Ethics Committee Meeting Minutes

New Ethics Committee members Fred Adams, Jean Callen and Bruce Schwartz were approved at the March Board meeting in Louisville.  A few weeks later we held our first Ethics Committee meeting and are up and running.  Please feel free to reach out to any Ethics Committee member with any concerns you may have or suggestions regarding Club ethics or disciplinary process.  The Ethics Committee is currently working on raising awareness within the Club. We are also reviewing the Code of Ethics of other AKC clubs with an eye to learning what we can about best practices.

Attendees: Fred Adams, Jean Callens, Bruce Schwartz, Ann Bark (Chair)

After having reviewed the Codes of Ethics of several AKC parent breed clubs prior to the meeting, we looked at excerpts from several COES which seem to align well with WTCA principles and values.  Based on these examples, we felt that the WTCA COE might benefit from some additions.  We decided to solicit WTCA membership feedback on proposed changes before submitting a recommendation to the Board.  To that end, we will post suggested changes and solicit feedback on the WTCA website.

The Ethics Committee discussed the value of having an Ethics webpage and decided it made more sense to include all ethics-related information under a new tab in the Members-only section of the website entitled “Committee Reports”.  Michele has agreed to create this new tab and the previously mention COE changes will be posted there as soon as they are available for feedback.  Instructions about how to provide feedback will also be posted there.

As a reminder to Club Members of their commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics, the Committee decided to request that the following statement be added to the dues renewal notice: “By renewing your WTCA membership you are reaffirming your commitment to abide by the WTCA Code of Ethics”

Next meeting will be May 24.

Attendees: Fred Adams, Jean Callens, Bruce Schwartz, Ann Bark (Chair)

This was the first meeting of the extended committee.  We spent some time establishing common terminology and reviewing how the ethics/disciplinary process works in the Club.  We also reviewed the role of the Ethics Committee:

  • To be a point of contact for people that have an issue with the Club or a Club member that has not escalated to the point of being a formal complaint.
  • Serve as Club “experts” regarding Bylaws and Rules as pertaining to Ethics and Disciplinary Process.  Help maintain consistency in Club interpretation and enforcement of COE and the Disciplinary process.
  • Propose and lead projects to ensure the Club’s processes and rules are reflective of and supportive of the Club’s Code of Ethics as well as aligned with the Bylaws.  Such projects would be Board approved.

We reviewed some possible projects and decided that an important next step is to review the COEs of other parent breed clubs to help generate ideas about possible improvements we might consider in WTCA.  We also discussed how we can encourage members to be more conscious of the ethical principles they have agreed to and looked at several options for using dues renewal as an opportunity to do this.

We agreed to meet once a month.  Next meeting will be April 26.