Since assuming a leadership position within the CAS, I have tried to stay current on conversations about actuarial issues taking place within social media channels. As I’ve followed the conversations over the past few weeks, I’ve made note of a few issues on which I would like to share my views through the CAS’s own social media platform, the CAS Roundtable blog.
I’ve seen a number of comments of late that stress the need for organizations to hold elections that result in elected leaders who reflect the majority of the members’ views. Thinking of the CAS election process, I’m confident in saying that our governance procedures allow for that. CAS elections are open for any CAS Fellow to be a candidate for the Board or for President-Elect. Requirements to be placed on the elections ballot are quite reasonable, with 44 signatures required to petition to be a Board candidate and 88 required to petition to be a President-Elect candidate, representing 1% and 2% of the number of Fellows respectively.
Any CAS Fellow who obtains the required number of signatures (individual emails are accepted as electronic signatures) by the published deadline (in February) will be placed on the elections ballot, provided that they agree to run and that they agree to satisfy the CAS requirements for all of its officers and directors, such as completing a disclosure statement. Candidates who have petitioned to be placed on the CAS elections ballot routinely get elected; our current President-Elect was a petitioning candidate. Through our open process, CAS elections reflect our members’ preferences in their leaders and their views on the issues.
A related thread of social media conversations has discussed how important it is for an organization’s leadership to listen to its members, and I couldn’t agree more. Members of the CAS leadership conduct Town Hall meetings and participate at Regional Affiliate meetings to listen to and understand our members’ views and concerns. In fact, we have planned a CAS Town Hall webinar for May 7; details are on the CAS website. I believe the CAS leadership does understand the views of the majority of our members.
Other recent social media comments I’ve read pertain to the Society of Actuaries General Insurance track. In my role as CAS President, I’m often asked to comment on the SOA’s plans and capabilities in this area, but I don’t presume to have insights in that regard. What I can say is that the CAS has over 600 active Fellows on our exam committees, focused solely on property/casualty (general insurance), ensuring that the CAS exam questions and grading reflect current, actual practice. Based on past experience, employers, regulators and other stakeholders have come to expect a high level of knowledge and actuarial skills on P&C topics from those who pass CAS exams and they expect to continue to receive such knowledge and skills from those who pass CAS exams and become CAS members. I know this because thousands of CAS members are in these positions now and the industry feedback is always excellent. The external input to the CAS constantly guides the CAS leadership in a way that ensures that the CAS continues to anticipate and exceed expectations.
I believe that CAS members very clearly value the autonomy and specialty focus of the CAS. I believe that the specialization of the CAS allows us to best meet the needs of our members, employers and others who rely on our professionalism. And I strongly support the CAS as a professional society that has collaborated, and will continue to collaborate, with other organizations, especially because collaboration provides important perspectives and adds value to our members and our profession.
I invite you to share your views by leaving a comment on this blog post.