Proposed Bylaw Change to Allow Non-APRs on PRSA Board of Directors

Members from across the U.S. will attend PRSA’s 2014 National Leadership Assembly on Saturday, October 11 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the State of the Society and issues facing our organization. Among the discussion items are proposals that would amend the bylaws to allow non-APR PRSA members on the Board of Directors.

-> Fort Worth PRSA Chapter members: Please review proposals 1401 and 1402 on MyPRSA and share your thoughts via comments below by September 30. (Note: you must be logged in to MyPRSA to view the documents.)

What amendments is the Board proposing for the Assembly delegates to vote on?
Proposal #1401 – Amends the bylaws to allow for eligible non-APR members to apply for either of the two At-Large seats set forth in Article V, Section 1.

Proposal #1402 – Clarifies that voting members of the PRSA Board of Directors may not serve as District or Chapter officers, Chapter delegates or alternates, Section chair, officer of the College of Fellows, member of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards or on the UAB. However, members who serve in any of those positions may be elected to the Board in a nonvoting capacity.

(Read the 2014 Bylaw Change Proposal FAQs.)

What is being changed in the bylaws?
Proposal #1401 amends Article V, Section 2 to allow for eligible members who do not possess the APR credential to serve in an At-Large capacity on the PRSA Board of Directors. It further states that the APR credential is necessary for those eligible members who would like to represent a District or serve on the Executive Committee of the Board.

Proposal #1402 adds the word “voting” to clarify that board members eligible to vote may not serve in other volunteer roles within the organization.

What brought about the proposed amendment?
There have been ongoing discussions at Assembly on PRSA’s longstanding policy of holding the APR as a prerequisite to serving on the PRSA National Board of Directors. Simultaneously, the PRSA National Board says the number of applicants for the APR credential has steadily declined, and that has created a struggle to source a complete slate of candidates who are eligible for national office service.

According to PRSA, three years of independent research and studies indicate that the majority of membership sees the APR as a mark of personal achievement do not believe it to be a validation of leadership ability.

The PRSA National Board felt that PRSA needed to evolve the composition of the board and provide representation at the national level to non-APR members. The proposed bylaw is intended to allow PRSA to tap into a larger pool of potential leaders.

Joe Cohen, APR, 2014 chair of PRSA’s board of directors, writes about the proposed bylaws changes here: Providing a Voice to All of Our Members at the National Board Level

Our Process: The Fort Worth PRSA board held a discussion on these leadership/governance proposals during the September 4 meeting. This post will be shared with membership to gather feedback for a month.

As the delegates for the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA, we would like to make sure the membership is fully informed of the changes proposed, and would like to invite your comments and concerns. The Board of Directors of the chapter will make their recommendation to the chapter delegates at the Oct. 2 meeting, so we ask that you comment by Sept. 30 so that we have time to compile the information to present to the board.

Please review the available information, and let us know your thoughts.

Thank you,
Holly Ellman (2014 Assembly Delegate)
Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA (2014 Assembly Delegate)

Update 10/2/14: Following our chapter’s procedure to gather feedback and two board meeting discussions, Fort Worth PRSA will vote for proposals 1401 and 1402.

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