American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Rules and Guidelines Governing College Committees

Approved by the Board of Regents, February 2002

[Implementation in October 2002.]

*The first rules were issued in August 1973 as a result of the deliberations of the Committee on Committees, chaired by William P. Longmire, Jr., MD, FACS. Until 2002, these rules were known as the "Longmire Rules." They were amended in June 1979 and February 2002, with several clarifying revisions approved by the Board of Regents Executive Committee in December 2004. In February 2006, the Board of Regents approved the addition of Associate Fellows, Resident Members and Affiliate Members of the College as official categories of membership on the standing committees.

Principles and Guidelines for Standing Committees

General principles and guidelines are considered to be essential in relation to standing committees of the American College of Surgeons are as follows:

  1. The structure of the various committees of the American College of Surgeons, shall, insofar as possible, be uniform. Committee membership issues should be addressed during the October meetings of the committees. Membership terms are from October to October based on the dates of the Clinical Congress.
  2. The size of each committee shall be determined by the Board of Regents. The membership of new committees should be limited in number until their assignments and activities clearly indicate the need for enlargement. Any change in the number of active members of a committee must have Regental approval.
  3. The Board of Regents strongly urges each committee to seek diversity in its membership by recommending surgeons from: all practice venues, research and administration; all surgical specialties; a variety of geographical locations; all age groups while being mindful of the need for young surgeons; as well as women and other minorities which may be under-represented populations of the Fellowship. When members of the College volunteer for committee service, they should be given serious and fair consideration for membership.
  4. The tenure of all members shall be limited as hereinafter defined.
  5. Care should be exercised in the formation of new committees to state specifically:
    1. the charge to the committee or its objective;
    2. the size;
    3. the duration or expected life of the committee;
    4. the budget;
    5. number or frequency of authorized or budgeted meetings, if any;
    6. nature and timing of anticipated reports;
    7. relation to existing committees, if there are potentially overlapping interests, and
    8. the responsible staff member(s).

A new committee authorization form should be prepared including the above items, with copies to the Executive Director, the concerned staff member(s), and the Chair of the newly appointed committee.

  1. A periodic review of standing committees should be conducted at the direction of the Executive Director and implemented by the Director of Executive Services.
  2. Meetings of a committee beyond that specified in its charge require approval of its Executive Committee and the Executive Director of the College. The use of College funds or funds from extramural sources other than from individual Fellows or other Members must have prior approval of the Finance Committee and the Board of Regents.
  3. Minutes, reports, hearings, etc., of a committee may not be distributed outside of the committee members, duly appointed Regional Committee Chairs, the College staff, the Board of Regents, and Officers without the approval of the Regents.

Committee Structure & Rules

Active Membership

  • Nominations for committee membership may be made by any member of the committee and order of preference voted by full committee. The Regents may select the new committee members from among names so submitted or from among nominations submitted by other Fellows, Associate Fellows , Resident or other Members of the College.
  • Alternate methods of membership selection and terms of appointment for certain committees (example: The Resident and Associate Society) may be established with Regental approval.
  • When new committees are established, members may be assigned staggered terms to prevent a complete turnover in the committee’s structure. This should be requested at the time of formation and subject to approval of the Board of Regents.

I. FELLOWS AND ASSOCIATE FELLOWS

  1. Members shall serve for a term of three years with possible reelection for an additional three-year term.
  2. Fellows and Associate Fellows have full voting privileges and may serve as Chair and/or Vice Chair of any standing committee of the College.
  3. No Fellow or Associate Fellow shall serve as a member of more than two standing committees except in very unusual circumstances and with Regental approval.

II. RESIDENT MEMBERS

  1. Resident Members shall serve for a term of three years with possible reelection for an additional three-year term
  2. Resident Members shall have full voting privileges and in certain circumstances be elected as Chair and/or Vice Chair depending on the purpose and function of the committee within the College structure.
  3. No Resident Member shall serve as a member of more than two standing committees except in very unusual circumstances and with Regental approval.

III. AFFILIATE MEMBERS

  1. Affiliate Members shall serve for a term of three years with possible reelection for an additional three-year term.
  2. Affiliate Members will not have voting privileges and are not eligible to hold office.
  3. At present, Affiliate Members include physicians, non-MDs, allied health professionals, office/business managers, and technicians.

IV. SPECIAL MEMBERS

  1. A class of special membership may be established at the discretion of the committee, with Regental approval.
  2. They may serve for a limited amount of time (but not to exceed two years) in order to lend expertise to an ongoing committee project or to remain involved in an activity which requires their attention.
  3. Special members may serve on subcommittees, but they may not vote or hold office.

V. LIAISON AND CONSULTANT MEMBERS

  1. A class of liaison membership for committee members from other organizations may be established at the discretion of the committee, with Regental approval.
  2. Liaison members will be nominated by the parent organization, approved by the vote of the committee's Executive Committee and appointed by the Regents. They will not have voting privileges unless the so-named liaison members are Fellows, Associate Fellows, or Resident Members of the College. If so, they may vote and hold office.
  3. Liaison members shall be appointed for a term of three years. They shall be eligible for one reappointment to a three-year term.
  4. Certain individuals may be proposed by the committee as Consultant members. Such Consultant members are individuals representing other organizations or agencies who possess certain special qualifications of value to the committee. They shall be selected and approved by the same procedure used for appointing active committee members. Their prerogatives within the committee shall be the same as liaison members named by the organizations.

VI. COMMITTEE CHAIR

  1. The Chair of an existing committee shall be elected by the Board of Regents. The committee, through its Executive Committee, may forward nominations for a Chair to the Board of Regents.
  2. The Chair of a newly formed committee shall be named by the Chair of the Board of Regents.
  3. The Chair is to be elected for a term of two years and shall be eligible for reelection to a second two-year term. The Chair's active membership on the committee will be continued during the period of the term as Chair.

VII. COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR

  1. The Vice Chair shall be nominated from among the active members of the committee by the Chair, approved by the Executive Committee, and appointed by the Board of Regents, to serve for a term of one year with the privilege of reelection.

VIII. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, and three active members of the whole committee.
  2. The three appointed active members are to be nominated by the Chair, approved by the full Executive Committee and appointed by the Board of Regents. They shall serve three-year terms, and not be eligible for reelection. Active membership on the committee shall be extended, if necessary, during the term of appointment.
  3. It is not mandatory that all committees appoint an Executive Committee. The option is available for those committees needing this structure in order to conduct business between regular meetings of the full committee.

IX. SUBCOMMITTEES

  1. The formation of subcommittees involving the appointment of individuals who are members of the parent committee may be created by the committee if desired, with prior approval of the Executive Director.
  2. When individuals other than members of the committee or other than Fellows of the College are to be appointed to the subcommittees, they must have prior approval of the Board of Regents.

Revised June 21, 2006