In this issue

APA Council Report

Review of the APA Council of Representatives meeting

By Susan D. Clayton, PhD

The APA Council of Representatives met before, and during, the recent APA meeting in Washington. I pick out some of the major topics of discussion as well as those issues likely to interest SEPCP members.

One issue was a proposed dues restructuring. This requires a bylaws change so APA members will be given the information and asked to vote on it later. The primary intention of the change is to simplify the unwieldy dues structure, and it was overwhelmingly endorsed by Council.

Another topic involved changes in the structure of the annual convention. These changes will reduce the total amount of programming as well as the amount allocated to individual divisions, with the goal of increasing collaborative programming and increasing the proportion of high-quality programs. The changes will be phased in over three years, beginning with the 2014 convention, and their impact will be assessed.

A resolution was passed whereby the American Psychological Association supports its priority for recognition of psychology as a science by increasing resources for advocacy for psychological science. Increased resources would support activities such as:

Expanding the executive branch fellow system;

  • Organizing congressional briefings on topics in which psychological science can be highlighted;
  • Increasing the number of nominations of psychological scientists to advisory boards and panels;
  • Monitoring new opportunities for funding for psychological science;
  • Monitoring new resources available for training psychologists, including women and underrepresented minorities, in STEM related sub-areas of psychology;
  • Holding workshops for psychologists to take advantage of new funding opportunities or to be able to advocate for themselves with their representatives at the federal and state level;
  • Creating a science advocacy network, structured in a similar way to the very successful and effective Federal Advocacy Network of the APA Practice Organization;
  • Expanding the range and frequency of contact with agencies that fund STEM research;
  • Increasing the focus of APA's public education campaign on the promotion of awareness of psychology as a science.

The APA is in sound financial shape. It is also in the middle of an intensive evaluation of its governance structure, with the hope of engaging more of the APA membership and making governance more efficient.

As usual, information was presented demonstrating the commitment to reducing energy use at the APA buildings. Both APA-owned buildings are in the lowest 10% of similar buildings nationally in their greenhouse gas emissions. LEED gold certification is under way for one of the buildings.

I'm always impressed by the dedication of resources for psychologists. Please let me know if there are issues or initiatives you would like to see raised at Council meetings.