Updated Board and Committee Meetings Policy

February 12, 2018
Last month the Academy Board of Directors revised the Academy’s meeting policy. (See the news entry from Jan. 31, 2018, here.) The revised policy has one overarching aim—to empower committee and board chairpersons to do their jobs as effectively as possible. The purpose of all Academy meetings is to further the mission of the Academy. It is imperative that chairs have the tools they need to protect the integrity of the Academy process. This is especially critical for those groups responsible for establishing, maintaining, and enforcing our professionalism standards. Meetings of committees and other Academy bodies—other than those of a few committees that have always been closed—remain open to observation provided the observer is deemed to be helpful to the work of the committee. A link to the policy is here.

Why did the Board make this change now? Over the last 18 months, certain observers have used the Board and Committee Meetings Policy to engage in conduct that has tended to chill discussions and debates at the ASB and other Academy committees. In one case, an observer has insisted on attending committee and Board meetings despite threatening legal action against the Academy. The Board responded appropriately by striking a balance between transparency, which has always been important to the Academy, the need to protect the independence and objectivity of all Academy bodies, and the need of those committees to have a robust deliberative process with free and frank exchanges of ideas. The revised policy does precisely that by giving officers and chairpersons the freedom to admit observers who will be helpful to their respective committees while at the same time giving them the necessary tools to protect the committees’ work.

The Academy is aware that an actuary has begun a campaign to enlist members in a petition drive to amend the Academy bylaws to reverse the Board’s decision. For more information about the reasons for this petition campaign, please also see this letter to the actuary’s attorney about the nature and basis of her requests.