Executive Summary of Results of Council Survey


Executive Summary of Results of Council Survey

Executive Summary of Results of Council Survey

October 2016


1) The Task Force on Governance and Structure designed this survey to gather information about the Executive Council. We intend to use the survey results to inform councilors as to who they are as a group, and learn about their local groups,their selection processes, and other information which can be used in the planning for, and implementation of changes to the Council. The raw data is available; if you wish to receive a PDF of the data please contact one of the subcommittee members, our e-mails are at the end of this document.

Description of Respondents

2) The survey yielded a great deal of information and this document is intended to provide a synopsis of the data. Forty-eight percent of the responses were from councilors, and 52% were alternates or other representatives, such as Councilors at Large. Thirty-nine percent of respondents were from societies, and 33% were from centers. We received 50 responses to the survey, but not everyone responded to each question. Percentages are calculated on the number of responses to each question. When sub-analysis is performed, or when the number of actual responses is significantly below 50 this is noted. In some cases the percentages reported total to more than 100, this is because some questions allowed respondents to select more than one answer.

Sizes of Local Groups and Councilor Selection Procedures

3) APsaA societies and centers range in size of membership from a low of 10 to “200 or more,” we do not know from this data the size of the largest societies or centers. Fifty-two percent (26) of the institutes have 100 or fewer members; of the 48% with 100 or more members 62%, or 15 of 24, have 200 or more members. Sixty-five percent of councilors are elected by members, and the next largest group are the 14% who have uncontested elections. Seventy-six percent of respondents are happy with this method.

Councilor’s Terms in Office

4) Local groups are free to set the terms for their Councilors. Twenty percent (10) of respondents did not know if their local group set term limits.Of those who gave a knowledgeable response, 54% (21) do set term limits, and 46% (18) do not. When there are term limits, 65% (26 of 40 respondents) have a two-year term. The next largest group comprises 17% (7) that have a three year term, and two local groups have a term of five years or longer. If there were to be uniform terms, 73% preferred terms of one to three years.

Orientation for New Councilors and Council Renamed as Board

5) When asked whether new Councilors should have more orientation than currently provided, 58% wanted more. Of the options for additional orientation 97% (28 of 29 respondents) favored pairing the new Councilor with a more experienced mentor, and 52% (15 of 29) favored receiving readings on best practices for non-profit boards. Renaming the Council as the Board of Directors and Councilors as Directors, was favored by 61% of the 49 respondents.

Relationship of Councilor to Local Group

6) When asked about the linking functions for the Councilors,using the example of the IPA’s expectations for Councilors, 90% felt that they should be a conduit of communication between their local group and the Council, 85% felt their job included encouraging local groups to participate in APsaA activities, 83% thought they should explain APsaA policy and encourage debate on it, and 75% thought they should brief their local group on Council business.

Changes Due to Sunsetting of the Board on Professional Standards

7) The sun-setting of the Board on Professional Standards is anticipated by 77% of respondents to produce either “no change” or “some change” to how members of their institute are represented at APsaA. Of the 31 who commented on the changes we looked at whether they anticipated the changes to come primarily at APsaA (42%), locally (32%), or some combination of APsaA and local change (39%).

Expectations of the Department of Psychoanalytic Education

8) There were 43 comments on expectations about the new Department of Psychoanalytic Education in relation to local training centers. Fifty-three percent (23) anticipated a positive outcome, 16% (7) expected something negative, and 28% (12) were unsure.

Non-Analysts Serving on Local Boards and APsaA

9) Seventy-two percent (36) of respondents had some experience with non-analysts serving on their local board.Of those with some experience, 64% (23) felt the experience was positive, 28% (10) described their experience as “mixed” and 8% (3) felt the experience was negative. Among the comments were that it depends on the individual, to crediting the financial knowledge of the non-analyst members with their success. When asked whether APsaA should have non-analyst voting board members 54% (27) said “no” or “not sure,” and 46% (23) favored the idea. If APsaA were to select non-analyst board members, 76% (22 of 29 respondents), favored a dedicated nomination committee of Council, and a Council vote.

Relationship with Executive Committee

10) There was strong support for adding “a number” of Councilors to serve as voting members of the Executive Committee, with 78% favoring this change. Such a move could impact the general feeling of being disconnected from the Executive Committee; 38% of respondents indicated they felt connected to the Executive Committee, while 62% answered “no,” “somewhat,” or “don’t know,” to the question of whether they feel connected to the Executive Committee. Eighty-six percent read the agendas and minutes of the Executive Committee either “always,” or “sometimes.” Only 4% (2) never read them.

Candidate Representative on Council

11) There was strong support for adding a candidate representative to the Council; 88% favored this. However, adding a candidate as a voting member of the Executive Committee was favored by 51% of respondents, with another 20% unsure. Since there has never been a candidate representative to Council new voting procedures would need to be established. Three-quarters (73%) of the respondents favored either allowing the Candidate Council to decide on the method (40%), or having a vote by all candidate members of APsaA (33%).

Council Committees

12) There are 11 Council Committees, and we asked several questions about knowledge of them and their effectiveness. There was not a high level of certainty about the difference between the Committees of the Council and the Committees of the Corporation. Sixty percent felt they knew the difference and 40% either did not know, or were unsure. When asked if they knew what the Council Committees are and what they do, the largest single group, 56%, answered “some.” Thirty percent answered yes, 12% said no, and 2% were unsure.

13) When respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 100,their sense of the overall effectiveness of the Council Committees the statistical mean score was 43. Individual rating scores ranged from 1 to 82, and the distribution of the scores is notable and worth discussing.


Score Number of responses

0-10 14

11-20 0

21-30 1

31-40 3

41-50 12

51-60 3

61-70 4

71-80 9

81-90 1

91-100 0

14) In this distribution, the largest number of respondents scored the overall effectiveness of the committees, at 10 or below—the lowest possible range. The second-largest number of respondents scored the overall effectiveness of the committees at 41-50; below the median for the range of possible scores. There was a small group of 22% (10 of 47 total responses) who rated the overall committee effectiveness at 71 or above. Sixty-four percent (30 of 47) of the respondents, rated the committees a 50 or below in effectiveness, and 30% (14 of the 47) rated them a 10 or below. These results would seem to indicate a low level of confidence in in the committees overall.

15) However, some of the individual committees received ratings as highly effective.Notably,the Honorary Membership and Awards Committee was rated as highly effective by 63% of respondents.The Membership Requirements and Review Committee was rated as highly effective by 62%, and the Executive Committee was rated as highly effective by 61%. There were also committees that were not well known or understood: 54% answered “don’t know” about the Subcommittee to Advise the President on Appointment of DPE Head and Associate Head, 50% did not know about the Administrative Liaison Committee, and 49% did not know about the Compensation Committee.

Subcommittee on Council Survey:Comments on Survey Results

The results of the survey allowed us to discern domains where there is a high level of agreement, consonance, or knowledge, as well as areas of confusion, ignorance, or disagreement. We list those latter areas that may be important to include in our discussion at the retreat. There are also gaps in the data, areas where more investigation would be useful to decision-making, to which some of these comments are addressed.

A)Clarification and facilitation of Councilors’ engagement with APsaA as a national organization

B)Establishment of procedures for APsaA to educate and orient Councilors, and to support the effectiveness of Councilors.

C)Establishment of procedures for the management of the departments, and for the departments and their committees to bring policy issues to the Council.

D)Inclusion of members affiliated with separate training centers.

E)Mechanism for selection of a voting Candidate Councilor

F)Building trust, facilitating interaction, and participation between Council and its committees.

G)Establishment of oversight and responsibility for the committees of the Board to increase perceived and actual effectiveness.

H)Mechanisms for future changes in bylaws.

Members of Subcommittee on Council Survey,

Phoebe A. Cirio:

Herb Gross:

Kerry Kelly Novick: