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Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte
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University of Colorado
Thomas R. Zentall
University of Kentucky
Randall W. Engle
Georgia Institute of Technology
David S. Gorfein
University of Texas at Arlington
Charles L. Brewer
Members-At-Large of the Executive Committee
Ralph R. Miller (8/04-07)
Binghamton Univ., SUNY
Nelson Cowan (8/04-07)
University of Missouri
Veronica J. Dark (8/03-06)
Iowa State University
Thomas R. Zentall (8/03-06)
University of Kentucky
Earl B. Hunt (8/02-05)
University of Washington
Judith F. Kroll (8/02-05)
Pennsylvania State University
Representative to APA Council
Lewis P. Lipsitt (8/04-07)
Emanuel E. Donchin (8/03-06)
University of Illinois
Board of Directors
J. Bruce Overmier
University of Minnesota
James H. Neely (Awards)
SUNY at Alabany
Mark H. Ashcraft (Fellows)
Cleveland State University
Randall W. Engle (Membership)
Georgia Institute of Technology
Sharon L. Armstrong (Program)
Deborah Clawson (Program)
Catholic University of America
Your delegates to the Council of Representatives, Lew Lipsitt and Manny Donchin, together with some 12,000 registrants at the 2004 Honolulu meetings, have shown exceptional devotion to duty and to the discipline and profession of Psychology, as we converged on the 112th convention of the American Psychological Association. The proximity to the Waikiki beach was enormously distracting, yet we defied it and endured 10 hours of Council deliberations, and many caucuses, meetings, and splendid meals in Honolulu’s fine restaurants.
It is gratifying to report that the Council this time, under the very able and gracious leadership of APA President Diane Halpern, was easy to take. There were no overly long-winded Powerpoint presentations to inform the Council about the activities of APA offices. Not that these activities are unimportant; the relevant information is simply easier to read. Several substantive discussions did take place in Council, some of which are, or should be, of interest to members of this Division.
Your Division 3 Council reps are happy to note that since our last report there has been a new Science Director appointed, Stephen Breckler, whom many of you associate with his former position at the National Science Foundation. We can say that he has proceeded quickly to make effective contacts with the APA Science Divisions, and to roll out initiatives that should appeal to us and to individuals we would like to bring back to APA or to enlist anew.
A substantial portion of Council’s time was devoted to financial matters. Those who have followed such reports in the past few years will be happy to learn that the tone of the discussion has changed materially. Gone are the continuing reports of deficits and consequent cuts in various important activities of the Association, and sale of real estate is not at this time considered a recommended choice. It turns out that the APA is ending this fiscal year with a substantial surplus, and expects surpluses in the next five years. The APA’s financial condition improved due to cuts in some activities and, more significantly, the contributions of various revenue-generating activities. Especially notable is the income from the electronic publication media. Revenue from print journals seems to have stabilized over the past few years, but revenue from our electronic subscriptions has increased linearly over the same period and currently greatly exceeds that from the print media.
The Board of Directors proposed a dues increase of $20.00, and this was approved by Council. The increase seems reasonable, given that only 16% of the APA budget comes presently from dues revenue. A good case was made for the increase as part of an overall plan to maintain the fiscal well-being of the Association.
Another component of the financial discussions took place in Executive Session (only COR members permitted, plus a few select staff members), triggered by the concern expressed by many, including the COR at its February 2004 session, when the terminal funding paid to CEO Raymond Fowler was made public by the Washington Post. In his usual display of exceptional command of APA’s financial figures and status, and with his enviable ability to convey the sense of these figures to Council, the Chief Financial Officer of APA, Jack McKay, provided reassurance that the Ray Fowler retirement package was justified. He further argued that the financial status of APA is sound. The Washington Post report on Fowler’s salary was misleading, making it appear that his terminal-year salary was over $2 million, when most of the amount reported was in “settlement” of accumulated vacation, sick-leave, and agreed-upon deferred funds. Discussion generated by the consternation visiting upon Council’s previous meetings led to some clarifying observations. For example, the COR is nominally the governing body of the APA, but the Council has been blind about a number of very major decisions, especially as to the compensation and work terms of the senior staff.
In response to these concerns, Council was presented, in Executive Session and bound by Confidentiality statements which each Council member was required to sign, an excruciatingly detailed report on the compensation and termination policies that apply to senior personnel. None of the details, thus, can be discussed. However, we can report that Council considered the report as (1)responsive to its concerns and its need to be informed, (2)showing that the policies and procedures used in recruiting, compensating, and retaining senior staff are reasonable, and (3)supportive of the need for a similar report to be presented to Council every three years.
From the perspective of the APA Science community, we were encouraged to learn that the new Executive Director for Science, Steve Breckler, has been empowered by CEO Norm Anderson to rethink and restructure APA’s contribution to the Scientific Psychology enterprise. Steve and his staff developed an elaborate plan labeled Psy21, designed to support and publicize the scientific effort in Psychology. The Science Directorate staff presented the program in detail to the Caucus on Academic and Scientific Psychology (CASAP) and the Executive Committee of Division 3. A detailed report on Psy21 is presented elsewhere in this newsletter. Two points need to be made here (a)Psy21 is funded fully by APA, reflecting both an improved budgetary situation and APA’s commitment to the Science of Psychology, and (b)beginning in 2005, APA will sponsor a Science Leadership Conference (SLC). The SLC will be similar in scope and intent to two existing leadership conferences sponsored by APA for years, the Educational Leadership Conference (ELC) and the State Leadership Conference (SLC). Both of these convene in Washington a significant number of leaders in the two domains, and provide useful opportunities to examine pressing issues in those domains and APA’s role in addressing them. For the first time, Science in APA will be provided now with a similar opportunity, funded fully by APA. More details on the forthcoming meeting will come from the Science Directorate.
Other highlights of the August Council meeting involved adoption of two resolutions that address concerns of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transsexuals (GLBT). In a resolution that extends well beyond Psychology, Council took a strong stand in favor of recognizing the need of GLBT to have access to the institution of marriage. As Psychologists we asserted, based on extensive research, that there are no negative effects on children raised by same-sex couples. Neither is there compelling scientific evidence to suggest that same-sex couples are in any other way deficient relative to heterosexual couples. A second resolution represented the role of GLBT in the military. APA’s current policy does not allow ads recruiting for the military in its publications because APA finds the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy discriminatory. The current policy had been strongly defended by Division 21 (GLBT), but this policy has been offensive to the Division on Military Psychology (19). Admirably, a task force representing both divisions was able, over several months, to work out a solution: the approved resolution rescinds the ban on advertising by the military in APA journals but asserts forcefully APA’s opposition to all discrimination in the military which is based on sexual orientation. The APA emphasizes, again on the basis of extensive research, that there is no merit to, nor any empirical basis whatsoever for, discrimination against GLBT individuals.
Another interesting Science-related discussion was triggered by resolutions offered by June Tangney, who noted that the public education campaign launched by the Practice Directorate avoids mentioning that the various assertions made in the campaign about psychological issues have a research basis. It turned out that some focus-group analyses were carried out by a private firm, from which the Campaign concluded that the public does not wish to hear about research. This seemed to June, CASAP, and many others of us, an attitude in need of change. When the public tells us that research is irrelevant, we should undertake to change that attitude – not accept it as a basis for excluding the empirical underpinnings of our assertions. Resolutions submitted calling for recognition of this need were opposed by the Practice Directorate and, given the power relations within the COR, seemed doomed to failure. However, in a manner characteristic of the present Council, intensive discussions off the floor of the Council led to compromise language and in the end the COR adopted unanimously a call for the Executive Directors for Practice and Science to work together to find means of incorporating references to the Science base of Psychology in the Campaign.
Some tension and acrimony appeared in discussion of the final agenda item. COR was presented for adoption a report by the APA delegation to the World Conference on Racism, held in Durban in 2002. This resolution included for COR’s approval, as part of our delegation’s report, the actual “Durban Declarations,” triggering a strong reaction from Council members, and particularly members of the Women’s Caucus, who considered the Durban declarations offensive in some of its language which was clearly anti-Israeli, if not anti-Semitic. The APA delegation rejected this interpretation of the Durban conference and delegation. It became evident that the matter requires further deliberation, and thus the item was tabled. President Halpern will appoint a task force to consider the matter and try developing a compromise by the next Council meeting.
This report distills many hours of discussion and a very complex agenda. The full agenda consists of two PDF files, 800 pages in all, that we will forward to any member of Division 3 with the time and inclination. Clinton’s “My Life” is also 800 pages, and may make more entertaining reading.
It can be mentioned at the time of this writing that Bruce Overmier, an esteemed Division 3 Fellow who has served two terms on the APA Board of Directors, has been defeated by Carol Goodheart in his quest for the office of APA Treasurer. While Div 3, with the rest of CASAP, rooted for Bruce, we are sure Carol will be an excellent Treasurer. We take pleasure in noting, however, that Bruce has become President of the International Union of Psychology, a very important, obviously global, post in Psychology.
In another article in this Newsletter, announcement is made of the New Fellows -- those becoming Fellows for the first time and with sponsorship through Division 3.
Lewis P. Lipsitt