Bylaws Update

Oct 11, 2022, 00:00 AM by Dr. Leah Cohn

Dear fellow Diplomates,

As you should now be aware from recent ACVIM communications, the College has been engaged in a multi-year, three-phase project to update our bylaws, which have not undergone a substantive review or revision for 20 years.

The first phase was recently completed, with nearly 90% of the members who voted approving the motion to lower the supermajority required to amend the bylaws from 75% to 60%. On that same ballot, a majority of members approved lowering the quorum from 20% to 10%. However, since the current bylaws rules applied to that vote, lowering the quorum would have required 75% approval for the vote to pass. Since that cut-off was not met (despite the majority vote), the quorum for ACVIM bylaws amendments remains at 20%.

With those decisions enacted, the second phase of the process includes several proposed changes to the bylaws. First, in keeping with applicable laws and best practices, we are required to incorporate into the bylaws the difference between membership of ACVIM and status as a specialist/Diplomate of ACVIM. You recently received an email from Dr. Jane Sykes, ACVIM President, explaining how this distinction will appear in your upcoming renewal invoice. Whilst you now have the option to pay a fee to maintain specialist/Diplomate status without also paying dues to retain membership in the ACVIM, we hope that the large majority of Diplomates will want to retain the benefits of membership (e.g., participation in listservs, access to a wealth of literature, access to Advanced Continuing Education courses). Updated language in the bylaws will reflect these legally required concepts.

Proposed additional changes in the forthcoming bylaws revisions are provided below, along with the rationale for those changes.

Click the table below to enlarge.

Once a motion is made on these changes, which we expect in the coming weeks, there will be 30 days for discussion, followed by a vote on the items described in the table above. The Board of Regents will open the discussion period using the specialty listservs in the near future.  Once the outcome of these motions is determined, the final bylaws will be drafted, and the complete document forwarded to the members for final approval.

Please make sure you have opted into the bylaws discussion listservs for your specialty and that you have opted in to receive emails via ACVIM360. If you have questions on how to do this, please reach out to


Leah Cohn, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
Chair, ACVIM Governance Committee
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