In this issue

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

Key outcomes of the August 2017 APA Council meeting.

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

Highlights of Financial Affairs

  • Total annual operating revenues for 2017 are expected to be $112.78 million. This figure reflects a mixture of income from various sources of which the two main ones are licensing/database access fees ($73.1 million) and royalties and permissions ($10.74 million), both of which continue to grow. Inflows from all sources, including non-operating revenues, are estimated to be $124.29 million in 2017.
  • APA's projected operating, non-operating, and special projects expenses for 2017 are estimated to be $128.25 million, leading to a deficit of $3.96 million for the total 2017 integrated budget. APA will use liquidations from long term investments ($4.83 million) to cover the deficit.
  • However, from 2015 through 2016, the net assets of the APA have increased from $42- to $50 million.
  • In order to generate revenue for investments in much needed strategic initiatives and to better balance the investment portfolio, the APA headquarters building at 750 First Street NE will be refinanced, taking advantage of the current estimated equity of $103.3 million on an assessed 2017 value of $158.8 million. The refinancing involves a loan of $90 million of which $55.5 million will be used to pay the current outstanding debt and the remaining $34.5 million will be used for the aforementioned strategic initiatives yet to be determined.

Executive Session

  • APA's general counsel, Deanne Ottaviano, led an executive session that centered on (a) the status of litigation arising from the Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations, and Torture and (b) the appropriate topic parameters for Council's discussion that was to take place on the issue of master's-level training in psychology given the status of APA as a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization.

Master's Level Training in Psychology

  • After extensive discussion of this issue in small groups and as a whole, Council agreed by acclamation that due to current developments, APA should take a position on master's-level training and/or practice. Council directed the APA staff and governance to identify and explore options for APA to pursue. Further action is expected on this issue in February 2018.

Forthcoming Amendment Voting on Dues Issues

  • By an overwhelming majority of 98 percent, Council approved asking members to vote on an amendment to the APA Bylaw Association Rules that would eliminate the $2 discount members receive as a credit on their division dues for the first of the divisions to which they belong. The rationale for this bylaw change is that administering the $2 requires unnecessary expenses and does not appear to be a significant incentive to division members.
  • Council also approved, by 68 percent, sending to membership for a vote an amendment to the APA Bylaws that would eliminate the eligibility for APA dues exemption for any fellow, member or associate member who has reached the age of 65 and has been a member for at least 25 years. If this amendment passes, the Council will be able to set up a dues exempt category and also to set an administrative fee for dues exempt members who opt not to pay the subscription fee.

Transparency of Decisions

  • By a vote of 91 percent, Council requested that drafts of minutes and concise summaries of Board of Directors and COR meetings be posted on the APA website as soon as feasible after the meetings and encouraged boards and committees to follow suit on their respective websites.
  • By a vote of 65 percent, Council voted to delay voting on an item designed to implement, for a 3-year trial period, the publication of the votes of Council members on open agenda items on the association website, with access for members only. Both of your current Div. 5 Council Representatives are in favor of implementing this process.

We Want to Hear From You!
We would like Div. 5 members to let your 2018 Council Representatives (Susana Urbina or Rachel Fouladi) know whether you agree that the transparency we are seeking for the vote record of Council members is something that you would like to see. We would also like your opinion about an item that may be considered by the COR in the future, namely, whether changes in APA Bylaws should be done by the Council only rather than proposed by Council and approved by a membership vote.

Resolution Affirming Support for Research and Teaching with Nonhuman Animals 

By a vote of 94 percent, Council voted to adopt a resolution reaffirming its long-standing support for ethically sound and scientifically valid research with nonhuman animals and the scientists who conduct it, noting that such research has made significant contributions to the improvement of health and well-being of both human and nonhuman animals.

Multicultural Guidelines for the Twenty-First Century

Council adopted an update to the association's 2002 Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists that reflects the growth in research and theory on the subject since the original guidelines were adopted. The new guidelines incorporate broad reference group identities such as Black/African-American/Black American, White/White American, and Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander to acknowledge within group differences and the role of self-definition on identity.

Civility Work Group Report Implementation

Council received the report of the Civility Principles Work Group in February 2017 and at the August meeting agreed by a vote of 90 percent to implement the report by requesting each APA governance group to designate a “civility ambassador.” These individuals will be responsible for sending an annual statement regarding civility expectations to their assigned listserv and for providing corrective feedback to members when necessary.

Commission on Ethics Processes

Council accepted, by a vote of 96 percent, a report from the Commission on Ethics Processes. This report includes recommendations from its subcommittees on (1) Ethics Adjudication and Education, (2) Policies and Procedures Related to the Ethics Committee and Ethics Office, (3) Institutional and Organizational Culture, and (4) Benchmarking. It culminated a more than year-long project by some of the nation's leading psychologists and lay leaders in ethical thought and practices who addressed important issues identified by the Independent Review as requiring the attention of the association in its ethics education and adjudication functions.

Diversity Workgroup Report

  • Council received a comprehensive report and presentation from the Council Diversity Work Group recommending a number of initiatives in policies and practices within the Council and APA aimed at promoting greater inclusion of diversity issues and the psychological health of racial and ethnic minority communities. The report will receive further review and analysis by the Board and the Council Leadership Team, as implementation measures are considered.
  • The Council Diversity Work Group did not have adequate time for questions or comments on its extensive report because it came almost at the end of the time allowed for the Council agenda and this led some members to challenge the leadership's position on responding to issues of diversity and inclusion. This in turn led to some additional time devoted to airing the views of members and a promise that APA will continue to address these issues at multiple levels.

Items of Approved by Council by Consent

  • Div. 17 Journal Proposal: Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Guidelines for Education and Training in Consulting Psychology/Organizational Consulting Psychology
  • Guidelines for Education and Training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Extension of Recognition of Clinical Neuropsychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
  • Extension of Recognition of Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
  • Extension of Personality Assessment Psychology and Group Psychotherapy as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology
  • Extension of Family Psychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
  • Extension of Psychopharmacology as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology
  • Extension of Assessment and Treatment of Serious Mental Illness as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology
  • Renewal of Recognition of Addiction Psychology (formerly Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders) as a Proficiency in Professional Psychology
  • Renewal of Recognition of Geropsychology as a Specialty in Professional Psychology
  • Resolution on Palliative Care and End of Life Issues
  • Resolution on Assisted Dying
  • Report of the Working Group on Stress and Health Disparities