Updating AIHA’s Bylaws
BY DEBORAH IMEL NELSON, AIHA® PRESIDENT The AIHA Board of Directors periodically reviews the association’s bylaws to ensure that they reflect current practices and meet the needs of members. Our recent analysis has indicated several bylaws areas—categories of membership and some housekeeping issues—where changes would better serve our association. MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES Currently, full, associate, and affiliate members of AIHA pay the same annual fees, but affiliate members aren’t eligible to vote, and neither affiliate nor associate members can serve on the Board of Directors. Affiliate and associate members largely comprise IH technicians and EHS generalists. To broaden AIHA’s audience and make membership more attractive to these professionals, the Board proposes combining all three categories into one full member category, which would have voting privileges and eligibility to serve on the Board. The definition of a full member would be revised to include all individuals that have an interest in or support the industrial hygiene, occupational health and safety, or allied professions.
The definition of a full member would be revised to include all individuals that have an interest in or support the industrial hygiene, occupational health and safety, or allied professions.
DEBORAH IMEL NELSON, PhD, CIH, is president of AIHA. She can be reached at (720) 587-7500 or via email.

The current international member category is available to individuals who reside in countries that have lower-income economies as defined by the World Bank. We propose to expand this category to include all individuals living outside the U.S. and Canada. These members would pay discounted dues, receive materials by e-delivery only, and be eligible to vote in AIHA elections; they would not receive the benefit of AIHA government affairs activities. To serve on the Board of Directors, international members would need to join at the full member level.
The revised student membership would be available only to full-time students (undergraduate and graduate). Students would not be able to vote on AIHA ballots, but could join committees and vote on committee matters. Students would be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors by joining at the full member level.
The emeritus member category would update the current retired member classification. These members, who have retired from active practice of industrial hygiene or occupational and environmental health and safety, could continue to vote on association issues and serve on committees.
The proposed bylaws changes specify that honorary members may not vote on association issues, but could serve as non-voting members of committees. OTHER PROPOSED CHANGES Further proposed changes to the existing bylaws include removing provisions that are more appropriately addressed in policy documents (for example, references to eligibility to serve on the Board of Directors). Outdated references to the Academy of Industrial Hygiene, whose structure changed several years ago, would be deleted, and the title of the Executive Director would be changed to Chief Executive Officer.
I hope that you will seriously consider these proposed bylaws changes, which the Board believes will make membership more accessible to more IH/OEHS professionals. Voting members of AIHA will have a chance to weigh in on proposed bylaws changes during a special ballot election to be held in summer 2018. The regular AIHA election, scheduled to open February 15, is your opportunity to choose the next set of AIHA officers, including AIHA's vice president, secretary-elect, and two directors. More information about the candidates will appear in next month's Synergist. Please vote, and don't hesitate to contact me if you have comments or questions about AIHA governance.

Editor's note: This article has been edited to reflect updated information about AIHA's proposed bylaws changes that was not available until after the print version went to press. The new information clarifies that AIHA members will vote on the proposed bylaws during a separate election in summer 2018.

Update, June 1, 2018: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the Academy of Industrial Hygiene had been dissolved. The article has been updated to reflect that the Academy's structure changed several years ago.
Editor's note: On June 1, new documents pertaining to the proposed updates to the AIHA bylaws were posted to the AIHA website. The documents include a summary of the main proposed changes and the language of the proposed additions and deletions.