In this issue

Council of Representatives Report

Council representatives report on the February 2017 meeting.

By Patricia A. Parmelee, PhD, and Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD, ABPP

New events regarding the Hoffman report

In executive session, the Council of Representatives (COR) reviewed and discussed the recent legal complaint filed against David Hoffman, Sidley Austin, and the American Psychological Association by five persons who believe their reputations were damaged by the Hoffman report and its sequelae. Persons with conflicts of interest recused themselves, some more voluntarily than others. Because discussion was privileged and confidential, we cannot report details. Text of the complaint is publicly available online, along with some other relevant materials. Note that this is not an APA-sponsored nor an APA-approved website.

Pursuant to the legal action against APA, a motion was made to remove the full text of the Hoffman report from APA's website. After discussing pros and cons, Council voted the motion down.

Ongoing governance process

Ongoing governance process was addressed by several actions:

  • Considered a motion to continue the trial delegation of specific — previous Council — functions to the Board of Directors (BOD) — the Good Governance Project — for an additional three-year trial period, on the logic that the disruptive effects of the “interrogation incident” prevented proper implementation and evaluation of the changes. There was considerable debate, with strong arguments on both sides. The motion was approved by a substantial margin, extending the GGP trial delegation for another three years.
  • Passed a motion to restructure the composition of the Finance Committee to include a slate that may be drawn from outside COR and BoD. A proposed amendment to draw Finance Committee members solely from current and immediate past members of COR and the BOD was voted down; the original amendment passed.
  • Accepted a report on the Task Force on Civility's dual surveys of CoR members regarding perceived sources of and recommended solutions for incivility among Council members.
  • Approved an amendment changing operation of the Needs Assessment, Slating and Campaigns Committee to maintain balance on the Board of Directors regarding diversity (including representation of disciplines).

Other business

In other business, Council:

  • Approved motions to (a) adopt as policy the new clinical practice guidelines for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder; (b) encourage removal of barriers to admissions to graduate programs in psychology posed by reliance on the Graduate Record Examination as an admission criterion, and (c) define applied behavior analysis as within the realm of professional psychological practice.
  • Received an update on activities of the Commission on Ethics Processes, including (a) formation of subcommittees on adjudication and education, policies and procedures, institutional and organizational culture, and benchmarking, and (b) suggestions for improved process, including formation of separate Ethics Guidance and Ethics Adjudication Committees, revision of APA mission and vision statements to emphasize ethical principles and standards, appointment of an ethics ombudsperson, creation of an Executive Committee for Ethics, and regular audits of the ethics process.
  • Heard a detailed report from the APA Practice Organization.
  • Received an update from the Council Diversity Work Group.
  • Engaged in diversity training on implicit attitudes and stereotypes.