American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Chapters are governed by elected officers and councilors that are responsible for leading the operation of the chapter toward achievement of its goals. The following guidelines are meant to help chapters develop effective governance structures that can help support a sustainable chapter.

Chapter bylaws should clearly specify the leadership and governance structure of the chapter, including the terms office for each officer and general nomination and election procedures. Customarily, the officers of the chapter—who must be a surgical member of the College—include:

  • President
  • President-Elect or Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary/Treasurer*
    *the offices of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined

Only active/current surgical members of the College can be officers of the chapter. State laws may require chapters to have certain designated offices. Some state laws prohibit certain offices from being held simultaneously by one person.

Throughout the year, chapter officers are invited to participate in various ACS meetings. Annually, ACS offers the Chapter Officer Leadership Program which offers training for domestic chapter officers to help build sustainable chapter success through strong volunteer leadership. This program is held annually prior to the Leadership & Advocacy Summit. Each domestic chapter is strongly encouraged to send at least one chapter officer to the program.

Chapter officers are also strongly encouraged to attend Clinical Congress and the Leadership and Advocacy Summit, as both of these events offer opportunities to network with other chapter leaders and attend chapter centric events.

With regard to elections of officers and council members and the appointment of other chapter leaders, Chapters should comply with the College’s Statement on Diversity—regarding elections of officers and council members and the appointment of other chapter leaders—which reads:

    The ACS actively promotes full participation in College activities by all surgeons. The ACS upholds the highest standards of leadership in our profession with its strong commitment to multiculturalism and equal opportunity, respecting and nurturing the diversity of its membership. It recognizes that specific recruitment and development of Fellows from diverse and underrepresented groups is essential to enhancing the strength of the ACS.

    The ACS underscores this commitment to diversity by ensuring that meaningful positions of leadership are held by Fellows from all constituent groups. Nominations for leadership positions should be based on individual qualifications, expertise, and ability to contribute.

    The ACS and its committees and chapters shall acknowledge diversity and inclusion by developing measures of progress in mentoring leaders of different backgrounds in all its activities.