Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Bylaws

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BYLAWS

Article I
Organization

Section 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society; hereto after referred to as the “Society”.

Section 2: Incorporation

The Society is incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas as a non-profit corporation. The Society is organized exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Section 3: Seal and Logo

The Society may adopt a seal. A logo shall contain the words “Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society” or the acronym VECCS.

Article II
Purpose

The purpose of the Society is to promote the advancement of knowledge and high standards of practice in veterinary emergency medicine and critical patient care. Toward this purpose, the Society will:

  1. associate and affiliate into one organization doctors of veterinary medicine, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, veterinary practice managers, and other individuals engaged in the practice of, or who have special interest in, the field of veterinary emergency and critical care;
  2. establish and promote uniform standards and guidelines for the practice of veterinary emergency and critical patient care;
  3. foster and encourage education, research and scientific progress in veterinary emergency and critical patient care;
  4. disseminate information pertinent to veterinary emergency and critical care to interested groups and organizations.

Article III
Membership

Individuals seeking membership in the Society will complete a membership application  provided by the Society’s administrative office. The application should be submitted with dues payment to the VECCS administrative office or submitted via the VECCS online membership process. Membership categories are as follows:

Section 1: Active

Active members shall be veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary practice managers, veterinary students, physicians, nurses, scientists and other persons who are interested in the advancement of veterinary emergency and critical patient care and who express an interest in the goals of the Society by actively participating in its affairs.

Section 2: Honorary

Honorary members shall be individuals who, in the opinion of the majority of the Board of Directors, have made outstanding contributions to veterinary emergency and critical patient care. The Board of Directors shall determine the process by which honorary members are awarded such distinction. Honorary members shall not be required to pay dues and will not have the right to vote.

Section 3: Retired Membership Category

Retired Membership status may be approved for a member upon written application to the Society’s Executive Director and subsequent Board of Directors approval. To qualify for consideration, the Society member must have been a member of the Society for a minimum of ten (15 consecutive years preceding the application and be fully retired from the profession of veterinary medicine.  Retired Members shall pay 40 percent of the amount of annual dues for Active Members in his/her membership category, and shall have all rights and privileges of Active Membership except that of holding any elected office.

Section 4: Agreement

Acceptance of membership in the Society will constitute an agreement by the member to comply with the Bylaws of the organization, and to recognize the Board of Directors as the sole judges of the right to remain a member, subject to appeal to the general membership. Any member, after due inquiry by the Board of Directors or delegate thereof, judged guilty of misconduct in any professional respect, or found to act in violation of these Bylaws or rule propounded thereunder, will be liable to censure, suspension or removal from membership, to be determined by majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Article IV
Dues

Section 1: Dues required

Active members will pay annual dues and the amount will be determined by the Board of Directors. Dues will be assessed on an annual basis and cover 12 months. Membership will be active at the time dues for that year are received by Society administrative office. Membership may be on a calendar basis from January 1 through December 31st or for 12 consecutive months from time of payment as determined by the VECCS Board of Directors (BOD). A member is considered delinquent in payment of dues 30 days following the due date of their membership renewal (anniversary) date. Members will forfeit his/her membership, will not exercise a vote or hold office, will not be listed in the Membership Directory and not receive or be eligible for any member benefits. In such cases, the individual can re-establish membership by submitting the current membership  application and paying appropriate fees for the category of membership. Past-Presidents following retirement from the Board of Directors and Zaslow Award recipients are exempt from payment of dues.

Section 2: Notification

Notification of dues for the membership year will be issued to the members by the VECCS administrative office one month in advance of the due date.

Article V
Officers

Section 1: Elected Officers

The elected officers of the Society shall include President, President-Elect, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer. Only Active members may be elected. A member can serve no more than three consecutive terms as recorder or three consecutive terms as treasurer.

Section 2: Term of Office

The term of office is two years, and the duties shall begin immediately upon conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting that follows election of officers.

Section 3: Vacancies

If an officer is unable to complete his/her term, the President shall appoint a replacement to complete the unexpired term. The appointment must be approved by the Board of Directors. If the President is unable to complete his/her term, the President-Elect will assume the duties of the President for the duration of the unexpired term.

Section 4: Election

Election of Officers shall take place biennially by mail or electronic ballot prior to the Annual Business Meeting of the Society. A slate of officers shall be presented by the Nominating Committee to the Board for approval no less than 30 days prior to balloting. The Board will provide the membership with an approved slate of candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee no less than 15 days prior to the election. A simple majority of the votes cast shall be necessary to elect.

Article VI
Duties of Officers

Section 1: President

The President shall preside over all meetings of the Society and the Board of Directors and direct the administration of the affairs of the organization according to the Bylaws and the policies enunciated by the Board of Directors. The President will also serve as spokesperson for the Society, call special meetings of the Board of Directors when necessary, and perform all other duties that custom, parliamentary practice and usage may require of the office.

Section 2: President-Elect

The President-Elect shall temporarily perform the duties of the President when the President is unable to be present or perform his/her duties. The President-Elect shall also oversee committee chairpersons and ensure their written reports are submitted in a timely manner for all scheduled BOD meetings and for the At the annual Business Meeting of the Society. The President-Elect will assume the position of President at the close of the biennial Annual General Membership Meeting at which the newly elected BOD is announced and installed.

Section 3: Recording Secretary

The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes and records of all meetings of the Society and Board of Directors and maintain archival copies of all publications, documents, and other records of the Society during his/her term(s).

Section 4: Treasurer

The Treasurer shall provide oversight and coordinate all financial affairs of the Society. The Treasurer will present a report of the financial status of the Society at each BOD Annual Business Meeting of the Society and at such other times as required by the Board of Directors.

Article VII
Board of Directors

Section 1: Duties and Responsibilities

The management and control of the business and policies pertaining to the Society shall be vested in the Board of Directors in coordination with the Executive Director. These will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. directing the policy and fiscal matters of the Society;
  2. planning continuing education programs;
  3. providing guidance to committees and members of the Society;
  4. acting as liaison among organizations directly or indirectly related to the disciplines of emergency and critical patient care;
  5. conducting the Annual Business Meeting;
  6. ratifying committees and committee members;
  7. determining the time and place of all meetings.

Section 2: Composition

The Board of Directors of the Society will consist of the:

  1. Four elected officers: President, President-Elect, Recording Secretary and Treasurer.
  2. Immediate Past-President.
  3. Two Members-at-Large. The Members-At-Large shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Directors prior to the Annual meeting at which the new Board takes office. Their term of office shall be for two years and run concurrently with the terms of the elected officers. A member-at-large cannot serve more than three consecutive terms in that position.
  4. At least one member of the Board shall be a veterinary technician.
  5. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold the office until the expiration of the term in which the vacancy occurred. Representatives of affiliated organizations may serve as ex-officio members with approval of the Board of Directors.

Section 3: Meetings

The Board of Directors shall meet annually immediately (within 5 days) prior to the time and at the designated location of the Annual Business Meeting of the Society, and as needed throughout the year to conduct the business of the Society. Meetings may be called at any time by the President or and must be called by the President following written request of  at least four (4) members of the Board of Directors. Not less than fourteen (14) days notice of the time, place and purpose of any meeting shall be provided to each current Board member, by written or electronic notification to  the contact information of record as it shall appear in the official  documents of the Society. The notification requirement may be waived in emergency circumstances with approval of two-thirds of the Board members. Routine or emergency meetings may be held by teleconference, electronic communication or other means if necessary.

Members with business for the Board should contact the President or Executive Director (in writing or via email) with their request to address the Board or submit agenda item(s). Such request shall be made no less than seven days prior to the scheduled meeting. Approved unabridged minutes of meetings will be maintained and made available to the Society members upon written request.

Section 4: Quorum

Four (4) members of the Board of Directors present in person (or on-line) shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business which may come before the Board. The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the guide for the conduct of business meetings.

Section 5: Executive Director

An Executive Director will be retained by the Board of Directors to   implement the policies and conduct the business of the Society. The term of the appointment and specific duties will be determined by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director serves as an ex-officio member of the Board.

Section 6: Financial Advisor

A Financial Advisor may be retained by the Board of Directors to advise and coordinate financial affairs work with the Executive Director and Treasurer to set proposed budgets and expenditures; to provide financial analysis as requested; and to provide advice and consult to the Board on financial matters as requested

Article VIII
Committees

Section 1: Designation of Committees

The Society shall have the following standing committees: Publications, Nominating, Finance, Education, Member Services, Practice Management and Symposium. Ad hoc scientific and advisory committees may be designated or dissolved by the President as deemed necessary.

Section 2: Appointment

Unless otherwise stated, the chairperson for each committee will be appointed by the President with the Board’s approval. All committee Chairs must be current in his/her membership. Committee members will be appointed by the Committee Chair and approved by President.. Unless otherwise stated, the term of office for Committee Chairs shall be two years and may be reappointed by the President with approval of the Board.

Section 3: Vacancies

If a committee member is unable to fulfill his/her term, a replacement shall be appointed by the Chair with approval by President to fulfill the unexpired term.

Section 4: Publications Committee

The President will appoint or reappoint the Chair every two years. Committee members, in the addition to the Journal Editor, will be appointed by the Chair with approval of the President. The Executive Director will serve as an ex-officio member. The Committee will administer the Journal of the Society and plan other informatic-related activities. The official Journal of the Society shall be entitled Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. It shall be a peer reviewed scientific and educational publication, inviting clinical and research papers which contribute to the knowledge of veterinary emergency and critical care. The Journal will be published on a regular basis. The contents may include:

  1. Scientific articles
  2. Clinical reports
  3. Editorials
  4. Reviews
  5. Abstracts of the annual meetings
  6. Brief communications
  7. Letters to the editors
  8. Advertisement and news items

The Editor of the Journal will be recommended by the President of the American College Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) and approved by the VECCS Board to serve for an unspecified period of time. He/she will select the necessary Editorial Board members from the membership of the Society and/or College. Each scientific article or clinical report will be peer-reviewed for publication by at least two unbiased reviewers selected by the Journal Editor. The purpose of the review process is to ensure the scientific quality of the manuscript meets the high standards jointly established by the Publication Committee, editorial Board and the publisher.

Section 5: Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall consist of three (3) members. The Chairperson shall be the President-Elect. The Chairperson shall appoint with the approval of the President two (2) additional members from the membership. The term of office of the Nominating Committee shall expire at the conclusion of the election. A slate of officer candidates shall be presented by the Nominating Committee to the Board for approval prior to balloting. Recommendations for nominations will be solicited from membership by the Executive Director at the direction by the Nominating Committee.

Section 6: Finance Committee

The Finance Committee shall consist of three (3) members and the Financial Advisor may be an ex-officio member of the Committee. The Treasurer shall serve as Chairperson, and the Past-President will be a member. The remaining member shall be appointed by the Chair with the approval of the President. This Committee will advise on development of an annual budget for the Society and make recommendations on fiscal matters to the Board of Directors.

Section 7: Member Services Committee

The President will appoint the Chair every two years. Committee members of at least (3) members shall be appointed by the Chair with approval by the President. The Committee will advise the Society on enhancing membership solicitation, retention, marketing, dues, and experience, through recommendations on member products and services.

 

Section 8: Education Committee:

The Education Committee shall advise and assist in the administration and promotion of current VECCS educational programs, including the VECCS CE portal, and the development of new VECCS educational programs and opportunities.  The Education Committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  The President shall appoint the Chairperson every two years.  The Chair shall appoint with the approval of the President at least three (3) additional members from the membership, which shall include the program coordinator(s) of the Symposium, VECCS/VIN webinars, and other VECCS continuing education activities.

 

Section 9: Practice Management Committee:

The Practice Management Committee will be responsible for promoting the field of practice management as it relates to Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Practice (either in a standalone setting or within a Specialty Referral Hospital). The Committee will also define the criteria for application for the Practice Manager of the Year award, review such applications in time for the annual award to be made at IVECCS. The President will appoint the chairperson. The committee shall be made up of a minimum of 4 persons with relevant experience in ECC practice management. The winner of the PM of the year award shall be invited to be on the PM committee for a term of 2 years from the date of award receipt.

 

Section 10: Symposium Committee

The Symposium Committee will be responsible for planning and carrying out all aspects of the Symposium. The President will appoint the chairperson. Members of the committee and various subcommittees may be appointed as needed by the chairperson to ensure the scientific program development meets the educational needs, objectives and interests of the membership. The chair also is responsible for ensuring the logistical, hotel/facility meeting services, laboratory program and other meeting requirements are met. The chair will recommend speaker and staff compensation plans to the BOD for approval

Section 11: Ad Hoc Scientific and Advisory Committees

Ad Hoc Scientific and Advisory Committees may be designated if needed by the Board of Directors. Each chairperson will report to the Board of Directors as directed by the President. The President will appoint the Committee Chairperson(s). The Chairperson(s) in conjunction with the President will select the Committee members. The purpose of Ad Hoc Scientific or Advisory Committees is to assist the Society in activities such as establishing guidelines in specific facets of veterinary emergency and critical care and, when called upon, to assist in planning scientific programs.

Article IX
Conduct of Business

Section 1: General Membership Meetings

The Society shall meet annually at a site selected by the Board of Directors for the purpose of conducting and reviewing the business of the Society. Additional meetings of the Society shall be held if requested by the Board. Written notice to and solicitation of agenda items from all members shall precede the meeting date by at least 30 days. The President will set the meeting agenda. The conduct of all meetings of the Society shall follow the procedures set forth in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order when applicable and consistent with the Bylaws of the Society. A parliamentarian may be appointed by the President. Minutes of the general membership meetings will be published and made available to the members.

Section 2: Eligibility to Vote

Active members who are current in their dues are eligible to attend business meetings of the Society and vote. Honorary members will not have voting privileges.

Section 3: Quorum

A quorum for meetings of the Society shall consist of those members who are eligible to vote that are present at the meeting or are available to vote by electronic ballot..

Section 4: Ballots

Mail or electronic ballots may be utilized when deemed necessary by the Board. Members will be notified at least 15 days in advance of the intent to conduct an election or an official vote. To conduct a mail or electronic ballot, at least 15 days will be given for tabulation of the votes from members eligible to vote. The date of tabulation and address to which the ballot is to be returned shall be clearly noted on the mail ballot; instructions for electronic ballots will be made clear to all members.

Article X
Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended by majority vote of the voting members present at the Annual Business Meeting, or by majority vote of the voting members responding through mail ballot or electronic ballot. Written or electronic notice of the proposed changes must be sent to the entire membership at least 15 days before the voting proceeds.

 

Approved November 2017