Board of Convention Affairs Annual Report 2012

The Board of Convention Affairs held three meetings in 2012 – February 16-17, 2012, March 30-April 1, 2012, and November 2-4, 2012. Initial planning for the 2013 plenary sessions at the annual convention was implemented by the Central Programming Working Group, which met with the Board of Convention Affairs in November.

During its February 16-17, 2012 meeting, the Board discussed plans for implementing the convention changes recommended by the Board of Directors Task Force on Convention and approved by the Council of Representatives during its August, 2011 meeting. The BCA’s interim report to the Board of Directors, dated April 25, 2012, is provided as Attachment A.

In addition, BCA discussed plans for conducting the first division program chairs training session for the 2014 Division Program Chairs during the 2013 Division Leadership Conference in January 2013.

With only six members and in light of the additional responsibilities associated with the implementation of the restructuring of the convention, BCA will request that the President appoint two additional members to BCA for a limited term.

Attachment A

TO: APA Board of Directors

FROM: Board of Convention Affairs

DATE: April 25, 2012

RE: Interim Report on Implementation of Convention Changes

The Board of Convention Affairs (BCA) was charged by the Council of Representatives (COR) with planning specific steps to implement changes in the Convention. The plan will move Convention toward the parameters approved by COR so as to ultimately achieve by 2016 the enhancements to quality and cohesiveness COR envisions.

BCA’s Deliberative Process

November, 2011 BCA Meeting: At this November 2011 meeting, BCA first reviewed in detail the actions being mandated by COR including the calculations using the proposed formula and transitional procedures. This was done to insure that BCA fully grasped the stated objectives and outcomes as well as identifying any unexpected problems. Then tasks to be completed by spring 2012 through individual work and electronic collaboration were identified and assigned to BCA members.

February, 2012 BCA Meeting: This special meeting was dedicated to developing explicit responses to each of the actions mandated by COR as part of the implementation plan. Details are summarized below under “Outcomes.”

March, 2012 BCA Meeting: At this regularly scheduled meeting, BCA reviewed and finalized proposed procedures and draft documents, including procedures to form the expanded CPG, procedures for divisions to submit for convention hours, planning for training of Division Program Chairpersons, “Call for CPG nominations,” and the proposed timeline for the implementation plan.

Outcomes: The Plan to Date

In response to COR’s mandate to “expand the Central Programming Group (CPG) from 6 to 16” (see COR August 2011 Meeting, Minutes, Ai), BCA has:

  • designed a procedure for nominating and selection of the larger and differently constituted CPG;
  • designed an implementation timeline; and
  • designed and disseminated a Call for Nominations from Boards and Committees, including characteristics desired of the CPG nominees

In response to COR’s mandate to train program chairs (see COR minutes, B) BCA has:

  • partnered with CODAPAR to hold the first Program Chair Training (PCT) jointly with the Division Leadership Conference in January 2013. Although the meetings will be run largely in parallel, opportunities for exchange between Program Chairs and Division Presidents will be built into the schedule; and
  • decided to organize a BCA Training-Planning Group (TPG) to develop a one-day training program for 2013. BCA has identified and invited candidates for this TPG. These are psychologists who are experienced with BCA, divisional Convention planning, and/or effective training and collaborative group work.

In response to COR’s mandate to reduce Convention programming by divisions and governance groups to 1250 hours (see COR minutes, Aii), BCA has drafted an implementation plan (see BCA Plan) for:

  • attaining this target by 2016;
  • preserving essential functions of Convention (see COR minutes, Aiii); and
  • allowing BCA, other governance groups, and divisions to adapt effectively to the new scale and structure of Convention.

In response to COR’s vote to “approve in principle the addition of two community experts positions on BCA” (see COR minutes, 2), BCA has:

  • confirmed with APA legal counsel the necessity of a bylaws change, and
  • recommended to the BD that this change be postponed pending completion of the work on the Good Governance Project.

BCA Plan for Implementation of 250 Programming Hours Assigned to CPG

The Board of Convention Affairs (BCA) has been charged with implementing and overseeing the changes to Convention approved by the Council of Representatives in August 2011. BCA held a meeting in February 2012 to develop this roadmap for implementation of hours assigned to the new Central Programming Group (see Guidelines Manual for APA’s Central Program Group(CPG) regarding creation of this new CPG).

The goal of CPG programming is to demonstrate and leverage the unique role of APA as a unifying force for psychology. Whereas the current structure of Convention planning permits Divisions, Boards, and Committees to develop programs collaboratively, the model approved by Council institutionalizes collaboration as a signature feature of Convention. BCA agrees with Council’s position that it is crucial to move toward this vision in stages, to allow adaptation to the changes while preserving core functions and allowing BCA to be responsive to feedback during the implementation transitional period.

Council approved the Task Force recommendation that 250 hours be allocated to the CPG. Half of those hours will be dedicated to interdivisional collaborative theme-based programming, and half will be dedicated to programming originating with non-divisional governance groups (e.g. Boards & Committees). The disposition of those hours is as follows:

Interdivisional Collaborative Theme-based Programming (125 hours)

Council created a pool of 125 hours by reducing the hours available to each Division for autonomous programming. (Currently, each Division has an allocation of hours to use based on the Thayer Formula. The Division is then autonomous in being free to decide how these hours are used.) Within the new system, all Divisions will be allocated a reduced number of autonomous hours based on new formulae adopted by Council. In addition to these autonomous hours, Divisions will now be able to apply for extra hours from the 125 hours in this CPG pool based on collaboration with other Divisions. Every Division has the opportunity to complement and enhance its program beyond its minimum guaranteed autonomous hours by collaborating with others. Divisions will submit proposals to CPG by the same deadline as other Convention proposals. A proposal must be sponsored by at least 2 Divisions. Governance groups may also submit proposals if they collaborate with 2 or more Divisions.

At the Fall meeting in 2012, BCA will finalize criteria for proposals and the process for their evaluation by CPG, including operationally defining “collaborative” programming and standards and procedures for reviewing submitted proposals. A point system will be considered, giving additional points, for instance, for creative use of technology and session formats.

In the spring of 2013, BCA will add guidelines for interdivisional programs to the general Call for Proposals that will be distributed in the summer. The Call will take into consideration the themes suggested by Divisions during the Division Leadership Conference the same year. It will include a statement indicating that limited funds have been set aside and are available on a competitive basis to Divisional collaborative proposals for “high draw” presenters. If requesting such funds, a budget and justification will be needed at the time the proposal is submitted. These will be considered by CPG and recommendations will be subject to final approval by BCA.

Governance Group Programming (125 hours)

Council created a second pool of 125 hours by eliminating all hours available to governance groups for autonomous programming. These hours will be dedicated to programs originating with non-divisional governance groups, including nominees of governance groups as voted by COR to serve on the new CPG. Council mandated that this programming balance thematic and cross-cutting programs with programs that provide essential information and/or that address unique needs of vital “pipeline” membership groups.

BCA assumes that during the transition, as governance groups become familiar and comfortable with the manner in which the new convention system works, the goal set by COR of a convention with Divisional and governance programming totaling 1250 hours will be attained, with CPG assuming more responsibility for procedures and allocation of hours. Meanwhile, to begin that transition, the following plan is proposed (Note: COR also voted a phase-in transitional period for allocation of Divisional autonomous hours using the Proportional Model formula):

For the 2014 Convention, 135 hours will be allocated to CPG and other groups as shown in Tables 1 and 2. Apportionment is based on current allocations and designation of some groups as a vital “pipeline,” as mandated by COR (e.g. TOPPS, see COR Minutes). For extant groups, all numbers represent a significant reduction from current allocations in order to approach the target of 125 hours in the CPG Governance hour pool. The 2014 pool of 135 hours represents a reduction of over 40% in governance programs. Within this pool, in the first year of implementation, CPG assigns 20 hours for its own thematic programming and permits BCA to continue its work on invited plenary speakers/programs (20 hours) as these provide precisely the kind of thematic and cross-cutting programs mandated by Council. BCA recognizes that this proposed plan exceeds the goal of 125 hours, but this is only for the transitional year after which the BCA plenary hours are reduced. 

Table 1: Breakdown of the 135 hours allocated to CPG for 2014 Convention

Programs Category


Plenary program


Newly formulated CPG plenaries


BCA plenaries


Affiliate membership “pipeline” groups








Committee Early Career Psy (CECP)




Other board & committee programming (see Table 2)




Table 2 : Breakdown of the 67 hours that CPG will allocate to Boards and Committees for the 2014 Convention

Board or Committee


Board of Directors


APA Presidential programs




Committees reporting to BOD (excludes CECP and MFP)



Board of Professional Affairs


Board of Educational Affairs


Board of Scientific Affairs


Board for the Adv Psy in Public Interest


Ethics Committee


P & C Board


Membership Board


P & P Board




This plan significantly decreases total programming hours by governance groups and broadens involvement in central programming, while permitting the new model to be phased in successfully. If all goes well, one central programming group will be responsible for the plenary program by 2016, with additional hours being shifted to it from other groups within this pool through a process to be determined by BCA after the 2014 Convention.

Adjustments for Balancing Interdivisional and CPG Programming: Year 1

In Year 1 of implementation, we believe that it will be difficult to gauge in advance the proposal pressure on hours for interdivisional programming and governance programming. While the target hour allocations are equal (i.e. 125 hours in each pool), pressure and quality might not be, at least initially. BCA thus will grant CPG latitude in reallocating between the two pools, to be exercised only if demand for hours from one pool is low while the number of high impact proposals in the other pool exceeds the hours available.

Summary of Events and Deadlines for CPG 2014 and CPG 2015

November 2012: Fall Consolidated Conference: At this meeting, BCA will finalize the criteria for proposals and the process for evaluation, including operationally defining “collaborative” programming. A point system may be considered, giving additional points for sessions using new technology and innovative formats.

January 2013: Create 2014 themes at the Division Leadership Conference (DLC). BCA will be represented at the DLC. These recommended themes will be sent to CPG 2014, with other information about preparations for their spring meeting, including generating additional themes and potential speakers/sessions.

March 2013: Spring Consolidated Conference: BCA will meet on its usual agenda, which should include preparing a Call for Nominations to CPG 2015 to go to boards and committees.

Spring 2013: CPG 2014 will meet to finalize themes for 2014 and develop a preliminary roster of potential sessions/speakers for 40 hours of CPG plenary programming. It also will finalize the Call for Proposals for Interdivisional Theme-based Programming and divide itself into review groups based on expertise. A member of BCA will chair this meeting.

June 2013: A Call for 2014 Proposals that includes Interdivisional Theme-based Programming will be published in the APA Monitor and sent via email to the entire APA membership.

July-November 2013: CPG 2014 will finalize a prioritized roster of sessions/speakers and members will volunteer to issue invitations.

November 2013: Consolidated Conference: BCA and small CPWG meets to determine 20 hours of plenary speakers.

December 1 2013: Deadline for Proposals in response to the CPG 2014 Call for Proposals.

December 2013-January 2014: CPG 2014 will review and make decisions about Interdivisional programs, including requests for funding.

January 2014: DLC begins planning for Convention 2015.

Spring 2014: CPG 2015 meets.

“Governance” programming by Boards and Committees does not include APA-central Convention events (e.g. opening session, APA/APF awards ceremony and addresses, the film program, BCA business), CE workshops, and Council meetings.  Similarly certain Divisional events such as business meetings, social hours, and hospitality suites are not counted toward the 1250 hr target. That these are exempted does not violate a main principle for reducing hours and increasing collaboration to avoid conflicting programs and resultant low attendance: Events to be exempted are "off line" in being scheduled before/after official convention programming and/or aimed at specific, small audiences (e.g. Division Executive Committees). Moreover, because these events total over 500 hr and take total Convention programming hours to over 2100 hr, most clearly were not included in the base number used for Council to achieve a 20% reduction to 1250 hours; that base number would have to have been in the 1600 hr range.

Throughout the years, BCA been responsible for designing and implementing the plenary programs, offering about 25 hours annually . These have received continuous high marks for quality, with audience attendance routinely being at capacity. Hence, in the transition year, it is proposed that BCA continue this assignment giving the expanded CPG time to work out its own procedures.