CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
REVISED APRIL 2004
MASSACHUSETTS PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE
1. The name of the organization shall be the Massachusetts Psychological
2. The purpose of this Association shall be to advance psychology as
a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare
by all means compatible within the provisions of Chapter 180 of the General
Laws of Massachusetts.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
1. There shall be four classes of members in this Association: Fellows,
Members, Students, and Life Members.
2. Members of this Association shall either; hold an earned doctorate
(or equivalent) degree in psychology from a regionally accredited university
or college, or shall have been granted a license from the Massachusetts
Board of Registration of Psychologists, or shall hold a current, valid
full membership to the American Psychological Association. All accompanied
by a signed ethics declaration that the applicant is not under ethics
In addition, a category of “Academic Member” shall be identified.
To be eligible to become an “Academic Member”, an individual shall
meet the requirements for “member” as stated above and in addition
must meet the following requirements;
a) Said individual does not engage in the applied practice of psychology
for remuneration, and;
b) Said individual is primarily employed as an undergraduate educator
in the field of psychology; or
c) Said individual is primarily employed as an educator in a graduate
psychology program which does not prepare students for applied professional
psychological practice, such as a program whose primary purpose is to
prepare students to teach psychology or to engage in psychological research.
Examples of programs which prepare students for applied professional
psychological practice include, but are not limited to, clinical, counseling,
industrial/organizational or school psychology programs.
3. Fellows of this Association shall have satisfied the requirements
for member (in Article II section 2), and shall have had four full years
of progressively responsible experience in teaching or in the professional
practice of psychology after attaining the doctorate and shall have attained
recognized standing in the field of psychology as demonstrated by such
activities as advocacy for psychology, professional publications, professional
contributions to the field of psychology, etc. Attainment of Fellow status
in the American Psychological Association may be used to demonstrate
qualifications for Fellow status.
4. Life Member status in this Association may be applied for by Fellows,
or Members who have reached the age of sixty-five and have been members
of this Association for at least fifteen years immediately preceding
the application for life membership status. Life Members shall enjoy
all the privileges of their previous membership category but shall be
exempt from dues. They shall however be subject to a service fee as determined
by the Board of Directors.
5. Student Members of this Association shall be students, who are enrolled,
in a doctoral program in psychology in a regionally accredited university,
college or professional school. Student membership may also be extended
to graduates during their post-doctorate experience year prior to licensure
as a psychologist. Student members may not vote or hold office in the
Association except for one elected student position on the Board of Directors.
Upon completion of the degree or completion of a post doctoral training
sequence the student member shall inform the association and will be
automatically promoted to member status.
Applicants for Student Member status must be endorsed by a faculty member
of the applicant’s Department or field of concentration or by one
member of the Association who can attest to the applicant’s student
status. Student status is not available to licensed psychologists.
6. Applications for any class of membership, or for promotion from one
class to another, including Life Member shall be submitted in writing
to the Chairperson of the Membership Committee, and referred to the
Membership Committee. Upon recommendation of the membership committee
and a majority vote of the Board of Directors the applicant shall be
elected to the appropriate membership category in the association
7. Upon recommendation of the Membership Committee the requirements
for any class of membership may be waived in whole or in part in the
case of an applicant of demonstrated eminence in psychology or related
8. A former member who resigned while in good standing may apply for
reinstatement by writing to the Chairperson of the Membership Committee,
and may be reinstated by a vote of the Board of Directors.
9. A member [Fellows, Members, Academic Members, Life Members, Student
Members] may be expelled from membership or otherwise disciplined for
conduct that violates the code of ethics of the Association, which tends
to injure the Association or to affect adversely its reputation, or is
contrary to or destructive of its objectives. Allegations of such conduct
shall be submitted in writing to the Ethics Committee which shall investigate
allegations of unethical conduct on the part of any member, and shall
determine whether the matter shall be dismissed or otherwise disposed
of within the Ethics Committee or whether formal charges shall be filed
with the Board of Directors
If the Ethics Committee votes to file any formal charges, the member
shall have the right to a hearing on the charges before the Hearing Committee,
no member of which shall be a member of the Ethics Committee, or have
had prior connection to the case. In connection with the hearing, the
member shall have the right to counsel, full opportunity to refute charges,
the right to present witnesses and documents and the right to cross-examine
any witnesses presented by the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee
shall have the burden to establish the charges by a preponderance of
If the Hearing Committee recommends that the member be expelled or otherwise
disciplined, or that the member be permitted to resign, the matter shall
be referred to the Board of Directors. The member shall be entitled to
file a written statement with the Board of Directors, and if he/she does
so, the Ethics Committee may file a responsive statement. After consideration
of the record and the recommendation of the Hearing Committee and any
such statement that may be filed, the Board of Directors shall adopt
the recommendation of the Hearing Committee unless [a] the Ethical Principles
of the Association have been incorrectly applied, [b] the findings of
fact of the Hearing Committee were clearly erroneous, [c] the procedures
followed were in serious and substantial violation of the By-Laws of
the Association, or [d] the disciplinary sanctions recommended by the
Hearing Committee were grossly disproportional in the light of the evidence
and the charge. If, within thirty days, the member does not request a
hearing before a Hearing Committee, the matter shall be referred to the
Board of Directors and the recommendations of the Ethics Committee shall
be treated as the recommendation of the Hearing Committee. The Board
of Directors shall render its decision within sixty days after receipt
of the recommendation of the Hearing Committee.
The Board of Directors shall inform the member and the complainant of
its final action, and it shall report in confidence to the membership
the names of members who have been expelled and the ethical principles
involved. When the Board of Directors deems it necessary to maintain
the standards of the Association, or to protect the public, it shall
also notify the American Psychological Association, the American Board
of Professional Psychology, state or local licensing boards, other professional
associations, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
and the Council of the National Register of Health Service Providers
in Psychology or other appropriate parties of its final action.
A member who has been expelled under the conditions described in this
section may reapply for membership after five years have elapsed from
the date of termination of his/her membership. Members who have been
permitted to resign under the conditions described in this section may
reapply after three years have elapsed from the date of termination.
However, applications for readmission by members who have resigned under
a stipulated agreement shall be considered only after the period of time
specified in the agreement has elapsed. In all cases, the member must
show that he/she is ethically as well as technically qualified for membership.
Reapplication shall be considered first by the Ethics Committee, which
shall make recommendation to the Membership Committee.
Only the Board of Directors may accept resignations of members. Termination
of membership, either through submitted resignation or through dropping
from membership for non-payment of dues of a member, whose conduct is
under investigation by the Ethics Committee, will be deferred until the
complaint is resolved. Any such member failing to cooperate fully with
the Ethics Committee will be suspended until the case is resolved; or
alternatively, with the recommendation of the Ethics Committee, the proposed
termination will be completed with the recognition that the case remains
unresolved and with the stipulation that the inquiry may be reopened
if the member should reapply for membership and that communication of
this disposition will be made to the complainant, all MPA members, the
Board of Registration of Psychologists, and other individuals and professional
bodies, as appropriate.
Upon show of cause members of MPA may have their membership in MPA suspended
by the Ethics Committee. Suspension refers to the temporary abrogation
of the rights and privileges of membership in MPA. A member under suspension
- Hold voting privileges in MPA;
- Be a candidate for elected office in the Association;
- Utilize any service or participate in any Board or committee of MPA.
Members under suspension shall:
- Be notified at the time of suspension of the terms of the suspension
and/or conditions for reevaluation of the suspension;
- Be responsible for paying MPA dues during the term of suspension;
- Receive communications sent to the general MPA membership.
Upon completion of the term of suspension, if no motion for expulsion
is enacted, the member shall be reinstated to the membership category
held prior to the suspension.
Notwithstanding the provisions of these By-Laws, where it is shown to
the Ethics Committee that any member of the Association has been convicted
of a felony [and such member shall have no further right to appeal from
such conviction], or where any member of the Association has been expelled
or suspended from the American Psychological Association, or decertified
or unlicensed or had a certificate or license suspended by a state or
local board, the Ethics Committee, after review of the record leading
to such a conviction, expulsion, suspension, decertification, or loss
of license, shall immediately suspend the membership of such member.
Such action will be taken by the Ethics Committee in cases where it appears
necessary for the protection of the public or to maintain the standards
of the Association. Upon his/her response to the requirement to show
good cause, or upon expiration of 60 days if no response is made, the
Ethics Committee shall recommend to the Board of Directors whether the
member shall be expelled from membership in the Association. The Board
of Directors may, after a review of the entire record, expel the member
or administer a lesser sanction.
ARTICLE III – BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. The Board of Directors shall be composed of: a) six members at-large,
b) five regional members elected by the members in their region, c) the
Officers of this Association as directors d) one student member elected
by the student committee and e) The American Psychological Association
(APA) Council Representative (s). The Executive Director and other staff
that she/he deems appropriate shall attend meetings of the Board of Directors
as non-voting ex officio members.
2. Each year the members shall elect one or two Officers, two Directors
at-large, and one or two regional representatives who shall assume office
on July 1 and who shall serve for a term of three years or until a successor
shall have been duly elected.
Upon adoption of these bylaw revisions shorter or longer terms of office
may be designated to accomplish staggered terms of office in the interest
of electing approximately an equal number of board members for each election
3. A Director elected specifically to this office who completes his
or her term shall not be eligible to hold the same office within a period
of one year but may stand for election as to a different Board position.
APA Council Representatives hold office according to APA rules.
4. A Director who fails to attend three consecutive scheduled meetings
of the Board of Directors automatically shall be considered to have resigned.
This provision may be waived at the discretion of the President
5. The Board of Directors shall conduct, in conformity with the Certificate
of Incorporation and these By-Laws, the affairs of the Association as
- The Board shall have the responsibility to set policy for the association.
- The Board shall have the responsibility to set the budget to thus
authorize the expenditure of money.
- The Board shall have the power to authorize the President to establish
committees to carry out the purposes of the Association.
- The Board shall have the power to fill vacancies in its own body
for the remainder of the term.
- The Board shall have the power to make and amend rules for its own
procedures. It shall keep a record of such rules.
- The Board shall have the power to fix the time and place of Annual
Meetings and other business meetings of the Association.
- The Board shall take such steps as may be necessary to carry out
any program or function determined by vote of the members and not otherwise
6. A simple majority of the B/D shall constitute a quorum for the transaction
of its business.
ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS
1. The officers of this Association shall be a President, a President-Elect
or the Past President [in alternate years], a Secretary, a Treasurer,
and one or more Representatives to the American Psychological Association
Council of Representatives as this Association is entitled to elect.
2. The President shall be elected by ballot of the members and shall
hold office for one year as President-Elect before assuming office of
President for two years. Following his/her Presidential term in office,
the President shall remain in office for one year as Past-President.
The Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected by ballot of the members
and shall hold office for three years. All officers, other than the APA
Council Representative[s] shall assume office on July 1 in the year of
3. The APA Council Representative[s] shall be elected in a special election
conducted by t he APA according to its rules.
4. The Officers shall have the powers and perform the duties customarily
belonging to their respective office and especially;
- The President shall preside at all meetings, appoint committee chairs,
and exercise supervision over the affairs of the Association.
- The President-Elect or Past-President shall perform the duties of
the President in the absence or incapacity of the President. He or she
shall perform such other functions as are delegated to him or her by
- The Secretary shall keep records of all meetings of the Association
and shall serve as chair of the membership committee.
- The Treasurer shall have oversight over the collection of dues of
the Association, the custody of the funds of the Association, expenditures
as may be authorized by the Board of Directors, and the record of all
money received and expended.
- The Massachusetts Representative[s] to the Council of Representatives
of the American Psychological Association shall attend the meetings of
the APA Council, participate in its proceedings, represent the interests
of the Massachusetts Psychological Association, and report the proceedings
and activities of the Council to the Association.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND DIVISIONS
1. There shall be a Membership Committee chaired by the Secretary. The
Secretary with the approval of the Board shall appoint the members of
the Committee annually. This Committee shall receive applications for
membership, promotion, reinstatement, and resignation, as well as examine
the credentials of applicants and make recommendations to the Board of
Directors at the Board Meeting at which the election vote will take place.
This Committee will also recommend policies to the Board of Directors
with regard to membership concerns and identify to he Board those members
to be dropped for non-payment of dues.
2. There shall be a Nominating Committee appointed by the President
with the approval of the Board. This Committee shall make known to the
members by ballot, a slate of no more than two eligible and willing nominees
for each office falling vacant through expiration of its term. Nominees
for President and APA Council Representative[s] shall have served a prior
term as an Officer or Director. The slate shall be drawn from a solicitation
of nominees from the membership, self-nominations are accepted. The nominating
committee may solicit nominees if none come from the membership.
3. There shall be an Ethics Committee of no fewer than five members appointed
by the board with input from the Ethics Committee. The term of office
for each committee member shall be five years; the terms shall be staggered,
and the committee shall elect the Chair annually. The composition of
the committee shall represent the range of interests characteristic of
psychology in all aspects with due regard for the makeup of the Association’s
membership and the types of complaints most frequently encountered. The
Ethics Committee shall notify the MPA membership and hold an open solicitation
for nominees to fill its vacancies. It shall be the duty of this committee
to receive and investigate complaints of unethical conduct of members,
to endeavor to resolve cases privately, to educate and rehabilitate violators
of the code of ethics, and to give advice to members when requested.
The Committee shall adopt Rules and Procedures, which will be reviewed
periodically by the Board in consultation with the membership. The code
of ethics of the Association shall consist of the Ethical Principles
of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, as adopted and amended by the Council
of Representatives of the American Psychological Association and any
additional provisions adopted by the Massachusetts Psychological Association.
The work of the Ethics Committee, including information and recommendation
on all cases before it shall be kept confidential except that it may
disclose such information when compelled by a court order enforcing a
validly issued subpoena or when otherwise required by law. Additionally,
in cases which have resulted in a member’s probation, suspension,
or stipulated resignation, the Committee may communicate these actions
to members, committees, and divisions of the Association, legal counsel
of the Association, and those organizations and parties specified in
Article II, Section 9, paragraph 4 the Committee shall deem necessary
in order to protect the public or maintain the standards of the Association.
In addition, the Committee shall disclose information to those organizations
specified in Article II, Section 9, paragraph 4, that an individual is
under ethical investigation is deemed to be threats to the public welfare,
as determined by two-thirds of the Committee, and only when to do so
before final adjudication appears necessary to protect the public.
The Committee shall also inform the complainant and the complainee of
its action when the matter is resolved within the Committee, including
the Principle[s] violated, should there be any, and the rationale for
its actions. Such parties as have been informed of the complaint shall
receive notification of final disposition of the case.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the Ethics Committee
from communicating with the complainant, witnesses, or other sources
of information necessary to enable the committee to carry out its investigatory
4. Other Committees, interest groups, task forces and ad hoc committees
may be created by the Board of Directors and if appropriate subsequently
discontinued by the Board of Directors to facilitate the goals and objectives
of the Association. .
5. Divisions may be created within the Association in order to provide
for specific advancement of activities and programs not applicable to
the membership as a whole. The purposes of Divisions shall be to advance
psychology as a science, profession, or means of promoting human welfare.
Divisions may be established within the Association upon recommendation
of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of the members present
and voting at any Business or Annual Meeting of the Association. A Division
may likewise be dissolved upon recommendation of the Board of Directors
and a majority vote of the members present and voting at any Business
or Annual Meeting of the Association.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS
1. An Annual Meeting of the members for the purpose of transacting the
business of the Association, shall be held during the spring at such
time and place in the Commonwealth as may be determined by the Board.
2. Additional meetings of the members to transact the business of the
Association may be called at any time on request of the President or
the Board of Directors or on request of any 5 percent of the membership
of the Association.
3. Notices of the Annual Meeting and other business meetings shall be
conveyed to the membership by the Secretary to the members at least three
weeks before the date of the meeting and shall specify the principal
business to be transacted.
4. The conduct of the Annual meeting and all other meetings of the Association
shall be in accordance with Keasey’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure.
Voting may be either by mail, by written ballot, e-mail vote or by voice
vote of the members present at any meeting.
ARTICLE VII – QUORUM
1. At any business meeting of the Association, other than Board of Directors
meetings, the members in good standing who are present shall constitute
a quorum for the transaction of business appearing on the previously
sent written agenda and which shall be sent to the membership at least
three weeks before the date of the meeting.
2. For the transaction of all other business not appearing on the previously
distributed agenda 5 percent of the members in good standing at the time
of the meeting must be present to constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VIII – DUES
1. Annual dues of members of the Association shall be set by a majority
vote of the members present and voting at any Annual Meeting and shall
be due and payable when rendered. However, adjustments for inflation
as determined by and not to exceed the increase in the CPI (consumer
price index) may be implemented through a vote of the Board of Directors.
Members who neither live nor work in Massachusetts may pay reduced dues
as determined by the Board of Directors.
2. Non-payment of dues delinquent for one year is considered equivalent
to withdrawal from the Association. A loss of member benefits may accrue
any time after the third billing at the discretion of the Board. Reinstatement
of members dropped for non-payment of dues or those who resigned owing
dues shall be by a vote of the Board of Directors on payment of any
and all outstanding dues or moneys owed to the Association. The Board
of Directors may at its discretion authorize staff to waive dues or
set limits on dues recoupment for individual special cases.
3. When a new Division is established the Board of Directors will set
the dues for its operation.
ARTICLE IX – AFFILIATE RELATIONSHIPS
1. Other organizations whose general purposes fall within the scope
of Article I section 2 of these By-Laws may become affiliated with the
Association in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. Affiliated organizations shall be psychological in nature and may
represent groups of people such as students of psychology, a substantial
portion of whom are not eligible for membership in the Association. Such
organizations shall not limit their membership on other than academic,
scientific, professional or geographic grounds. It shall be made clear
that membership in an affiliated organization does not imply membership
in the Association and that the Association assumes no legal responsibility
for the affiliated organization and assumes no responsibilities for the
administrative, financial or professional affairs of the affiliated organizations.
3. The Board shall determine what privileges of the Association may
be granted to organizations which affiliate with the Association under
provisions of this Article.
4. The Board will establish a committee to review all applications for
affiliate status. An organization shall be granted affiliate status by
a two-thirds vote of the Board.
5. In the event that the Board believes that the affiliation of an organization
under this Article is no longer in the best interest of the Association,
the principal officers of that organization shall be so notified, and
thereafter the affiliation may be terminated by a two-thirds vote of
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
1. Amendments to these Constitution and By-Laws may be proposed by the
Board of Directors or by petition of five percent of the members of the
Association. Such petitions shall be submitted in writing to the Secretary.
2. Proposed amendments shall be voted upon by ballot. Proposed amendments
shall be submitted in writing or electronically by the Secretary to the
members of the Association. A four-week interval shall be allowed for
the return of ballots. An affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of
the members voting shall be required for passage of an amendment.