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Procedures for Revising or Dissolving a Special Interest Group (SIG)

Revising a SIG

The process of revising a SIG or merging SIGs begins with submission of a formal proposal. The Board of Special Interest Groups (BSIGC) reviews the proposal and makes a recommendation to the ASHA Board of Directors (BOD), which makes the final determination.

The Submission Process

SIG(s)-Initiated Modification/Merger

A SIG proposal for modification to some component of the SIG or merger of two or more SIGs, includes

  • A review form for change of name and/or content
  • A resolution to the BSIGC for its review and recommendation to the BOD

The proposal must be approved by a majority of that SIG's responding affiliates or, for a merger, the majority/of responding affiliates all SIGs concerned.

A SIG may be merged with another SIG, if it can be demonstrated that affiliates' needs and interests can properly be met through such a merger. If two SIGs merge, the newly formed SIG will be subject to processes described in Candidate Status section.

The BOD will make final decisions regarding modification or merger proposals.

BSIGC- or BOD- Initiated Intervention

The BSIGC or BOD may intervene to propose modification or merger based on review of the SIG or other compelling information, including

  • Failure to meet minima criteria for a SIG as determined by annual review (2 consecutive years or 3/5 years)
  • Evidence of affiliate dissatisfaction, e.g., 25% decline in affiliation (per annual report) for 2 consecutive years or over 5 years and/or negative feedback from 2 consecutive affiliate satisfaction surveys
  • Inability of leadership to satisfy fiduciary and/or procedural responsibilities, including unprofessional conduct that undermines the intent and goals of the Association leadership and the collegial relationships among its members by SIG leadership or affiliates

The Proposal and Review Process

The detailed proposal to modify/merge must include

  • A cover letter
  • A petition
  • A plan for meeting minima criteria
  • A description of the leadership pool

For specific requirements, see "Content of Proposal" under "Proposing a New Special Interest Group."

The review process, including timelines, is the same as that prescribed for creating a new SIG. See "The Review Process" under "Proposing a New Special Interest Group." However, once a modification is initiated it must be ready for submission to the BSIGC and BOD within one calendar year.

The BOD may modify/merge SIG if such action (a) strengthens the existing SIG(s) in terms of meeting the minima criteria for SIG status, leadership, and finances; and (b) satisfies requirements related to its purpose, affiliation, and other factors (see details under "Review by the BOD" under "Proposing a New Special Interest Group").

ASHA members are informed of BOD action through announcements in The ASHA Leader, any appropriate SIG publications, and other Association communication vehicles, specifically including electronic and social networking formats.

Probation

Annually, each SIG Coordinating Committee (CC) must ensure that the SIG is meeting the minimum required activities of a SIG (see the SIG Leadership Handbook andOperation Guidelines  [PDF] for additional information).

At the end of the calendar year, any SIG that fails to meet minimum criteria will be placed on probation.

Probationary status is limited to 12 months. The SIG CC must submit a plan of action (POA), detailing measurable goals (e.g., developing processes) and timelines, to the BSIGC chair and ASHA BOD liaisons within 1 month of being placed on probation (see Elements of a POA below).

Once probation begins, the SIG has a maximum of 12 months to demonstrate compliance. As part of the POA, the SIG is to provide quarterly status reports to the BSIGC chair and BOD liaisons. These reports will document activities and outcomes to remedy the situation. SIGs that do not comply with the requirements of probation will be subject to dissolution.

Chronology of Probation

  1. SIG is identified as not meeting minimum criteria per review of its annual report or other noted activity. BSIGC chair and BSIGC ex officio inform BOD liaisons of noncompliance. Deficiencies may be brought to the attention of the BSIGC chair, the BOD liaisons, or the BSIGC ex officio throughout the year. SIGs are encouraged to work to address issues during the course of the year in order to avoid probationary status. Probation officially begins at the start of the calendar year.

  2. The BSIGC chair sends an electronic communication to the SIG Coordinating Committee members to inform them that the SIG is not in compliance and to outline the required steps that the SIG needs to take to resolve the issue. A conference call is scheduled within 30 days to discuss the matter with members of the Coordinating Committee and to answer questions about the POA and timelines. 

  3. The BSIGC and ASHA BOD are informed, in writing, of the probationary status in a timely manner. Specific dates to be determined.  

  4. Following discussion with the Coordinating Committee, the SIG submits a POA no later than 1 month after the conference call.
    Note: If a SIG is put on probation because Perspectives content was not published as required, the POA must specify plans to publish (a) missed and planned content and (b) respective learning assessments.

  5. Once the POA has been received by the BSIGC ex officio, a conference call will be held among SIG leadership, the BSIGC chair, the BOD Liaisons, and the BSIGC ex officio within 2 weeks. The purpose of this call is to (a) discuss the POA and (b) approve it or request edits to the plan. This process will repeat until the POA is acceptable to the BSIGC chair and BOD liaisons.

  6. In order to be removed from probation, the SIG Coordinating Committee will have 12 months (i.e., the full probation period) to successfully complete the POA. Progress reports will be provided to the BSIGC chair and BOD liaisons every 3 months until the end of the probation period. 

  7. At any time, but no later than 12 months from the onset of probation, the SIG will submit a final report, which will (a) outline how the SIG has satisfied and remediated the deficiency and (b) request that ASHA remove the SIG from probation status. 

  8. The BSIGC chair, BOD liaisons, and BSIGC ex officio will review the final report and render their decision (i.e., remove the SIG from probation or dissolve the SIG).  

  9. SIGs who have met the goals defined in the POA within the 12-month probation period will be removed from probation. SIGs who have failed to reach compliance will be subject to dissolution (see Dissolving a SIG below).

  10. The ASHA BOD makes the final decision regarding dissolution.

Elements of a POA

I. Problem Statement – Indicates why ASHA has placed the SIG on probation.

II. Detail of Specifications – Indicates the outcomes, associated tasks, responsible persons, and probation timelines (see example below).

III. Submit quarterly status reports (e.g., progress report in March, June, and September, followed by a final report in December).

Example

                                                                                                                                DETAIL of SPECIFICATIONS 
Outcome Tasks Responsible Person(s) Deadline Status: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

Publish 3–5 articles about ____________. 

Identify potential authors. Coordinating Committee xx/xx/xxxx  


Invite authors and specify a deadline. Editor xx/xx/xxxx  

Dissolving a SIG

SIGs that are not meeting requirements for SIG status are automatically put on probation and must demonstrate compliance within one calendar year. Failure to address deficiencies within a year following notice shall result in dissolution of the SIG.

The process of dissolving a SIG begins with submission of a proposal—specifically including a resolution reflecting the recommendation to dissolve—by the BOD, BSIGC, or a majority of that SIG's affiliates. The BSIGC reviews the proposal and submits the recommendation/resolution to the BOD, which makes the final determination.

The Review Process

The review process, including timelines, is the same as that prescribed for creating a new SIG. See "The Review Process" under "Proposing a New Special Interest Group."

Criteria for Dissolution

In evaluating a proposal to dissolve a SIG, the BOD considers performance factors, including

  • Failure to meet minima criteria for a SIG as determined by annual review (2 consecutive years or 3/5 years)
  • Evidence of affiliate dissatisfaction, e.g., 25% decline in affiliation (per annual report) for 2 consecutive years or over 5 years and/or negative feedback from 2 consecutive affiliate satisfaction surveys
  • Inability of leadership to satisfy fiduciary and/or procedural responsibilities, including unprofessional conduct that undermines the intent and goals of the Association leadership and the collegial relationships among its members by SIG leadership or affiliates
  • The SIG votes to recommend its own dissolution

The BOD also can take action to dissolve a SIG if it is financially unsustainable.

Informing Leadership/Affiliates of Concerns and BOD Action

The BOD may dissolve a SIG for good and sufficient reason by a two-thirds vote of those present at a face-to-face meeting, provided that (a) the SIG has had a probationary period of one year during which time leadership has had the opportunity to address concerns, (b) the reason for dissolution is stated in writing by the BOD to the affiliation of the SIG, and (c) the SIG membership has been given full opportunity(i.e., three months) to appeal to the BOD, stating the reasons for the continued existence of the SIG.

The BOD shall inform SIGs of activities that appear to be out of compliance with policies of the Association. Continued failure or refusal to comply with these requirements may constitute good and sufficient reason for dissolution of a SIG by the BOD. The BSIGC and BOD shall seek to resolve issues of concern with SIGs on an informal basis before placing the issue on BOD's action agenda.

ASHA members are informed of BOD action within 30 days of its decision through announcements in The ASHA Leader, any appropriate SIG publications, and other Association communication vehicles, specifically including electronic and social networking formats. The SIG will be formally sunset at the end of the calendar year during which BOD action is taken.

The Right for Reconsideration

Reconsideration is the mechanism whereby the SIG appeals the decision of the BOD to dissolve the SIG. If the SIG chooses to request Reconsideration review, it must submit written documentation to justify why dissolution should be rescinded within 30 days from the date of notification. If the SIG does not exercise its Reconsideration option, the BOD's decision to dissolve is final and cannot be appealed.

At its next face-to-face meeting the BOD will review the SIG's Reconsideration request and documentation and make a decision consistent with the process for establishing or modifying a SIG. The BSIGC chair and monitoring vice presidents notify the coordinator of the BOD's decision within 30 days of the BOD's decision.

  • If the BOD again votes to overturn its earlier decision to dissolve the SIG, the SIG will operate under Candidate Status.
  • If the BOD again votes to uphold its earlier decision to dissolve the SIG, the decision is final. A proposal to establish a new SIG may be submitted after one full year.

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