Dear California Academy Members,

You recently received communication from the California Academy President, Monica McCorkle and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on the proposed Governance Structure Model.

As your California Delegates, we want to provide more clarification on the proposal. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy), Board of Directors (BOD) is proposing changes that will significantly affect the structure of the Academy and your voice in the governance of the Academy. Please read this summary and respond to the BOD survey by July 31, 2021. You will be asked to include a reason for your vote.

The proposed changes were not discussed with or planned with input from the House of Delegates (HOD). We first learned of the proposal on June 14th, 2021.

There are several proposed changes:

  • Currently, the House of Delegates (HOD) is responsible for making revisions to the Bylaws. The Board of Directors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is recommending an amendment to the Bylaws in which the Board of Directors (BOD) will take ownership of future Bylaw revisions, without the consent of the House of Delegates. To review the proposed changes click here. The BOD will then be able to make changes to the Bylaws without the current checks and balances provided by your HOD representation.
  • Dissolve the House of Delegates (HOD). Currently there are 113 delegates representing you as an Academy member. Current representation includes: 6 House Leadership Team Members; 66 State Delegates (5 from CA) ; 27 Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) Delegates; 7 Member Interest Group (MIG) Delegates; 7 At-Large Delegates.
  • The proposed changes would dissolve the House of Delegates and create a Strategic Council of 15The 15 member Strategic Council will represent the 100,000 + Academy members. It is unknown, at this time, how the Strategic Council members will be nominated or appointed.
  • The Council on Future Practice (CFP) will be dissolved and absorbed into the 15 member Strategic Council. The CFP has the interest and evolution of our profession and practice as their focus. They have in the past conducted and published the extensive visioning report every five years.
  • Reduce the size of the BOD from 19 members to 14 members.

The Avenue M report used by the Academy and task force states that it benchmarked against other organizations and found that many of them were moving to the Council model. After careful research, it was found that there are many professional organizations like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that continue to effectively use a House of Delegates. Some of these organizations include the American Physical Therapy Association, American Dental Association, American Nurses Association (Membership Assembly) and the American Medical Association. In some of these associations the House of Delegates is larger than our HOD and they all have the by-laws as part of their responsibilities.

As your California Delegates, we are strongly opposed to these changes for several reasons. The HOD provides broad, equitable representation BOTH geographically and through DPGs and now MIGs with an objective election process. The current HOD model provides the Academy a diverse VOICE that effectively reflects member experiences, subject-matter expertise, geographic differences and experiences and diverse member needs. Secondly, the Academy need checks and balances. The balance of power will be lost with the elimination of the HOD. The governing members of both the BOD and Strategic Council could become a process of “self- selection” with appointed versus member elected positions.

We encourage you to reach out to us with your comments and/or concerns and provide feedback. Our contact information can be found at Our Leadership | California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (dietitian.org).

Respectfully,

Your California Affiliate Delegates

Lesli Doshier, MS, RD

Jo Miller, MPH, RDN

Lisa Gibson, MS, RDN, FAND

Wanda Siu-Chan, MS, RD

Kelly Warner, MPH, RDN