Committee on Structure and Function of Council: 2012 Annual Report


Kaye Price Laud, PhD, Chair; Sari Dworkin, PhD; Judith Olson, PhD; John Moritsugu, PhD; K. Warner Schaie, PhD; and Ellen Williams, PhD

Meeting Dates

CSFC met on March 30 & 31, 2012 and November 2, 2012.

Election of CSFC Chair for 2013

CSFC elected Judith Olson, PhD and John Moritsugu, PhD as Co-chairs for 2013.

Targeted Nominations for CSFC

CSFC voted to make no changes to the 2012 targeted nominations statement. The 2013 nominations statement was:

Nominees must be members of the Council of Representatives serving in the first or second year of their terms. CSFC is seeking nominees with the following background: Informed perspectives about strengths and weaknesses of governance and/or Council procedures, ability to appreciate organizational constraints and the needs of various constituencies, plus ability to provide leadership in facilitating the functioning of APA Council. Nominees should complement and balance the experience and background of its continuing members. CSFC encourages participation of newer members; members from underrepresented and diverse groups; candidates with leadership experience in both states and divisions; and those with expertise in strategic planning.

Mentoring Program for New Council Members

In March, CSFC reviewed the summary of feedback received regarding the mentoring program for new Council members to determine if it wished to make any changes to the mentoring program, the Checklist for New Members, or the Checklist for Mentors. After discussion, CSFC decided to make the following changes:

  • At Orientation Session I, CSFC members will make sure to ask if there are any mentees who have not yet heard from their mentors.
  • CSFC will now receive copies of the mentor/mentee matches.
  • Add general laptop etiquette to the Checklist for New Members — do people typically use them, are there power strips, is wireless internet access provided by APA, etc.
  • Re-write email to council members asking for mentors — make it more positive marketing rather than a solicitation for the Council member to do more work.
  • After new council members are introduced, have the chair of CSFC stand up and ask all mentors to stand up and be recognized.
  • Mentors and mentees will be given ribbons to attach to their name tags at the February meeting

Several changes were also made to the Checklist for Mentors.

New Council Member Orientation

In March, CSFC discussed the mini orientation that is held in August at the convention council meeting to determine if it wished to change the timing and makeup of the session for August 2012. CSFC requested that the August orientation be expanded to include anyone in their first year who might wish for a refresher or a chance to ask questions. Orientation was held On Tuesday, July 31 for a few new members/alternates for the meeting. CSFC members in attendance met with the new members to go over general information and answer questions.

Also in March, CSFC reviewed the feedback from the February 2012 orientation sessions to determine if they would like to make any changes to the timing and makeup of the session in 2013. After discussion, CSFC decided to make the following changes/suggestions:

  • If required to make a choice between the New Council Member Dinner and the Reception at APA Headquarters, CSFC would prefer to have the New Council Member Dinner. Ideally, CSFC would like to have both the dinner and the reception.
  • Request a larger room for Orientation Session 1, if possible.
  • Would like to have the presenters for Orientation Session 1 shorten their remarks, if possible.
  • Request to see the COR agenda or at least the table of contents for the agenda earlier than usual so that they can determine if they would like to cover any of the items during Orientation Session 1.
  • Add a list of new council members and their affiliations to the Orientation packet.

Diversity Training Evaluation

CSFC was asked to develop an assessment to be used for future diversity training programs. CSFC decided that conducting a post test at the August council meeting is the best way to determine the effectiveness of diversity training. In the future, CSFC will work with the diversity trainers each year to create the questions for the assessment.

CSFC also recommended for the Board's consideration several changes to diversity training and suggestions for speakers and topics. The Board of Directors reviewed these suggestions at its June meeting.

Pro and Con Statements Included with Bylaw Amendment Ballots

2012 APA President Suzanne Bennett Johnson asked that CSFC review data on the Bylaw ballot elections over the last ten years and determine if it wanted to make a recommendation to Council regarding the inclusion of pro and con statements with Bylaw ballots. CSFC made the following suggestions:

  • Have the pro and con statements written by a neutral party so that they are a more balanced summary rather than passionate pleas designed to convince the member to vote in a certain way. CSFC recommends that task of writing the statements be added to the duties of the Parliamentarian.
  • Change the terminology on the ballot from pro and con statements to "A Yes vote means…and A No vote means…"
  • Reduce the length of the pro and con statements. The current word limit is 200 words — this should be shortened to 2-3 concise sentences.
  • Have half of the Bylaws ballots go out with pro/con statements and the other half as con/pro statements.