The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 16

DISCUSSION ON TWO PROPOSED BYLAWS AMENDMENTS continued
Law school graduates are expected to
provide proof of eligibility for the Texas
Bar exam. We clearly want to protect
the credibility and integrity of our
credential just as other organizations do.
Eligibility criteria (and preventing people
from fraudulently misrepresenting our
credential) should not be considered
administrative burdens because they
have a bigger impact on our credibility
than decoupling.
I love best practices, but the argument
that coupling membership is not a best
practice loses strength when there are
other very significant credentialing best
practices that we are ignoring. Please read
my opinion piece in the January/February
issue to learn more about this and the
unknowns of opening the exam.
Antitrust Is Not Applicable: Doctors are
required by law to have a medical license;
ATA-certification is optional. There are
350 languages spoken across the U.S.8 We
offer certification in about 20 languages.
The vast majority of translators earn their
income without ATA certification, so there
is really no concern that ATA is preventing
anyone from working.
Conclusion: I'm so thankful to ATA's
Certification Program for its hard work in
creating a well-respected credential. ATA
has not shown that this amendment will
directly help most members, so I hope
you'll vote "AGAINST."
NOTES
1.	
Hartstein, Jessica. "Opening the
Exam: Too Many Unknowns," The ATA
Chronicle (January/February 2020), 14,
http://bit.ly/Hartstein. Also see
"Opening the ATA Certification
Exam to Nonmembers," ATA Webinar
Series (October 1, 2019),
http://bit.ly/webinar-decoupling.
2.	

ATA's Bylaws can be found here:
www.atanet.org/docs/p_bylaws.pdf.

3.	

"Proposed Amendment to the Bylaws
to be Presented to the Membership
for Voting in October 2020,"
www.atanet.org/bylaws_change.php.

4.	

Episode 45 of The ATA Podcast
(July 15, 2020), http://bit.ly/ATA-episode45.

5.	

Bacak, Walter. "Board Meeting
Highlights," The ATA Chronicle (May/June
2020), 7, http://bit.ly/board-highlights.

16

The ATA Chronicle | September/October 2020

6.	

Knapp, Lorena. "Certification Consultant's
Statement on the Membership
Requirement for ATA Certification,"
The ATA Chronicle (July/August 2020), 12,
http://bit.ly/consultant-statement.

candidates for each ATA officer position:
president-elect, secretary, and treasurer.
This Bylaws amendment would ensure
that elections are competitive.

7.	

Hartstein, Jessica. "Opening the Exam:
Too Many Unknowns," The ATA Chronicle
(January/February 2020), 14,
http://bit.ly/Hartstein; Also see:
ATA Accreditation Program Report
(Michael Hamm & Associates, 2000),
http://bit.ly/Hamm-report.

The Nominating and Leadership
Development Committee

8.	

Hickey, Sarah. "The Catch-22 with
Certifications," Nimdzi Insights,
http://bit.ly/catch-22-certification.

The vast majority of translators
earn their income without ATA
certification, so there is really no
concern that ATA is preventing
anyone from working.

MULTIPLE CANDIDATES BYLAWS
AMENDMENT: SUPPORT COMPETITIVE
ATA ELECTIONS
Patricia C. de Ribes, CT
ATA-certified (French>English)
San Marcos, Texas
In every ATA election, voting members
have several important decisions to make.
In addition to voting for three director
positions in 2020, we will vote on two
Bylaws amendments.
The first Bylaws amendment is
a Board initiative to decouple ATA
certification from membership and open
the certification exam to nonmembers.
An "Against" vote on this amendment
will ensure that our certified translator
credential remains tied to ATA
membership and will preserve the
member right to take certification exams.
The second proposed amendment,
the Multiple Candidates Bylaws
Amendment, is the result of a memberinitiated petition. A "For" vote on this
amendment will require the Nominating
and Leadership Development Committee
(NLDC) to propose at least two

The NLDC has proposed more than one
candidate for an officer position on just
three occasions since 2005. Although
the Bylaws do provide for candidacy by
petition, this should not be the sole means
for providing a choice of candidates.
While election by acclamation is the
policy at the ATA division level, elections
for officers should make it possible for
members to vote in competitive elections
to elect those who will best represent ATA
and its members.
The NLDC chair and committee
members are appointed by the
Board. Since 2005, in the absence of
competitive elections, the five members
of the NLDC, rather than the majority
of ATA voters, have been effectively
selecting ATA's officers and setting the
course for the Association. When a
secretary and treasurer are elected, they
will serve for the next two years. Once
elected, the president-elect serves two
years in that position, followed by two
years as president.

Elections Policy
ATA's Board Elections Policy was revised in
August 2019 to read: "It [the NLDC] shall
propose at least two candidates for each
officer position (president-elect, secretary,
and treasurer) and at least two candidates
for each director position."
This short-lived version of the Elections
Policy was superseded in October 2019
by one that characterized multiple
candidates for each position as merely
an option rather than a requirement: "It
[the NLDC] shall propose preferably
two candidates for each officer position
(president-elect, secretary, and treasurer)
and at least two candidates for each
director position."
In August 2020, the Board approved
yet another revised Elections Policy.
According to this version: "It [the NLDC]
shall propose at least one candidate for
each officer position (president-elect,
secretary, and treasurer) and at least one
candidate for each director position."
www.atanet.org


http://www.bit.ly/consultant-statement http://www.bit.ly/Hartstein http://www.bit.ly/Hamm-report http://www.bit.ly/catch-22-certification http://www.bit.ly/Hartstein http://www.bit.ly/webinar-decoupling http://www.atanet.org/docs/p_bylaws.pdf http://www.atanet.org/bylaws_change.php http://www.bit.ly/ATA-episode45 http://www.bit.ly/board-highlights http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020

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