Good Governance Project: Implementation

Council Action

At its June 2013 meeting, the Board of Directors reviewed the final report of the Good Governance Project (GGP) Team and developed several motions for the Council of Representatives' consideration. At its 2013 convention meeting, the board made revisions to several of the motions in an effort to incorporate the feedback received from council through the virtual town hall meetings and during council's July 31 session. The motions the board developed related to the structure and function of the board and council vary somewhat from what was recommended by the GGP Team.

During its Aug. 2, 2013, session, council voted to approve the eight motions found below. Motions 1-3 and 6 were approved as presented by the board; motions 4, 5 and 8 were approved with revisions. On the seventh motion, council voted for significant change to the council structure, but asked for additional details on two models to be brought back for further discussion.

Motion #8 asked APA 2013 President Donald Bersoff, PhD, JD, to appoint an Implementation Work Group (IWG) charged with developing the specific implementation plans of the governance changes that council adopted, and to present these to council for approval beginning in February 2014. 

Votes are listed as follows: (# of members in favor/# of members opposed/# of members who abstained from voting).

Main Motion I


That council receives the Good Governance Project report (PDF, 638KB).

Main Motion II

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 IWG to design the specific steps, including a determination of the fiscal implications.

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.
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 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.

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 IWG to bring back a triage implementation plan including fiscal implications. The work group should examine ways to incorporate technology into this process and a method for tracking items as they move through the system.

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.

IWG will report on progress of the development of an implementation plan.

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 IWG to develop an implementation plan that includes an evaluation process for the end of the three-year trial period.

6: Board Composition


Council approves the following composition for the Board of Directors:

  • 6 members-at-large elected directly by membership, drawn from general membership.
  • 4 elected by the council, including secretary and treasurer, and 2 from council leadership team.
  • 1 elected directly by APAGS membership, drawn from APAGS members (APAGS past chair).
  • 3 in the presidential cycle.
  • 1 appointed by board from the public.
  • 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.

IWG is tasked with developing an implementation strategy. The new board structure will be evaluated three years following implementation of the new configuration.

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% 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%
  • 7C (a disciplinary/mission based model aka “the pillar model”): 19%
  • 7D (a constituent based model with pillar elements): 41%
  • Abstain: 3%

As a result of the 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.

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 and other members who have relevant expertise.

For motions 4 and 7 that affect the structure or function of only council, a subgroup of IWG shall be created directly from council including at least one member of the Committee on Structure and Function of Council.

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. 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) 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 IWG, and the inclusion of $48,000 in the 2014 budget for two meetings in 2014 of IWG.