Committee on Structure and Function of Council 2010 Annual Report


Kate F. Hays, PhD, Chair; Sari Dworkin, PhD; Kaye Price Laud, PhD; *Lynn P. Rehm, PhD (Spring); Larry Beutler, PhD (Fall); William J. Strickland, PhD; and Erica Wise, PhD.

*Lynn P. Rehm, PhD, passed away on September 29, 2010.

Meeting Dates

CSFC met on March 19-20, 2010 and October 22-23, 2010.

Election of Chair for 2011

William J. Strickland, PhD, was elected the 2011 Chair of CSFC.

Targeted Nominations for CSFC

CSFC voted to approve the following 2010 Targeted Nomination Statement for CSFC:

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 Council members; members from underrepresented and diverse groups; candidates with leadership experience in both states and divisions; and those with expertise in strategic planning.

Diversity Check-In

CSFC started and ended its March and October 2010 meetings with a diversity check-in.

New Council Member Orientation

At its March meeting, CSFC voted to create a mini-orientation to be held from 3 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.  The session will be a brief overview of items discussed at the February orientation and will be available for substitute representatives, new representatives, or representatives who feel they need a refresher.  The session will include an abbreviated presentation by General Counsel Nathalie Gilfoyle on the Legal Responsibility of Council Members and an informal information session conducted by members of CSFC.

At its October meeting, CSFC voted to approve the schedule and topics for the February 2011 orientation as follows:

Session 1 will take place on Thursday, February 17, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.  The session will include presentations by Deputy CEO L. Michael Honaker, PhD (Association Overview) and General Counsel Nathalie Gilfoyle (Legal Responsibility of Council Members) and an informal session conducted by members of CSFC, with particular attention paid to the roles of caucuses.

Session 2 will take place Friday, February 18, from 5 to 6 p.m., and will be an interactive debriefing following the first day of the Council meeting.  The parliamentarian will also be present and will give a brief overview of parliamentary procedure.

Council Debriefing Form Responses and Council Member Suggestions

CSFC decided that in July, when new members are elected to Council, CSFC will send out a letter welcoming the new Council member and giving them general information (contact the current rep for information, information about mentors and orientation, etc.). CSFC also decided to make some changes to the form, and will work on those changes at its March 2011 meeting.

Caucus Council Work Group

CSFC continued its discussion regarding the Caucus Council Work Group and caucus issues and concerns. CSFC discussed whether more feedback from Council was needed, and whether there would be a place for caucuses in the “new” COR model.  CSFC asked staff to create a matrix of information about the caucuses that would be distributed to Council and included in the New Council Member Handbook.  CSFC requested that discussion of a survey of COR members be added to the Fall Consolidated Meetings Agenda.  CSFC also determined that currently, there is no need for an additional lunch meeting at February’s Council meeting.

Addressing Diversity Issues in Agenda Items

CSFC reviewed the current New Business Item form and recommends the following changes to the form:

  • The section called “Relation to APA Goals/Objectives” be removed

  • Add a section listing APA’s core values below APA’s Goals and Objectives

  • Check-off boxes will be added next to each of the goals, objectives and values with the intention that the submitters will check off the goals, objectives and values related to the NBI

Diversity Training for Council Members

At its March meeting, CSFC discussed the goal of diversity training for Council Members.  CSFC considers the goal of diversity training to be that of assisting Council members in their sensitivity to diversity in various manifestations with regards to both their role on Council and in relation to society. CSFC reviewed the current method of diversity training for Council; it determined that it is not an effective one for achieving the goal of diversity training. CSFC suggests that the goal might be better accomplished through a format other than a lecture format. One option would be to embed lessons around diversity throughout the current issues before Council.  In the event that the Board of Directors does recommend for future training a format similar to the current one, CSFC recommends that it be held every other year or every third year.  Further, if the Board recommends that a presenter be brought in for diversity training for Council, CSFC suggests the following speakers and topics be considered: Derald Wing Sue, PhD, on micro-aggressions and Elyn Saks, on schizophrenia.

In October, CSFC discussed Council’s request that it provide a report to Council in February 2011 that includes clarification of the goals of diversity training for governance and the evaluation of effectiveness of diversity training for governance.  After hearing an update on the Diversity Training Working Group from BOD members Rosie Bingham Phillips, PhD and Jennifer Kelly, PhD, CSFC decided that a member of CSFC should be included on the Working Group.  William Strickland volunteered and will be added to future emails and conference calls and will report back to CSFC with any new information.  CSFC will view the Working Group’s report to the BOD in December and provide a report to Council in February 2011.

Seating the Four Ethnic Minority Psychological Associations on Council

At its March meeting, CSFC was asked to provide input and guidance regarding the next steps related to the recommendations in the Report of the Presidential Working Group on the Representation of Diversity on the Council of Representatives.  CSFC appreciates that the relationship between APA and the four ethnic minority psychological associations has a long and complex history.  CSFC recommends that plans for seating the representatives of the four ethnic minority psychological associations on Council be considered by the task force charged with implementing goal 1 (c) of APA's strategic plan, "to optimize APA's governance structures and function."

CSFC also suggests that the task force examine possible solutions to the problem broadly, including, for instance, the possibility of each of the ethnic minority psychological associations applying for membership as an APA division.

In October, CSFC was asked to make a recommendation to the BOD regarding the request that Council 1) approve sending forward to the membership in November 2011 the Bylaws ballot to seat the four ethnic minority psychological associations on Council; 2) approve related Association Rule changes and 3) direct that any new Council structure resulting from Good Governance Project include a voting voice for the four ethnic minority psychological associations.

CSFC recommends rejection of the main motion as currently proposed. Although we recognize the importance of supporting the diversity of representation on Council, CSFC offers the following comments and concerns in response to the three points above:

  1. CSFC understands that the Presidential Working Group on the Representation of Diversity on the Council of Representatives has undertaken a thoughtful and detailed process in determining its recommendations. At the same time, we have noted amongst Council a dialectic in perspectives concerning sending this Bylaws amendment to the membership once more. Some reference the closeness of the second vote; others are mindful that, despite Council’s overwhelming support, the membership has twice rejected the proposed by-laws amendment.

    Although CSFC appreciates the complex history and sense of urgency with regard to the seating of the four ethnic minority psychological associations, we believe that some imminent information may be instructive: the forthcoming vote on the by-laws changes relative to guaranteeing a seat on Council for each division and SPTA might inform us on the responsiveness of the broader APA membership to proposed changes to the composition of Council. We encourage the BOD to consider the outcome of this vote in its final recommendations to Council. 

  2. In the event that it is decided by Council that the by-laws proposal will go to membership for a vote, we recommend that any changes to Association Rules include the following elements:

    1. That, as is the case for divisions and SPTAs, only individuals who are members of both an EMPA and APA be eligible to vote or to serve as representatives on Council.

    2. That criteria be developed and specified regarding the eligibility of these and any other entities for a voting seat on Council.

  3. Although CSFC appreciates the intent to ensure inclusion of underrepresented groups on Council, we are concerned about instructing the Good Governance Project to guarantee a voting voice for any particular constituency before it has begun its work.

August Council Meeting Schedule

CSFC discussed Council’s current August meeting schedule to determine if it would like to recommend any changes to the schedule.  CSFC did not recommend any changes, but suggested that a survey be sent to Council members to guage interest in changing the dates.

Subsequent to the meeting, the BOD decided that this item would be added to the COR agenda in August 2010.  Council voted to request that its August meeting days be changed from Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 12 noon to Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Renewal of Reimbursement Policy for Ethnic Minority Members of Council

CSFC reviewed the reimbursement policy for ethnic minority members of Council and recommended that it be continued for an additional two years.  CSFC discussed its wish to have all Council members receive full reimbursement for their attendance at the February and August Council meetings and its desire to increase ethnic minority participation on Council.  CSFC suggested that the task force charged with implementing goal 1(c) of the strategic plan, “optimize APA’s governance structure and function” consider both of these issues and bring a recommendation to Council within the next two years.

Change in Association Rule 90-6 to Clarify Role of CODAPAR in the Agenda Planning Group (NBI#23D)

CSFC voted to recommend that Council approve the following substitute motion introduced by the Committee on Division/APA Relations:

The Council of Representatives shall receive the list of Council New Business Items and the designated referral groups assigned by the Agenda Planning Group.  It shall be the responsibility of Council members to inform their various constituent groups of any items that may be relevant, whether with regard to impact, expertise, or perspective. It will be the responsibility of the constituent group to contact the referral group with such information.

CSFC noted that after each meeting, Council receives by email the list of Council new business items, including designated referral groups and staff contact information for the lead referral group.  If the substitute motion is approved, the additional information regarding Council members’ responsibilities with relation to new business items would be included in the email.  CSFC added that it would also include information about Council members’ responsibilities with relation to new business items in the Council Member Handbook and at the New Council Member Orientation if the substitute motion is approved.

Council Healthy Living Options

CSFC requests that attention be paid to having healthy and vegetarian options provided at the Council meeting.

Strategic Plan Initiatives

CSFC discussed potential strategic plan initiatives as requested by APA’s Executive Office.  CSFC proposed four ideas for activities that will help the association accomplish its strategic goals and initiatives.  The ideas are as follows:

Corresponding Goal Brief Description Outcome
1(c) CSFC supports the creation of the task force charged with implementing goal 1(c), maximizing organizational effectiveness. CSFC recommends that a member of CSFC be appointed to the task force. The task force will benefit from the expertise of a member of the committee that is charged with examining the structure and function of Council.
1(c) CSFC recommends that the task force take special consideration of the following in its examination of APA’s Council of Representatives: (a) Its size and structure (b) Its use of technology to supplement or substitute for face-to-face meetings. (c) The most effective governance structure for evaluating and supporting Council. (1) A smaller, more effective and efficient entity. Cost saving. (2) Expanded opportunities to conduct association business. Cost saving. (3) Clarified role for CSFC.
1(c) CSFC recommends that consideration of additional seats on Council for ethnic minority and other traditionally underrepresented groups be considered in the context of any proposal to restructure Council. CSFC further encourages the exploration of various mechanisms for accomplishing this goal. Ensure diversity on Council.
1(c) CSFC recommends that all Council members be fully funded to attend all face-to-face meetings. Funding may be from various sources. Ensure that all members are able to participate in order to enhance diversity and representation at face-to-face meetings.