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University of Colorado
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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
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Pennsylvania State University
Representative to APA Council
Lewis P. Lipsitt (8/04-07)
Emanuel E. Donchin (8/03-06)
University of South Florida
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
This was perhaps the most “exciting” Council meeting that either of us can remember. This time the Council was spared the chore of watching expertly prepared Power Point presentations reporting on the activities of the various Directorates. This left much more time for a discussion of issues. There were, in fact, a number of items on the agenda that required, and received, extensive (and sometime emotional, if always civil) discussion. These ranged from the discussion of the Council’s response to the report of the APA delegation to the Durban conference on race and ethnicity, to revelations before Council, for the first time in APA history, of the particulars (in executive - “closed” – session) relating to the CEO’s salary and benefits. Of particular moment to members of this Division as well as Divisions 6 and 28 was the debate about the approval of a new Division in APA, a division focused on “Human-Animal Studies.“ The proceedings were lively and, as confirmed by a vote of appreciation, well conducted by Ronald Levant, president of APA.
The report on CEO compensation was in response to the surprised reactions expressed at previous Council meetings following publication in the press of Ray Fowler’s terminal salary and the separation arrangements. The Council was satisfied that the expenditures were proper and properly managed. Yet, the Council felt that given its fiduciary responsibility and the need for transparency the Council should be given more detailed information in a timelier manner. Information about executive compensation will henceforth be routinely made available, confidentially, to Council members.
A delegation of the APA attended a conference held in 2001 in Durban, So. Africa. The conference turned out to be quite controversial due to the anti-Israeli sentiments expressed by some of the participating delegations, and in some of the documents presented to the conference. These objections led the delegations of Israel and the USA to abandon the conference. When the APA delegation reported to the Council in its August 2004 meeting it summarized its own contribution, which focused on assuring that considerations of Mental Health are included in the discussion of racism. The delegation’s report did not address the extent to which actions, and statements, of the Durban conference were interpreted as anti-Semitic and/or anti-Israeli. Indeed the Delegation proposed that the Council “receive” the Durban declaration as part of the record. At the annual meeting in Hawaii, many members of the Council objected strenuously to the adoption by APA of the Durban declarations. Furthermore, some concern was raised because the APA delegation apparently did not actively protest the anti-Semitic aspects of the Durban conference. There was concern that the decision to send a delegation, and that the charge to the delegation, were insufficiently sensitive to the implications of the conference.
As a consequence of this discussion in Hawaii, President Diane Halpern appointed a Task Force, chaired by Sandy Shullman, that was asked to examine in detail all aspects of the controversy and to try and develop a stance that will be consistent with the conflicting sensitivities of our members., At the present meeting the Task Force presented a detailed report that represented a consensus across the diverse membership of the Task Force. Among its recommendations is that the APA undertake an explicit project that would lead to a formal condemnation of anti-Semitism. The Durban Delegation’s report was to be received with no changes, including the incorporation of the UN report on the Durban meeting that the Task Force felt was nowhere anti-Semitic. This view was not, however, shared by many members of COR and when the floor was opened, a long discussion ensued, with Sandra Shullman delivering an eloquent report on what had transpired both in the initial experience of the delegations and in the deliberations of the Task Force. . Many touching comments were delivered by various individuals, many articulating the pain of being exposed to anti-Semitism and many elaborating on the theme of reconciliation and healing. It was clear that this process was one of the most significant emotional events to occur on the floor of Council ever. All members will be informed as to the outcome of the deliberations, in The Monitor and other venues. Briefly, the Task Force recommendations were endorsed. However, the UN report would be embedded in a frame that indicates clearly that the APA does not necessarily endorse all aspects of the report. Furthermore, the paragraphs in the UN report that explicitly take one sided anti-Israeli views will be so labeled and a commentary will be included in the APA web site in which the Durban report will be pasted.’
The budget presentation revealed that we are now one of the “richest” non-profit professional organizations based in DC, with valuable real estate in our possession, and a treasury that assures, exempt catastrophic events, wealth for the future. In this connection, it is important to appreciate that the journal holdings of the association are largely responsible for the operating budget, much more so than the membership dues and that the research interests and journalistic proclivities of the membership, historically, have been largely responsible for this. An important aspect of the report was the major role that the electronic media are now playing in the revenues of the APA. The revenue from the print version of our journals has been steady, or declining, over the past few years. At the same time, revenue from electronic data bases is increasing linearly year by year. The APA is adding valuable resources that serve the membership and the public and that, at the same time, greatly increase the Association’s income. The long term implications of these trends to the APA, to University Libraries and to scientific communication are matters of much concern to Division 3.
Another aspect of the budget report is that in the course of negotiations about tax abatement from the city of Washington, APA will commit to hold its annual convention in Washington, DC every three years.
It was announced that Henry Tomes, executive director of the public interest directorate, will retire soon. He received a standing ovation for his work at APA for more than a decade.
A positive vote was taken on a proposal for APA to support the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron. APA will provide $60,000 each year indefinitely. The COR showed its strong support for the Archives by defeating a motion made by the Board of Directors that the support should be provided on a declining scale.
Of most moment to the members of divisions 3 and 6 was the proposal to create a new division of "human-animal studies." In very active list-serve discussions prior to the Council members of divisions 3, 6 and 28, and many members of the Coalition for Academic, Scientific and Applied-research Psychology (CASAP), shared the view that none of the reasons that must be satisfied for creating additional APA divisions apply to this proposal. At the same time, we were concerned that the new division, once created, may be inimical to the interests of other divisions. In documents circulated before the meeting of the Council, proponents of the new division mounted a vigorous defense, in particular denying any intent by the new division to serve as a conduit for advocates of so called "animal rights", Council resolved to conduct the discussion in Executive Session, so we can not report on the proceedings. However, as has already been made public, the proposal to form the new division failed.