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Message from the Secretary

Penny M. Hopkins

"Change, indeed, is painful yet ever needful." Carlyle

This year the Society is attempting to bring the SICB Constitution and By Laws into compliance with current practice. In view of the fact that the documents that govern our society have not been changed since well before we began hiring an executive organization to run the society, this is not an inconsequential exercise. There are many errors in wording and mistakes about appropriation of duties in these important documents that need to be brought up to date.

To my mind, one of the most egregious problems is the method described for amending either the Constitution or the By Laws. Somehow, somewhere down the line it became easier to change the Constitution than the By Laws. To change the Constitution, all that is required is a two-thirds majority of those voting. To change the By Laws requires two thirds of the entire membership. We hope to change the wording of this section. As far as I know, the entire membership has never voted in toto: thus, if only three people took the time to vote on changing the Constitution, a total of two members could determine those changes in this important document, whereas it would take a few hundred members to determine changes in the By Laws.

I would appreciate having input from society members as to which parts of the Constitution and By Laws you may have had interaction with and, as a result, you feel need to be changed. We will be posting the proposed changes sometime soon on the Web site and will ask for input at that time also. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions please feel free to send them to me at phopkins@ou.edu and I will have the ad hoc committee discuss them. Thanks in advance.