Constitution & Bylaws Committee Chair

The following report was featured in the January 2012 Delegates’ Voice and was submitted by David Entzminger, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
Your comments about the follow proposals may be posted via the “Leave a reply” link at the end of this article. This is not a public forum so all comments are being monitored to protect the participants. See Comments Below.


This year’s C&BLC volunteers include Chair David Entzminger, Vice Chair Steven Goolsby (Rocky Mountain), Edie Allison (Eastern), John Brooks (European), John Hogg (Canada), Clint Moore (Gulf Coast), and Terry O’Hare (Southwest).  We are charged to prepare amendment(s) proposed in accordance with the AAPG Constitution and Bylaws (C&BL) as well as others we wish to propose after an annual review of the C&BL.  Membership classification amendments were the first items of business this year.  Andrea Reynolds, Chair of the Membership Coordination and Communication subcommittee of the AAPG Membership Committee, submitted a Membership Simplification proposal.  Clint Moore offered a Membership Class Solution proposal.  These proposals are summarized in Figure 1.  The C&BLC was also asked by the AAPG Executive Committee (EC) to review the Regions Bylaws for inconsistencies with the AAPG Constitution and Bylaws as well as the Regions campaign policy.

The C&BLC voted unanimously at its Oct 4thmeeting to present both the Membership Simplification and Membership Class Solution proposals at the HoD annual meeting in April, so that the House could discuss the merits of both proposals.  Both proposals would be forwarded without endorsement from the C&BLC.  After discussion on the House floor, an informal vote could be solicited from the House to establish which proposal or parts of the proposals, if any, the House would endorse.  The C&BLC would then rewrite the appropriate sections of the bylaws needed to follow the House’s endorsement and bring it to a formal vote in 2013.  On November 29th, a Resolution from the EC endorsing the Membership Simplification proposal was presented to the C&BLC.  Therefore, the C&BLC is preparing the Simplification proposal for vote at the HoD meeting in April.  Both Proposals are being presented to you now to answer questions and stimulate debate in order to minimize discussion at the HoD annual meeting and prepare delegates for a vote.  Below you can read the descriptions of both these proposals.  We trust you will thoroughly discuss and carefully consider the merits of these proposals with your delegations.

The review of the Regions campaign policy revealed that campaigns are not covered in the AAPG or the Regions’ C&BLs.  There is an EC Campaign Policy for the AAPG but it does not specifically address the Regions.  The Regions’ C&BL all state or imply that the AAPG C&BL is the supreme document in any discrepancy.  The C&BLC recommended that the EC Campaign Policy be written so that it applies to all elections of members of AAPG.

Strategic Plan Amendment

The C&BLC voted unanimously to recommend the Strategic Plan Amendment.  We are proposing that “Any recommendations to the Executive Committee involving potential amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws, shall also be forward to the House of Delegates for review and comment.”  We believe it would be beneficial for the HoD to be more formally included in comments and prompt a boarder contribution from the HoD membership to the formulation of the Strategic Plan.

 Additional Amendments

Two other amendments have been discussed but are not ready to be formally proposed by the C&BLC.  They include a Certification Classification Amendment and Sponsorship Clarification Amendment.  They could be proposed and to be presented sometime in the future.

Membership Classification Proposals graphic

Committee updated 01/19/2012

Figure 1.  AAPG’s current member classification, proposed Membership Simplification proposal and Membership Class Solution proposal.

Membership Simplification Proposal

The AAPG Membership Communication and Coordination Committee (previously the Membership Planning Committee) chaired by Andrea Reynolds has been working for some time on a series of both process changes and Bylaws changes intended to simplify and clarify the AAPG’s membership application process and classification scheme. Some of the application process changes were implemented earlier this year (Delegates Voice 2011, October Explorer) to make the applicant’s tasks clear and simple. The proposed Bylaws amendments presented below have been brought to the HOD via a resolution from the AAPG EC.

The proposed Bylaws amendments involve two actions:

Item 1) Remove the term “Active” from “Active Member”
Item 2) Make “Emeritus” and “Honorary” member classes special designations of “Member” instead of separate classes

The proposed amendment Item 1) removes “Active” from the class name, removing the implication that the member is required to be an active participant in AAPG (serve on committees, chair sessions, volunteer at events, etc). The Bylaws currently preclude Students and Associates from referring to themselves as members of AAPG (refer to Article 1 Sections 1 and 2 of the Bylaws).

The proposed amendment Item 2) simplifies the AAPG membership classification scheme to 3 classes (Member, Student, Associate) from the current 5 classes (Active Member, Honorary, Emeritus, Student, Associate).

  • Currently, applicants can only apply for one of 3 classes: Active Member, Student, or Associate. New applicants cannot apply for Honorary (awarded) and Emeritus (achieved by membership longevity and age).
  • The proposed scheme is similar to ones used in affiliated societies. For example, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the Houston Geological Society consider Honorary membership as an award which results in the member receiving a “special designation.” Under this proposal, Honorary and Emeritus become Special Designations of the AAPG (Active) Member class, achieved by attaining the same requirements that currently exist which merit such distinction.  The proposal would maintain individuals as Members, who may be awarded Honorary Membership or achieve Emeritus Membership but would remain within the Member class.
  • At present, an AAPG member may be eligible for various classes of membership and therefore perceive that they hold multiple membership classes, such as a member who is an Emeritus Member and still believes they are an Active Member. In fact, while an AAPG Member may qualify for multiple classes of membership, in practice headquarters assigns each member to only one membership class. That can create confusion. Therefore, in the new Member Simplification Proposal, all three classes, Active, Emeritus, and Honorary would be Members and granted membership; Honorary and Emeritus would be designations within the Member class.
  • The proposal will also allow the flexibility to include additional special designations of the Member class.
  • In addition it reduces the perception that there is a hierarchy of membership classes, which was an issue raised at the last HoD meeting.

Membership Class Solution Proposal (MCSP)

The MCSP proposal has been devised to solve problem caused by the creation of the “Associate “ member class by the HoD in 1998 by reclassifying the geo-degreed Associates that have never chosen to apply for Active membership into their own new membership class.

Since one can join AAPG as an Associate without sponsors or experience, and this new class would now contain the geo-degreed Associates, this proposal calls for a new “Basic” member class. This MCSP would retain the “Active” class and would also retain both the “Honorary” and “Emeritus” classes.

Maintaining the existing structure, and adding this proposed “Basic” class, preserves the potential for any future classes that the HoD might someday like to consider creating.

If you have any comments about any of these proposals, use the form below. This site will not support anonymous submissions.

5 thoughts on “Constitution & Bylaws Committee Chair

  1. I think that having a category for degreed professional called (BASIC or something else) is a step forward to solving the problem of identifying people who can be encouraged to be active. By moving them to a category it starts a process that will wake up some people who might volunteer to active by application.

    The proposal submitted by Andrea/Jeff simply masks the underlying weakness of the present member structure by removing descriptive designations. I think that if this was adopted, it would be overturned within a few years by future HoD chairman for the reason many people want class designations as a symbol of achievement and the simplified structure doesn’t address the degreed and qualified “associate” member problem.

    Certainly there is a hybrid system that could be agree upon where a new class for
    degreed non voting members is created but the name could be Observing Member instead of BASIC and the voting class could be renamed Sustaining Member.

    I support keeping the special class called Honorary but making Emeritus a special
    designation of “sustaining member.” this is because Honorary is the result of
    contribution not length of membership.

  2. I support the “simplification” proposal. It is neat, clear, concise, flexible, and unambiguous.

    Let’s not split too many hairs and get caught up in semantic issues which might arise from the ‘solution’ proposal.

    Andrea Reynolds and here committee colleagues are to be complimented for her clearly-state ‘simplification’ proposal.

  3. If we’re going to tackle the membership issue, then let’s handle the problem we have with Associates who are improperly classified. The membership simplification proposal does not do this, which is why the membership class proposal was submitted. I would not support any proposal that does not address the Associate issue.

    I am guessing that a Basic Member would carry the same rights (or lack thereof) as Associates & would be unvetted, except they would have a geoscience degree. Again, only Active Members can call themselves members of AAPG. (Which means that 99% of Associates are probably in violation of AAPG’s Code of Ethics, but that’s a problem for another day.)

  4. I read the latest Delegates Voice with interest.

    Andrea’s committee’s “membership simplification” proposal is certainly neat and tidy. I like it. In fact, it sums up the reality well. The term “Active” is a little superfluous, and does not add very much. And Members can simultaneously be Honorary or Emeritus. They are still “Members” in every sense of the word and with the same voting rights, ability to run for office, being “active” on committees etc, It is just a somewhat different billing arrangement (and for good reason).

    I am less clear how the MCSP with an additional “Basic” class simplifies things I understand the underlying logic, but introducing another member category has less merit. If anything, we should be reducing them.

    I am sure the alternative proposals will generate good discussion on the floor of the House, and the strategy of seeing what the HoD want to do before committing resources to revising the by-laws is wise indeed.

    In conclusion, I think all the work and thinking done by Andrea’s committee has put us exactly where we ought to be; member, student & associate.

    Peter Lloyd

  5. I agree that honorary and emeritus membership are based on certain criteria but you imply that there is something wrong in being both. I do not follow the logic. Calling a student a basic member in my mind seems in my mind to add confusion to the general public as to who is and who is not a real member of the group. An active member is already defined as someone in good standing not politicking for committee membership or officership.

    Other than implying more members than we really have, I am uncertain as to how this helps anything.

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