David Dolph
David Dolph

A proposal to change the AAPG elected editor’s position to an appointive will be among the items considered when the House of Delegates gathers for its annual meeting May 31 in Denver, House Chair David Dolph said.

The proposal is one of four suggested bylaws changes the 223-member House will consider along with other business, including:

  • The voting for House chairman-elect and secretary-editor.
  • Recognizing delegates for honors and awards.
  • Hearing various committee reports.

Dolph, however, called the editor question “the most interesting and most important” item on the agenda.

According to current AAPG Bylaws, the editor has general supervision and final authority in soliciting, accepting and rejecting all material on technical subjects for publication. The editor has policy oversight and responsibility for editorial content of all technical and peer-reviewed publications.

The proposed change would allow the Editorial Committee to recommend one or more nominees to the Advisory Council to pass on to the AAPG Executive Committee, which could approve one or more candidates to be placed on the ballot, Dolph said.

If only one candidate emerges, “It would still be on the ballot – and we’re hoping that doesn’t happen,” Dolph said.

Write-in candidates still could be considered if nominated by a petition signed by at least 50 supporters, he said. Dolph said that process could be modernized by allowing email or other means of submitting petitions instead of the current single-page paper requirement.

Dolph said a main argument for the change is that the position is very time consuming, and it is often difficult to find two or more candidates willing and able to make the three-year commitment.

The duties can take a considerable chunk of time from the editor’s workday, and “it’s hard to get employers to approve that sort of commitment,” he said.

“It takes a lot of effort” just to get to the candidate stage, and unsuccessful candidates often don’t seek the office again, he said.

On the opposing side, “It’s looked at as potentially undemocratic,” Dolph said.

“Some people view it as potentially allowing the Executive Committee to stack the process of get a candidate who supports its views,” Dolph said. “Some people don’t like that – they’re seeing all the other positions with two or more candidates.”

With both arguments in mind, “We’re bringing it forward. It will be discussed and voted on,” Dolph said.

The proposal would require a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates to pass.

While the change would become effective immediately, it would not affect the current election.

Regarding the House election, delegates will vote on candidates for two offices. They are:

  • Jim McGhay, Tulsa (Mid-Continent Section).
  • Dwight “Clint” Moore, Houston (Gulf Coast Section).
  • Mike Allison, Gainesville, Texas (Mid-Continent Section).
  • Steve Levine, Houston (Gulf Coast Section).

Dolph said other proposed bylaws changes to be considered in May are simpler, “housekeeping” changes.

  • On change would allow technical or special interest groups – such as young professionals, geochemistry or structural geology – to be created. The Executive Committee would have authority to establish, maintain and dissolve the groups.
  • Another proposal would standardize Region names in the bylaws to those in common use. Examples include changing references to “Canadian” and “European” Regions to “Canada” and “Europe.” The current Latin America Region to “Latin America and Caribbean Region.”
  • The third proposal would “change some wording” dealing with delegate honors and awards. Dolph said the cleanup will not remove the one-year post-service waiting period before a member can be nominated, although that issue had been discussed.

In other business, honors and awards to be presented include honorary House members, distinguished member and length of service awards.

Dolph said he hopes to streamline the agenda, perhaps including some reports in a consent agenda for approval by a single vote without discussion to make more time for considering bylaws and major business.

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