as the Advisory Board being sought.  There is nothing in the bylaws that prevents the HOD from meeting more often and discussing items to be brought to the Board.  If the Pandemic has taught us anything, it is that virtual meetings can be used effectively to accomplish many aspects of what the HOD can and should be doing.  As such, the membership of the advisory board is already linked to the chapter size and ensures equitable representation in perpetuity. 

If the HOD is broken, do not discard it.  Fix it.

Matthew Parker, MS, CIH, CSP, ARM




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