HOD adopts housekeeping, ethics amendments to bylaws

October 29, 2012

The 2012 AOA House of Delegates in Chicago considered 17 proposed amendments to the AOA Constitution and Bylaws (two to the Constitution and 15 to the Bylaws) during the 115th Congress of the American Optometric Association, June 27-July 1, 2012, in Chicago.

All but one concerned “housekeeping” matters related to the membership classifications, dues structures and other organizational subjects.

Membership classifications, dues structure

The thrust of the proposals was to streamline the structure and classifications in order to facilitate the use of the AOA’s new association management system database, slated for introduction next year.

Although the subject matter of the amendments may have been mundane and convoluted, the delegates gave the proposals their rapt attention. After spirited discussion and debate, and sophisticated tweaking that made further refinements on the floor, all but one of the housekeeping amendments were approved.

Approved were amendments that:

  • Changed the notice requirements and effective date of amendments,
  • Revised numerous membership classifications and their qualifications and dues amounts, and
  • Deleted the descending dues schedule for active members over age 70.

Ascending dues schedule unchanged

Falling just short of receiving the rigorous two-thirds majority needed for adoption was the proposal to compress the ascending dues schedule from a five-year schedule to a four-year one.

Judicial Council advisory opinions

The non-housekeeping amendment assigned an additional responsibility to the AOA Judicial Council, which can now issue advisory opinions regarding the Professional Standards of Conduct adopted last year, in addition to its previous authority to interpret the Code of Ethics and the Optometric Oath.

Full text of the Constitution and Bylaws

The full text of the AOA Constitution and Bylaws, which will become effective on Jan. 1, 2013, will be published in an upcoming online edition of Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association.

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