ASN Aligns Bylaws with New Strategic Plan

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Endorsing a more diverse, inclusive, and global society, 93% of ASN Active Members recently approved the first revision of the society’s bylaws since 2006.

In addition to making several “technical corrections” to ensure that the bylaws comply with the new Washington, DC, business organizations code § 29 401.02(24), the revised bylaws help ASN move toward accomplishing its new strategic plan. The new ASN Strategic Plan required two additional changes to the bylaws.

The revised bylaws (available on ASN’s website) change the structure of the ASN Council (the society’s governing body). The new Council structure offers several different opportunities for service. This change is intended to encourage members who are interested in contributing to the Council (but who are not interested in serving as president) to participate. Importantly, the term of service has been reduced from a seven-year to a four-year commitment.

The first change to the bylaws increases the number of ASN Councilors from eight to nine. Four of the nine councilors are elected at-large members who serve staggered four-year terms. At-large councilors are limited to one term, although they are eligible to run for and, if elected, serve one term as an officer or appointed treasurer.

Four of the nine councilors will serve as elected officers. The progression of those elected to Council as officers is Year 1 (secretary), Year 2 (president-elect), Year 3 (president), and Year 4 (past president). Elected officers cannot serve a second term, and are not eligible to serve as at-large councilors or treasurer after completing their term as officers.

Following tradition, the Council will appoint a ninth member as treasurer, who serves one non-renewable four-year term, is eligible to serve as an at-large councilor or officer, and could have previously served as an at-large councilor but not as an officer.

As of result of these changes, active members now have three pathways to become ASN Councilors:

  • Serve as an at-large councilor for four years.

  • Serve as an officer for four years.

  • Be appointed by the ASN Council to serve as ASN Treasurer for four years.

Voting rights

The second change to the ASN bylaws concerns voting rights. Previously, only ASN Active Members (MDs, PhDs, or equivalent who live in North or Central America) had the right to vote. Based on ASN membership data for 2015, less than 50% of the society’s members had the right to vote. As a result of the recent election, ASN Corresponding Members (MDs, PhDs, or equivalent who live outside North or Central America) now have the right to vote (Table 1).

Table 1.
Table 1.

Many societies that are similar to ASN in mission, focus, and culture have already extended the right to vote to physicians and scientists across the world. ASN now joins these organizations in expanding voting rights.

ASN continues to work with its leadership, contributors from the ASN Communities, as well as kidney health professionals throughout the world, to collect feedback, continue to improve, and maintain its status as a dynamic organization that provides a structure and services to help its members lead the fight against kidney diseases. In 2017, ASN will continue to focus on accomplishing its new strategic plan (