Council approves Good Governance Project motions

The APA Council of Representatives voted to adopt a series of reforms at its August meeting and asked APA President Donald Bersoff, PhD, to appoint an Implementation Work Group (IWG) (nominations due by Sept. 12, 2013) to iron out the details.

Call for Nominations — Implementation Work Group

At its August 2013 meeting, the APA Council of Representatives passed a series of major changes of the APA governance system based on the Good Governance Project recommendations (see Good Governance Project Final Report June 2013 and Exhibit I). As a part of those changes, council directed the president to appoint an Implementation Work Group (IWG). The work group is to be made up of “15-20 individuals who are a broadly representative group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and organizational perspectives and who shall include members of council, the Board of Directors and other members who have relevant expertise.” One seat shall be reserved for a member of the Committee on the Structure and Function of Council.

The IWG is tasked with developing the implementation and transition plans of the governance changes that council adopted and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014. The IWG is also asked to further develop two possible models of structural change endorsed by council (models 7B and 7D in the attached Exhibit II) and bring them back for council’s consideration in 2014.

Donald Bersoff, PhD, 2013 APA president, has issued a call for nominations for the IWG. Nominees may be members of the 2013 or 2014 APA council but also may be individuals, association wide, who have expertise relevant to the task. Per the eight motions passed by council provided in Exhibit 1, the IWG is tasked with the following:

1. To design the specific steps, including a determination of the fiscal implications, to expand the use of technology to:

  • Expand opportunities for communication with and learning by members of governance.

  • Add general member’s viewpoints into deliberations.

  • Increase opportunity to do the work of governance between face to face meetings.

  • Increase communication about the activities of governance.

2. To develop a transition and implementation plan for the development of a leadership program focused on training for governance leadership as well as leadership in the general APA community, including fiscal implications.

3. To bring back an implementation plan, including fiscal implications, for the creation of an APA governance-wide triage system to ensure that the appropriate level of governance authority addresses new items and emergent situations in a timely and comprehensive fashion, without duplicative efforts.

4. To develop an implementation plan to expand council’s scope to direct and inform policy and ensure APA policies are aligned with APA’s mission and strategic plan, review and revise the strategic plan and identify and prioritize the major issues facing psychology and APA’s efforts to fulfill its mission. To meet its purpose, the APA council will need to:

  • Develop a mechanism to select a council leadership team to help manage the council’s workflow.
  • Develop a process to identify and prioritize and address the major issues facing psychology.
  • Develop a mechanism to articulate and prioritize APA’s efforts to advance its mission.
  • Develop a plan to use technology to advance the work of the council.
  • Participate in an APA wide triage system to enhance the work of the association.
  • Develop a strategy to employ APA boards and committees as council resources of expertise and action.

5. To develop an implementation plan, including an evaluation process for the end of the three year trial period, for the delegation of the following fiduciary responsibilities on a trial basis for a three year period:

  • Financial/budget matters.
  • Hiring, evaluation and support for the chief executive officer.
  • Assuring alignment of the budget with the APA strategic plan.
  • Internally focused policy development.

In addition, the implementation plan will include regular reports from the board on the delegated areas during the trial period to council and the entire membership.

6. To develop an implementation plan for reconstituting the Board of Directors as follows: 

  • Six members-at-large elected directly by the membership, drawn from general membership.
  • Four elected by the council, including secretary and treasurer and two from council leadership team.
  • One elected directly by the APAGS membership, drawn from APAGS members (APAGS past chair).
  • Three in the presidential cycle, elected by the membership.
  • One appointed by the board from the public (public member with needed expertise- non-voting).
  • CEO in ex officio role.
  • A commitment to always have at least one ECP serve on the board, selected  through the ANSD process.

In addition, the implementation plan will include the Assessment of Needs and Slate Development (ANSD) process for those members-at-large elected by the APA membership and an evaluation plan to occur 3 years following implementation of the new configuration.

7. To address council’s commitment to substantive change in council structure, the implementation plan will further develop model 7B — structural modification of the existing constituent based model, and 7D — the blended model that includes elements from 7B and 7C (the disciplinary/mission based model aka “the pillar model”) and bring them back for council’s consideration. (See Exhibit II.)

8. Review of necessary bylaws and association rule changes needed to accomplish the above.

IWG members will have one face-to-face meeting in 2013 and at least two face-to-face meetings in 2014, to be held at the APA headquarters in Washington, D.C.  

IWG members will be constituted into subgroups to focus on the specific change elements described above. These sub-groups will meet virtually on a schedule to be determined by the group and the sub-group chair.

In addition, work group members are expected to participate in virtual town hall meetings to gather input and feedback from council throughout the IWG process. Finally, IWG members will help to facilitate council discussion sessions at their February and August 2014 meetings. The period of service is Oct. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014.

The IWG is to be “a broadly representative group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and organizational perspectives.” Additional criteria include individuals who represent traditional diversity as well as diversity in terms of age and career development, new and experienced voices in governance, are creative problem solvers, are collaborative and broad thinkers, are able to commit to the spirit of these changes and make the good of the association their primary focus.

Nominations should be submitted via the online form no later than midnight EDT Sept. 12, 2013. Individuals may self-nominate or may be nominated by other individuals or APA affiliated organizations. Nominees must be APA members or members of APAGS. Nominations should include a current CV and a brief description (200 word limit) of the candidate’s qualifications for service, including specific expertise addressing one or more of the eight implementation tasks listed above.

Questions should be addressed to Maureen O’Brien, associate executive director, Governance Affairs, by email or by phone at (202) 336-6077.

Exhibit I: Good Governance Project Motions Approved by Council Aug. 2, 2013

Main Motion I

That council receives the Good Governance Project report.

Main Motion II

Motion #1: Technology

In order to enhance governance effectiveness, efficiency and nimbleness in addressing the future of psychology and APA, council supports the enhanced use of technology to engage members and provide increased opportunity to do the work of governance (as well as the advisory bodies) in addition to face-to-face meetings. 

Council directs the president to instruct the Implementation Work Group (IWG) to design the specific steps, including a determination of the fiscal implications, and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014.  

The plan will address what is needed to:

  • Expand opportunities for communication with and learning by members of governance. 
  • Add general member’s viewpoints into deliberations.
  • Increase opportunity to do the work of governance between face to face meetings.
  • Increase communication about the activities of governance.

Motion #2: Leadership Development

Council supports developing a process for opening, and thus broadening opportunities for leadership participation and leadership development for governance service.  

Council directs the president to instruct the IWG to develop a transition and implementation plan for the development of a leadership program focused on training for governance leadership as well as leadership in the general APA community, including fiscal implications, and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014.  

Motion #3: Triage

Council supports the creation of an APA governance-wide triage system to ensure that the appropriate level of governance authority addresses new items and emergent situations in a timely and comprehensive fashion, without duplicative efforts.

Council directs the president to instruct the IWG to bring back a triage implementation plan including fiscal implications for review and approval beginning at council’s February 2014 meeting. The work group should examine ways to incorporate technology into this process and a method for tracking items as they move through the system.

Motion #4: Council Purpose

Council will expand its scope to also focus on directing and informing policy and ensuring APA policies are aligned with APA’s mission and strategic plan. The council will review and revise the strategic plan and identify and prioritize the major issues facing psychology and APA’s efforts to fulfill its mission.

To meet its purpose, the APA council will need to:

  • Develop a mechanism to select a council leadership team to help manage the council’s workflow.
  • Develop a process to identify and prioritize and address the major issues facing psychology.
  • Develop a mechanism to articulate and prioritize APA’s efforts to advance its mission.
  • Develop a plan to use technology to advance the work of the council.
  • Participate in an APA wide triage system to enhance the work of the association.
  • Develop a strategy to employ APA boards and committees as council resources of expertise and action.

The IWG will report on progress of the development of an implementation plan and present this to council for approval beginning in February 2014.  

Motion #5: Fiduciary Roles 

Council supports delegating the authority for the following areas of fiduciary responsibility to the Board of Directors on a trial basis for a three-year period following implementation:

  • Financial/budget matters.
  • Hiring, evaluation and support for the chief executive officer.
  • Assuring alignment of the budget with the APA strategic plan.
  • Internally focused policy development.

In addition, council will receive regular reports from the board on the delegated areas during the trial period and retains its responsibility as set forth in the bylaws. In the interest of transparency, such reports to council will also be made available to the entire membership.

Council directs the president to instruct the IWG to develop an implementation plan that includes an evaluation process for the end of the three-year trial period and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014.  

Motion #6: Board Composition

Council approves the following composition for the board of directors: 

  • Six members-at-large elected directly by membership, drawn from general membership.
  • Four elected by the council, including secretary & treasurer and two from Council leadership team.
  • One elected directly by APAGS membership, drawn from APAGS members (APAGS past chair).
  • Three in the presidential cycle.
  • One appointed by board from the public (Public Member with needed expertise- non-voting. If made voting, would increase range to 16-19.).
  • CEO in ex officio role.
  • A commitment to have at least one ECP on the board through the ANSD process.

Council approves utilizing the Assessment of Needs and Slate Development (ANSD) process for those members-at-large elected by the APA membership. 

The IWG is tasked with developing an implementation strategy and presenting this to council for approval beginning in February 2014. The new board structure will be evaluated three years following implementation of the new configuration.

Motion #7: Council Structure

Council believes a substantive change in council structure is needed to be effective in the future.

Because the council approved endorsing a substantive change in council’s structure (59 percent in favor), model 7A (current council structure retained) was dropped from consideration. A straw poll was then conducted to see where council stood on the remaining various models of change. Council members were asked to vote for their preferred model. The vote was as follows:

  • 7B (a constituent unit based model) — 38 percent.
  • 7C (a disciplinary/mission based model aka “the pillar model”) — 19 percent.
  • 7D (a constituent based model with pillar elements) — 41 percent.
  • Abstain — 4 percent.

As a result of the above straw poll, an amendment was added to motion #8 to include a request for IWG to further develop models 7B and 7D (the two models receiving the highest percentage of votes) and bring them back for council’s consideration. Council approved motion #8 as amended.

Motion #8: Implementation 

Council directs the president to appoint an Implementation Work Group (IWG) made up of 15-20 individuals who are a broadly representative group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and organizational perspectives and who shall include members of Council, the board of directors and other members who have relevant expertise.  For motions #4 and 7 that affect the structure or function of only council, a subgroup of the IWG shall be created directly from council including at least one member of the Committee on Structure and Function of Council. The IWG is tasked with developing the implementation and transition plans of the governance changes that council adopted and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014. The IWG is also asked to further develop model 7B — structural modification of the existing constituent based model, and 7D — the blended model that includes elements from 7B and 7C (the disciplinary/mission based model aka “the pillar model”) and bring them back for council’s consideration.

Council approves the addition of $24,000 in the 2013 budget for one meeting in 2013 of the IWG and the inclusion of $48,000 in the 2014 budget for two meetings in 2014 of the IWG.

Exhibit II: Structural Models

Model 7B From the Good Governance Project Report
7B. Structural modification of existing system

Composition/Size

  • One unit/one vote for divisions and SPTAs  (114 seats) on current council.
  • Twenty to 25 additional seats for other perspectives (all voting members), e.g., chairs of advisory boards, CAPP representative, diversity representatives (possibly EMPAs), ECPs and APAGS, and affiliated organizations, academic training perspectives, scientific perspectives and members at large that might include regional associations, COGDP, CCTC. Included also would be five to 10 seats for members-at-large elected by those who do not belong to either SPTA or division.
  • Size would be in the 134–139 range with cost savings from reduction in size going to assembly budget for seed money for projects.
    • Assembly leadership team manages the work of the assembly. Members of the leadership team have voting seats on the Board of Directors. 
    • Board members serve as ex officio members of Assembly.

Selection/Election

Current organizational structure would continue (54 divisions and 60 SPTAs) but each unit would have one seat/one vote. The apportionment ballot would be discontinued and would be replaced with a process to enfranchise those who belong to neither type of unit to fill the new members-at-large seats, a clearly stated council goal as reflected in the data. It is recommended that the assembly implementation planning group would be responsible for determining the details of that process. Affiliated organizations would be responsible for developing their own process for naming those individuals to serve on the assembly in their designated seats. 

Role/Responsibility

Repurposed as above.

Rationale

This structure reflects the goal of alignment with strategic plan; it invites to the table those with valuable input for the discipline-focused conversations on significant issues; reduces size to 134-139 supporting nimbleness; and supports the repurposing move to a more toward issue focus.  

Positive support for one vote per unit on council\assembly was seen at the February 2013 council meeting. The majority of units only have one seat, so may be less resistance than anticipated to such a change. Providing a model that offers increased voices from across the discipline [engagement] may be an attractive trade-off, and of particular value as the assembly moves to an issues focus. 

Model 7C From the Good Governance Project Report
7C.  New structure: Six Pillar Model  

This model for the repurposed deliberative body that focus on big issues of the discipline has a redesigned structure that mirrors the major components of the discipline per the mission statement and strategic plan: health, science, practice, public interest and education, and adds a sixth pillar focused on advocacy. 

Composition/Size 

  • Fifteen delegates from each of the five mission areas (education, science, public interest, practice, plus health = five “pillars”).
  • An advocacy pillar (sixth pillar); 15 seats for individuals with advocacy knowledge, skills and experience (e.g., SPTA representatives drawn from each of the 10 federal regions and one from Canada plus CAPP and EdAT representatives, and representatives from Science and Public Interest communities with c3 and c6 advocacy experience). This option is based in part on the need for significant change in the governance structure of the c6. The advocacy pillar might be a placeholder for SPTA roles until such change occurs in the c6. This reflects GGP’s meeting with CAPP to share GGP information about suggested changes to the APA c3 governance structure per its charge and to better understand CAPP and the c6 issues regarding their current work to redesign the c6 and its relationship to CAPP.
  • Total size=90; supporting nimbleness and engagement.
  • Assembly Leadership team manages the work of the Assembly. Members of the Leadership team have voting seats on the Board of Directors. Board members serve as ex officio members of Assembly.

Selection/Election

A process for identifying candidates for each pillar should be developed and might be based, at least in part, on the ANSD committee rubric for the board, as presented above, to ensure diversity, inclusion of members at large, etc. Candidates might be selected through some combination of member election and appointment either by the assembly, the board and or the advisory bodies that reflect the key mission elements of each pillar, with “candidate” names generated through an open nominations process [engagement, transparency, checks and balance]. It is anticipated that the divisions would be active participants in making recommendations for membership in the five major pillars, whereas the SPTAs obviously would be engaged in selection of the Advocacy Pillar via federal regional positions.

GGP suggests consideration of this schedule for the assembly:

The assembly might meet three times a year: 

  • At the spring consolidated meeting: 1.5 days in plenary — focused on generating and fleshing out policy issues; if timing could be managed, they might also spend time in “advisory sessions” meeting with the appropriate Advisory Board for each pillar — supporting nimbleness and enhancing communication within and across pillars.
  • Late summer meeting at the convention — focus on approving policy.
  • At the fall consolidated: 1.5 days meeting with appropriate Advisory Board and 1.5 days plenary — focus on implementing policy.

Rationale

The “pillar model” is designed to maximize alignment with the APA strategic plan, invites “to the table” those critical for carrying out the c3 mission and reduces size of the assembly to 90 to maximize nimbleness. Moves away from a representational model to a model organized around the strategic focus of the association. This model acknowledges data collected by GGP that found there was a broad agreement for the need for radical change in the governance structure of the c6 and acknowledges an advocacy focus is important in the c3 bases assembly. As part of its due diligence, GGP met with CAPP and understands that the structure the c6 is currently under review and is yet to be determined. Thus, GGP recognizes both the role of c3 and c6 advocacy and has constructed the Advocacy Pillar such that some portion of that pillar might be a placeholder for SPTA roles within the evolving c6 companion organization until such change occurs in that organization. The selection and election process for this model will be determined by the assembly as part of its implementation planning. The final plan should encompass diversity and engagement of unrepresented members focusing on balanced representation. The assembly would be tasked with defining the selection/election process.

General Recommendations Relevant to All Assembly Options

  • Members in all models will require education and training for their new roles/expectations.
  • There is value in having a separate budget for the Assembly to support some of work of this body.
  • Technology generated member engagement leading up to and during the deliberations of the Assembly in any of the models.
  • Focus of governance will be managed by simpler agenda books, presumes delegating some authority to boards/committees — not everything needs to be approved by board or assembly if sufficient parameters are provided at the onset as to the roles of boards and their committees to discharge their responsibilities.
  • Since assembly will be the place that true “cross cutting” discussions occur, some issues may migrate to assembly from the advisory boards for broader discipline focused discussion and implementation.
  • Whatever changes are made, they should be evaluated after three years.

GGP recommends consideration of the following issues as part of implementation of any changes to the assembly:

  • Finalization of multiple elements across the change levels.
  • Develop a process for creating smaller working groups to prepare “backgrounders” on issues coming before the assembly, relying on boards and committees as experts where appropriate.
  • Develop mechanisms to structure debate and making policy on issues (working both in plenary and working sessions).
  • Incorporate technological mechanisms to engage members at large in the discussion/encourage direct input and to support the work of the assembly between and during its meetings.
Model 7D Proposed by Council Representative Martha Banks
7D. Hybrid Model
  • One unit/one vote for divisions and SPTAs (114 seats) on current council
  • Eighteen additional seats filled by:
    • Three delegates each from general membership in:
      • Education
      • Science
      • Public interest
      • Practice
      • Health
    • Three delegates representing advocacy.
  • Seven diversity representatives:
    • Four from EMPAs
    • Two ECPs
    • One from APAGS
  • Assembly leadership team manages the work of the assembly.
  • Members of the leadership team have voting seats on the board.
  • Board members serve as ex officio members of the assembly.