News from the New American College of Legal Medicine’s 2014 Midyear Board of Governors’ Meeting  

This edition of “Notes from the President” is being published a few weeks early. The reason is simple; I would like all Members and Fellows of the College to hear about the highlights of 2014 Midyear Board of Governors’ (BOG) meeting (held September 20, 2014) in the timeliest manner possible.

The following action items were approved by the BOG:

  • Budget: The BOG approved a budget that anticipates an operating surplus for 2015 of approximately 8%. This operating surplus assumes that the College will receive no revenue from CME Joint Sponsorship (see infra). This means that the anticipated surplus is likely to be a conservative estimate.  In short, the College is in good financial shape now that we have our management costs under control. Those interested in the details of the 2015 budget should consult the College’s webpage for details.
  • Annual Dues: Given the College’s financial shape, there will be no increase in the Annual Dues for 2015.
  • The vacant BOG: Dr. Raymond King has been appointed to fill the vacant BOG seat.  Congratulations Ray.
  • Gold Metal: Based on the unanimous approval of both the Gold Metal committee and the BOG, Dr. Bob Buckman will receive the Gold Medal award at the 2015 Awards Banquet during the Annual Meeting. Dr. Bob is receiving this award for all of his tireless years of service to the College. Congratulation Bob.
  • Honorary Fellowship: Ms. Pamela Zarkowski, JD, MPH, BSDH has been named an Honorary Fellow of the College and will be recognized at the 2015 Annual Meeting.
  • Legislative Support: The College has voted to endorse the ”Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” (HR 3717). Briefly, this is a comprehensive bill that will substantially increase funding of individuals with mental illness in exchange for increase market regulation and perhaps some loss of patient autonomy when the individual’s mental condition progress to the point where that individual is no longer competent.  Interested individuals are encouraged to consult the College’s webpage for more details.

Other important issues discussed, but not acted upon, concern the proposed changes to the Bylaws, ACLM-ACLM Foundation (ACLMF) relationships, and CME Joint Sponsorship. At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Fellows, the College will be considering a number of changes to the Bylaws. A draft of the proposed Bylaws changes was not ready for the BOG consideration during its meeting. However, our parliamentarian Dr. Shelton assures me that the draft will be ready shortly. When ready, the draft proposal of Bylaws changes will be published on the webpage for comments. I will keep you informed on this matter.

From prior “Notes from the Presidents” many of you are aware that the College is “sitting on” a large pile of cash in the form of its investment reserves. The College needs to protect this asset from creditors and put this money to use so that we can continue to hold down (or even better - reduce) the annual dues and the cost of the annual meeting registrations. Dr. Buckman (representing the ACLMF) and Finance Committee Chair Dr. Donnersberger verbally outline a plan to transfer a substantial amount of our financial reserves to the Foundation (to protect this money from our creditors) in exchange for the Foundation covering a number of our Annual Meeting expenses (thereby putting the money to work). The BOG was favorably impressed by this plan. The plan will now be reduced to writing and the BOG will consider the implementation of the written plan during a teleconference call in late October or early November.

Finally, there is the issue of CME mentioned earlier. In recent years the College had earned some money by jointly sponsoring CME activities. We intentionally did not include this revenue stream in the 2015 budget for two reasons. First, much administrative time will be needed in the coming year for the College to become “recertified” as a CME Joint Sponsor. Second, with the change in our management company, we need to rebuild our infrastructure for handling Joint Sponsorship. In particular, our new management company will require some time to “get up to speed;” and the College needs to revise its Joint Sponsorship fee structure.  The good news is that these are solvable issues. And once solved, the College will be in very good financial shape.

As always, I value your opinions. Anyone with feedback on anything in this message or anything related to the College should please feel free to contact me at [email protected]; or call me at 913.526.5526.


Tom McLean, MD, JD, FCLM, ESQ
President Elect & Acting President