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A Message From Your President

Ann Marie Ryan 

 

My first presidents column is an easy one to write as there is so much activity going on in SIOP. First, although it is a few months in the past as you read this, I want to take the opportunity to thank all those who worked so hard to put together a great conference in Toronto. Special thanks to the Conference Committee led by Jeff McHenry, the Program committee led by Adrienne Colella, the Workshop committee led by Kalen Pieper, the Administrative Office led by Lee Hakel, and Placement led by Linda Sawin. Thanks also to Volunteer Coordinator John Cornwell and Local Arrangements coordinator Maria Rotundo. Members of this years Conference committee are already hard at work planning for Orlando in 2003. Elsewhere in this issue, Jeff McHenry provides some important information regarding hotel reservations for the 2003 Conference. As Jeff notes, we were left with some substantial liabilities this year, and we need to find ways to avoid them in the future. Please consider the effects of your behavior on the organization as a whole when registering. 

Goals for 20022003

Immediately after the Conference each April, the members of the Executive Committee drag their tired selves through another day of meetings to do the hard work of planning for the year ahead. Each committee chair sets goalssome related to the ongoing business of the Society (process membership applications, plan the Conference), some related to improvements (changes to the Web site), and some related to new ventures and explorations of new ideas (trying out innovative conference program formats). While the over 100 goals of the various SIOP committees are too numerous to mention here, it is important that you know about the high level of activity that volunteers are engaged in on your behalf.

I also wanted to share what my own personal goals are for this year and ask for your assistance in achieving them. These really are target areas that various committees are focusing on, but ones toward which I hope to devote extra personal effort.

One of my top priorities for this year is to improve upon our electronic services and communication mechanisms. We have had great success with our online submission and registration processes for the Conference, information on the Web site such as the graduate programs directory is frequently accessed, and the student electronic discussion group is getting good traffic. By the time you read this column we should have the online dues renewal process up and running. With so many new online services put in place the past few years, we need to go back and make enhancements to our offerings and work to update our Web site functionality and content. Larry Nader at the Administrative Office is the guru of all things electronic, and the Electronic Communications Committee, headed by Mike Brannick, is working on all of the above. They are also exploring better means of member-to- member electronic communication. If you wish to offer assistance, please contact Mike (mbrannic@luna.cas.usf.edu).

The second area I feel we need to focus effort is enhancing the recruitment of ethnic minorities to the profession. While 15% of recent doctorates in psychology are minority group members (1999 Doctorate Employment Survey, APA Research Office, March 2001), less than 6% of Division 14 members are individuals of color. Kecia Thomas, chair of CEMA, is leading our efforts to enhance our understanding of factors influencing minority group member attraction to I-O as a career, planning outreach efforts to those at early career choice stages, and developing strategies for fostering an inclusive society. I participated in a wonderful session at SIOP, led by Bernardo Ferdman and Martin Davidson, on fostering inclusiveness in SIOP, and appreciated all the candor and suggestions of others attending. If you have any suggestions or ideas for enabling SIOP to better attract underrepresented groups to the profession of I-O or to create a more inclusive organization, please e-mail Kecia (kthomas@arches.uga.edu) or me (ryanan@msu.edu).

The third area I plan to focus my efforts on is enhancing our support for graduate training in I-O psychology. I have heard a lot from members who are concerned about the respect afforded I-O programs as compared to other areas of psychology, particularly in larger research institutions. I have heard from members concerned about whether I-O psychology programs will continue to attract the best and brightest graduate students to teach in psychology. These are not new themesAngelo DeNisi raised many of them in his presidential address several years ago. However, they are of increasing concern. Laura Koppes, chair of Education and Training, has been working with LRP to gather information from chairs and directors of I-O graduate programs and to set up an electronic mailing list for this group. Please contact Laura (laura.koppes@eku.edu) or me with your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions.

A fourth goal of mine is to increase the scope of Society activities related to enhancing the scientific base of our field. Tim Judge, chair of Scientific Affairs, is working to explore ways to better support scientific activities of members and also to explore ways to enhance member-to-member communication on scientific issues. While I am a firm adherent to the scientific/practitioner model, we all must remember that the scientific base of our field is what makes us unique in practice as compared to many management consultants and HR managers. It is important that SIOP work to promote quality science that will serve to keep our field flourishing. Feel free to e-mail Tim (tjudge@ufl.edu) or me with suggestions as to how SIOP can assist the scientific endeavors of our membership.

Finally, I have a goal of continuing the efforts already in place regarding increasing the visibility of the Society and the profession. In the last several years, SIOP has made great strides in the PR department thanks to an active visibility committee under Gary Carter and the assistance of Clif Boutelle, our PR person. Lise Saari has now taken on the role of chair of those efforts, and there are a number of initiatives under way to further promote our field to the public (see article in this issue on the response to the member survey). While we often talk about the need to make ourselves more visible to managers, we also need to make ourselves visible to other psychologists. Let me know any suggestions of creative ways to enhance the visibility of our profession, or e-mail Lise (saari@us.ibm.com).

SIOP Survey Results

Elsewhere in this issue you will find a summary of the results of the SIOP survey and an outline of some of the planned responses to your feedback. I would like to thank each of you that responded for taking the time to provide the Executive Committee with direction and feedback. Special thanks to Janine Waclawski and her crew for analyzing the data and providing feedback under tight time constraints.

Identity and Branding

There has been much talk regarding the difficulties encountered with calling ourselves industrial-organizational psychologists and even some tongue-in-cheek columns on this in TIP in the past. LRP, headed up by Katherine Klein, is gathering data informally about whether the industrial part of the title is outdated, whether a name change is warranted, and if so what should it be. Please feel free to e-mail Katherine, Bob Dipboye or Janet Barnes-Farrell (klein@psyc.umd.edu, dipboye@rice.edu, barnesf@uconn.edu) or myself with your suggestions regarding these issues.

In general, there is a persistent theme in all the activities I am encountering in my short time in the presidential rolethe need to better define our identity and to better communicate that. My first duties as president were to write letters to editors regarding articles which asserted that no psychologists study work, or that clinicians have all the skills they need from their graduate training to take on organizational consulting roles. Our greatest challenge right now is in conveying our existence to those in psychologyboth academics and practitionerswho think the study of work is something new. Your thoughts and suggestions on better articulating our identity would be greatly appreciated.

 

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