2014 Proposed Bylaw Amendments
This is to provide official notice that amendments to NCRA’s Constitution & Bylaws have been proposed.
The proposals have been submitted in a manner consistent with all requirements of Article XVIII, Section 1 of the Constitution & Bylaws (“Originating Proposed Amendments”).
In accordance with Article XVIII, Section 2 (“Procedure and Action on Proposed Amendments”), notice is hereby given to all Members that the following amendment proposals will be voted upon at the next annual business meeting of the membership, July 31, 2014, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco, Calif.
To be approved, the amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the Voting Members present and voting at the annual business meeting as well as the Voting Members who are voting by electronic mail or other authorized means of electronic transmission.
(The full text of NCRA’s Constitution & Bylaws can be found at www.ncra.org/c&b.)
The language to be added is italicized. Language to be stricken is indicated by strikethrough.
Amendment #1, Article VI – Officers, Section 6, President-Elect and Vice President, proposes to insert the following sentence: “The President-Elect is authorized to appoint committees for the ensuing term. The current Board of Directors shall be authorized to approve presidential appointments for the ensuing term.”
Section 6–President-Elect and Vice President
It shall be the duty of the President-Elect and Vice President, in the order designated, to perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence, or in the event of the President’s inability or unwillingness to act. The President-Elect or Vice President when thus acting shall have the powers of and be subject to all restrictions placed upon the President. Any President-Elect or Vice President shall perform such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the President or the Board of Directors. The President-Elect is authorized to appoint committees for the ensuing term. The current Board of Directors shall be authorized to approve presidential appointments for the ensuing term.
This proposed amendment will allow the President-Elect to seek Board approval, prior to the Convention, of his/her committee charges and appointments so that the committees may begin their work immediately following the Convention. Waiting until after the Convention to send out appointment letters and receive responses delays the work of committees.
Amendment #2, Article X-Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 2, Fellows, proposes to:
1) insert the words in subsection 2a), “upon recommendation by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (“CAPR”). This professional distinction shall be conferred…” after the words “Board of Directors,”; and,
2) strike the words, “shall be a Registered Member with at least ten (10) years of experience and” after the words, “A candidate for Fellow…”; and,
3) in subsection 2b), strike the entire first sentence, “The Board of Directors may, upon recommendation by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (“CAPR”), elect to confer the distinction of Fellow upon a Registered Member.”
Article X-Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters
a) Election as a Fellow is a professional distinction that shall be conferred only by the Board of Directors, upon recommendation by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (“CAPR”). This professional distinction shall be conferred upon a person of extraordinary qualifications and exemplary professional practice who serves as a credit to the profession of verbatim stenographic reporting. A candidate for Fellow shall be a Registered Member with at least ten (10) years of experience and shall have attained distinction as measured by performance. Such performance shall include three (3) or more of the following:
i) Publication of important papers, articles, books, or other written material dealing with verbatim stenographic reporting, professional, or related subjects.
ii) Creative contributions to the welfare of the profession of verbatim stenographic reporting.
iii) Significant and distinguished service to the profession as an active participant on boards or committees of any association of verbatim stenographic reporters.
iv) Contributions in such areas as teaching, editing of publications, other board or committee service, or education of the general public that have served to enhance or promote the verbatim stenographic reporting profession.
v) Attainment of the Association’s Registered Merit Reporter, Registered Diplomate Reporter, or Speed or Realtime Contest Certificate.
b) The Board of Directors may, upon recommendation by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (“CAPR”), elect to confer the distinction of Fellow upon a Registered Member. The number of such Fellows shall not, at the time of appointment, exceed three percent (3%) of the Registered Membership; and not more than one half of one percent (0.5%) of the total Registered Membership shall be elected as Fellows in any one (1) year.
c) An individual who becomes a Fellow after August 1, 1981, shall retain the distinction of Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters so long as such person remains a Registered, Retired Lifetime, Honorary, or an Associate Member.
To avoid duplication, it is recommended that only one reference be stated as it relates to the Board conferring the distinction of Fellow upon a member [Section 2 a) and b)].
A literal interpretation of Article X, Section 2 a) would seem to indicate that Retired Members are ineligible for the distinction of Fellow. It appears clear that the Registered Member requirement was intended to exclude Participating Members, Associate Members, and nonmembers from consideration for this honor, but less clear whether Retired Members were intentionally excluded. To further complicate this issue, language was added to the bylaws in the early 1980’s that allows a Fellow to retain the designation into retirement.
The members of CAPR felt that 10 years of experience was too low a bar to set for one of NCRA’s highest honors and that this item should be removed from the bylaws and be relocated to the Policies & Procedures Manual. CAPR also resolved that the new minimum experience requirement be set at 15 years. The Board of Directors agrees with CAPR’s recommendation to set the minimum experience requirement at 15 years.
If this amendment is approved by the membership, the proposed amendment would allow Retired Members who meet the relevant criteria to be named Fellows and would relocate the minimum experience requirement for Fellows to the Policies and Procedures Manual.
Amendment #3, Article XII–Structure, Section 2–Committees, Councils and Task Forces, subsection b) Committee on Professional Ethics proposes to insert the words “at least” after the words, “There shall be a committee consisting of”.
Section 2–Committees, Councils and Task Forces
b) Committee on Professional Ethics: There shall be a committee consisting of at least five (5) members, at least three (3) of whom shall be Registered Members and, when feasible, one (1) of whom shall be a Past President, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. The members of this Committee shall be appointed to serve for staggered three-year terms. The Committee shall be responsible for developing, interpreting, and enforcing the Code of Professional Ethics in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws. The Committee shall function in accordance with operating rules and procedures that are subject to approval by the Board of Directors.”
With the current limited number of committee members, COPE sometimes has difficulty achieving a quorum in order to conduct its business. Additional committee members will allow this committee to conduct its business in accordance with Roberts Rules, providing for a quorum, and allow for a more diverse committee to make informed decisions on profession-wide issues.