Membership Board 2012 Annual Report

Membership Board Composition and Slates

2012 Membership Board Members: Francisco J. Sánchez, PhD, Chair; Alice Cronin-Golomb, PhD; Sue Frantz, MA; BraVada M. Garrett-Akinsanya, PhD; Dorothy Holmes, PhD; Frederick Leong, PhD; Bonnie Strickland, PhD, Chair-Elect; Earl Turner, PhD; and Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD

The Membership Board (MB) has the responsibility for the oversight of membership recruitment and retention activities for the association. Given the broad interest of APA members, the MB sought to recruit a broad representation when composing slates for the MB, including early career psychologists, governance newcomers, psychologists working with government agencies, and psychologist engaged with digital technology.

Waiver Applications

In the spring, the MB reviewed two waiver cases from applicants whose degrees were not based primarily in psychology. The MB decided to offer one applicant associate membership, but the other applicant was not recommended for membership. In the fall, the MB reviewed one waiver application for membership from an applicant whose degree was from a school that was not regionally accredited. After consultation with the Committee on Accreditation, the board decided not to recommend the application for approval.


The MB continued to face the challenge of recruiting and retaining psychologists from all sectors of the discipline. In addition, the MB initiated ideas to address the general perception that APA was rapidly losing members and that the membership trend was unique to APA and indicative of APA becoming “insignificant.” The MB also continued to work closely with APAGS and CECP as their constituents are vital to the future of the discipline and APA.

Some of the board’s accomplishments of 2012 are highlighted below:

  • The MB consulted and engaged various groups (Policy and Planning, Committee on Early Career, Board of Scientific Affairs, etc.) in an ongoing discussion about the different types of data needed (membership trends and information about the profession). MB advised the groups of the kind of membership data that is currently available including: reports that analyze membership trends/counts by multiple data points.
  • Worked with the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) to address the concerns over the internship imbalance given the potential negative implications the crisis could have on the membership pipeline.
  • Supported APAGS’ efforts to launch a new journal, including lobbying in favor of it within the Council of Representative.
  • The MB’s motion to end the process of invoicing members for back year dues, was endorsed by the Board of Directors (BoD) and approved by the CoR at the February 2012 council meeting.
  • Supported the Presidential Report on the Recognition of Psychotherapy Effectiveness because of its scientific merit and the implications for members engaged in the practice, research, and the teaching of psychotherapy.
  • Initiated an effort to investigate adding affinity programs that would appeal to science and research oriented psychologists (e.g., statistical software and electronic data collection services).
  • Supported the campaign to include four seats on CoR for representatives from the four ethnic minority psychological associations.
  • Reviewed membership trends in peer-organizations, most of which are similar to APA’s trend. The MB discussed ways in which APA could better connect with scientific organizations (e.g., Society for Neuroscience) to bolster each other’s work and support the needs of science orientated members. The board will continue discussions with BSA on this topic.
  • The MB decided to host a conference committee session on membership trends at each Spring Consolidated Meeting. This will allow all boards and committee the opportunity to understand membership trends, including APA’s areas of growth.
  • Voted to recommend changes to Association Rule 10-14: Student Affiliate so that students who interrupt their studies for a period not to exceed 10 consecutive years can maintain their student affiliate status. The proposed language was forward to the BoD.
  • Reviewed a proposal from the Board of Education Affairs (BEA) to create a new membership category for “Psychology Affiliates,” which would consist of persons who majored in psychology and/or had a strong interest in the discipline. The boards will continue discussions regarding this topic.
  • Reviewed and approved a new policy and procedures manual to help guide the work of the MB.

Review of Nominations for Initial Election to APA Fellow Status

The Membership Board received the list of 2012 Initial Fellows from the Fellows Committee.


The MB would like to thank the dedicated APA Staff Members as we could not have been as successful without their dedicated support: Tabitha Brown, Joseph Cox, Kevin Spotts, Barbara Spruill, and Dee Valencia. We are especially indebted to Sonja Wiggins and Rhea Farberman.