Independent Review

Students have asked for responses to the Independent Review (the “Hoffman Report”). The Review describes an upsetting period of APA’s history concerning ethics and national security. APAGS committtee and staff have assembled a list of things that students have asked for, and our best responses at the moment. Please know that this page will be updated regularly as more requests are answered and as new information and resources become available.  Please be sure to also stay up to date by subscribing to our blog and watching this category of blog posts: This page was last updated on 4/16/2016.

You asked for it:

This is the latest:

The full text of the independent review (the Hoffman report) and all the written evidence that the independent investigator used to reach his conclusions
  • Full report homepage, containing: electronic binders of information used in the investigation, ongoing responses and policy changes from APA, and recommendations of the Board of Directors
Removal, resignations, or retirements of key staff named in the report
A specific apology from APA A letter to members from APA’s Past President and President Elect. Apologies are made for:

  • “Secret coordination between several APA leaders and the Department of Defense.”
  • “Lack of a clear and consistent anti-torture stance.”
  • “Limited guidance for military psychologists in the field”
  • “A failure to uphold an appropriate conflict-of-interest policy with regard to the PENS Task Force on military interrogation.”
  • “A lack of appropriate checks and balances that could have revealed these significant problems.”
  • “The fact that some APA members and other critics were privately and publicly discounted for raising concerns.”
Responses from APAGS leadership about the report and ongoing communication to the graduate student community   From (tagged Hoffman-Report)

  • My Journey Through Outrage (8/20/15)
  • Hoffman Report: Two More Resources and a Request (8/1/15)
  • A Personal Letter to Students from your Chair (7/17/15)
  • A Message from your APAGS Leadership in Response to the Hoffman Report (7/15/15)

An email to the student community from APAGS chair Emily Voelkel (7/30/15)

Reactions from APA and APAGS members
Policy changes from APA that address torture and psychologist involvement in interrogations
APA positions on ethics and interrogation
Comments about the Hoffman investigation from thought leaders and constituency groups (we’ll post them, with permission, as we receive them)
A grassroots movement of students working to advance social justice and high ethical standards Graduate Students Talk

  • This movement is not affiliated with, but is populated by some members of APAGS.
  • The group is organizing a specific “Do No Harm” campaign.
Ways to give back by helping victims of torture
Transparency about APA and APAGS
  • In Feb. 2016, APAGS released a webpage for materials such as our agendas, minutes, operating procedures, election and appointment rules, and so forth.
  • APA’s financial statements include IRS Form 990, which discloses overall finances of APA as well as top salaries of staff, and audited financial statements.
  • APA’s full list of actions as of 3/17/2016 in response to the Independent Review.

Stay tuned…

You also asked for these items, and APAGS will work on them or advocate with others for them where appropriate, following careful consideration and discussion over the coming weeks and months:

  • Accountability: Develop a watchdog committee within APA to audit governance; develop a system of checks and balances.
  • Transparency of actions by staff and governance, and a declaration of conflicts of interest for staff and governance.
  • Strengthen and enhance ethics training for students in light of the investigation
  • Emphasize the centrality of social justice in our work as a profession and association.
  • Reconciliation, reparations, and/or restorative justice for affected torture victims.

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