In This Issue

APA Council of Representatives report

Highlights include the council's vote to provide dedicated seats for members of the EMPAs, ways to improve APA governance, funding for an internship stimulus program, and funding to continue the work of an APA task force studying the trafficking of women and girls

By Susan D. Clayton, PhD

I attended the meeting of APA's Council of Representatives immediately before the annual convention in Orlando in August 2012. Some significant steps were taken. Here are highlights:

  • Council overwhelmingly voted to provide dedicated seats for members of the ethnic and minority psychological associations (EMPAs). This vote will need to be ratified by the entire membership, so you will have a chance to vote on it later this fall. If approved, this would provide guaranteed representation on APA Council for one member of the Asian American Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, the National Latina/o Psychological Association and the Society of Indian Psychologists. This does not reduce the number of council seats for any other group or division. Seating the EMPAs will ensure that diverse voices and perspectives are represented within APA governance, and will signal APAs commitment to diversity to our members and nonmembers. Although all professional societies should strive for diversity, this is perhaps particularly important for a society such as APA that is devoted to understanding and helping humans from a wide range of backgrounds. Thus I would encourage all APA members to endorse this change.
  • Council engaged in lengthy discussion of ways to improve APA governance. The goals are to become more efficient while allowing for more opportunity to consider "big picture" questions, and to increase the involvement of APA members who are not a part of the formal governance structure. Following a discussion about three possible models, Council voted to ask the Good Governance Project group to develop Council Report the specifics of a model that would improve decision-making processes and use of technology to involve membership more broadly while ensuring representativeness of the governing body and including checks and balances on the Board.
  • In response to the shortfall of accredited clinical internships compared to the graduate students who need a clinical internship to complete their degree requirements, Council voted to fund an internship stimulus program to increase the number of accredited internship positions. The funding is expected to help as many as 150 programs move from non-APA accredited to accredited status and create 520 new accredited internship positions over the next three years.
  • Of possible interest to our population psychologists, Council approved funding to enable the continued work of an APA task force studying the trafficking of women and girls.

Some other news of interest: New journals were approved in qualitative psychology, and the psychology of sexual orientation and gender identity; there will also be a new journal, Archives of Scientific Psychology, that will experiment with an open access format.

APA central office continues to work intensively to bring psychological research to bear on public issues, e.g. through amicus briefs in the courts and events that bring research to lawmakers on Capitol Hill; they also work to increase funding opportunities for psychological research and to place information about psychology and psychological research in the mass media.

The organization's financial situation remains stable, partly due to real estate income but largely from publications and databases.