President's Message (October 6, 2011)

News from the American Academy of Actuaries


Mary Frances MillerDear Academy colleague,

I’m pleased to announce the results of the Academy’s first online election for Regular Director as well as our vote on two proposed bylaws amendments.

Congratulations to Regular Director candidates Mary Bahna-Nolan, Catherine Murphy-Barron and Ken Kent. Both proposed bylaws amendments also won. For the number-crunchers and data massagers, here are the detailed results:



Eligible Voters 17,404
Web Ballots Cast 2,788
Paper Ballots Cast 261
Total Ballots Cast 3,049
Participation Rate 17.52%


Vote for Regular Director

Candidate Raw Vote %
Mary J. Bahna-Nolan 2,224 78.2%
Catherine Murphy-Barron 2,193 77.1%
Ken Kent 2,065 72.6%


Voters were instructed to vote for up to three candidates for Regular Director; they were not required to cast any votes for Regular Director. Of the 3,049 who voted, 204 did not cast at least one vote for a candidate for Regular Director.

Vote for Bylaws Amendment (Article III)
To Remove the Penultimate Past President from the Academy Board

  Raw Vote %
YES 2,787 93.1%
NO 207 6.9%

Of the 3,049 who voted, 55 did not cast a vote on this question.

Vote for Bylaws Amendments Relating to Joint Discipline (Article IX)

  Raw Vote %
YES 2,770 92.2%
NO 235 7.8%

Of the 3,049 who voted, 44 did not cast a vote on this question.

In a final series of questions on the ballot, we asked Academy members to rate the online balloting process. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Satisfaction Rating Raw Vote %
Very Satisfied 1,465 52.5%
Satisfied 793 28.4%
Neutral 106 3.8%
Dissatisfied 27 1.0%
Very Dissatisfied 16 0.6%
No Comment 381 13.7%


When the Very Satisfied and Satisfied responses are grouped together, 80.9% of those answering the question rated the online election process favorably. When the Dissatisfied and Very Dissatisfied responses are grouped together, 1.6% of those answering the question rated the online election process unfavorably. Removing the 381 No Comments from these comparisons moves the percentages to 93.8% favorable and 1.8% unfavorable.

Voters also were able to submit a comment and 157 (5.1%) did. The number of comments is relatively small and certainly not scientific, but leadership will of course consider these comments while evaluating this year’s online balloting. The vast majority of the small number who commented praised the online balloting process. Many praised the amount of supplemental material about the candidates and bylaws amendments that was just a click away on the online ballot. A few reported technical glitches in accessing the ballot. And some lamented the lack of competitive choices in the election for three Regular Directors.

On that last point, the Board this year expanded the nominating procedures to add nomination by petition to the two existing methods by which members are nominated for Regular Director (nomination suggestions submitted directly to the Nominating Committee; Nominating Committee asks active members to accept nomination to the Board of Directors as a Regular Director). I certainly would have liked to have seen some interested members take the steps necessary to gain access to the ballot. I believe that the availability of a petition process for regular director strengthens our governance. I intend to continue the discussion of this question when the Board considers the 2012 elections process.

We learned a lot from this year’s expanded nominations process and online balloting. For the 3,049 of our members who participated, I thank you not just for taking the time out of your busy day to cast your votes, but also for helping the Academy learn and work toward becoming a better organization, one that better meets member needs and expectations. As always, thank you for your time and interest in reading this message and thank you for your membership in the American Academy of Actuaries.



Mary Frances Miller
American Academy of Actuaries