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Minutes From the 2021 General Assembly

Call to Order
President Alan H. Gluskin called the 2021 General Assembly of the American Association of Endodontists to order at 10:15 a.m. Central Time on April 23, 2021. The meeting was conducted via web conference. A quorum of voting members was in attendance. President Gluskin instructed the assembly on voting procedures for the meeting.

Approval of Minutes

President Gluskin called for approval of the minutes of the April 30, 2020 General Assembly as published in the Communique.

GA-1 Moved: That the 2020 General Assembly Minutes be approved as published.

Motion Carried.

Approval of Parliamentarian

President Gluskin appointed Dr. Glen Hall to serve as parliamentarian for the 2020 General Assembly. The Assembly was requested to approve Dr. Hall presiding over certain segments of the General Assembly meeting.

GA-2 Moved: That Dr. Glen Hall be approved to preside over the Assembly for the segment of the meeting in which the proposed Constitution and Bylaws Changes are considered, and at any time when any method other than general consent is used to adopt a motion.

Motion Carried.

Approval of Rules

Rules for the 2021 General Assembly were developed for all voting members to understand and agree to the rules of order for the meeting. The proposed rules were published online with the General Assembly meeting materials.

GA-3 Moved: that the rules of the 2021 General Assembly be approved as presented.

Motion Carried.

Constitution and Bylaws Committee Report

AAE Immediate Past President, Dr. Keith V. Krell, presented proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.

Board Transformation Initiative

As part of its annual self-assessment, the AAE Board has consistently identified board composition and selection as an opportunity for improvement. Board composition relates to the Board’s success in building a board made up of individuals who contribute critically needed skills, experience and perspective to the association. Additionally, this responsibility includes a well-conceived plan to identify and recruit members and cultivate officers, while ensuring that various representational factors are considered.  This objective was referred to the AAE’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee in 2019 for review, with the Committee’s recommended changes approved by the AAE Board of Directors in 2020.

To optimize its Board composition, the Board believes that the AAE must move towards the leading practice of considering diversity in both demographics (such as gender, years in practice, race, ethnicity, practice type, geographical location) and expertise (such as strategic planning, financial acumen, ambassadorship, etc.).

Research has shown that high performing boards average 15 members in size, and the method in which members of high performing boards are selected has shifted from a popular vote system to an expertise-based system. Reducing the AAE Board’s size and bringing selection processes in line with leading practices would enhance strategic discussions and the Board’s ability to be nimble in acting on behalf of the specialty.

The recommended changes to Board composition were developed to align the AAE with leading practices and will enhance the board’s diversity and efficiency.

ABE Description

In addition to the proposed changes to Board composition, the committee presented an additional housekeeping change. The AAE Bylaws refer to the American Board of Endodontics conforming to requirements established by the ADA’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure. In recent years this function has been transferred to the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. The proposed Bylaws amendment updates this language to reflect current practice.


Dr. Hall provided the members of the Assembly with instructions on providing testimony, participating in debate, and voting. Testimony was provided in support of, and in opposition to, the proposed Constitution and Bylaws changes relating to the Board Transformation Initiative. Following discussion on the proposed changes, the Assembly voted to refer the initiative for further study.

GA-4 Moved: that the proposed Constitution and Bylaws Changes related to the Board Transformation Initiative be referred to the appropriate entity of the AAE for further study with a report back to the 2022 General Assembly.

Motion Carried.

Following the decision on the Board Transformation Initiative, the Assembly voted to approve the proposed changes to the ABE description in the Bylaws.

GA-5 Moved: that the Bylaws be amended as follows:


Section 2. Requirements.

As required by the American Dental Association, the ABE shall conform to the requirements as determined by the Council on Dental Education and Licensure of the American Dental Association National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards for the organization, operation and candidate certification of a recognized certifying board of dentistry.

Motion Carried.

Reports of Officers

Written reports from the AAE President, Secretary, and Treasurer were made available to members online prior to the meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

AAE Treasurer, Dr.  Natasha M. Flake, reported that for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020, the AAE had an operating surplus including investment earnings of $277,000. Strategic initiative spending totaled $568,000 resulting in a financial deficit of ($291,000).  Strategic initiatives in the last year focused on the patient/public (Worth Saving & Root Canal Truth), profession (advocacy), and membership.

In addition, AAE received a clean audit from our independent auditors indicating that AAE’s financial operations comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and that the association is financially sound and that the Board of Directors has operated responsibly and in the best interest of the AAE and its membership.

Revenues and expenses in 2020 were impacted by COVID restrictions and the cancellation of AAE20. The impact was partially offset by an insurance claim.

The forecast for the current fiscal year is also impacted by COVID and the cancellation of the in person annual meeting.   The forecast projects a surplus from operations of $166,000 with a total deficit of ($275,000). The projected deficit includes expenses related to strategic initiatives with the deficit funded from AAE’s financial reserves. These results are similar to June 2020 actuals.

The AAE Investment balance on June 30, 2020 equaled $10.1 million and was 90% of the expected 2020 annual expenses, which is a healthy financial position.

Looking forward, the Board of Directors approved a 2021-2022 budget projecting revenue of $11,355,000, expenses of $11,659,000, investment earnings of $197,000 with an operating deficit of ($106,000). This surplus is less than the current year, as it is expected that AAE will recover to prior year levels for membership and events over the next couple of years.

The Board is advancing the strategic plan which focuses on expanding the public’s awareness of endodontics, the dental profession’s value of the endodontic specialty and recognition of members within the specialty. The Board approved additional funding for the strategic initiatives in the amount of $473,000. This will be funded in Fiscal Year Budget 22 through the use of the reserve funds. This strategic spending level is similar to the past two years.

Journal of Endodontics Report

JOE Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Kenneth M. Hargreaves, reported continued advances in the Journal of Endodontics.

The JOE continues to attract noteworthy papers from researchers and clinicians around the world, and has seen a 341% increase in the number of new manuscripts submitted to the JOE from 2003-2020.

In addition to the 1,364 new manuscripts submitted in 2020, an additional 284 revised manuscripts were submitted in response to a prior review. Thus, the Editorial Board reviewed a total of 1,648 manuscripts submitted in 2019, which equates to about 4.5 papers submitted every day throughout the year. This dramatic increase in workload has impacted the time it takes to complete a review and reach an editorial decision.

The 2020 Scientific Advisory Board consisted of 593 reviewers from more than 25 countries. The reviewers were selected for their expertise and their distribution across educational programs and include many in private practice. Approximately 70% of the reviewers are in the USA or Canada, and we continue to expand the list of international reviewers.

The JOE has developed an outstanding Impact Factor over the last two decades. The 2019 impact factor ranks the JOE #11 out of a total of 91 dental journals. The 2020 Impact Factor will be published in summer 2021.

The annual JOE Awards will be presented at the JOE Award and Scientific Advisory Board Reception. These awards recognize the best articles in the categories of Basic Research: Biology, Basic Research: Technology, Case Reports and Clinical Techniques, Clinical Research, Regenerative Endodontics, and Systematic and Scoping Reviews. In addition, 12 papers published in 2020 received Honorable Mentions.

Foundation for Endodontics

Foundation for Endodontics President Dr. John M. Nusstein reported that in 2020 the Foundation budgeted $1.4 million to support research, education, and access to care. Last year, the Foundation was pleased to offer one-time funding to any resident graduating in 2020, via the COVID-19 relief grant.

In 2020, the Foundation funded year one of its newest program, the Research Fellowship Award, created to recognize the key role junior investigators play in the specialty of endodontics. Dentsply Sirona generously donated the funding to support the first fellow, Dr. Annie Shrestha, assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry. Dr. Nusstein recognized her commitment to advancing endodontic science.

The Foundation’s Endodontic Educator Fellowship Award seeks to ensure that endodontics is being taught by skilled endodontists. In 2020, the Foundation selected Dr. Theodore Ravenel, endodontic program director at the Medical University of South Carolina, as the Endodontic Educator Fellow. Dr. Nusstein recognized Dr. Ravenel for his contributions and dedication to endodontic education.

The Foundation reported on its growth in the areas of access to care and public awareness. In just four years, the Foundation developed and refined an international program supported monetarily and in-kind by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. The Foundation looks forward to safely returning volunteers to the clinic in Treasure Beach, Jamaica at the appropriate time. Seiler Precision Instruments was thanked for providing a microscope for patient care for all our volunteers since late 2016.

Dr. Nusstein announced the Foundation’s new, domestic access to care program, which will allow members with the opportunity to positively impact communities and provide the highest level of specialty care to underserved patients. AAE members who are endodontists are eligible to apply for funding to be used to support access to free endodontic care for underserved patients within their communities. The Foundation thanked U.S. Endo Partners for its five-year monetary commitment in support of this program.

Dr. Nusstein thanked to several longtime corporate partners who have increased their commitment to the Foundation during the current campaign: American Dental Partners Foundation, Coltene, EndoVision, U.S. Endo Partners, and Vista Apex. The Foundation’s newest corporate donor, Endodontic Practice Partners, was thanked for matching individual contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000, toward the 2021 – 2022 campaign.

American Board of Endodontics Report

ABE President Dr. Timothy C. Kirkpatrick presented the report of the American Board of Endodontics.

In 2020, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABE certified 112 new Diplomates. Their dedication to the specialty of endodontics deserves the appreciation of all AAE members and is vital to the future of our specialty.  Dr. Kirkpatrick congratulated the new Diplomates of the ABE and thanked all those who have achieved Board certification through the ABE.

2020 posed many challenges for the ABE.  Normal processes were reimagined to accommodate the many obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The ABE Written Exam, normally a one-day event in May, was administered over the course of several weeks due to social distancing mandates and even closures of multiple testing facilities.  Despite the challenges, all examinees were accommodated.  The Case History Portfolio Exam, a fully online exam for both candidates and examiners, remained largely unaffected by the pandemic.

In March of 2020, as the effects of the pandemic were beginning to be felt throughout the country, the ABE was still able to conduct its previously scheduled Oral Exam in St. Louis for 52 candidates.  The ABE had originally prepared for 96 examinees, however, as travel and quarantine mandates were imposed around the country, some candidates and examiners alike were not able to travel to St. Louis.  This new reality forced postponement of the October 2020 exam, and a transition to a Virtual Oral Exam scheduled for March 25 – 27.  Following this initial Virtual Oral Exam, the ABE will continue to explore all options to provide expanded opportunities for Candidates to take the Oral Exam.

The ABE plans to conduct the October 2021 Oral Exam in St. Louis as in years past.

The Foundation for Endodontics was thanked for its generous grant to the ABE. The ABE is committed to an ongoing effort to refine and improve the board process and these changes require advancements in technology. Technological updates to the ABE’s testing processes as well as a new data management system have helped to improve the user experience and facilitate the behind the scenes management. The Foundation grant enabled these crucial improvements.

Dr. Kirkpatrick recognized Ms. Margie Hannen, who retired as the ABE’s Chief Operating officer following more than 20 years of service to the specialty, and shared the Board’s appreciation for all of her contributions.

Dr. Kirkpatrick thanked the Board and former directors for their contributions in administering examinations and their continued support of the ABE.

Presentation of ABE Nominees

Dr. Kirkpatrick presented the slate of nominees for ABE Directors:

Bradford R. Johnson
Neville J. McDonald
Sami M.A. Chogle
Meetu R. Kohli

Nominating Committee Report

AAE Nominating Committee Chair, Dr. Garry L. Myers, presented the slate of nominees for AAE officers and Foundation for Endodontics Trustees:

American Association of Endodontists

President: Alan S. Law

President-Elect: Stefan I. Zweig

Vice President: Craig. S. Hirschberg

Secretary: Natasha M. Flake

Treasurer: Steven J. Katz

Immediate Past President: Alan H. Gluskin

Foundation for Endodontics Trustees

Anthony T. Borgia

Ryan B. McMahan

Foundation for Endodontics Public Sector Representatives

Tom von Sydow

John Ferone

Scott Fehrs

District Director Nominees

President Alan H. Gluskin presented the slate of nominees for District Director positions:

District I: Judy McIntyre

District III: William D. Stanley

District IV: Susan B. Paurazas

District V: Bradley H. Gettleman

District VII: Janice C. Chou

Election of Board Members

There being no other nominees, the slate of nominees for Officers and Directors of the AAE, Directors of the American Board of Endodontics, and Trustees of the Foundation for Endodontics were elected for terms beginning in 2021.

New AAE officers and district directors, ABE directors, and AAE Foundation trustees were reminded to abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Association of Endodontists and the Bylaws of the respective organizations to which they have been elected, and to discharge their duties and responsibilities to the best of their abilities. They were then installed into their respective offices.

Outgoing President’s Remarks

Immediate Past President Alan H. Gluskin thanked the Assembly for the opportunity to serve as AAE President, and shared his pride at the Association’s leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and in its advocacy on behalf of members. Dr. Gluskin congratulated Dr. Law on beginning his term as President.

Incoming President’s Remarks

President Law addressed the Assembly, speaking to the many ways in which members can become involved in the specialty and the association. He shared his journey to the position of AAE president, from leadership in his state affiliate and membership on AAE committees, encouraging members to get involved through teaching, research, philanthropy, and service. Dr. Law shared his pleasure in helping to advance the AAE’s strategic plan, including promoting the value of retaining natural teeth, partnering with others to improve outcomes, and becoming global leaders in endodontics.

There being no further business, the Assembly was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.