Incoming Board Meeting Minutes

Review the minutes from the first meeting of the incomiing division board

August 2008, Boston

Present:  Frank Farley (Chair), Maureen O’Hara, Sara Bridges, David Elkin, Brent Robbins, Kathleen Wall, David Lukoff, Erik Craig, Miraj Desai, Fred Wertz (Secretary).


Frank reviewed the agenda and distributed reports from Krishna Kumar (Program), Brent Robbins (Membership), and Kathleen Wall (Awards).   

A motion to approve the general membership business meeting minutes from August of last year in San Francisco was unanimously approved. 

President’s Report (Frank Farley)

Frank exclaimed the degree of fun involved in his presidency, including the continual companionship of inflowing emails.  Frank characterized his presidency as one that has kept the ship afloat and enhanced the Society with the Mini-Convention thematically focused on “Humanizing an Inhumane World.”  This Mini-Convention included 35 sessions and a partnership with Division of Media Psychology (46), which gave us more program time.  Some of the notable participants are Aron Beck, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Goldman, Robert Sternberg, and Raymond Fowler.  Frank advised future presidents to use this strategy, including the distribution of literature on the program at each session.  This year our brochure was distributed widely, and at the meeting of Council Representatives, APA’s CEO Norm Anderson remarked that ours was a “awesome program.” indicating that we are on the radar screen of APA’s high administration.  These sessions will draw hundreds of people, and students will be handing out flyers and membership materials.  Our students have also gained distinction by having already been thrown out of many central areas in the Convention, fortunately after having distributed most of their literature.  Frank remarked on his enjoyment of the programming.  Awards will be given at the Social Hour tonight, and the oil can will also be passed there.  One problem is that there is almost no more space for new names on the oil can.  David suggested adding a nice sterling silver base that would accommodate more names. 

President Elect Report (Maureen O’Hara)

Maureen congratulated Sara Bridges as the new president elect.  David Elkins will assume the role of Treasurer.  Susan Gordon will be taking over as Awards Chair.  Miraj Desai will continue as student representative.  Maureen thanked Frank for his wonderful program and remarked on the great visibility of the Society that Frank has achieved in APA.  He has set a new bar for visibility with a message.  Maureen also congratulated Brent Robbins for his wonderful Psychotherapy Conference that took place before the Convention.  The new Program Chair will be Scott Churchill, who is experienced and will continue the big focus emphasis in APA.  The dual theme will be the application of psychology to the larger development of consciousness and human science research methodologies as the appropriate for a global reality.  Reductionistic research approaches do not fit outside of Western European reality.  The theme, tentatively phrased at this point, will be “Empowerment Psychology for a Global Society.”  This theme piggy-backs on Frank’s public turn and will continue to carry the Society’s message to the larger APA.  We will continue to tell the humanistic story in a way that is relevant to today.  Our leading question will continue to be, “What do we have to offer to the aspirations and suffering of people today?”.  We need a new psychology that hasn’t yet been invented in order to survive and thrive in the new world.   

There were resounding rounds of applause for new president elect, treasurer, members at large, and other new members of the executive board.

Treasurer Report (Sara Bridges)

The Society’s finances are very well.  The funds from last year’s Psychotherapy Conference have been extremely helpful and the Conference this year was also a success.  Although we may not be able to count on regular income from such conferences in the future, the reserve funds have been and will continue to be greatly helpful.  Sara met with publisher Taylor and Francis, with whom we are negotiating a new contract for our journal.  The Society may draw $10,000 annually and the editor’s stipend will be significantly enhanced.  Sara has been conducting the negotiations in collaboration with Scott Churchill and with the help of Jesse Rabin, APA Council.  Sara attended the breakfast for President Elects and has news from APA.  Divisions will be receiving a return of $600 for convention hotel costs.  As part of a new initiative, APA will be revamping the website with enhancements for divisions.  APA membership is down, and one new initiative will allow individuals to join divisions easily on-line, all automated.  It will continue to be possible to join the Society without joining APA, and to do so on-line.  This will help our Society’s membership.   

Psychotherapy Conference (Brent Robbins)

The conference went extremely well, with abundant and satisfying food and drinks.  Costs were covered, and because expenses were very high due to enhanced services and the Boston area, the Society will make a few thousand dollars from the Conference.  David Cain conducted masterful negotiations for shuttle car.  There were 83 conference attendees, about half of last year attendance.  This may be attributed to the economy and to people who attended last year not wanting to attend annually.  These former attendees are expected to return to the conference again in the future. 

Membership Report (Brent Robbins)

Membership is down 8-9%, though these figures are not final and do not reflect the more recent large membership drives.  Student memberships always drop by about 150 every year, and it is a perpetual challenge to recover these members each year.  This may reflect the economy.  Frank noted that APA dues are going up.  Brent placed emphasis on the importance of strong efforts in the area of student membership, given that young new members are the future of the Society.  Mark Stern suggested reaching out to other professional societies, such as those in cognate disciplines like Sociology.  Brent has attempted to target potential members from the International Human Science Conference.  Though it is difficult to recruit internationally, this is an important outreach, especially to researchers. 

Awards (Kathleen Wall)

Kathleen Wall encouraged the membership to nominate individuals for our awards. Susan Gordon will be replacing Kathleen as Awards Chair.  Awards sessions will take place this afternoon.  Frank made plaques for Mike Arons and made note of the award to be presented in the social hour to Mark Stern for outstanding service to the Society. In the future, this will be called the Mike Arons and Mark Stern Award for Service Excellence.