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Report on the July 2004 Meeting of APA Council of Representatives

James L. Farr
APA Council Representative
Pennsylvania State University

The APA Council of Representatives met on July 28th and 30th in conjunction with the APA convention in Honolulu. Much of the agenda across both days was related to APA finances, which have continued to improve over the past year. Although there were operating budget deficits of approximately $7 million in 20012002, the final 2003 operating budget had a $2.4 million surplus and the 2004 probable net is projected to be about $700,000. Financial forecasts for the next 3 budget years also project modest surpluses. In addition, the two office buildings owned by APA in Washington continue to be nearly 100% leased (or occupied by APA itself) and are providing positive cashflow that is used to offset some operating expenses as well as increase APAs long-term investment portfolio. Two unsolicited, attractive offers were received in the spring of this year for the newer of the two buildings (at 10 G Street), but constraints posed both by the current financing of the building and by federal tax law led to a decision not to pursue these offers at this time. However, steps are being taken by APA financial staff to modify the financing of the 10 G street building when that is possible so that APA has more flexibility to respond to any future offers.

Council met in an executive session to discuss the APA salary structure and compensation for its executive staff. Results of studies by external compensation consultants on comparable salaries for other nonprofit organizations in the Washington area were presented to Council and indicated that the current APA salary structure was in line with those comparables. 

A new executive director of the APA Science Directorate has been appointed, Steve Breckler, a social psychologist. In addition, APA has funded PSY21, Psychological Science for the 21st Century, an initiative led by the APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) to help psychology meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. PSY21-related activities will provide the foundation on which the APA Science Directorate will build an agenda to support and promote the science of psychology. These activities will be important in APAs efforts to advance the science of psychology, to provide value to its membership, and to attract new members. See the APA Science Directorate Web site for more details of this initiative.

The mood at Julys Council meetings was one of cooperation among the many divisions and interest groups. Perhaps the single best exemplar of this spirit of cooperation was Councils adoption as APA policy a Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Military Service. This resolution was developed by a Council task force whose members were primarily from Division 19 (Military Psychology) and Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues). It reaffirms APAs opposition to discrimination based on sexual orientation, affirms APAs support for the well-being and health of members of the U.S. miltary forces, expresses opposition to the current Dont Ask, Dont Tell, Dont Pursue policy regarding sexual orientation and military service, and commits APA to working via federal advocacy for change in the current policy to one consistent with research data on sexual orientation and military performance. In addition, the resolution ends the ban on advertising by the U.S. military in APA publications. The advertising ban had been seen by Division 19 as a major deterrent to the recruiting of psychologists for military employment. 

Five new SIOP Fellows were approved as initial Fellows of APA: Jack Edwards, Scott Highhouse, Fred Mael, Pamela Perrew and Howard Weiss. 

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