Committee on Structure and Function of Council: 2013 Annual Report


John Moritsugu, PhD, Co-chair; Judith Olson, PhD, Co-chair; Ellen Williams, PhD; Warner Schaie, PhD; Nancy Sidun, PsyD; and Neil Massoth, PhD.

Meeting Dates

CSFC met on March 15 & 16, 2013 and November 1 & 2, 2013.

Election of CSFC Chair for 2013

CSFC elected CSFC elected Ellen Williams, PhD, as Chair for 2014.

Targeted Nominations for CSFC

CSFC reviewed the targeted nominations statement from 2013 to determine if it would like to make any changes to the statement for 2014. CSFC decided to add expertise in program evaluation as a desired trait for new members. The 2014 statement will be (new text is underlined):

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 and/or program evaluation.

Mentoring Program for New Council Members

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. After discussion, CSFC determined that the mentoring program is working really well and no major changes need to be made at this time. CSFC would like to request that:

  • In the email sent to new members asking if they would like a mentor, include some quotes from past mentees on their experience.
  • The request for mentors will now be co-signed from the chair(s) of CSFC and the staff liaison to CSFC
  • At the August meeting, have the President ask the mentors to stand and be recognized, and to mention to Council that in the fall they will receive a request to serve as a mentor to a new council member in 2014.
  • At the February meeting, have the President ask the mentors to stand and be recognized (no need for them to go to the mic to introduce themselves)
  • Continue the ribbons for new council members and for mentors

New Council Member Orientation

CSFC was asked to review the feedback from the orientation sessions held in February 2013 for new Council members and determine if it would like to make any changes to the timing and makeup of the sessions in 2014. After discussion, CSFC decided to add the following to Session 1 in February 2014:

  • Include a short overview of parliamentary procedure to the packet and have a member of CSFC give a 2-3 minutes explanation of basic procedures.
  • Briefly walk through what is included in the packet so that new members will look through it and realize that there is important information included.
  • Ask Nathalie Gilfoyle, JD to expand a little more on C3 vs. C6.
  • Reserve a few tables during lunch for special seating with CSFC members. Make tables available for new member and members beginning their second year.
  • Change the start time to 1:30 PM, giving them an extra 30 minutes
  • Add section on the Good Governance Project/Implementation Working Group

Diversity Training/Evaluation

After discussion during the March meeting, CSFC had several recommendations to the Board regarding Diversity Training. CSFC suggested creating a three year rotation of the following formats:

  • Year one: record presentations on broad diversity topics so that they can be used as required viewing for the future new governance members. Suggested speakers/topics for this portion are: Derald Wing Sue and John Dovidio and their presentations on micro aggressions and prejudice.
  • Year two: invite a panel of Board and Committee members give short (8-10 minute) presentations about what they do for diversity in their groups.
  • Year three: traditional presentation format — in person presentation on a focused topic such as disability or aging.

Other suggestions included:

  • Following the lead of Emory University, create a "Guidelines for Diversity Dialogue" document that each new governance member would be required to review and sign (similar to the Conflict of Interest form). Emory University's pledge (PDF, 18KB).
  • If the trainings continue in the current format, pursue the idea of offering Continuing Education Credit for the sessions.

Subsequent to the June Board of Directors meeting, a Diversity Training Working Group was formed. On day 2 of the November CSFC meeting, Ellen Williams and Neil Massoth attended a meeting of the Diversity Training Working Group. The working group will be focused on creating a long-term plan for more effective Diversity Training. The topic of the 2014 Diversity Training is transgender and gender non-conforming clients. CSFC also made changes to the evaluation form.

P&P's Proposed Changes to NBI Form

The Policy and Planning Board asked CSFC to consider adding a section to the Council New Business Item Form entitled "Identification of Data Needs" with the explanation "Specify what data needs are associated with this item, for example the ongoing data collection needed to demonstrate the effectiveness or outcome." CSFC voted to approve adding the proposed new section, but recommended that it be entitled "Data Needs/Supporting Data" with the explanation "Specify what data exists or needs to be collected to support the need for this business item. Also, what data will be provided as an outcome measure?" Subsequent to the meeting, P&P agreed to CSFC's changes, and the new section was added.

Reimbursement Policy for Convention Council Meeting

CSFC sent the following memo to the Board of Directors:

"The Committee on Structure and Function of Council (CSFC) recommends that all Council members are fully reimbursed for both the February and Convention meetings of Council beginning in 2014. The estimated additional cost to APA to fund members of Council who are not already reimbursed by the "Reimbursement Policy for Ethnic Minority Members" would be $203,600. This would act to enhance APA's Strategic Goal 1(C): Optimize APA's Governance Structure and Function. The rationale for CSFC's recommendation is as follows:

  • Council is the governing body of the association, and should be funded to do the work they have been tasked as volunteers.
  • This change would assure the inclusion and attendance of all Council members, including Early Career, retired, and those from small states and divisions at the Convention meeting regardless of funding sources or lack thereof, thus optimizing APA governance.
  • Currently, Board and Committee members are reimbursed for the participation at required meetings, such as the Consolidated Meetings. Making this change would align the Council reimbursement policy with the rest of APA's governance reimbursement policy.

CSFC also recommends that at its February 2014 meeting Council specifically delegate authority to the Board of Directors to approve changes to Council's reimbursement policy in order to avoid conflict of interest issues related to Council voting to increase the level of reimbursement it receives for attending Council meetings."

Renewal of Reimbursement Policy for Ethnic Minority Members of Council

CSFC was asked to determine if it wanted to make a recommendation to the Board and Council regarding the renewal of the reimbursement policy for ethnic minority members of Council. The current policy expired in 2013. CSFC recommended that the policy be renewed as previously written for ethnic minority members of Council who are elected for the years 2014-2016.

CSFC's Mission Statement/Five Year Review of Council

In March, CSFC discussed its mission statement, particularly the section related to a 5 year review of Council and determine if it would like to recommend any changes. CSFC decided that in light of the potential changes to the structure and function of Council due to the Good Governance Project, CSFC would revisit this item at its November 2013 meeting when the changes to Council are more apparent. Once GGP is resolved, CSFC will determine whether it will conduct a 5 year review or remove that line from the mission statement.

At the November meeting, CSFC decided to revisit this topic at the next Fall Consolidated Meetings when there is more information regarding the implementation of the Good Governance Project motions. CSFC will consider having a targeted slate in 2014 with members who have expertise with assessment and program evaluation, if necessary.

CSFC Survey of Council

CSFC was asked by APA President Elect Nadine Kaslow, PhD, to draft a questionnaire to send to Council surveying members about how they would like Council's time to be spent. The survey was sent to Council in November 2013.

Council Debriefing Form Results

In March, CSFC reviewed the responses to the debriefing form sent to Council members whose term ended December 31, 2012. CSFC asked that the survey to be sent soon after the August meeting in an effort to get better results, while the experience of Council is fresh on the off going members' minds. At the November meeting, CSFC made several changes to the debriefing form.

Memo from CEMA Regarding Reimbursement Policy for Ethnic Minority Members

In November, CSFC was asked to discuss a memo from the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA). CSFC supported the intention of the ideas mentioned in the memo, but felt that they are out of their purview.