Board of Directors Approved Minutes: August 4 & 8, 2009

Approved Minutes

Present: James H. Bray, PhD; Alan E. Kazdin, PhD; Carol D. Goodheart, EdD; Barry S. Anton, PhD; Paul L.Craig, PhD; Norman B. Anderson, PhD; Rosie Phillips Bingham, PhD; Jean A. Carter, PhD; Armand R. Cerbone, PhD; Suzanne Bennett Johnson, PhD; Konjit V. Page, MS; Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD; Michael Wertheimer, PhD; and Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, and Jennifer E. Kelly, PhD (incoming Board members)

Absent: None.

I. Minutes of Meeting

A.(1) The Board voted to approve the minutes of the June 12-14, 2009, Board of Directors Meeting.

II. Elections, Awards, Membership and Human Resources

A.(2) The Board voted to postpone to its December 2009 meeting the item "Election of the APA Recording Secretary and Treasurer".

B. On its July 13 conference call, the Board voted to recommend that Council approve amending Association Rule 110-8.3 as follows (bracketed material to be deleted; underlined material to be added):

110-8. President-elect Election

110-8.1 The election of APA President-elect is conducted by the Election Committee.

110-8.2 Candidates are nominated by Fellows, Members, and Associate members with voting privileges. Nominations are made by preferential ballots, and up to five names may be listed in rank order. Nomination ballots are sent on or about February 1. The balloting period closes within 45 days. Only APA members are eligible for nomination.

110-8.3 The APA President-elect shall be elected by Fellows, Members, and those Associate members who have been granted voting privileges. The election ballot shall be preferential and shall list five candidates. Final election ballots shall be sent on or about [October] September 15. The balloting period shall close within 45 days.

Each candidate is invited to submit a statement, to be sent with the election ballot, of no more than 1,000 words, stating his or her opinion of issues facing psychology and of the role APA should play regarding these issues.

110-8.4 Results are reported to the Board of Directors. Tallied results are reported to Council no more than 30 days after the ballot closes. Election results are published in the APA Monitor on Psychology in the earliest issue possible.

B. In executive session, the Board voted to recommend that Council elect 101 members to initial Fellow status, on the nomination of the indicated divisions and on the recommendation of the Fellows Committee and the Board of Directors.

III. Ethics

A. In executive session, the Board voted to recommend that Council approve the following motion:

Council directs the APA Ethics Committee to propose language to Council that will resolve the discrepancy between the language of the Introduction and Applicability Section of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and the Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03 so that these Standards can never be used to justify, or as a defense for, violating basic human rights. This process shall be completed in time for the Ethics Committee's proposed language to be acted on as part of Council's February 2010 meeting agenda;

WHEREAS when Council adopted the 2002 Ethics Code, it was not anticipated or intended that the language of Standards 1.02 and 1.03 be interpreted to mean that any psychologist in any role could use these Standards to justify, or as a defense for, violating basic human rights. Standard 1.02 addresses conflicts between ethics and law, regulations or other governing legal authority. Standard 1.03 addresses conflicts between ethics and organizational demands;

WHEREAS in 2005 Council members learned that the Introduction and Applicability Section of the Ethics code is aspirational and not enforceable. It states: "lf psychologists' ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, psychologists make known their commitment to this Ethics Code and take steps to resolve the conflict in a responsible manner. If the conflict is unresolvable via such means, psychologists adhere to the requirements of the law, regulations, or other governing authority in keeping with basic principles of human rights." In contrast, Standard 1.02 states, "lf psychologists' ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, psychologists make known their commitment to the Ethics Code and take steps to resolve the conflict. If the conflict is unresolvable via such means, psychologists may adhere to the requirements of the law, regulations, or other governing legal authority." Standard 1.03 states, "lf the demands of an organization with which psychologists are affiliated or for whom they are working conflict with this Ethics Code, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and to the extent feasible, resolve the conflict in a way that permits adherence to the Ethics Code";

WHEREAS in 2005 Council directed the APA Ethics Committee to "review the discrepancy between the language of the Introduction and Applicability section of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002) and Ethical Standard 1.02 and," requested that the Ethics Committee "make a recommendation to the Board of Directors concerning adding the words 'in keeping with basic principles of human rights' to Ethical Standard 1.02";

WHEREAS it was Council's intent in giving the Ethics Committee this charge that the Committee consider various approaches and wording in order to resolve the discrepancy;

WHEREAS in August 2008, the movers introduced New Business Item #34E directing the Ethics Committee to suggest language that would resolve the discrepancy. The main motion suggests, as one possible approach, adding the phrase "in keeping with basic human rights";

WHEREAS in July 2009 the Ethics Committee issued its response to Council's 2005 directive in which it noted that "the language of Ethical Standard 1.03 closely tracks the language of Standard 1.02," and also reiterated a central distinction in the Ethics Code "between the Code's aspirational sections--the Introduction and Applicability, the Preamble, and the Ethical Principles — and the enforceable ethical standards." In contrast to the general language of the aspiration sections, language in the enforceable standards "is specific and directive" and sets forth "specific obligations and specific prohibitions on psychologists' behavior";

WHEREAS in July 2009 the Ethics Committee acknowledged the discrepancy between the aspirational section of the Ethics Code (Introduction and Applicability Section) and the enforceable section, but did not propose any language to resolve it. Instead the Ethics Committee recommended against adding the one phrase, "in keeping with basic principles of human rights," to Ethical Standard 1.02 or 1.03;

WHEREAS the July 2009 response does not report that the Ethics Committee considered any other approaches or wording possibilities to resolve the discrepancy other than adding the words "in keeping with basic principles of human rights";

WHEREAS Council acknowledges and appreciates the Ethics Committee's work on this issue, however, the pressing need to resolve the discrepancy remains so that Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03 can never be used to justify or as a defense for violating basic human rights;

WHEREAS there is no plan, timeline or allocated funds for a revision of the entire Ethics Code;

WHEREAS the Ethics Committee received comments in last year's Call for Comments about 1.02, including concerns raised about the effects of language changes on disclosure of confidential information in response to a legal demand such as a subpoena or court order, the Ethics Committee should consider these comments as it proposes language to ensure that Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03 can never be used to justify or as a defense for violating basic human rights;

WHEREAS the Ethics Committee's June 2009 statement, "No Defense Against Torture," is insufficient because it solely prohibits torture and is neither contained nor referenced in the Ethics Code itself;

WHEREAS according to The Association Rules (2008) Code 20-4.1, titled, Review of the Ethics Code, "The Ethics Committee shall have the responsibility from time to time of initiating a review of the latest formally adopted version of the ethics code or any part of the code and proposing necessary changes or additions, in carrying out such a review, the Ethics Committee may set up such ad hoc committees as it finds necessary;"

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council directs the APA Ethics Committee and the other relevant Boards, Committees and constituencies to move forward expeditiously to recommend language to Council that will resolve the discrepancy between the language of the Introduction and Applicability Section of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03;

BE IT RESOLVED that the language proposed for Council's action clearly communicate that Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03 can never be interpreted to justify or as a defense for violating basic human rights;

BE IT RESOLVED that this entire process be completed in time for the Ethics Committee to make a formal recommendation for proposed language to be acted on as part of Council's February 2010 meeting agenda.

IV. Board of Directors

A. In executive session, the Board voted to recommend that the Council of Representatives receive the Report of the Presidential Working Group on the Representation of Diversity on the Council of Representatives. The Board also voted to request that one non-voting delegate from each of the four National Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations be invited to attend Council meetings for an additional three years (2010-2012) with the understanding that the delegates will serve as consultants to the process of developing next steps based on the recommendations of the Report of the Presidential Working Group on the Representation of Diversity on the Council of Representatives. The Board also voted to recommend that Council request that the delegates continue to receive full reimbursement for their attendance at the February and August meetings.

B. In executive session, the Board took the following action on the Psychology Defense Fund request: Petition #2009-1. On recommendation of the Executive Management Group (EMG), the Board voted to grant $5,000 to Greg Gullickson, PhD, Lauri Lehn, PhD, and Holly Sanger, PsyD, on behalf of their mental health practice group, for legal expenses incurred in defense of a lawsuit filed by a parent of minor patients for access to the children's mental health records.

C. In executive session, the Board received an update from APA General Counsel Nathalie Gilfoyle regarding the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust (APAIT) litigation. The Board reviewed the letter from APAIT to the 2009 Council members and drafted a response from the Board of Directors which was distributed to Council at its August 9 meeting.

V. Divisions and State and Provincial Associations

A.(3) The Board voted to postpone to its December 2009 meeting the item "Addressing SPTA Impact on and Input in the Development of APA Policy.

VI. Organization of the APA

No items.

VII. Publications and Communications

No items.

VIII. Convention Affairs

No items.

IX. Educational Affairs

A.(4) The Board voted to approve the proposed changes to the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology's Procedures for Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology.

X. Professional Affairs

A. (5) The Board voted to recommend that Council approve the assignment of February 21, 2019, as an expiration date for Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings (approved as APA Policy by the APA Council of Representatives in February 2009).

B. (5A) The Board voted to recommend that Council adopt as APA policy the proposed Guidelines Regarding Psychologists' Involvement in Pharmacological Issues.

C. In executive session, Geoffrey Reed, PhD, and Pierre L. Ritchie, PhD, provided the Board with an update on the World Health Organization ICD revision.

XI. Scientific Affairs

A. (6) The Board voted to recommend that Council receive the Report of the Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change.

XII. Public Interest

No items.

XIII. Ethnic Minority Affairs

No items.

XIV. International Affairs

A. (6A) The Board voted to approve that APA sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Psychology Society and Norwegian Psychology Association if their respective Boards also approve, formulated according to the following template:

The [name of association] and The American Psychological Association (APA) agree as follows:

WHEREAS the [constitution/charter/bylaws] of the [name of association] and the Bylaws of APA share mutual objectives calling for the advancement of the discipline in the public interest; and

WHEREAS it is desirable to have integration and exchange between the psychological organizations in the [name of country] and the United States; and

WHEREAS mutual concerns make it likely that occasions for joint consultation and cooperation will present themselves in the years to come; and

WHEREAS both organizations wish to anticipate such occasions by establishing a framework, when possible, for their timely discussion.

NOW THEREFORE [name of association] and APA affirm and reaffirm their working relations in this Memorandum of Understanding.

FURTHERMORE, pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding, the officers/executives of [name of association] and APA shall maintain regular communication to discuss matters of common concern.

FINALLY, [name of association] and APA will seek to identify projects and activities in which they may work together, assist or support one another, or otherwise cooperate for the betterment of psychology and the public interest.

The Board requested that a mutual termination clause be included.

XV. Central Office

No Items.

XVI. Financial Affairs

A.(7) The Board postponed to its December 2009 meeting the item "Corporate Bank Resolution."