AVAPL Bylaws and AVAPL Listserv Code of Conduct

Bylaws

Table of Contents

Article I - Name
Article II - Purpose
Article III - Membership
Article IV - Officers
Article V - Term of Office
Article VI - Committees
Article VII - Special Interest Groups
Article VIII - Elections 
Article IX - Meetings 
Article X - Dues
Article XI - Amendments


ASSOCIATION OF VA PSYCHOLOGIST LEADERS
BYLAWS AND CONSTITUTION
(revised May 2013)

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of the organization shall be ASSOCIATION OF VA PSYCHOLOGIST LEADERS (AVAPL).

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ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

The purpose of AVAPL shall be to address the professional needs and concerns of supervisory psychologists, psychologist program managers, and those psychologists with interest and career goals in leadership within the Veterans Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in order that the highest quality of patient care, training, and research may be reached and maintained by the Department's psychologists and their programs.

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ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

  1. The membership of AVAPL shall be composed of all members in good standing at the time of adoption of these bylaws and such others as shall have been thereafter admitted to membership.
     
  2. There shall be three membership categories: Active, Honorary, and Training Affiliate.
    1. Active Member. Any psychologist who

i. is a current or acting supervisory psychologist, or

ii. is formally designated (either permanent or acting) as responsible for the professional issues which ensure the integrity of the discipline of psychology (discipline concurrence in suitability for hire, credentialing and privileging, continuing education, or director of training for internship and/or post-doctoral training programs, where training programs exist), or

iii. is a current or acting program manager responsible for directing the activities of clinical staff, or

iv. directs the provision of psychological services within a facility, program, or clinic, or

v. demonstrates professional leadership by such activities as holding professional elective office, committee membership which sets standards or policies for the profession, or significant involvement in accreditation and licensing/credentialing bodies, or

vi. has career goals which include any of the above

within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shall be eligible for election to active membership in AVAPL. Active members in good standing shall be entitled to vote, to hold office, and to participate in all business and scientific meetings of AVAPL. A person may remain an active member until the end of the membership year in which (1) he/she ceases to function in one of the above roles or (2) he/she fails to renew his/her memership.

b. Honorary Member. Any former member of AVAPL who has retired from Federal service shall be eligible for election to honorary membership. Former AVAPL members can indicate their interest in becoming an honorary member to a member of the Executive Committee. In addition, honorary membership shall be available to other persons who have distinguished themselves in promoting the purpose of AVAPL and who are nominated for such membership by a member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee then votes on these nominations. Honorary members shall be able to participate in the activities of AVAPL and shall receive all general mailings, but they may neither vote nor hold office.

c. Training Affiliate Member. Any Psychology Intern or Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow within the Veterans Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who has career interests in leadership, shall be eligible for election to training affiliate membership in AVAPL. Training affiliate members in good standing shall be able to participate in the activities of AVAPL, including membership on committees and special interest groups, and shall receive all general mailings. However, training affiliate members may neither vote nor hold elective office. A person may remain a training affiliate member until the end of the membership year in which he/she ceases to function in a Psychology Intern or Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow role within the Veterans Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  1. Application for membership shall be submitted to the Treasurer of AVAPL. Election to membership will be based on a majority vote at a meeting consisting of a quorum of the Executive Committee or by polling of the Executive Committee, with a majority of the Executive Committee responding to the poll. The Secretary shall record the results.
     
  2. The affiliation of a person with AVAPL in any class of membership may be terminated at any time by resignation or by majority vote of the full Executive Committee. Failure to pay dues for one year shall be deemed sufficient cause for termination of an Active Member. 

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ARTICLE IV - OFFICERS

  1. The officers of AVAPL shall be: President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  1. The officers of AVAPL shall perform the duties regularly or customarily attached to their offices and such other duties as may be required of them by the Executive Committee and these bylaws.
  1. The President shall preside at all meetings of AVAPL and of the Executive Committee and shall also be empowered to conduct all ordinary business of AVAPL between meetings. The President shall consult with the Executive Committee regarding urgent business matters.
  1. The President-Elect shall act as understudy to the President and become acquainted with the business and operation of AVAPL in preparation for assuming the duties of the presidency. In the absence of the President, the President-Elect shall assume the duties of the President. In the event that the President shall not serve out the full term for any reason, the President-Elect shall succeed to the unexpired remainder thereof and will then serve out his/her regular term. In the event that the President-Elect shall not serve out that full year for any reason, the officers shall cause an election for that office to take place.
  1. The Past-President shall chair the Nominations and Awards Committee. In addition, he/she shall serve as consultant and advisor to the President and President-Elect. In the absence of both the President and the President-Elect, the Past-President will preside at all meetings.
  1. The Secretary shall maintain the minutes, records, correspondence, and archives of AVAPL. In the event that the Secretary shall not serve the full term for any reason, the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, will appoint a member to succeed to the unexpired remainder of the term of office.
     
  2. The Treasurer shall maintain records of the financial affairs of AVAPL, shall make all necessary financial reports and filings, and make disbursements as authorized. He/she shall also keep a record of current members with their dues status and contact information. In the event that the Treasurer shall not serve the full term for any reason, the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, will appoint a member to succeed to the unexpired remainder of the term of office. 

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ARTICLE V - TERM OF OFFICE

  1. The term of office of the President shall be three years, with one year served as President-Elect, President, and Past-President. He/she may not serve successive terms in this office.
  1. The term of office of the Secretary and Treasurer shall be three years. He/she may serve no more than two successive terms in this office.
     
  2. The term of office of the Secretary and Treasurer shall not end in the same year. If the term of office of the Secretary and Treasurer are scheduled to end in the same year, the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, will extend the term of office of either the Secretary or Treasurer by one year. If, for any reason, neither the incumbent Secretary nor incumbent Treasurer is able to serve for the extended term of office, the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall appoint a member to succeed either the Secretary or the Treasurer for a period of one year following the conclusion of the incumbent officer’s term of office.
     
  3. An individual may hold only one office in AVAPL at any point in time.
     
  4. All terms of office shall begin on the day following the conclusion of the annual APA Convention.
     
  5. Any new offices added by amendment will be filled by Presidential appointment with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. Any persons so appointed serve until the next regular election cycle.

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ARTICLE VI - COMMITTEES

  1. AVAPL shall have two standing committees: the Executive Committee, which shall govern the affairs of AVAPL, and the Nominations and Awards Committee, which shall oversee the elections within AVAPL and administer awards established by AVAPL. In addition, special ad hoc committees may be established as the President, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, determines such need.
  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, President-Elect, Past-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The newsletter editor and webmaster shall serve as ex-officio non-voting members. The Executive Committee shall have authority to appoint additional ex-officio non-voting members to its body to perform specified functions or duties of AVAPL. A quorum of the Executive Committee consists of a majority of its voting members. At least three members must approve any official actions.
  1. The Nominations and Awards Committee shall consist of the Past-President as chair and may include additional active members, appointed by the President, who are not members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will generate a list of possible candidates for the offices, which is forwarded to the Chair of the Nominations and Awards Committee, which shall then administer all procedures for the nomination of candidates for the elective offices of AVAPL.

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ARTICLE VII - SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS

  1. The formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within AVAPL serves as a means to involve the membership and extend the work of the organization. SIGs may be formed whenever there is sufficient interest to warrant their existence. To be sanctioned as an official undertaking of AVAPL, the SIGs must meet the following conditions:
  1. The content area of the SIG must have relevance to the overall membership of AVAPL and to the field of psychology. A SIG may be ongoing or may be time-limited.
  2. Membership will be open to all members of AVAPL, and AVAPL members may join more than one SIG. A minimum of 10 members is required for the formation of a SIG.
  3. Each SIG will be led by a Chair, appointed by the Executive Committee, who will function as a liaison between the SIG and the Executive Committee. The Chair of the SIG will serve for three years.
  1. Upon formation, each SIG will develop a clearly defined statement of the objectives and purpose of the SIG and will submit these documents to the Executive Committee of AVAPL for approval. The Executive Committee must approve any action plans or goals developed during the lifespan of the SIG.
  1. The Chair of the SIG will submit a report of the SIG's activities annually to the Executive Committee.
  1. No actions will be taken by the SIG or by its independent members as representatives of AVAPL without the approval of the Executive Committee.
  1. The Executive Committee may, with a majority vote, dissolve a SIG if it finds it in the best interests of AVAPL to do so.

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ARTICLE VIII - LISTSERVS

  1. The creation of electronic Listservs is intended to establish forums for education and discussion of topics that are relevant to the roles of VA Psychologists and that include both shared and varied points of view. The content area of the Listserv must have relevance to the overall membership of AVAPL and to the field of psychology.

  2. AVAPL Leadership does not actively monitor or censor the site for inappropriate postings. However, if an inappropriate posting is brought to the attention of the AVAPL Executive Committee, immediate review and action will occur following a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

  3. AVAPL Listservs will be governed by a Code of Conduct approved by the Executive Committee and published to all Listserv members annually.

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ARTICLE IX - ELECTIONS

  1. The Past President will announce the Call for Nominations for available offices to the membership annually in early May. A slate of nominees will be developed with the goal of three names for each office to be filled. Notification of upcoming elections will be announced 30 days in advance of the voting period so that absentee ballots can be requested by members who are unavailable during that time. By June 1 of each year, the Secretary will send a link to the official electronic ballot to the registered e-mail address of each member. Voting will remain open for three weeks.
  1. The Webmaster shall use the Hare method to make a professional count of the election ballots and provide the round-by-round results to the Secretary. When the Secretary is a candidate, a member of the Executive Committee shall be appointed by the President to receive the results for that election. The Secretary shall report the election results to the Executive Committee for announcement to the membership prior to the annual business meeting of AVAPL.
  1. The Nominations and Awards Committee, chaired by the Past President, will be responsible for soliciting, evaluating, and submitting nominations for standing and special awards established by AVAPL. These will be determined by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and presented at the annual business meeting of AVAPL.

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ARTICLE X - MEETINGS

  1. The annual business meeting of AVAPL will be held at a time and place determined by the Executive Committee.
  1. Active members unable to attend a meeting may give their signed proxy to another active member of AVAPL.
  1. The Executive Committee will meet at the call of the President. Conference calls or other electronic methods (e.g. e-mail) are authorized as substitutes for in-person meetings provided participants can be identified by voice or e-mail address.
  1. All official meetings shall be governed by Roberts Rules of Order as regards voting procedure on motions.

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ARTICLE XI - DUES

Annual dues will be set by the Executive Committee and will cover the fiscal year of AVAPL, which begins on October 1 and closes September 30.

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ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTS

  1. Motions to adopt, amend, or repeal bylaws, bearing the signatures of at least ten (10) active members of AVAPL or a majority of the Executive Committee, shall be submitted for publication to the membership. Active members of AVAPL shall be allowed thirty days to return their votes on such motions.
  1. A three-fifths majority of members of AVAPL voting shall be required to adopt, amend, or repeal bylaws.
  1. The adoption, amendment, or repeal of a bylaw shall take effect immediately upon its passage and certification by the Executive Committee.

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Revised May 2013


Listserv Code of Conduct

AVAPL Listservs are a member benefit provided for the exclusive use of AVAPL members. The Listservs are intended to provide forums for education and discussion of topics that are relevant to our roles as VA Psychologists and that include both shared and varied points of view.  These forums are important venues to discuss our common ground as well as perspectives that are held uniquely.  Adherence to the APA Code of Ethics as well as to VA Policy is presumed and expected of all members.
 
By joining, remaining a member of, and using any AVAPL-sponsored Listserv, you agree that you have read and will comply with the AVAPL Listserv Code of Conduct.   Each member agrees to indemnify and hold AVAPL harmless for all claims, potential claims, causes of actions, lawsuits, or any other consequences, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, in all respects whatsoever.
AVAPL does not actively monitor or censor any of the AVAPL Listservs for inappropriate postings. However, if inappropriate posting is brought to the attention of the AVAPL Executive Committee, an immediate review will occur.  Violations of the AVAPL Listserv Code of Conduct will prompt Executive Committee intervention, including but not limited to suspension or removal from any or all of the AVAPL Listservs.
 
Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these important rules governing behavior on AVAPL Listserv. If you have questions, please contact the President of AVAPL at president1@avapl.org.

  • The AVAPL Listservs and their content are intended for use primarily by AVAPL members. Those who use the Listservs should understand that the Listservs are not a secure form of communication. As a result, posted messages may be seen by others through forwarding or other means. There are limited instances (e.g., education and resources) where sharing of Listserv postings to others outside of the Listserv may be appropriate. However, Listserv members should think carefully and exercise discretion before sharing a message outside the Listserv. If there is any doubt whether a Listserv message should be forwarded to non-Listserv individuals, the Listserv member should seek the permission of the author of the message. Complaints about inappropriate forwarding of Listserv messages will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Executive Committee.
     

  • Listserv discussions will maintain consistent respect and sensitivity for all readers.  Dissent, offered with respect for one another, is a central value of our organization.
     

  • Language that has the effect of limiting or stifling communication such as inference, innuendo, and criticizing individuals by name/role should be avoided.  The discussions on the lists are meant to stimulate conversation, ideas, and problem-solving, not create contention.
     

  • Use caution when discussing products or services and the companies providing them. Information posted on the lists is available for all to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws.
     

  • Self-promotion and/or referral, solicitation, or advertising of products or services on any AVAPL Listserv is not permitted.
     

  •  Do not upload files or post messages that contain photos, software or other material protected by intellectual property laws, rights of privacy or publicity, or any other applicable law, unless you own or control the rights thereto or have obtained all necessary consents. Please do not attach documents to your messages that contain viruses or other malware. If your e-mail account becomes compromised due to malware such that inappropriate messages are sent to the Listserv, your membership on the Listserv will be suspended.
     
  •  Postings that are inappropriate to the professional objectives of the Listserv and/or that could be harmful to the reputation of AVAPL are not permitted.
     

The following points are offered as suggestions:

AVAPL Listserv Etiquette

  • Include a signature tag on all messages including your professional title and VA location.
     

  • Be aware that the Listserv “Reply” function sends a message to the entire Listserv.  Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information a) from which everyone can benefit, or b) which you want everyone to know!
     

  • Send messages such as "Thanks for the information" or "Me, too" directly to individuals, not the entire list. Do this by substituting the VA email address of the individual to whom you want to reply in place of the email address of the Listserv.

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