From: Ron Fox
Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2016 12:39 PM
To: O'Brien, Maureen
Cc: McDaniel PhD, Susan H.; Belar, Cynthia
Subject: Please distribute to Board of Directors today
June 11, 2016
Open Letter to the Board of Directors, Council of Representatives, Divisions and Staff
We are writing to express our deep concern and dismay over the events and actions taken subsequent to the release of the Hoffman Report (IR). In our view, the current direction in which the Association is headed is not working and is likely to lead to more controversy and deeper divisions between our members. The unprecedented vote of no confidence in the Board of Directors by Division 42 is the latest of many expressions of concern and objections to actions being taken.
We have seen published recommendations regarding how APA should respond to the IR made by critics of the Association at the invitation of the Board of Directors when the critics themselves admitted they had not had time to carefully read much less absorb the Report. We have witnessed strong concerns about the direction being taken by the Association expressed by Division 13, 19 and now 42. We have 2 letters from past chairs of the ethics committee; one regarding numerous complaints and concerns about the validity and/or bias of the IR, and a second regarding conflict of interest charges on the part of Hoffman and members of the Board itself. We have a letter from the president of Division 19 making similar points regarding conflict of interest problems. The concerns expressed by these and others include an apparent failure to properly vet the IR, failure to protect the rights and reputations of those portrayed negatively, lack of due process for employees who were forced to resign, and more.
It is obvious that there are very real and honest differences of opinion regarding the IR, how it was done, how the interests of interviewees were or were not protected, the findings themselves, and even what APA or its agents actually did that was either immoral, unethical, or illegal. The Association is seriously fractured and in need of leadership leading it in a new direction.
The problems we see are not ones that can be ignored in the hope that all will be well. Clearly, all is not well and the problems are festering not healing. Healing is not likely to come quickly or easily or by vows to reset our moral compass. Real damage has been done to our Association as well as members and employees, Recovery is not apt to be either easy or quick, but a new direction is needed and it is needed now. Please feel free to call on us if our assistance would serve any useful purpose.
We make these comments out of mutual respect for the APA we have all loved and served for so many years.
Dorothy W. Cantor, President 1996
Patrick H. DeLeon, President, 2000
Ronald E. Fox, President 1994
Stanley R. Graham, President 1990
Joseph D, Matarazzo, President 1989
Martin E.P. Seligman, President 1998
Robert J. Sternberg, President 2003
Philip Zimbardo, President 2002
Others to follow