July 16, 2014 — The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) held its annual public session in Scottsdale, Arizona, on July 11. International Chiropractors Association President Michael McLean, DC, FICA, addressed the CCE’s governing council on the subject of timely governance reform with expectations of concrete progress in advance of the next National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) hearings in 2016. NACIQI is the U.S. Department of Education body that advises the Secretary of Education on official recognition of educational accreditation bodies such as CCE.
CCE Task Force Reports were next on the agenda, and suggested reforms were proposed by the Task Force on Governance Review, which has been working since March 25, 2014, toward improving the electoral process in selecting councilors.
Three reforms were proposed and passed by the council unanimously:
1. Rightsizing of the Council:Â Two seats in Category 4 will be eliminated at the next election, bringing the total number of councilors down to 22, from the present 24. These are seats that were elected by the council as a whole. As the number of councilors elected by the council itself shrinks, one of ICA’s chief complaints—that the current council elects a majority of the new Council—is beginning to be handled. A great deal more reduction in the number of council-elected seats will be necessary to break up the current self-perpetuating mechanism that is present.
It was noted that compared to other accrediting agencies, CCE has many more councilors than is typical, and the Task Force suggested that further shrinkage of the number of councilors is desirable, with the optimum number of perhaps 16, plus or minus two.
This shrinkage was proposed to be accomplished by attrition, as councilors terms expire, as is the case with the two seats removed from this year’s election. Some discussion on this point elicited a commitment from the Task Force Chair to return next meeting with a more ideal number and road map to arrive there.
2. It was recommended by the Task Force and passed unanimously that all qualified candidates would be placed on the ballots in their respective categories, instead of having the Council Development Committee place only some candidates on a particular ballot, limiting the number of candidates vying for a particular seat.
3. The Task Force recommended and the Council passed unanimously, that hard term limits be enacted, of three terms of three years or less.Â Previously, a Councilor could serve nine years, rotate off for a period, and then be elected again for nine more years. Â Now three terms of three years is the maximum allowable.
The Task Force noted that it considered the concept of CCE Councilors being nominated or selected by trade associations (i.e., ICA) but rejected it as probably not acceptable to the U.S. Department of Education.
ICA views these governance changes as positive, and, so far, a justification of the good faith placed in CCE’s expressed desire to be responsive to the profession’s calls for a council more representative of the profession. While ICA is not yet satisfied with the totality of the changes, the real reforms that have now begun are heartening that CCE will come to represent chiropractic as it is practiced by the vast majority of the profession. ICA awaits further efforts at CCE’s January 2015 meeting.