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HomeATS News Articles ▶ Approval of Revised ATS Bylaws Needed to Implement Recommended Governance Changes
Approval of Revised ATS Bylaws Needed to Implement Recommended Governance Changes

ATS members are being asked to approve several bylaws changes that resulted from the recent recommendations of a Governance Task Force.  The Task Force was created in 2019, led by ATS Past President J. Randall Curtis, MD, MPH, to evaluate the structure of the ATS Executive Committee (EC) and consider whether changes were warranted to improve member engagement in officer roles.  Ultimately, the Task Force recommended shortening the time served by officers who ascend to the presidency of the ATS and creating a new treasurer position that is not in the line of presidential succession.  ATS President Juan C. Celedón, MD, DrPH, ATSF states, “The EC is thankful to the Task Force and the Board of Directors for their thoughtful approach to ensuring that the leadership of the Society remains strong and diverse.”

The members of the Task Force (Blanca Camoretti-Mercado, PhD; Eileen Collins, PhD, ATSF; Robin Deterding, MD; Anne Dixon, MA, BM BCH, ATSF; Wonder Drake, MD; David Gozal, MD, MBA, ATSF; Monica Kraft, MD, ATSF; Jess Mandel, MD, ATSF; and Dean Sheppard, MD) consulted the literature on non-profit governance and reviewed the practices of peer medical and scientific societies.  They also sought input from various stakeholders, including the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, past presidents, and committee leaders. 

The Task Force recommended, and the Board approved, reducing the officers’ length of service from five to four years by merging the vice president and president-elect terms to make the overall time commitment more manageable.  Moreover, the Task Force and Board agreed that it would be helpful to let our members know that the work of the EC is shared among the team and other ATS leaders when appropriate.  Seeking to enhance the transparency and leadership of ATS financial activities, they further agreed to create a new treasurer position. The treasurer would serve on the EC for a three-year term and not be in line of succession to the presidency.  The Nominating Committee would conduct a search for the treasurer, as it currently does for the secretary-treasurer each year, and present a candidate to the Board of Directors for a vote.

The necessary revisions of the bylaws to effect these changes would result in no election of a secretary-treasurer position for the 2022-2023 term.  However, a treasurer would be elected by the Board in 2022 for a three-year term, and a secretary would be elected by the membership in 2023 and be in the line of succession to be president in 2025.  The number of members on the Executive Committee would remain the same at five with the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer serving as a sixth ex-officio, non-voting member.

As the Board considered the bylaws changes, it opted to propose other relatively minor changes to bring them up to date with current practices.  Those changes include revised language around international dues, removing references to requiring that meetings be held in conjunction with the International Conference, including three presidential appointees to the Board (given the elimination of a seat dedicated to the Foundation), aligning the number of Chapter representatives with that for Assemblies, and other minor adjustments to committee charges.  The bylaws with highlighted changes will be available for members to review along with a request to vote.
Finally, the Governance Task Force recommended that the leadership consider taking a broader look at the overall ATS governance structure, including the size and composition of the Board of Directors.  The Board agreed, and a new task force will be convened to take on this initiative.