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Chapter Board Approves Society Bylaw Changes for Upcoming Assembly

Our Chapter board approved the proposals to amend our Society’s bylaws on Nov. 6. The Chapter’s 2020 Assembly delegates are Natalie Kompa, Ed.D., MBA; Diane Hurd, CTA; and John Palmer, APR. This year’s Assembly will be virtual and will be held Dec. 5.

 PRSA’s Governance Committee developed these proposals putting forth suggested improvements to our bylaws that included feedback from members. This year Assembly delegates will vote on these six proposals that introduce changes to the requirements for serving on the Board of Directors intended to increase diversity and greatly expand the pool of qualified candidates for national office; provide opportunities for Chapter delegates to become more involved in strategic conversations and thought leadership by Chapters electing or appointing representatives at the beginning of the year, rather than closer to Leadership Assembly; and amending Assembly delegate term limits, to allow fresh perspectives to continually be brought to leadership roles without imposing lifetime term limits. The specific bylaw proposals include: 

  • Proposal 20-02, Section XVI, Section 1.f., concerns an update on member-initiated proposals to amend the Bylaws by petition, which currently requires signatures from at least 25 members in good standing. Based on feedback from Leadership Assembly delegates in 2019, the Board is recommending raising this requirement to 1% of the membership or 100 members, whichever is less. This change will ensure there is a strong body of support for making the proposal and does not limit the opportunity for concerns to be raised from the membership.

  • Proposal 20-03, Article III, Section 3, addresses the timing of electing or appointing delegates to the Leadership Assembly, and asks Chapters to notify PRSA of the names and addresses of delegates by January 15 of each year. Language requiring that delegates be certified 60 days prior to the Assembly remains in the Bylaws, ensuring a streamlined process for determining eligibility to vote at the annual meeting.

  • Proposal 20-05, Articles IV and V, Sections 3.a and 3, addresses the APR requirement for Officers and Directors, and recommends that qualification language for these positions be amended to “Accreditation in Public Relations is strongly encouraged, but not required.” Internal data shows that fewer than 18% of PRSA’s more than 19,650 members hold the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), and less than half of those members with an APR self-identify as ethnic/racial minorities. The APR is an important professional credential that recognizes mastery of key knowledge, skills, and abilities in public relations. It does not, however, inform leadership capabilities or recognize skills not measured by the APR. The removal of the APR requirement for Board service in no way diminishes the importance of the credential.

  • Proposal 20-06, Article III, Section 4, concerns Leadership Assembly delegate term limits, and recommends that all delegates, except ex officio delegates, shall serve for one year or until their successors are duly elected or appointed and assume office. Delegates may serve up to three consecutive years in the same role, and may then serve again as a delegate after an absence of one year. This change would go into effect in 2022.

 

Two additional administrative changes are being recommended to the Bylaws, clarifying intent (updates in bold).

  • Proposal 20-01, Article V, Section 4.a., updates text to say the Chair shall be an ex officio member of all committees, except the Nominating Committee, the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, the Universal Accreditation Board, and the Grievance Committee.

  • Proposal 20-04, Article III, Section 10, is an administrative correction to proxy representation, stating that only voting delegates may act by proxy for another voting delegate.

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