Making the Sausage: Revising the HAPS Bylaws in 2018

This year the HAPS board has focused on clarifying our financial instruments and has completed a top-to-bottom review of our policies, procedures, and bylaws.  This sort of work is detail oriented and can drag on, but is necessary for organizational efficiency. Some of the things that the board found during this process were surprising and some were reassuring.  All of the findings reaffirmed the fact that HAPS is in a strong financial position and is focused on ways to help members far into the future.

The proposed set of revisions to the bylaws will increase financial transparency, clear up some confusion about past donations, and improve financial management.  We’ll vote on these revisions at the Annual Conference in Columbus Ohio on May 29th, during the general membership meeting.

So what was reassuring about our finances?  HAPS has grown its donated funds from essentially zero in 2009 (when fundraising began) to nearly $120,000 today.  All these donated funds, and the interest generated from them, have been left untouched since at least 2013 to facilitate growth (HAPS has been funding scholarships out of the operating budget since 2013).  Now that we have a sizable nest egg, the next step is to create a management and spending plan that is both sustainable and prudent. Through the proposed bylaws revisions, the HAPS board has created a new committee to do just that – the HAPS Finances Committee will provide guidance to the board on the management of both donations and general savings.

So what was surprising?  Despite talk of a foundation for years, it turns out that no foundation was ever formally created – and apparently, that is a good thing! A foundation is an body that is formed around some problem or idea. A foundation is not specific to a single organization. For example, one might form a foundation to cure cancer and then give the foundation’s money to anyone working to cure cancer (not just to one institution).  Obviously, HAPS donors never intended to give money to HAPS only to have HAPS give that money to a separate foundation. The HAPS “foundation” was just a misunderstanding of the terms being used, but the idea of supporting HAPS via donations is alive and well.

So what is changing in the bylaws?  There are three main changes.

  1. First, we will be following the suggestions of our attorneys and removing article 17 from the bylaws.  This is the article that specifies a foundation and a bunch of other overly complex financial structures that HAPS does not need.
  2. Second, we will be establishing a restricted endowment to properly channel some past donations.
  3. And third, we will establish the aforementioned Finances Committee to advise the board on proper management of all HAPS funds.

If you’d like to brush up on some of those terms, check out the glossary in the “lots more info” tab in the 2018 conference app.

None of this is as exciting as HAPS Synapse! or any of the Update Speakers or workshops or posters, but governance has its place at an annual meeting.  Hopefully we’ll see you there!

2017-2018 Call for Nominations: An Opportunity to Serve

This post comes to you from Judi Nath, HAPS President Elect.

Reading the HAPS listserv and HAPS Educator, serving on the board or  a committee, reviewing position statements, implementing HAPS learning outcomes and returning from an annual or regional conference with new ideas are all ways that I have benefitted from the volunteer efforts of our many engaged HAPS members. Hearing from others who express their gratitude for the services offered by our organization provides evidence that we are helping meet the professional needs of the A&P instructors we represent. Yet, there are always improvements to be made, fresh ideas to be considered, and management tasks that must be completed. A vibrant and dedicated leadership team helps guide the HAPS organization in these various areas. Please consider joining this team, or nominating others, for the Board positions that will be open for elections in Spring 2018.

As HAPS President-Elect, it is my privilege to chair the annual Nominating Committee and solicit potential candidates for leadership positions. Working with me this year on the Nominating Committee are Javni Mody, Kevin Petti , and Dic Charge. You will likely recognize these people because each individual has served HAPS in various roles too numerous to mention throughout many years of devoted membership.

We are currently accepting nominations for candidates to fill four HAPS offices with terms that will commence on July 1, 2018.  These offices are the following: President-Elect, Treasurer, Eastern Regional Director, and Western Regional Director.  Both self-nominations and nominations from colleagues are welcome and are due to the Nominating Committee by January 31, 2018.  Questions can be submitted to me.

All discussions of potential candidates will remain confidential within the Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee will review all nominations and verify willingness to serve.  A final slate of candidates will be recommended to the Board of Directors for approval in March, with a maximum of two candidates for President-Elect and maximum of three candidates for each of the other offices.  The final candidates will be asked to provide a biography, position statement, and photo for the April ballot.

All elected officers serve on the Board of Directors during their designated term.  The Board holds in-person meetings twice a year:  one occurs during a weekend in October (next year’s meeting will be held in Denver), and the other occurs for two days prior to the annual conference in the host city).  The work of the Board is conducted the rest of the year through scheduled monthly e-meetings, synchronous video calls, and other asynchronous communication as needed.

Descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of each office can be found in the HAPS Bylaws available on the HAPS website (login required).  Below is a short synopsis of each office that will be filled in the 2018 election:

President-Elect

Election to this office involves a three-year commitment, one year each as President-Elect, President, and Past-President.  The year as President-Elect provides a year to become accustomed to serving on the Board of Directors before transitioning into the role of President.  The President, in consultation with the Board, provides direction and guidance by establishing and managing the policies and affairs of the Society.  Following the President’s term, they become Past-President to provide leadership continuity.

Treasurer

The Treasurer is the chief fiscal officer of the Society, one of the official signing officers, and serves on the Executive Committee.  The Treasurer oversees all financial transactions, keeps financial records and prepares the annual budget in consultation with the Board of Directors and Steering Committee.  The Treasurer’s term of office is for two (2) years, but there is no limit to consecutive terms.

Regional Directors (Eastern & Western Regions – see website for boundaries.)

Although each Regional Director serves as a representative of one of the four HAPS regions to ensure diverse geographical representation on the Board of Directors, they are elected by the entire membership.  Each acts as a liaison between the region’s constituency and the Board and promotes increased involvement of the region’s membership in the activities of the Society, including regional conferences.  Each Regional Director’s term of office is for two (2) years.  Regional Directors may not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

Becoming part of the HAPS leadership team is a great way to give back to our organization and to enhance personal and professional development within a nationally respected educational society.  Whether you, or someone you know, would be interested in this opportunity, please let us know.

For those who are not comfortable participating at the Board level at this time, but who are still interested in becoming involved, please consider participating on a HAPS committee.  We value the time and talent of all those who strive to improve HAPS.

Please Vote in the Elections for Board Positions!

President-Elect Ron Gerrits

Serving as an officer in any organization requires a commitment of time and effort. Because HAPS members generally lead busy lives, it can be a challenge finding candidates who are confident they can devote enough time to managing the current affairs of HAPS while also strategically planning for its future. In spite of these challenges, there was a strong response to the nomination process this year and the Nominating Committee is excited to finalize a slate of candidates that nearly fills the allotted slots allowed for balloting. In fact, we had more nominations this year than ever for multiple positions, such that we were not able to put all of those interested on the ballot. This increase in interest in leadership positions speaks well of the engagement level of the society and we are hopeful that it will continue into the future.

Besides identifying qualified candidates, an organization also benefits when there is a high level of participation by the general membership in the election process. I am requesting that all of us review the descriptions of the open positions, read the candidate statements and complete the ballots when received.

The positions that are up for election starting in July 2017 include the following:

President-Elect:
Election to this office involves a three-year commitment, one year each as President-Elect, President, and Past-President.  The year as President-Elect provides a year to become accustomed to serving on the Board of Directors before transitioning into the role of President.  The President, in consultation with the Board, provides direction and guidance by establishing and managing the policies and affairs of the Society.  Following the President’s term, they become Past-President to provide leadership continuity.  

Secretary:
The Secretary is responsible for maintaining the official records of the Society. This includes recording minutes of Board and general membership meetings, and maintaining bylaws and other corporate documents. The Secretary’s term of office is for two (2) years.

Regional Directors (Central & Southern Regions)
Although each Regional Director serves as a representative of one of the four HAPS regions to ensure diverse geographical representation on the Board of Directors, they are elected by the entire membership.  They act as a liaison between the region’s constituency and the Board and promote increased involvement of the region’s membership in the activities of the Society, including regional conferences.  Each Regional Director’s term of office is for two (2) years. The current incumbents each qualify to serve again.

The candidate information and biographies can be found here, which summarize the activities of these members both within and outside of HAPS.


HAPS members will receive ballots on March 13



HAPS members will receive ballots today, so please watch out for them in your email.  The voting will continue through March 31. Because we have three candidates for each Regional Director, as well as for Secretary, we are utilizing instant runoff voting this year (a form of preferential voting in Robert’s Rules of Order). Instant runoff voting is a form of rank order voting that is commonly used in universities and municipalities when there are more than two candidates for a position. It provides a mechanism for obtaining a majority vote without having to hold additional rounds of balloting, which might otherwise be required. You will be asked to rank candidates in order of preference (1-3). We understand that this can be challenging, especially if you consider all candidates strong, but it is necessary in order to hold the elections in an efficient manner.

Election results will be announced in April, as well as at the annual conference in Salt Lake City.

Thanks to everyone in advance for taking the time to participate in the election process. And a special thanks to those that have agreed to serve in office if elected. It is a commitment that benefits all in the society.


Ron Gerrits is the HAPS President-Elect & 2016-2017 Nominating Committee Chair.  He is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Vote now

HAPS Leadership (#28): Changing of the Guard

On the road again!
On the road again!

Another annual HAPS conference has come and gone. Attendees have scattered back to their homes, either teaching, writing, relaxing, or keeping up with other activities to keep them busy during the summer. For the HAPS leadership, it’s no different.

As you are aware, we had elections this spring for several new positions on the Board of Directors. We also saw changes in the Steering Committee, as some chairs rotate off and others rotate on. Officially, the changes occur as of July 1, but we’re already going through a training and transition phase.

New Board members include Valerie O’Loughlin (past-president), Tom Lehman (president), Betsy Ott (president-elect), Karen McMahon (treasurer), Jon Jackson (western regional director), and Leslie Day (eastern regional director).

Thanks to the outgoing Board members: Dee Silverthorn (past-president), Elizabeth Becker (treasurer), Anne Geller (western regional director), and Javni Mody (eastern regional director). We know that you’ll still be active within HAPS and are excited to see how you’ll use your experiences in your future endeavors.

For the Steering Committee, the new roster is here.

140604 (2) HAPS Steering Committee roster

Thanks to outgoing chairs for this past year: Pat Bowne, Nick Despo, Christine Eckel, Elizabeth Hodgson, Karen McMahon, Lourdes Norman, and Valerie O’Loughlin. We greatly appreciate your contributions and know that you’ll help First-Timers next year as they track down those elusive Chair signatures at the next Scavenger Hunt.

140604 (3) green yugoPresident Valerie O’Loughlin and Executive Director Peter English are busy organizing for the June Board meeting. Steering Committee Chair Ron Gerrits is busy corralling his people for summertime projects. President-elect Tom Lehman has fallen off the radar, last seen entering a brewpub somewhere in southwestern Florida. President O’Loughlin has commissioned HAPS Three – a green 1985 Yugo – to be ready to pick up new president-elect Betsy Ott in case she needs to be sworn in a year early. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, this blog theme on the HAPS leadership is coming to a close. It’s been a blast to share with you the people and positions in the administration of HAPS and I hope that it’s been fun and/or informative for you. The blog will continue. Wendy Riggs – Communication Chair – will continue to bring great entries for you. Betsy Ott – president-elect – will be sharing entries with you about the various educational resources that we have to offer through the HAPS website (there are so many great benefits to being a member of HAPS!).

It’s gonna be another great year as we plan towards HAPS 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. Keep up on all the great details as they develop!

Skully in San Antonio
I’m counting down to San Antonio already…

HAPS Leadership (#23): Secretary to the Board

She keeps us sweet!
She keeps us sweet!

An organization lives on its documentation.  You can sink or swim depending on how well you keep track of details.  When the details are there, they help you stay focused and moving forward.  When they’re absent, you meander directionless or backtrack with no idea that you’re retreading previous trails.

Carol Veil is the Secretary for the HAPS Board of Directors.  It’s Carol’s responsibility to keep track of the documentation during meetings and help us to keep our focus.  I had a chance to chat with Carol recently and find out what she thinks of her role and of HAPS.

1.      What’s the coolest part about being the secretary?

      The two coolest things about being secretary are how much I have learned about HAPS and how much better I have gotten to know the other HAPS members on the BOD. 

      There are so many details that must be handled to run an organization like HAPS.  Prior to being on the BOD, I was unaware of the many behind-the-scenes processes that are so necessary.  And as secretary taking the notes at meetings, I am focused on everything that is discussed.  Hands always on the keyboard – no daydreaming!

      It has also been cool getting  to know the other BOD members, some of whom I previously knew by name but had never talked to them more than a quick “hello” at a conference.  It’s fun to see both the “business” and the “casual” sides of everyone.   I must give a big shout-out to President Valerie O’Loughlin and Executive Director Peter English.  They are in constant communication with the BOD (not quite daily emails, but close) and are always working hard on behalf of the organization. 

2.   What’s the biggest challenge? 

     140326 (2) F grade For me, the biggest challenge of being secretary has been learning the appropriate level of detail to include in the minutes that are publically posted for all to read.  Personally, I tend to be very “anal” (I can use that term in an A&P blog, right?) about details. The first draft of minutes that I sent to the President for review included everything that happened at the BOD Google hangout meeting short of who coughed when!   That draft came back to me like an F-student research paper, covered with 140326 (3) A gradestrike-outs and comments.   It took me until the third BOD meeting to become the A-student, with minimal edits to my minutes and a big “thank you” of approval.  The take-home message for me – there is a big difference between personal notes for myself and public minutes for an organization!  

3.  Whose name do you have the hardest time spelling?

The name I have the hardest time spelling correctly is Shannon, Shanon, Shanan (Molnar – our Business Manager from ASG).  I have to remember … only one “n” in the middle and “a-n” at the end!  I got it now! 

4.  What was your impression of the mid-year meeting in JAX?

The mid-year meeting in Jacksonville was a delightful experience. It was the first time for me to meet with the entire BOD in person (as opposed to conference calls and Google hangouts).   In addition, the BOD had one afternoon meeting with the Steering Committee.  It was so nice to interact face-to-face with everyone, rather than electronically.  We got a lot of business accomplished in two long days of meetings. 

Cheers!
Cheers!

In addition, I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful Jacksonville is – I had no idea!  The St. John’s River runs right through the downtown, with numerous bridges crossing over as well as water taxis.  It’s a great location for the 2014 HAPS conference – hotel nicely situated, lovely for an evening walk, a ride on the river, and some good food (such as the tasty chocolate truffle torte at River City Brewing Company!).

HAPS Leadership (#21): Executive Committee

DESERT SHIELDHAPS One – the refurbished Huey helicopter – touched down in La Grange, Georgia at HAPS International headquarters.  President Valerie O’Loughlin was greeted by the security detail and taken into the secured compound.

“Ma’am, the presidents for ASM (American Society for Microbiology) and APS (American Physiology Society) are already here.  We’re still waiting for AAA (American Association of Anatomists) – oh, wait, I just got word that their submarine docked at the underground grotto entrance.  We should meet them in the West Boardroom.”

Let me show you something great!
Let me show you something great!

President O’Loughlin nodded and continued on her way towards the secure elevator that would take her to the fortified meeting room.  Today’s summit would determine the future of biological education for the next decade.  It was vital that HAPS led the way.

She punched in a security code known only to other Executive Committee members and entered the elevator.  As the elevator descended, she reflected on that elite group.  The HAPS Executive Committee is comprised of the president, the president-elect, the past president, the secretary, and the treasurer.  It is their solemn vow to uphold the standards of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society and protect it from threats, both foreign and domestic.

Wow, she needed some caffeine.  Val was typing up notes for Tom Lehman’s weekly blog on the HAPS leadership and she seriously let her mind wander on that topic.  Oh well, shaking the cobwebs and refocusing on the questions.

Question #1: What is the difference between the Board and the Executive Committee?

140312 (3) Mini MeI see the Executive Committee as the “Mini Board.”  Despite the advances of technology, there are some decisions that need to be made very quickly, and we can’t wait on the schedules of all very busy Board members to reply to emails.  In addition, there are some decisions that don’t require the input of all Board members, but rather, a smaller component of the Board will suffice.  For those types of decisions, the Executive Committee is invaluable.

That said, there have been relatively few items that have been discussed in the Executive Committee instead of the entire Board.  And the Board typically is informed of these discussions after the fact, so it isn’t as if the Executive Committee is doing something that the Board is not aware of. Rather, it provides a way to streamline some actions so our service to HAPS members is not interrupted.

Question #2: Describe your President’s Initiative for this year.

The President’s Initiative is a way for the president to provide a long-term impact to HAPS well after the President’s term has ended.  My initiative focuses on expanding anatomy and physiology educational research in HAPS.  In a nutshell, my initiative is designed to:

1) inform HAPS membership about methodical ways of assessing teaching and learning effectiveness,

2) introduce members to the scholarship of teaching and learning,

3) showcase exemplary educational research efforts of our members, and

4) ultimately have HAPS serve as an example for producing rigorous A&P educational research projects.

The ultimate goal is to make HAPS members more knowledgeable about A&P educational research by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to design, implement, and publish A&P educational research studies.

In addition to developing online ‘how-to’ podcasts for developing an educational research project, I am in charge of selecting speakers for our HAPS 2015 meeting, which will have a focus on educational research and scholarship of teaching and learning.

Question #3:  In your Fantasy Dodgeball League, which three President Emeriti would make your championship team?

Ooooh… good one.

  • 140312 (4) DodgeballBill Perrotti definitely would be on my team, because he can be quite sinister in getting individuals to volunteer for HAPS related activities and inspiring them to run for office (note to HAPS members – if you see Bill Perrotti come up to you and talk about volunteering – RUN!)
  • Kevin Patton of course – anyone who has worked with lions is fierce in his own right.
  • And Don Kelly – because the role of a past president is to make his current president’s dodgeball team look good.

HAPS Leadership (#19): Presidents Emeriti

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is over a quarter-century young and still growing.  Each year has given us new adventures and new challenges.  It has been the presidents that have lead us through those times, helping HAPS to grow, survive, and prosper.

140226 (1) Emeriti

The Presidents Emeriti Advisory Board is the collection of this venerable group.  These individuals help to maintain the institutional memory of the Society (“Oh my god, we already tried that!”).  The Emeriti are a great bunch to talk with at the Annual ConferencesHenry Ruschin can tell you about evacuating the hotel in Toronto in the middle of the night.  Ric Martini can regale you with stories of dealing with SACS and accreditation.  John Waters can explain how that led to the creation of the HAPS-Institute.  Don Kelly and Dee Silverthorn can tell you about the challenges of keeping up with online technologies.

140226 (2) Emeriti

First-Timers for each annual conference get a special treat.  We offer a special First-Timers Breakfast (Sunday morning), where first-time attendees get to have a sumptuous breakfast with the Emeriti, learning about how incredible the coming week is going to be.  Don’t believe all of the stories that Bill Perrotti and Kevin Petti will tell you, but enjoy the experience nonetheless.

140226 (3) Emeriti

As I get closer and closer to becoming the current President of HAPS (holy crap, that’s just 125 days away!), I’m happy to know that I’ve got a great advisory board of knowledgeable and enjoyable people to rely on.  Joe Griswold is the master of strategic plans.  Sandy Lewis, Gary Johnson, and Mike Glasgow can expound upon the growing pains of HAPS from a little club to a sizeable educational society.

140226 (4) Emeriti

Not all of the Emeriti are able to attend each annual conference, but we generally have a very strong presence each time.  Check out the President’s Suite and you’ll invariably find a few holding court.  Margaret Weck will show off her tie-dye shirt and Kevin Patton will tell you about the historic bottomless bucket-o-crab legs!  Be careful making eye-contact with Henry Ruschin; you may find yourself volunteering to host a future HAPS conference.  But, hey, with such a great group of people to hang around with, would that be such a bad thing?

140226 (5) Emeriti