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

Chapters are governed by elected officers and councilors that are responsible for leading the operation of the chapter toward achievement of its goals. The following guidelines are meant to help chapters develop effective governance structures that can help support a sustainable chapter.

Chapter bylaws should clearly specify the leadership and governance structure of the chapter, including the terms office for each officer and general nomination and election procedures. Customarily, the officers of the chapter—who must be a surgical member of the College—include:

  • President
  • President-Elect or Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary/Treasurer*
    *the offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined

Only active/current surgical members of the College can be officers of the chapter. State laws may require chapters to have certain designated offices. Some state laws prohibit certain offices from being held simultaneously by one person.

Throughout the year, chapter officers are invited to participate in various ACS meetings. Annually, ACS offers the Chapter Officer Leadership Program which offers training for domestic chapter officers to help build sustainable chapter success through strong volunteer leadership. This program is available in multiple sessions throughout the year and each domestic chapter is required to send at least one chapter officer to the program, which is held twice annually in the spring and fall.

Chapter officers are also strongly encouraged to attend Clinical Congress and the Leadership and Advocacy Summit, as both of these events offer opportunities to network with other chapter leaders and attend chapter centric events.

With regard to elections of officers and council members and the appointment of other chapter leaders, Chapters should comply with the College’s Statement on Diversity—regarding elections of officers and council members and the appointment of other chapter leaders—which reads:

    The American College of Surgeons wishes to promote full participation in College activities by all surgeons; young surgeons, women surgeons, surgeons from minority groups, and surgeons from all practice venues. The College strongly supports— and is committed to ensuring—-pluralism and equal opportunity which recognizes and respects the diversity of its members in order to maintain the highest standards of leadership in the profession. Specific recruitment of Fellows from underrepresented groups within the American College of Surgeons, including women, minorities, young surgeons, and private practitioners, is essential to maintain the strength of the College.

    Furthermore, the American College of Surgeons will underscore this commitment to diversity by ensuring that meaningful positions of leadership within the College are held by Fellows derived from all groups of members, including young surgeons, women surgeons, surgeons of minority origin, and surgeons from all types of surgical practices. Nominations for leadership positions should be based on individual qualifications, willingness and ability to participate in and attend meetings, and expertise.