Board of Directors Meeting Report: May 3-5, 2012
The Board of Directors (BOD) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) met on May 3, 4, and 5, 2012, at the ASHA National Office. Following are highlights of the Board’s discussions.
President’s Welcome/Executive Director Update Highlights
President Chabon convened the meeting at 6:30 p.m., welcoming the Board members and thanking them for their continued service to the professions and ASHA. She also thanked the Board for their willingness to try a different schedule for this meeting that includes a working dinner and evening session. The new schedule will be evaluated after the meeting, and it will be determined if this approach might be used for future Board meetings. Besides the written summary provided to all Board members, Executive Director Arlene Pietranton updated the Board about a number of items.
- ASHA is very happy to announce the speakers for the 2012 Convention. Dr. Maya Angelou will be the opening session speaker. Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Senator and Mrs. John Glenn will present the 2012 Annie Glenn Award to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Captain Mark Kelly.
- ASHA’s new Learning Management System (LMS) launched in April. Benefits of the LMS for members who take ASHA Professional Development (APD) courses include easy access to all courses they’re currently registered for; immediate access to a certificate of completion for each course they complete; permanent, on-demand access to certificates of completion for all APD courses; and online testing for all courses, including immediate feedback on results and prompt reporting to the ASHA CE Registry. In addition, the LMS opens new business opportunities for ASHA to provide continuing education and training for organizational customers (such as employers of SLPs and audiologists). For example, we can set up unlimited access to a defined set of APD courses for an organization’s employees and allow administrators of the organization to track how many employees have completed a course. We can also license a course to an organization for unlimited usage for a defined period of time, and we can create programs specifically tailored to an organization’s needs.
Reports From Vice Presidents
Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Speech-Language Pathology Jennifer Watson reported that the BOD Subcommittee on Specialty Recognition has had three conference calls since its inception in January 2012 and will be meeting immediately following the May Board meeting. Discussions have included the professional path that recognizes the advanced practitioner with a specialization, advanced practitioner certification models that interface with current certification programs, and the implications of upcoming health care reimbursement changes for the specialist. She also reported that, at its February 2012 meeting, the Council for Clinical Certification considered the peer review comments to proposed changes in the SLP certification standards. The council has approved modifications to the new standards and is currently discussing the implementation date.
Vice President for Academic Affairs in Audiology Neil Sheppard reported on progress of the planning for a summit on the changing landscape of health care. The planning committee has outlined an agenda, and the summit is scheduled for October 5–7, 2012. A working group of invited participants will produce recommendations to help ASHA develop strategies in dealing with the upcoming changes. Details of the agenda will be shared with the Board as soon as the speakers are finalized. Neil also updated the Board about the Academic Affairs Board’s (AAB) work on the issue of the clinical doctorate in speech-language pathology. The AAB report will be presented to the Board at the August meeting.
Governance as Leadership
Jay Younger, managing partner and chief consultant of McKinley Advisors, presented information about the various roles of boards of directors. He explained that there are three typical modes of governance—fiduciary, strategic, and generative—and that effective boards engage in all three modes at different times based on the issues at hand. Fiduciary responsibilities are those that confirm that the organization is operating within appropriate policies and procedures and that decisions are in the best interest of members. Strategic modes involve setting a direction for the association and planning actions. The generative mode looks further ahead in time. It requires that boards accurately frame a potential problem for future discussion. A generative discussion focuses on deciding if there might be the potential for a significant external change and raising the possibility that planning may be required well in advance of that change.
Membership Satisfaction Data Review
Sarah Slater, director of the Surveys and Information Team, presented an analysis of the 2011 membership satisfaction survey data and an historical perspective of membership satisfaction data for the last 10 years. Though there have been small fluctuations in member satisfaction, often related to current events, member satisfaction has been relatively stable over the years. In order to track member satisfaction more closely, the Surveys and Information Team is considering increasing the frequency of this survey and developing a longitudinal study of a target population of members to more closely track satisfaction and to enable the Association to respond more quickly to changing member needs.
Based on Jay Younger’s earlier presentation and using the data given by Sarah Slater, the Board participated in a generative discussion about trends related to membership expectations and models. The outcomes of this discussion will be used to help anticipate potential changes in ASHA’s membership model and to better prepare to meet member needs in the future.
Committee on Committees Appointments
The Board convened in its role as the Committee on Committees and discussed recommendations for appointments to a variety of committees and boards for terms to begin on January 1, 2013. Voting on these appointments will take place on the Board collaboration site.
2011 Summit Regarding Provider Roles in Speech-Language Pathology
President-Elect Patty Prelock and Chief Staff Officer for Speech-Language Pathology Lemmie McNeilly provided the BOD with an update on the provider-roles summit. They reported that information regarding the service delivery continuum is being disseminated to ASHA members, state association officers, and council of state association presidents and that information regarding the scope of practice for SLPAs, training requirements, and supervision are being revised. These resources are expected to be completed by the end of 2012. They also reported that ASHA’s model language bill for state licensure of speech-language pathologists and audiologists is being modified to include information about speech-language pathology and audiology assistants. The goal is to provide model language regarding licensing information that will be helpful for states as they revise their licensure bills. The BOD discussed the revisions during their meeting; the revisions will next be reviewed by ASHA members in different states, members of different licensure boards, and staff.
Governance Restructure Subgroup Report
A governance evaluation survey of volunteer leaders was used to gather information over a 4-year period about whether changes in the governance structure produced the intended results. Past President Paul Rao presented the 2011 results at the January 2012 BOD meeting. The Board reviewed all of the feedback data, which in general supported the change to the new governance structure, recognizing it as more streamlined, less bureaucratic, and more effective. At the conclusion of the presentation, the BOD decided to appoint a Governance Restructure Subcommittee to review the governance restructure survey results and draft recommendations based on the results. They also solicited the feedback of the Advisory Councils (AC) at their 2012 meeting. Based on the AC feedback and the survey results of all recipient groups, the following recommendations were brought to the BOD for consideration.
- Actively promote throughout the year BOD decisions (resolutions and motions) and activities.
- Remind members how the BOD is kept informed regarding InTouch inquiries and how members can provide input on governing actions to the BOD via InTouch and member forums.
- Develop a communication process to engage the Advisory Councils for input on issues consistently throughout the year.
- Provide more opportunities for in-depth discussion at BOD meetings.
- Improve communication and transparency with the BOD and other constituent groups (committee/boards/councils/Special Interest Groups).
- Increase and encourage use of AC collaboration sites as the vehicle to conduct AC business.
- Facilitate leadership development by encouraging volunteer involvement in not only the traditional committee appointment process but other volunteer activities available for members.
- Consider a pilot program to place Leadership Development graduates in ASHA leadership positions including serving as members of committees/boards/councils.
- Communicate and make clear to committee chairs, committee members, and other volunteer leaders the role of ex officios and staff in working with committee/boards and councils.
- Consider appointing an ad hoc group to review ASHA’s committee/board and council structure.
A number of these recommendations, such as actively promoting BOD decisions and more frequent interactions with ACs, have already been implemented. The Board agreed with all of the recommendations and will continue to discuss additional specific actions to implement them at future meetings.
Advisory Councils Updates
Nancy Alarcon, chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, and Wayne Foster, chair of the Audiology Advisory Council, each summarized the outcomes of the March AC meetings and the further discussions that have followed the meetings through use of the collaboration sites. The Board expressed thanks to both ACs for their ongoing valuable input and discussed continued opportunities to engage the Councils on topics of interest and importance to the Board.
ASHA Mission Statement Review
A group of members, who are board-recognized swallowing specialists, asked the Board to consider changing ASHA’s mission statement to include swallowing. President Chabon led the Board in a discussion concerning altering the mission statement. Following discussion, it was decided that ASHA should consider adding the words swallowing and balance to ASHA’s mission statement, while maintaining the original sense of the mission. A team, including Vice President for Planning Barbara Moore and ASHA staff, will draft language for the Board to discuss at a future meeting.
BOD Subgroup on Supervision Update
Earlier this year, a Board subcommittee was created to provide recommendations for actions to move forward the effort to improve training for knowledge and skills related to supervision.
The Board thanked the subcommittee for their work and agreed with the overall direction suggested by the subcommittee. Specific resolutions will be developed and brought to the Board later this year.
BOD 7-2012—Resolution to Change the Title of the Executive Director
During the 2008 Executive Director’s contract renewal, it was suggested that changing the Executive Director title to Chief Executive Officer would be more consistent with comparable positions in similar nonprofit organizations and provide members and external audiences with a clearer distinction between the ASHA roles of President and Executive Director/CEO. Because of the governance restructuring, no Board titles, including that of Executive Director, could be changed until 2012. While it was not deemed appropriate for the Board to formally vote or consider this issue at the time due to the constraints on modifying the governance plan, the 2008 presidential team expressed support for this action at such time as it could be addressed by the Board. There are no compensation or other financial implications associated with the proposed title change. This resolution proposed that the title of the Executive Director of the Association be changed to Chief Executive Officer. After discussion and considering feedback that was submitted by members, the Board voted to change the title of Executive Director to Chief Executive Officer.
U.S. Territory Seats on Advisory Councils Update
Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy Theresa Rodgers presented information about adding a representative from the U.S. territories to each of the ACs. This topic was one of the items that had been put on the Board’s “parking lot” to be considered in 2012 because it required a bylaws change. She explained that the addition of these individuals to the ACs would add members with a unique perspective and be more inclusive of members living outside the United States. She reminded the Board that people who live in the U.S. territories are citizens of the United States and that only members in good standing are eligible to serve on the ACs. The Board agreed with this recommendation, but because this action requires a change in ASHA’s bylaws, it will be necessary to develop a bylaws change resolution to be included in the bylaws change process. Bylaws changes, if needed, are considered on a quarterly basis after they have been communicated to the entire membership.
Chief Staff Officer for Operations Chuck Cochran reported that sales of the townhouses that are being developed on the old ASHA headquarters property at 10801 Rockville Pike are progressing faster than expected. As of April of this year, 52 townhomes (47%) have been sold. ASHA received its first payment from the gross sales proceeds in February and expects to receive future payments on a bi-monthly basis. Chuck also reported that ASHA has leased two other portions of the fifth floor of the National Office and the new tenants will be moving in in June. He reported that approximately 4,000 square feet of space remain on the fifth floor. This is a desirable square footage for this market, so we expect we will be able to rent it out soon.
Vice President for Finance Carolyn Higdon reviewed ASHA’s audited financial performance for 2011. She reported that total income was ahead of 2010 as a result of further growth in membership, ASHA’s high retention rate of 97.7%, and a more than $650,000 increase in non-dues revenue. Non-dues revenue was ahead of 2010 primarily due to good performance in convention revenue, but also due to increased participation in e-learning and telephone seminars. Expenses for 2011 were well under budget for the year. ASHA received an unqualified audit report (no concerns from our auditors).
Carolyn also reported on ASHA’s 2012 financial performance. As of March 31, 2012, dues revenue, non-dues revenue, and expenses are tracking as budgeted. ASHA is forecasting positive revenue over expenses in 2012. In addition to her financial reports, Carolyn shared the results of an online, non-dues revenue survey conducted with Advisory Council members shortly after the AC meeting in March. She will be sharing the results of the survey with AC members and intends to develop additional surveys for AC members to provide additional feedback related to financial issues.