The Structure and Function of the Governance and Nominating Committee

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The Structure and function of the Governance and Nominating Committee. 

In the past two weeks the International ACAC Board approved a motion to amend our Policies and Procedures to restructure the Governance and Nominating Committee. The goal was to expand member representation and to create a more transparent committee member selection process. 

Formerly the Governance and Nominating Committee (GNC) was comprised of individuals from the following areas:

1. Two most recent Past-Past Presidents,
2. Author of the most recent version of the Bylaws, 
3. International ACAC members serving on current NACAC committees or Board of Directors, 
4. International ACAC President-Elect, and 
5. Other (as determined by the Past President)

The new GNC is comprised of individuals from the following areas:

Past President (current) - Chair
Bylaws most recent author – Generally a former Past President
Assembly Delegate (1)
VP from Exec Board (1)
At large - 5 from membership – selected by the standard process for committee membership selection
President-Elect (Ex-officio)

In the new configuration there will only be two Presidents with voting privileges. The Past President who is the chair, plus the most recent bylaws writer. The President-Elect is an Ex-Officio member who is there to learn the process because, as it stands now, that person will have to chair the GNC at the end of their presidential cycle. The Executive Director is also Ex-Officio as a staff member. 

With the new structure we have gone from a minimum of three and up to five voting Presidents to just two voting Presidents. We are also removing the requirement to have a leader who has served in NACAC leadership which traditionally has been someone high up in the leadership circle. 

This is the first time that we are intentionally including Board members on the GNC beyond the Presidents team. I believe that it is important that we have input from our elected leaders and to include views from both sides of the Board - the NACAC Assembly Delegates and the Vice Presidents

Finally, formally adding five at large members means that there will be more voices from general membership than from leadership. The rationale is to represent the membership while ensuring the knowledge base to effectively conduct governance work. Four members from elected leadership are balanced by five members at large. This will help us provide transparency and include different perspectives. 

We have made a call for volunteers to join the GNC through an application process. Instead of having leadership appoint GNC members, we are forming a selection committee consisting of volunteers from our Standing Committees. All GNC members, from the Board and the five at large members, will be selected by the committee and seated before the bylaws and budget vote.

Why do we need a GNC now? Why do we need to vote now?

According to our current bylaws we must seat a GNC in conjunction with the NACAC Conference. In the immediate future we need to make the bylaws changes that bring us into compliance with NACAC Bylaws and with their US Department of Justice Consent Decree, and we need to approve the Association budget. This is also a great opportunity to officially change the name of the Diversity Committee as this requires a bylaws change. The GNC is going to need to swiftly review these changes and prepare for a vote by the membership.

Will there be other voting later?

Everything else that the GNC is charged with is about to undergo extensive review as part of the DEIJ change process. In the General Membership Meeting in July 2020, we agreed to review the election process so that changes can be made to ensure better, more inclusive representation of our membership. 

The only way we can change the bylaws is by member vote. The GNC is the body tasked with revision of bylaws, and policies and procedures. The idea is to take the recommendations from the DEIJ Change Workgroup, the town hall, and the other formal and informal member work groups, and propose major bylaws changes for member approval by vote in the first part of 2021. 

Right now, the main goal is to ensure compliance which will protect us from legal actions from the US government and to pass the 2021 budget so that we can run the association. Beyond that, a seated GNC can help with reviewing the bylaws as recommendations and suggestions come in.

In a sense, we are going into a two-step process. The GNC will propose the changes to bylaws to ensure compliance with the NACAC DOJ decree. This needs to be done right away. As does calling for a vote to approve the 2021 budget. Everything else will be reviewed and revised once the DEIJ group makes its recommendations and once we have heard from all the stakeholder groups, formal and informal. 

I look forward to working with members and leaders who volunteer to guide us through this important process. Thank you for your service.

Marie Vivas
Past President, International ACAC
[email protected]

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