Mid-Winter Meeting Minutes

The Mid-Winter Meeting Minutes are from the 2011 Mid-WWinter Board Meeting held at the Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe, NM on January 7th and 8th, 2011

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome (Louise)

Louise welcomed the board to Santa Fe.  She was happy to see such a good attendance and all present on time, which speaks loudly for our Society.  Louise asked that all reports be under 30 minutes, with the exception of the program committee, will require a lion’s share of the meeting time.  Louise thanked Erik for inviting the board to Santa Fe and for arranging the hospitality and welcoming accommodations.  She presented Erik with a gorgeous shield that she had brought all the way from India.  It had originally come with swords, but they were confiscated at the airport.  Louise protested passionately to airport security, on the basis of a sophisticated semiotic analysis, that the swords of were symbolic of wisdom and would not be used to assault or hurt anyone on the plane, but guards were not convinced.  The board loudly concluded Louise’s fate, “Busted!”  Recovering her initial intent, Louise informed the group that this shield will protect Erik from all evil.  And then as a more concrete measure of appreciation, Louise gave Erik a box of chocolates.  In deep appreciation, Erik likened the box of chocolate to “life itself” and accepted it heartily.  Susan Gordon, who was unable to attend the meeting in person, was welcomed on Skype, and her image streamed forth from a laptop atop a pedestal placed upside down at the head of the conference table.  The board’s midwinter meeting had been initiated with a jocular mood.

Treasurer’s report (Thérèse)

Thérèse handed out the treasurer’s report.  At the August meeting, the restricted funds had been discussed, and the revised budget accounted for the Winter Conference, which brought in $7000.  Thérèse  announced that interest rates have risen, and the Society is back in business (cheers resounded).  $1000 from the restricted funds from (conference income) will be used to cover the costs for this year’s midwinter meeting as planned.  Thérèse noted that the Society has not spent much money to date; $28,000 in revenue available, and only $18,000 is spent.  The $500 allocated to the program chairs for housing at the convention have not yet been requested.  Because Frank’s attendance was covered by his distinguished chair funds, the other program co-chair Krishna Kumar will be notified that the funds are available for him.  The journal expenses, $14,000, are down from last year.  The hospitality suite costs came in under budget, and Shawn was applauded for his initiative and successful hard work acquiring donations.  APA services are increasing costs.  We budgeted $500, and the costs are already $800, well before the end of the fiscal year.  APA did not charge the Society for the hotel accommodations at the last mid-winter meeting in Washington DC, and Sara volunteered to check into that.  The board decided to eliminate the old categories of development, such as the donor-initiated category, “Making Humanistic Psychology a Household Word,” with a sole contribution of $25 in that development line.  The inspiration and humor value of this development category notwithstanding, all development funds will now be consolidated.  It was also decided that the Society will back the organizers’ expenditures for upcoming special conferences with the funds that have already been acquired through past conferences.  Overall, Thérèse characterized the Society’s finances as very healthy.  The total assets are nearly $60,000--a really good, even an astonishing figure.  Sara noted that ongoing use of restricted funds to cover the Society’s operating deficit should be reviewed annually.  At some point, she added, we can rely on substantial earnings from the winter conference as part of the Society’s expected annual income so that it can be used to cover the operating expenses rather than being placed, as it still is, in restricted funds.  Scott suggested that the board periodically review the Society’s investments, and Thérèse reported that APA provides that service.

Upcoming Chicago Conference (Brent)

Many proposals have been submitted for the coming winter conference, including at least 24 CE proposals.  There will be 5 invited speakers, including Dave Elkins, Boyce Hendricks, and Ernesto Spinelli.   Presentations have been submitted by 22 doctoral level professionals, 22 students for papers, and 26 students for posters.  All students submitting proposals that need additional work to qualify for inclusion in the conference will receive mentorship in order to help bring them up to professional standards.  177 registrants for this year will make for a vibrant, large conference, and perhaps the Chicago location will draw another 100, making this the largest winter conference yet.  Todd DuBose is organizing and hosting this conference on site at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  Louis suggested that the conference would benefit from the services of a communications person, who would handle related tasks on a continuing basis through the years so that the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented annually as each new winter conference is organized.  Next year David Cain will handle communications at the San Diego conference, but nevertheless an ongoing conference communications person would be helpful moving forward into the future.  Thérèse asked who would take care of the conference budget.  This year there will be a treasurer who is working locally with Todd.  Frank asked about the extent that submitters and attendees are members of the Society, and Brent noted that the conference brings a significant number of new members aboard.  The board suggested that half the conference fee could be used as a 1-year Society membership, in order to assure the conference’s positive membership function.  Louis reported that at least 12 organizational donors are supporting the conference and that almost all organizations that received such requests responded positively.

Program (Scott and Fred)

Scott said 8 symposia, 1 skill-building session, 2 conversation hours, nearly 50 papers, and over 25 posters were submitted as proposals.  The call for papers had mentioned that due to limited available programming hours, symposia would have to be reduced to one hour unless other divisions offered some of their hours for support.  7 non-substantive and 14 substantive hours are at our disposal.  It is possible to move convention programming into non-substantive hours, although such meetings would not take place in the convention center but in convention hotels.  The outgoing board meeting has tentatively been scheduled.  The presidential address, award addresses, and the business meeting will be held in non-substantive hours and fit nicely in the hotel venue late in the day.  Five to six symposia are likely to be included in the program along with seven to eight paper sessions.  There were 10 submissions for the Jourard Award, and another 7 student papers that were submitted for the convention but did not indicate intent for the Jourard Award will also be considered for the award.  Erik, Sara, and Shawn are members of the program committee and have dedicated their time and energy to evaluating the submissions.  The program committee is planning a special Poster Session that will be the largest and most vibrant in the Society’s history.  The session will include enough presenters to occupy one complete aisle of exhibition space with Humanistic presentations on both sides.  The session will be a festive, interactive gathering for conversation and networking.  Some senior, well known leaders of the division have agreed to present posters and others included in the session have expressed enthusiasm and a willingness to be creative in this space.  Maybe awards can be given for the best posters.  The Society’s executive board is encouraged to be present for this special event, which has been scheduled so as not to conflict with any other Society events.  Refreshments could be offered, and tables with membership material and other special items could be brought into the space.  APA sends out a template for posters, and we could make a special Society designation on it and provide instructions to poster submitters on how to make posters easily and effectively.  In response to concerns expressed by board members, Scott volunteered to speak with Candy Won about APA’s policy on modifying the standard template.

Hospitality Suite (Shawn)

Shawn reported that 25 donors gave a total of $3000 for the Hospitality Suite last year at the San Diego convention.  The suite included a very high quality and well attended poster session that was lively for graduate students. For the future Hospitality Suite this August in Washington DC, Shawn requested help for the day-to-day running of the suite. He thanked Sara for her generous support, along with Maureen O’Hara.  The board agreed that the Suite was awesome, and noted that students in particular raved about the events, the exciting atmosphere, and the opportunities to network with division members and all those attending in the Suite.  This year’s Suite was extraordinarily vital and successful.  Richard emphasized the need for good publicity and suggested that all submitters of proposals for the convention whose abstracts are accepted could be invited to attend the Suite in their acceptance letter.  Frank suggested the phrase “the first and still the best” would well characterize the Society’s Hospitality Suite.  Erik added that our own journal, THP, should have a greater presence in the suite.  David asked about the policy regarding who stays in the Suite, and Scott recalled the old tradition of having a suite with 2 rooms, one for the Society’s president and the other for the Suite’s chair.  Sara said that she preferred an arrangement during her presidential year wherein accommodations are provided for the Suite’s chair and for the volunteers who staff the Suite.  Scott emphasized the importance of being first division to submit a request to APA for a suite, because in Washington DC, there is only one that is large enough at an inexpensive rate.  Louise stated in conclusion that Sara’s precedent is excellent and that she would like to continue to use the Suite first in order to accommodate the chair, and second if space allows accommodations for the student volunteers.  David agreed that this is a good policy that he intends to extend though his own presidency.  Louise made a special case for supporting the volunteers, who are usually students with little funding and great contributions to the suite.  Scott promised to try to get a large suite with 2 rooms so that the volunteers would have enough room to stay. Sara commended Shawn on the excellent handling of food, which is most economical when purchased locally.

International APA Poster Session. (Richard)

This year at the convention, APA is placing a special emphasis on reaching out to psychologists in other countries.  Divisions have been asked to provide a list of international activities and initiatives.  To date, only five responses have been received.  Richard will make a poster for this event with 6 or 7 vignettes highlighting some of the Society’s international activities and mentioning all others.  Richard requested additional submissions before the January 31 deadline.  He is seeking a comprehensive list of international activities of individual members of the Society.  Dr. Judy is working with Richard on assembling the poster.  The challenge is soliciting information for members.  Richard passed around a sheet of paper on which board members wrote down internationally involved individuals and their email addresses so that Richard is able to contact them and to add their own activities to the list and the poster.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Freud’s Cane (Erik)

As long eagerly anticipated, Erik showed the board Sigmund Freud’s cane and told the story of how he personally acquired this item of such special historical significance.  Erik had been convalescing for many months after a severe automobile accident.  One night he had a dream in which Freud asked him to “take care of his things” and escorted Erik through his house, showing him various possessions.  A couple of months later, Erik, bedridden and with nothing much to do, was surfing the internet and came across Freud’s cane being auctioned on E-Bay.  After research assuring its authenticity, he acquired the cane in Vancouver, Canada.  Eric conveyed the story of how Freud originally acquired this “walking stick” when he was 21 years old.  The handle is ivory and ebony, and the stick is wood with a metal tip, now worn from Freud’s wear.   This was Freud’s original cane, before he received another as a gift from Princess Marie Bonapart.  Erik, who passed the cane around among board members for closer inspection and handling, was thanked profusely for bringing and sharing the cane.  Richard took photographs of the board members as each handled the cane, which Erik left in the middle of the table for the rest of the morning’s board meeting.

Elections (Sara)

Upcoming, there are open board positions for President, Secretary, and two Members-at-Large.  A call for nominations was widely publicized.  Not many nominations were submitted, but those individuals who were nominated are strong and capable candidates for these offices.   As is traditional, board members who have been nominated leave the meeting room for the discussions about the positions for which they were nominated.  There was one individual who inquired about the process of self-nomination, which according to the Society’s bylaws requires a petition signed by 5% of the membership in order to appear on the election ballot without nomination by the Society’s executive board.  This Society member had begun the process of self-nomination for the office of president but did not complete it.  This individual’s self-nomination for president remained for the board’s consideration even though the petition process was not completed.  Sara passed around complete copies of the nomination materials, including recommendations by nominators and the qualifications of nominees.  All nominees (3 for president, 1 for secretary, and 3 for member-at-large) were considered and discussed by the board.  The final election slate, on which the board unanimously agreed, is:

President: Louis Hoffman and Krishna Kumar
Secretary: Brent Robbins
Member-at-large: Dominic Barraclough, Susan Gordon, Kareen Malone, Donna Rockwell.

The board discussed the student representatives to the board, and Sara suggested a change in procedures that would establish continuity.  Each president-elect would designate one student who would serve on the board for a term of three years.  This would assure that there are three student representatives on the board each year, one senior member, a junior member and a rookie.  They could work together on initiatives and the more experienced representatives could mentor less experienced ones.  The board discussed the logistics of financial support for mid-winter meeting and convention participation.

Council of Representatives (Scott)

Scott reported that the most important issue concerns the discussion on Council in August to distance APA from “humanistic science” and “the humanities” as a way of establishing psychology as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) discipline.  The problem is that psychology is not perceived as a science and APA wants psychology to be viewed as a science.  The APA is moving to an ever more narrow definition of the discipline, and this movement is not driven by intrinsic considerations but rather by marketing interests. The old terminology of “hard” and “soft” science has re-entered the conversation.  Scott connected dots by noting that the group of psychologists who petitioned to become a division of qualitative inquiry may be joining Division 5, Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation. This possibility has potential to change the discipline by making it more methodologically pluralistic, which would include qualitative human science research methods and connections with the humanities. Scott suggested that the Society take a strong stand on this issue and protest the establishment of psychology as a STEM discipline inasmuch as this would distance the discipline from diverse epistemologies, methodologies and cross fertilization with the humanities.

Council recently voted on whether to change the voting procedure so that there would always be a representative from the State, Regional, and Territorial Associations.  Frank informed the board of problems in the composition of the Council of Representatives which make the council unrepresentative of the membership of APA.  Richard suggested that the ballot that was sent out to membership did not give all the relevant information, which would tend to bias members in favor of voting yes and protecting the interests of the State Associations.

Task force on Epistemological Diversity (Scott)

Louise and Scott have been assembling a task force on “epistemological diversity,” appropriating the term from the Education Directorate, which used it in the title of the 2005 Leadership Conference, attended by Scott (representing Division 32) and Fred (representing Division 24).  Scott noted the importance of using the “diversity” theme to expansively pluralize psychology’s ways of knowing.  Scott suggested using this term in publications, presentations, and newsletter publications, which he himself intends to do.  Louise said this speaks directly to the STEM issue, because STEM involves epistemological hegemony.  Scott emphasized that this task force would take up these issues.  David suggested a structure of a large task force with a sub-committee focusing on the problem of the movement to define psychology as a STEM discipline.

Fellows Report (Scott, for David Rennie)

There were four applications for new fellow, and all four will be submitted to the APA Fellowship Committee for its evaluation.  The board discussed this year’s nominees, the committee’s recommendations, and the committee’s approach to successfully recommending new fellows to APA.  The board discussed how, in recommendations to APA, nominations could highlight the unusual and outstanding contributions with national or international impact that reflects uniquely humanistic values.  The board strongly and unanimously endorsed these four nominations this year.  The board suggested, in addition, one old fellow who deserves fellow status and whom David should nominate to APA.

Journal (Scott)

Scott reported on the new journal cover.  He introduced the three covers that Taylor and Francis had developed for the board’s consideration, including one using 4 colors that would cost $600 annually.  Scott reiterated that this cost would be split between the Society and Taylor and Francis.  Scott generously offered to donate an additional $150 of his editor’s stipend in order to support this 4-color cover.  This would reduce the Society’s cost for this cover to $150 annually.  Two alternative covers would bear no cost to the Society because they are limited to 2-colors.  The board unanimously agreed to adopt the 4-color cover because of its outstanding quality, at the cost of $150. and thanked Scott for his dedicated collaboration with Taylor and Francis as well as his willingness to contribute his own funds in order to achieve this huge upgrade.  The handsome 4-color new cover will give our journal a terrific, distinguished look of which our membership and the authors will be proud. 

Scott asked for feedback on a newly planned section of the journal that would include reflections, book reviews, photographs, and poems.  Scott is also including a section entitled, “From the Archives” which will include unpublished works of humanistic psychologists whose lives were cut short before their work was disseminated.  Scott is also including a memorial section, to be led off by a Memorial for Ernest Keen, written by Bruce Levi.  Frank suggested film reviews, and Scott was very favorable, adding that other creative sections can be included.  One, on which he is working, is sets of students’ reflections on books that have inspired and influenced them, followed by the book author’s responses and commentaries on the students’ reflections.  This will be initiated by a focus on the book, Love’s Pivotal Relationships, by Rich Alapack.  Board members were invited to submit such creative kinds of book reviews.  Louise suggested announcing these creative innovations on the Society’s webpage in order to invite members to participate and contribute their ideas and work.  Scott was treated to an enthusiastic and loud applause for his outstanding delivery and innovations of a top flight journal.

Newsletter (Shawn)

The newsletter has been expanded to 8-9 pages, including president’s messages, minutes, columns, and a diversity of other contributions.  Communications, new books, conferences, educational programs, and so on are announced.   Similar to the journal, this is a time of expansion and creativity, and suggestions of new material are welcomed.

Arts Interest Group (Ilene Serlin)

In 2003, the interest area was established in order to interconnect humanistic psychology and the arts.  The area has sponsored book signings in the Hospitality Suite and announcements of information such as upcoming conferences.  There are 82 members currently.  There is a newsletter distributed 4 times a year, containing names of new members.  These often include Ilene’s works with Heather Hill, a dance therapist from Australia.  Issues of the newsletter can be posted on the Society’s website and may attract new members to the Society.  The board unanimously agreed to the posting. 

Indigenous Psychology Task Force (Louise)

Louise informed the board of a new task force on Indigenous Psychology (IP).  To date, there are 15 members, including international associates.  These include John Christopher, Miraj Desai, Ken Gergen, Kwang-Kuo Hwang, Fredrick Leong, James Liu, Anthony Marsalla, Girishwar Misra, Rogelia Pe-Pua, Wade Pickren, Richard Shweder, and Fred Wertz.  The previously discussed problem of restricting psychology to a STEM discipline relates to the emerging area of IP, which requires humanistic ways of knowing, which are very pluralistic and includes diverse connections with the humanities.  A central issue in IP is that indigenous cultures often approach ways of knowing human beings and healing human suffering in humanities discourses, including philosophy, religion, art, and literature.  Authentic IP is impossible without the humanities.  Louise passed around a summary informing the board about the nature and innovations of IP.  She informed the board that the task force was launched in November of 2010 with half a dozen individuals, including Fred Wertz, Anthony Marsala, Wade Pickren, Louis Hoffman, and Miraj Desai.  A month later the group became international.  The Society, through this initiative, is sharing resources with psychologists around the world who are against the colonization and hegemony of western psychology.  Non-Western psychologies are developing new ways to solve the problems of their own cultures and are developing new philosophies of science, psychological theories,  and research methods in which people of diverse cultures to recognize themselves in their own psychology.  Louise emphasized the need for a global psychology as a living conversation that includes American humanistic psychology.  Non-Western cultures are translating more and more Western psychology, and alternative ways of doing psychological science are emerging in a global search for the commonalities and diversities of humanity.  A very different psychology of the future will emerge from these creative efforts, and this movement will be a strong answer to the STEM movement.  Scott suggested that epistemological diversity could be included in this task force, and Louise favored the idea of making it a subgroup In the IP task force.  She said that given the great interest non-Western psychologists are showing in American psychology, it is very important that humanistic psychology is included in among those which non-Western psychologists are importing.  We need to help them by giving them a wider range of psychology, and we have a major contribution to make in the emerging in the global psychology. 

Erik said that he knows a couple of Koreans who would be excellent members of this task force.  David Lukoff spoke of his recent visit to Kurdistan, where local communities are concerned about preserving their own spiritual and healing traditions, not only in the face of Western cultures but that of Islam, which has also been threatening indigenous cultures with fundamentalist forms.  The indigenous cultures and their psychologists are hungry for kinds of psychology that will honor and support them, and to help correct the narrow restrictions on their alternatives imposed by STEM psychology.  David added that the transpersonal psychologists, who have a strong role in the Society, is especially active in the movement of global psychology.  Frank said that we need to import more from other cultures rather than exporting our work, which is based on laboratory settings, limited populations (small samples of college students), and restricted bases for inference to other cultures.  The invalidity of meta-analytic methods was discussed.  The “WEIRD science” critique has exposed this problem. 

Louise was commended for this profoundly important and excellent task force that touches on so many issues that are central to humanistic psychology and psychology in general.   There is a website with archives containing the work and conversations of the task force, which is international.  One exciting dimension of the task force is that its members, including scholars in psychology and in such other disciplines as anthropology around the world, have never met or communicated with each other, and the task force provides an opportunity to exchange resources and ideas in a collaborative, global conversation.  Many of the task force members have been leaders in their own fields and their own countries, and now they are working together on the future of psychology, which will include non-Westerners for the first time.  This kind of collaboration will empower the voice of non-Western peoples in psychology.  David suggested a special issue of our journal including non-Westerners as authors. 

Director of Communications (Louise)

Louise introduced the need for a director of communications, a position such as Division 42 has just advertized.  The job description indicates responsibilities such as overseeing the web site; exploring and overseeing the use of social media; producing the newsletter; monitoring the list serv; and coordinating the development of CE modules, podcasts, and webinars.   The rub is that Division 42 will pay $20,000, whereas we need someone to take up these responsibilities as a service.  The board discussed the job description and possible personnel. 

Vacancies for APA Boards and Committees (Louise)

There are two vacancies on CODOPAR.  Nominations for are being accepted.  These positions involve a 3-year term.  There are 4 meetings per year, and APA reimburses expenses.  Scott agreed to the nomination.  Other boards and committees for which the executive board agreed to submit nominees are:

Committee on Structure and Function of Council:  Frank Farley
Committee on International Relations in Psychology:  Louise Sandararajan
Policy and Planning Board:  Frank Farley
Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice:  David Elkins
Membership Board: Richard Bargdill
Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest:  Krishna Kumar
Board of Educational Affairs: Fred Wertz
Committee on Ethics:  Sara Bridges
Finance and Board of Scientific Affairs: Thérèse Laferrière
Board of Professional Affairs: Maureen O’Hara
Commission for Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies:  Art Bohart and Kirk Schneider 

Awards (Susan)

The awards committee report is broken down into the committee’s various procedures,

In September, letters were sent to the 6 awardees for 2011.  3 new nominations were received and the committee decided not to reconsider nominations of members of the Society’s executive board. There were only a couple of new nominees, one for new career award and one for the Buhler award.  Three renominations were reconsidered.  The board reviewed and discussed these nominations.  The board also reviewed the practice of giving awards to individuals who are not members of the Society.  Some felt that there so many members of the Society deserve awards that others should not be so honored before our own members are recognized.  Others argued that the Society should take a larger and less insular view by recognizing that there are many individuals who are committed to humanistic psychology.  Many outside the Society have participated in our events and published in our venues, and they should also be honored.  Receiving an award may motivate an individual to recognize their common commitment with the Society and join as a member.  By a majority vote of the board, the following three awards will be given in 2012: 

  1. Karl and Carlotta Buhler Award:  Albert Zucconi and the Institute for Person-Centered Approach

  2. Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement:  Loren Mosher

  3. Carl Rogers Award:  Larry Davidson

Procedurally, plaques and certificates of appreciation are in the preparation process.  The expenses will be under budget.  Susan raised questions about the award ceremony at APA.  Louise emphasized the need for symbol, ritual, and ceremony, in which we honor our heroes.  Susan shared good background research on ways the awards ceremony could be organized. Each award would be presented by someone who knows the person receiving the award.  The board decided to accept Susan’s recommended procedures and thanked her for her excellent dedication to this important committee.

Past President (Sara)

Sara thanked the board.  She raised the issue of policy regarding attendance at board meetings, particularly whether board meetings are open to the membership.  Sara stated that board meetings often touch on topics that are confidential, such as election nominations that include discussions of specific persons, and these conversations depend on spontaneous expression and confidentiality.  Sara affirmed the importance of the board’s accessibility to the membership and the opportunity for members to be informed about the board’s decisions and activities as well as to raise questions, make suggestions and express opinions. She mentioned that the business meeting is open to the public as a meeting in which the board provides members with a comprehensive report, asks for comments and suggestions, and holds a discussion including board members and the Society’s membership.  Sara stated that the Board meetings are essentially executive sessions, whereas business meetings are the appropriate place for membership.  Scott recommended sequencing three separate meetings, first the outgoing executive board meeting, second the business meeting, and third the incoming executive board meeting.  The advantage of this sequence would be that the incoming board meeting could take up the discussions brought to the board by the membership during the business meeting and thereby make members’ suggestions an integral part of the incoming board’s planning for the coming year.  Frank recommended asking Jesse Rabin for suggestions on policies regarding attendance at executive board meetings.  A motion was made to have three separate meetings, which was supported by a majority vote (8-0-2).  A motion was made to hold the incoming meeting on Wednesday evening, and the vote was unanimously (12-0-0) in favor.

President Elect (David Elkins)

David said that one of the reasons that he broke tradition and ran for president for a second time is that we are now living in a good time in history for humanistic psychology.  Clinical research is increasingly demonstrating the importance of interpersonal variables in psychotherapy.  The APS initiative against humanistic approaches to psychotherapy evoked strong opposition among leaders inside and outside the Society.  David feels passionate about an initiative involving a task force for the advancement of humanistic psychology.  The task force would respond to articles and initiatives that oppose humanistic psychology in scholarly articles and broader dissemination venues.  The symposium last year in which we pulled in John Norcross and Bruce Wampold is a good example of the effective and visible way that the Society can strongly respond to threats to the core values of our members.

Second, David stated that the Society needs strategic planning.  In 2000, Old Saybrook II, planning led to articles and books—one of the few examples of strategic planning in the history of the humanistic movement.  Humanistic psychology needs more explicit planning that identifies key areas for scholarship and activism.  Members like Scott Churchill, Tom Greening, Kirk Schneider, and Fred Wertz, who have been editing journals, could participate in an important planning initiative that would identify areas of scholarship that could move humanistic psychology forward.  The board is capable of such planning but is already quite engaged with other aspects of the Society’s governance and leadership.  The board could use input from a group that has the time to do research on issues and professionalism such as the symposium Brent organized in response to APS offensive.  This task force, with our best thinkers, would strategically plan responses to threats and proactive initiatives.  David asked Brent to chair the task force, and Brent handed out a brain storming document.  The following themes are included and others are welcome.  1.  Communicating who we are and dispelling myths about humanistic psychology; 2)  Inserting humanistic psychology into the public discourse; 3) Strategizing politically by seeing dangers and threats regarding accreditation, licensing, internships and forming coalitions with other organizations in order to fight those threats; 4) Recruiting fellow travelers; and 5) Celebrating and fostering the ongoing and cumulative research of humanistic psychology.  David has already solicited volunteers for the task force.   Finally, Ed Mendelowitz and Jason Ping, Ed’s student, will be the program co-chairs for the 2012 convention, and Kevin Keenan and Susan Gordon will be co-chairs of the Hospitality Suite.

Membership (Richard)

Richard reported that 16 new members joined and recruitment yield improved upon previous years.  Whereas APA membership is decreasing at an alarming rate, it is noteworthy that we have increased membership.  We went from 694 in 2009 to 710 In 2010.  However, 28.8% of our members are over 70, so we need to be replacing older members with new members in increasing numbers.  Richard emphasized the need for recruiting students and early career psychologists.  Most significantly, the membership committee has organized a group of student ambassadors from each of the schools that are listed as having a humanistic orientation.  These students would help spread information about the Society among their peers.  Richard mentioned that his own involvement in the Society came as a result of his hearing a professor tell him that 32 is his home.  We need students to be giving this message to other students, with the aim of increasing their involvement in our program, HS, and so on.  Richard requested help identifying potential ambassadors from certain schools.  Student ambassadors are each constructing posters of the research going on at their school to be presented at the upcoming winter conference in Chicago.   Currently we have 16 ambassadors.  Thérèse  stated that the cost of membership, modest as it is for students, might nevertheless be prohibitive and suggested that an online version of the journal might be worth offering students at an even lower cost, and Richard said that an online version of the journal would help recruitment efforts in general and specifically with international initiatives.  Brent applauded Richard’s outstanding efforts on a difficult job, and the board sounded a hearty round of applause.

Continuing Education (Louis Hoffman)

Louis, who is working with Erik and Brent, reported the great amount of work that his committee has required, and he suggested that an early career person occupying the position of co-chair would help with the workload.  The upcoming winter conference has required a tremendous amount of work on CE presentations.  Louis discussed the software that enables the offering of distance CE on the internet and invited the board to look at it.  This program is free and can be discontinued at any time.  David Lukoff, who has a wealth of CE experience, volunteered to look carefully at the website and to evaluate the software.  Louis noted that CE provides low-cost credits to members and generates substantial income for the Society.  There was a motion to purse online CE programs, and the board unanimously approved.  All expressed great appreciation for the hard work and effectiveness that Louis has brought to this important service provided by the Society.

Communications (Louise)
  1. Sara reported that no further data have been collected on the communications survey. 

  2. Louise mentioned the need for a communications person for the Chicago conference who would continue year after year. 

  3. An issue has been raised by member Marsha Hammond asking the board to address the question of whether the list serv can provide a communication venue other than the announcements only list serv. 

Communications for conference.  Kevin knows a colleague at the Michigan School who can work with David Cain  on organizing the 2012 conference and who could then continue to work on communications for subsequent Winter conferences.  Sara suggested that a drop box be used in order to give the program committee access to all conference materials and communications. 

Break-out Groups.  Two groups were assembled in order to address two important remaining tasks:  1) To work on the Convention program and 2) to address the expressed concerns of membership concerning the communication venues, in particular the establishment of a vibrant discussion board that serves the needs of members. 

  1. The program group was composed of Scott, Fred, Louise, Erik, Sara, Shawn, and David. 

  2. The list serv group was composed of Brent, David, Louis, Kevin, Frank, Richard, and Thérèse. 

These two groups met in separate locations in order to discuss their respective issues.  The whole board then reconvened, and each break-out group summarized their deliberations and recommendations.

The discussion board: Quick Topic (QT).  The break-out group focused on the issues that individual members have voiced concerning the problems with Quick Topic. These were: subject headings, no searchable content, and formatting. How can we fix these problems, and offer improved communications technology that will be user-friendly?

has several problems: it does not have a subject heading, content is searchable on the internet, and it does not maintain formatting.  The group grappled with how we can fix these problems and to move toward improved communications technology that is user friendly.  It is a limited technology with a lot of problems, and individuals on the task force had done a lot of homework on possible vehicles. the solution recommended by the break-out group is Google Groups, which is free of cost.  This venue will be able to solve all the problems that have been identified with QT, and Brent volunteered to serve as a moderator of this list serv, as he has been for QT.  Other platforms such as Ning were considered by the break-out group.  Ning was viewed as being too complicated.  The secure technology will be easier to moderate, but clear cut rules safeguarding the appropriateness in posts are needed.

Further discussion of the monitoring issues concluded that the new Google Groups listserv should be monitored by the board.  The Board also agreed that the moderator in consultation with the List-Serv Advisory Board, will take on the difficult responsibility of interpreting and enforcing the rules and regulations of the list-serv. These rules and regulations consist of the original ones developed by Erik Craig's committee, on which concerned members served,  in addition to the on-going rules and regulations and "netiquette" guidelines officially put forth by the APA. The List-Serv advisory Board would be responsible for establishing procedures for appointing and replacing the moderator, e.g. setting term limits, or whatever process makes sense to them for creating a fair moderating process. For now, the process simply involves my appointment to the Moderator position, which will be taken on by Brent in consultation with the Advisory Board.

The break-out group suggested a ‘three strike’ policy, in which two warnings are followed by barring the violator from the group.  The three Society’s presidents (president, president-elect, and past-president) could form a committee of consultants to the moderator, in order to address appropriateness issues, so that decisions do not rest in the hands of one individual.  Appeals of the board’s decisions may be bade.   Should there be any appeals of decisions, they would be submitted to the Society’s executive board. 

Louise noted that communications is broader than the list serv and that other venues must be considered as well.   For instance, the webpage is a major concern because of its need for updating.  Kevin will be the website manager.  He will transfer items from the old to the new website.  Kevin will then serve as Webmaster of the new webpage, which will include the newsletter and provide links to the journal.  Kevin directed the board to  Sara, as she looked at the site on her laptop, said it looks great.  Louise reported that the APA is going to showcase divisional websites very soon; therefore, we want our webpage to be updated before this happens.  Kevin reported that there are many old and outdated items currently on website, but because many of them do not have any date notations, it is impossible to tell their timeliness.  Kevin offered to vet all items and to query the board over the coming months as he transfers material from the old to the new website.  Louise asked if Kevin needs an assistant.  Brent suggested categorizing material and assigning various people to the categories.  The website will be integrated in such a way that new material can be sent to him, or to a new communications person, who will direct the material to the appropriate venues, such as the announce-only list serv, the webpage, the newsletter, and the new Google Groups list serv.  Richard will send material to the announce-only list serv.

One main concern of the board is with how we will make individual members feel that they have direct communication with the board.  Contact information for all of the Society’s executive board members is on the webpage, and so it is easy to send emails to board members.  All email addresses will be listed on the webpage.

Motion.  A motion was made for board vote on the break-out group’s recommendations concerning the listserv: 1) Utilize Google Groups, 2) employ ‘three strikes’ rule, 3) use APA’s netiquitte code and the Society’s old guidelines in order to determine appropriateness of posts, 4) designate Brent as moderator, 5) form 3 person advisory committee made up of the president, past-president, and president-elect. 

Discussion.  Erik, who has been the listserv moderator, added that he affirms this solution.  The new listserv is quite similar to the old listserv that has been discontinued, and the moderation process is even more efficient. 

Vote.  Unanimous approval (12 yes, 0 no, 0 abstention.). 

Post-vote discussion, further resolution.  Google Groups listserv, which will serve as the Society’s Discussion listserv, could be called “SHP-talk.”   There was a further resolution to transfer the old website to a new one, which would have Kevin as the webmaster.  Kevin reported that he has already taken care of the domain name with $50 (annual cost) for each access, by password. 

Electronic journal access for new members.  Richard reported that it would be ideal if individuals who join the division can have access to the Society’s journal rather than waiting until their subscription officially starts.  This could be served by providing them with electronic access to the journal in the interim.  In order to obtain electronic access to the journal, we would need to direct members from the Society’s website, which is open to the public, to a special site where they would be able to access the journal by using a password.  In this way, new members could access the journal as soon as they join the Society, prior to the beginning of their official journal subscription.  This service will have a cost.  Kevin said that the APA’s website is awkward in the performance of such management functions.   Sara chimed in that she’d had a conversation with Keith Cooke (APA Division Services), who said that it is possible to incorporate a password section on the APA webpage that would serve this purpose.  The easiest way to do this is to move to another site and give passwords issued by Taylor and Francis.   Taylor and Francis has already agreed to supply passwords to our members.  Members and affiliates can be granted passwords, which are required by Taylor and Francis of all those who seek to access the journal electronically.  Sara asked how many times a year new email addresses could be processed in this manner by Taylor and Francis.  The board agreed that new members should be provided with opportunities to access to the journal in this manner at least twice a year, so that they could begin their involvement in the life of the Society immediately.  Louise asked Kevin what he would need in the way of a budget for the new webpage package.  Kevin said that $100 will be needed for the domain name, and a total of perhaps $500 will be needed annually.  The board unanimously approved to this figure,. 

APA Program (break-out group)

The program committee had previously rated all submissions of symposia, papers, posters, and other presentations.  The ratings were shared and compared. There was good consensus on each of the submissions, and overall the committee was very impressed with the number and quality of the submissions.  The committee accepted as many symposia as possible and organized papers into sessions that would be unified according to common themes so that the papers complement each other.  Efforts were made to accommodate as many submissions as possible.  A new format for the poster session was adopted, somewhat in accordance with trends among other divisions in APA.  Some divisions, according to the APA Convention Office, have eliminated paper sessions and constructed their programs out of symposia and poster sessions, along with the invited and special sessions.  The Society’s program committee remained committed to paper sessions, but they began to think that the poster session, which has not been emphasized in the Society’s program in the past, could present an exciting and vibrant new opportunity.  This year’s poster session will be the largest in the Society’s history.  The session is not conceived as a less prestigious venue, for it avails unique possibilities for presenting scholarly work, communicating with interested others, and networking.  In many ways, to offer a poster and interact with interested others for an hour can be more involved, creative, and fulfilling than a ten minute paper session because of the potential of conversations.  Moreover, many humanistic research works all together in one place, with humanistic psychologists discussing these works among themselves and others, has the potential to create a large, unique happening.  This year, the poster session will have 30 presenters and will occupy one whole row—including both sides of the row of the exhibition hall.  It is entitled, “First Annual Humanistic Science Festival: Conversational Space for Sharing Innovative Methods, Emergent Findings, and Implications of Research.”  Some presenters will be seasoned leaders in humanistic psychology, and the session will be scheduled at a time when minimal conflict with other sessions will take place.  Presenters will be encouraged to create a conversation space that will optimize in-depth exploration of their scholarship and provide opportunities for attendees with related interests to network and plan future communication and collaboration.   Executive board members are strongly encouraged to attend the poster festival, which will hopefully become an annual event that is one of the highlights of the convention.  The group expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming program, which promises a very exciting convention experience for the attendees.

Closing comments and adjournment (Louise)

Louise and other board members thank Erik for his generous hospitality throughout the weekend.  Sara, who had found and purchased a sword for Louise to give Erik, in order to complete the symbolic gift that was in part so rudely confiscated by airport security. The board thanked Louise for her outstanding job as chair of the midwinter meeting.  She has shepherded the board through a most productive and creative two days with efficiency and wisdom.  The loudest applause of the weekend resounded.