From the Board of Directors: Key Updates from the Winter Meeting
The SPSP Board of Directors held its February meeting on the Sunday after the Annual Convention in Atlanta. Board meetings always include a financial report, reports from committees, and actions taken on proposals from committees or board members. I am excited to share some of the highlights.
Chris Crandall, Chair of the Publications Committee, shared a proposal to collaborate with the journal, Personality Science, one of the journals of the European Association for Personality Psychology. This fully open-access journal has a variety of submission types, welcomes submissions from all over the world, and has a broad definition of personality, including identity, attachment, and basically just about anything related to individual differences. As part of our strategic plan strategy for 2025, we aim to expand our inter-organizational and inter-disciplinary collaborations which we hope to do with this opportunity. The journal is about to relaunch as a fully open-access, truly global outlet for personality scholarship. As part of the relaunch, EAPP has been in discussions with various societies that might sign on to this exciting venture. The journal, edited by Jaap Denissen, has a variety of submission types and welcomes submissions from all over the world. The proposal was the outcome of a series of conversations, including SPSP leadership, members of the SPSP Publications Committee, outgoing PS editor John Rauthmann, and EAPP President Veronica Benet-Martinez. The Board approved signing on to the consortium of societies supporting the journal, joining the Australasian Congress on Personality and Individual Differences, the Association of Research in Personality, and the Japan Society of Personality Psychology. This is such fantastic news for personality scholars and I hope having SPSP's endorsement sends the signal that the Society values deeply our personality scholars. Social psychologists take note as well. The journal's definition of personality is quite broad, including identity, attachment, and anything related to individual differences.
Another highlight for me was President Dolores Albarracin's review of the SPSP Governance Survey. This is a survey of Board members and volunteers who serve on the important committees within SPSP. We all know that academics can be a harried and stressed-out group; certainly everyone knows that committee work is truly the worst. Yet, 80% of respondents to the Governance Survey found their volunteer work with SPSP to be "a satisfying experience" (compared to 72% in 2021). In addition, 77% viewed their committees as "effective." If you have considered getting involved in SPSP as a volunteer but haven't done so, or even if you have not considered it, you might be interested in some of the comments from our volunteers, describing the best parts of their service to SPSP:
"Being part of an organization, in a deeper way, that has been at the center of my professional experience in academia contributing to our central mission as scientists"
"I am truly appreciative of SPSP for recognizing that the needs of faculty at PUIs differ from those at R1, and for the past few years it's been clear that SPSP values us now. I am proud to be a part of the support system for PUI faculty"
"I value the opportunity to be involved with scholars in my field, the possibility to network with others and just making an overall difference. It's clear that what I do makes an impact and SPSP strives to be better."
In her Director's Report, Rachel Puffer described a number of terrific initiatives, including the launch of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review (PSPR) pilot Editorial Fellowship Program. As part of Editor Jonathan Adler's truly visionary approach to PSPR, the pilot focuses on scholars in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, as well as Indigenous scholars in any country. The first fellow (selected by the PSPR senior editorial team) is Dr. Stephen Baffour Adjei, a Senior Lecturer at Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) in Kumasi, Ghana. Learn more about Dr. Adjei in this announcement on the SPSP website. This program is a tremendous and innovative way to create a truly global science of human behavior.
Two additional aspects of the agenda reflected the growth of SPSP on the world stage: First, the Society has implemented new membership and registration rates for those in low- and middle-income countries. Secondly, International Committee Co-Chair Amber Gayle Thalmayer (International Committee Co-Chair) and Rakoen Martens presented information regarding SPSP's UN Consultative status. Yes, SPSP has consultative status with the United Nations. Stay tuned for opportunities in this regard!
The Board also reviewed the current budget. Although the budget shortfalls are not as bad as last year, we have not recovered from the effects of the pandemic. Moreover, our royalties from SPSP journals continue to lag compared to previous years. These are difficult financial times for the Society and we are striving mightily to advance programs that our members value while cutting costs as much as possible. Please keep these issues in mind when you register for the conference or update your membership. Why not consider donating to SPSP, to support the programs that have become an important part of the development of our early career members?
As always, we welcome feedback and suggestions from our members. SPSP governance exists to serve SPSP members, and we seek ways to improve the range and quality of our programming and outreach.