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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 21, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 11

National Board Tightens Its Belt

Election Surprises: One Positive, the Other Controversial

By Editorial Staff
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) held its annual meeting April 4-8, 2001, which included a series of board and committee meetings. Addressing the gathering, Peter Ferguson,DC, president of the NBCE, spoke of the organization's "renewed focus on stewardship and participatory leadership."

Two important projects are at the forefront for the NBCE: studying the feasibility of computerizing various exams, and international testing support. These proposals are being reviewed for cost-effectiveness. Dr. Ferguson stressed the commitment of the NBCE to provide high quality examinations.

Cutting Costs

The NBCE released a number of policy directives:

  1. There is a moratorium on the expansion of the NBCE headquarters in Greeley, Colorado, which has been estimated to cost $2.25 million.1

  2. A 20 percent cut ($100) in the travel per diem reimbursement for board members goes into effect mmediately. (Editor's note: Board members are provided with airfare, hotel expenses, auto rental, and other miscellaneous travel expenses, a daily food allowance of $70, and the per diem on top of that. The previous per diem was $500.)

  3. Travel for board members will be cut back; only travel deemed "critically necessary to carrying out the mission of the NBCE" will be approved.

  4. The next executive committee meeting will be at the NBCE headquarters, with the agenda compressed to shorten the meeting by one day.

  5. A Part IV test site will be closed this fall as a cost-saving measure, in light of a reduction in the applicant pool.

  6. The public relations program is being revamped, with a commitment to focus on cost-effective methods.

"The NBCE has an opportunity to reassess what we do well, and to capitalize on these strengths," Dr. Ferguson explained. "We're tightening our belts, starting with the board of directors. We pledge to continue our tradition of excellence in testing, coupled with sound financial management to ensure the health of the National Board."

Election Surprise

Drs. Jerry Blanchard (North Dakota), and Frank Hideg Jr. (Kentucky) won re-election to three-year terms as District I and II directors respectively. These results were expected. What was not expected was the election of Ken Padgett, chancellor of New York Chiropractic College, to a two-year term in one of four at-large seats on the NBCE Board of Directors. The election of Dr. Padgett by the board marks the first time a doctor from the chiropractic academic community has become a board member. Many NBCE delegates view this as a positive step, an indication that the board is willing to include more input from the colleges.

The second surprise was a break from a long-standing tradition. Normally, the immediate past president of the FCLB serves as an "at-large director" for one year. The position is awarded by a vote of the board. Dr. David Brown of Virginia, the FCLB immediate past president, was not elected to the at-large seat, which went to Dr. Lawrence Gerstein (Missouri), who preceded Dr. Brown as president. This action sparked quite a bit of concern; many felt that the move was motivated by some directors wanting to secure greater control of the National Board.

In the wake of last year's call by delegates to free the NBCE from a long period of dominance by a few long-standing board members, the election of Dr. Gerstein in lieu of Dr. Brown left many wondering if certain by-laws changes were required to prevent control of the NBCE by a few directors.

The stage is set for further political turmoil.


1. NBCE embraces change. Dynamic Chiropractic May 29, 2000.

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