Refreshing AACRAO’s Bylaws

January 23, 2023
  • AACRAO Leadership and Governance
  • Governance
  • volunteer
  • Volunteerism
Stack of regulatory books on a table with one open on top.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced (some unforeseen other looming) change across campuses and in the association world. In response, the AACRAO Governance Committee of the board of directors aims to implement the lessons learned from this experience.

This committee is responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the AACRAO Board of Directors, including but not limited to assessments, orientation, policies, procedures, handbooks, and committee structure and development. Based on the work of the Governance committee, the Board of Directors is proposing bylaws changes to be voted on by the membership at the 108th AACRAO Annual Meeting in Aurora, Colorado

Blue & White Factbox describing bylaws.

WHY WERE THE BYLAWS REVIEWED?

Up-to-date, clearly written, and concisely constructed bylaws ground the association in its past and support oversight of current performance to ensure ongoing viability. Reviews promote good governance and help the Board of Directors and ultimately, AACRAO reach its full potential, and operate optimally on behalf of our members and the institutions we represent. The review was guided by the following principles:

  • Do the bylaws reflect how we really govern or operate?

  • Do they reflect changing priorities and forces that can impact the operations of an association? 

  • Are they relevant?

  • Do they reflect sound practices?

  • Are they inclusive and equitable?

  • Identify what is missing, and the rationale for inclusion.

A review is an opportunity to refresh, reset and allow AACRAO to respond and adapt nimbly to changing circumstances. We want our members and the institutions they represent to know that we have a heightened awareness of the drivers impacting the work of the Board of Directors, the AACRAO Office, and members, said Cassandra Moore, VP Access and Equity and Chair, BOD Governance Committee. Any responsible board should prioritize reviewing how it serves its members. This is our due diligence.

WHAT ARE THE PROPOSED CHANGES?

  • Virtual Voting. AACRAO has conducted a virtual business meeting for the last two years.  Membership feedback has been positive, and the board would like to regularize the practice to allow for voting member participation in the Business Session regardless of registration for the annual meeting. This practice will expand access to the business of the association to those who are unable to attend the annual meeting in person.
  • Eliminate Membership Roster Limits. AACRAO member institutions should be able to grant access to member resources to any employee. The elimination of roster limits will expand the institution’s access to industry best practice guidance and affordable professional development resources, which will enhance the professionalism of the staff, support succession planning, and overall student success.
  • Improve Association Budgeting. In order to continue to allow the AACRAO budget to be approved by the membership as a whole, the staff and board must prepare and approve the budget at least 18 months prior to its implementation.  This practice means that budget decisions cannot be made based on recent actuals. In the current volatile environment, this creates an unrealistic budget and places association finances at risk.  Allowing the Board to approve the budget closer to its implementation will allow the budget to consider recent actuals, resulting in a stronger budget process. 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

The AACRAO Board wants to hear from the membership and invites all to watch a recording of its first Town Hall (held on January 17, 2023) and/or join them at the upcoming one (scheduled for January 25, 2023) to learn about and comment on the proposed bylaw changes.