In this issue

Report on the February 2017 APA Council of Representatives (COR) meeting

Key outcomes of the February 2017 APA council meeting.

By Susana P. Urbina, PhD, and William Revelle, PhD

Plenary Session

President Tony Puente opened this session by introducing the members of the Board of Directors (BOD) and the Council Leadership Team (CLT). He sounded an optimistic note with regard to the outlook for APA, with new CEO Arthur C. Evans coming onboard March 20, 2017, as well as the prospect of moving on to a number of new initiatives for the Council and the Association. Two members who are seeking to be nominated for the presidency of APA, Steve Hollon and Rick McGraw, made brief presentations, as did two members who want to be nominated for the BOD.

Follow-up on the Independent Report and Its Aftermath

Council met in executive session to receive an update from APA's general counsel on threatened and pending claims and recently filed litigation.

Organization of the APA

Resolution

Resolution on Duties of Council and Trial Delegation of Specific Duties to the Board: A three-year extension of the delegation of duties from the COR to the BOD was approved by a vote of 86 percent. Duties delegated include:

  • Financial and budget matters;
  • Hiring, evaluation and support of the CEO;
  • Assuring alignment of the budget with the APA Strategic Plan; and
  • Internally focused policy development.

Exceptions were placed on the BOD's financial authority for (a) any single unbudgeted item exceeding $3 million and (b) the sale of Association real estate.

Amendments

The following bylaw amendments were approved by Council members:

  • Updates of the descriptions of the BOD roles and responsibilities necessary to comply with current IRS requirements — approved by 99 percent and will be sent to the membership for a vote in May.
  • Ensuring that as of the 2019 legislative year, each APA Division and State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association will have at least one seat on the COR — approved by 88 percent and will be sent to the membership for a vote in November.

The following amendments to association rules were approved by Council members:

  • Changes in rules governing the operation of the Needs Assessment, Slating and Campaigns Committee (NASCC) designed to increase accountability and check for conflicts of interest — approved by 77 percent.
  • Minor changes in the rules related to the Council Leadership Team (CLT) and the NASCC — approved by 94 percent.
  • Changes in the eligibility requirements for membership on the Finance Committee, aimed at assuring that the committee counts with sufficient expertise — approved by 88 percent.

The following conflict of interest (COI) principles were approved by Council members:

  • All individuals acting in the name of, or on behalf of, the APA or of an APA group must address any COI or appearance of a COI before acting. All APA Representatives must disclose any potential COI. For the purpose of disclosing a COI “APA Group” means any APA Task Force, Work Group, Board, Committee, Board of Directors, or Council of Representatives and “APA Representative” means an individual serving on an APA Group. This item was approved by 98.7 percent of COR members.

Professional Affairs

  • Applied Behavior Analysts and the Practice of Psychology: Council voted by 94 percent to adopt as APA policy a statement to the effect that applied behavior analysis is an integral part of the discipline of psychology and that the practice of applied behavior analysis is included in the definition of the “Practice of Psychology” section of the APA Model Act for State Licensure of Psychologists.
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults: Council voted by 80 percent to adopt these guidelines as APA Policy and requested that Professional Practice Guidelines related to issues important to the treatment of individuals who have PTSD be developed as expeditiously as possible.
  • Guidelines for Occupationally-Mandated Psychological Evaluation: Council voted by consensus to adopt these guidelines

Educational Affairs

  • The item formerly known as “Removal of Barriers to Admission to Doctoral Programs in Psychology Created by the Use of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) “was revised by the Board of Educational Affairs and became the “Resolution on the Use of Multiple Indicators for Admission to Graduate Programs in Psychology” and the GRE is no longer mentioned. The item was adopted as APA policy by a vote of 95 percent.
  • Council voted by consensus to approve the revised agreement between the APA and the Canadian Psychological Association titled “First Street Accord on Mutual Recognition of Accreditation and Quality Assurance for Psychology Doctoral and Internship Program/mes.”

Public Interest

  • Council voted by consensus to adopt as APA policy a “Resolution on Human Trafficking in the United States, Especially of Women and Girls.” This resolution strongly conveys APA's commitment to protecting the human rights of all persons, including the victims of human trafficking.
  • Council voted by consensus to receive the report “Changing Gender Composition of Psychology: Update and Expansion of the 1995 Task Force Report.”

International Affairs

Council voted by consensus to adopt as APA policy the “Resolution on Promoting Global Perspectives in U.S. Psychology.”

Diversity Training

Council received diversity training in the form of a workshop on the “Implicit Attitudes Framework,” presented by Glenda Russell, PhD and Andrea Iglesias, PsyD.

Financial Report

Council received a financial report that indicates that the APA is in good financial health, as shown by the following measures of organizational financial health:

  • The net asset goal is to have four months of operating expenses at the end of each year. This goal was not only met, but exceeded by approximately $14 million.
  • The value of equity in buildings is currently estimated at $214 million.
  • The Association Rule requires a minimum Standard and Poor’s Bond Rating of BBB. APA’s bond rating remains at BBB+ with a stable outlook.
  • The Bank of America requires that APA maintain consolidated liquid assets of at least $33 million as an indicator of APA’s ability to repay its debt. For 2016 actual liquid assets were $99 million.

The budget that has been approved by the APA BOD for 2017 shows total revenues and other cash inflows of $124.1 million and expenses of $128.3 million with a planned deficit of $4.2 million.

Net Assets

Since 2010, APA’s net assets have ranged from a low of $30 million in 2011 to a high of $65 million in 2013. For the past three years, net assets were $60 million (2014), $42 million (2015), and $50 million (2016, pre-audit).

Selected Information Items Received by Council

  • An update on the Commission on Ethics Processes was received by Council. Melba Vasquez, PhD, co-chair of the Commission, provided an extensive verbal report on the concerns raised by the Hoffman report regarding ethics processes within the APA along with multiple recommendations on how to address these concerns.

  • Additional verbal updates were provided to Council and included:

    The Work Group on Organizational Policies and Procedures reported that it is working on the issues of Transparency in Decision-Making by APA Governance bodies and on Oversight of Governance Members, and

    The Council Diversity Work Group reported that APA has not followed through with proposals regarding diversity and proposed naming a Chief Diversity Officer to integrate and handle diversity issues.

  • A report of the Civility Principles Work Group was received by Council, including recommendations to add guidelines and expectations regarding civility to the orientation of new Council members, for online culture/civility checks after each meeting, and regular reminders to Council for civility expectations.

  • A report of the Work Group to Develop Guidelines on Task Force Selection was received by Council including a request that ad hoc groups be appointed using multiple criteria, including diversity broadly defines, as well as relevant skills and competencies.

  • An update on Publications and Communications Board Activities was received by Council indicating that the revenue for APA's core scholarly and professional publishing program totaled nearly $92 million in 2016.