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Bylaws Changes Pass!

3/11/2015-

by SIOP Administrative Office

SIOP Members Approve Three Proposed Amendments

In a vote that ended March 7, SIOP voting members approved three bylaws amendments that will result in significant changes for the organization.

By large margins, voters approved bylaw amendments that:

  • Remove the prerequisite membership organization requirement.
  • Establish a pathway to full Member status for Associate Members.
  • Remove the list of committees from the bylaws and make other “housekeeping” changes.

The full results of the voting are as follows:

Description For Against Total Winning Percentage

Amendment 1: "Eliminating the prerequisite organization membership requirement"

436

68

504

87%

Amendment 2: "Establishing a pathway to Member status for Associate members"

386

109

495

78%

Amendment 3: "Removing the listing of standing committees and other changes"

474

20

494

96%

Amendment #1 eliminates the requirement that prospective SIOP members first be a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Canadian Psychological Association, (CPA), or European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP). The vote was approved by a 87% affirmative vote. This requirement only applied to the initial application for SIOP membership, but Executive Board members believed that the additional cost could have been a barrier to student members upgrading to professional member status.

The SIOP Membership Committee is currently reviewing the membership application process for potential changes due to the passage of the bylaw amendment. The bylaw change will take effect May 13, 2015.

 What Does This Mean for SIOP Applicants?

Beginning May 13, 2015, applicants for SIOP Member and SIOP Associate status will no longer be required to hold APA, APS, CPA, or EAWOP membership to be eligible for SIOP professional membership. Until that time, however, the membership criteria will remain as described on the Criteria for Membership page. Applicants for Member and Associate from now until May 13 will need to abide by the existing criteria.

Amendment #2, which provides a way for Associate Members to become full Members, passed handily but with a smaller margin than the other two amendments. To enact the new bylaw provisions, the Executive Board of Directors will approve a policy at their April meeting with the following requirements for an Associate Member who wishes to become a full Member:

  • Maintain Society Associate Member status for a period of at least 5 consecutive years
  • Be engaged in professional activities as described in Article II, 2c of the Society Bylaws
  • Submit a letter of nomination from a Society Member or Society Fellow who can attest to your professional activities as described in Article II, 2c of the Society Bylaws
  • Have obtained a Master’s Degree that meets criteria as established in policy by the Executive Board
  • Have attended three official meetings of the Society in the last five years (Annual Conference, Leading Edge Consortium)

This amendment was proposed after two reports that examined the issue. In their report presented to the board in the fall, Membership Services Officer Eric Heggestad and Membership Committee Chair Satoris Culbertson stated that advantages for making this change included inclusiveness, member retention, and taking advantage of SIOP’s talent. Associate Members cannot hold office, vote, or chair committees.

“The issue of Associate members being given the opportunity to become full members has been an issue of inclusiveness for me,” Heggestad explained. “I am really excited that SIOP is taking this step toward being more inclusive to members of our profession.”

Heggestad said he hopes these changes will help SIOP retain master’s degree holders.

“It’s not surprising that retention rates among this group are about half of what they are for Members,” he said. “There are a number of highly successful members of our professional community who are working as I-O psychologists but who can’t get involved with SIOP to the degree they would like because they do not have a PhD.  These people have wealth of knowledge and experiences that, quite frankly, SIOP is missing out on. I am excited that SIOP is making this policy change to have a more inclusive definition of who can be a member.”

Heggestad explained that this change will also bring SIOP in line with the practices of other organizations.

“We aren’t really being all that progressive here,” he said. “There are several other professional organizations that allow individuals with MA degrees to become voting members, including APA, EAWOP and the Canadian Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.”

Amendment #2 would also take effect May 13.

Amendment #3 made a number of changes to update language in the bylaws. For example, SIOP voting now takes place electronically and there is no tallying of paper ballots. The list of standing committees was also moved from the bylaws to policy. In this way, standing committees can be formed or reevaluated without having to go through a bylaws vote of the membership, allowing SIOP leadership to be more responsive to member needs. This amendment passed with the greatest margin.

The full text of the amendments can be found here.