If you have not already done so, vote twice today – once in the midterm election and once in the Academy bylaw election. You can turn to any news channel and hear about why the midterm election is incredibly important. Here are some reasons why the American Academy of Actuaries bylaw election matters.
We all agree that the Academy should be free of commercial and special interests when the Academy takes public policy positions. Similarly, we all agree that special and commercial interest should not taint the actuarial setting process. The disagreement is how to best achieve that objectivity.
The Academy Executive Director and Board believe that a small group of people (selected by an even smaller group) controlling everything at the Academy is the best way to protect the objectivity of the Academy. They believe the Board should not be an accountable to members and ASB meetings should be closed to anyone who holds a dissenting view. They believe the Board should not have to listen to member input. Look at Bylaw Amendment 1. To get the Board to look at a member-generated bylaw amendment, 15% of members (roughly 3000 members) have to sign a petition for it. Then, the Board can promptly vote it down. That is crazy! The Board is so uninterested in members that they set a ridiculously high standard to even get a member-initiated bylaw amendment on the Board agenda.
Alternatively, there are Academy members who believe that the Academy and the public are best-served by having an Academy Board that is at least open to member views – an Academy Board that is not so insular – an Academy Board that is not so distrusting of members that they attribute different views to commercial interest. Look at Bylaw Amendment 2. It allows actuaries and the public to observe the process – that is it! It does not give anyone the right to speak or to disrupt meetings.
Please review the proposed bylaw amendments and consider voting “NO” on 1 and “YES” on 2 to protect the Academy from its current leadership.