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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
September 2004 Vol 10 Issue 6

The Future ACNP

The ACNP Council and a group of senior College members held a Strategic Planning Session in Washington DC on June 12 & 13, 2004. Kermit Eide, Principal Partner of Tecker Consultants, LLC, facilitated the session. This planning initiative is intended as the start of an ongoing process of strategic thinking on the part of the ACNP leadership. Hopefully, this will result in a clear focus for the College, a set of important goals and objectives that accurately reflect the desires of the membership, and an efficient system of governance and management that will accomplish those goals and objectives.

Following the June planning session, an electronic survey was sent to all ACNP members to solicit their input on the themes and issues identified during the first planning session. The results of that survey are available in the members only section of the ACNP Website (www.acnp.org). We encourage you to go there and review the survey results and comments.

A second planning session was held in Chicago on August 3, 2004. The membership survey results, along with other background material, provided new information for this next step in the planning process. The following draft plan is the result of that session.

Council is currently organizing a focus group of randomly selected members to review this draft plan in detail. Following that review, a final draft will be forwarded to the membership. Comments and suggestions from members are welcome now or after receiving the final draft of the plan. Members may send comments to acnp@acnp.org. Please put strategic plan in the subject line. In addition, a town hall style question and answer session will be available for members during the Annual Meeting.

Continuity of Purpose and Values

The ACNP's Core Ideology is meant to describe our identity in a way that transcends all changes related to the relevant environment of the College. Core ideology consists of two notions: Core Purpose - the organization's reason for being - and Core Values - essential and enduring principles that guide an organization, its behaviors and actions.

The planning group concluded that the core purpose of ACNP is “to facilitate scientific communication about, and understanding of disorders of the brain and behavior to advance their prevention and treatment.” This wording was revised based on comments from the earlier member survey. Key points in this statement include:

  • The core role of ACNP is facilitation of communication and understanding;
  • The ultimate goal is to advance prevention and treatment of disorders of the brain and behavior.

The planning group identified the following core values as the guiding principles of the College. The goal of the ACNP, its members, and its leadership is to act consistently with these principles:

•  Integrity - Individual members and the College as an organization strive to operate at the highest level of integrity.

•  Openness - Both in the exchange of scientific information and in communication between leadership and membership related to governance.

•  Commitment to clinical/basic exchange, public health relevance, and education

•  Excellence - Members are committed to scientific excellence and critical judgment; mentorship and recruitment of the best.

•  Collegiality - College members are participatory, friendly and constructive in their interactions within the College.

Envisioned Future

This Envisioned Future for the ACNP conveys a concrete, but yet unrealized, vision. It consists of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a description of what it will be like to achieve that goal - i.e., a description of what success will look like.

The planning group proposes that the audacious goal is "to be the preeminent organization for scientific knowledge on the causes and treatment of disorders of the brain and behavior."

What would that entail? How will we know we are making significant progress toward achieving the goal? When the following statements are true:

    • The ACNP annual meeting is the best meeting of its kind in the world.

    • Members of the ACNP are making major contributions toward the discovery of the causes and improved treatments for emotional and cognitive disorders.

    • Members of the ACNP, through their scientific discoveries, are profoundly changing the view of society about mental disorders.

    • Policymakers, consumers, and the public at large view the ACNP as a primary source of highly valued, objective, and credible scientific information.

    • As a result of the policies and principles of the ACNP, the public is confident in the validity of clinical research in our field.

    • Members and those who aspire to membership view the ACNP as the most important organization for their career advancement.

    • The ACNP has established a model financial and scientific partnership with industry based on mutual scientific goals.

    • The ACNP is a catalyst for industry, government and academia to work collaboratively to advance discovery.

Short Term Goals

The planning group has identified six goals they suggest ACNP use to focus its strategies and actions. These goals will be reviewed annually, but are likely to remain relevant for 3-5 years. Specific objectives (measures of success) and strategies have been developed for each of these draft goals.

GOAL 1: ANNUAL MEETING

The Annual Meeting will be consistently acknowledged as a spectacular meeting (the best meeting of its kind in the world).

GOAL 2: CREDIBLE SOURCE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

Policymakers, consumers, and the public at large will view the ACNP as a primary source of highly valued, objective, and credible scientific information.

GOAL 3: NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH INDUSTRY

ACNP will establish a new financial and scientific partnership with industry that will be based on mutual scientific goals.

GOAL 4: INFLUENCE ON EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT

Selected issues of importance to the ACNP and its members (public policy, regulatory, treatment/prevention issues, etc.) will be shaped and influenced through the multi-faceted efforts of the College and its partners.

GOAL 5: MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL

The membership of the College will include the 'best' and most respected scientists in the field of emotional, cognitive and addictive brain disorders.

GOAL 6: ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS

The organizational structures and mechanisms of the College will be effective and contribute to achievement of the vision and goals.

This is an ambitious plan. To accomplish its goals will require that Council spend its time wisely, to maintain its focus on strategic thinking and planning, and to more effectively delegate responsibilities to our various committees and task forces. Council is committed to do this. For those who are serving on ACNP committees this plan may mean that you will be asked to make a larger, but a more meaningful contribution to the College through your committee work. We believe that ACNP members will find that to be a rewarding and a refreshing challenge.

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Upcoming Meetings

17th ECNP Congress
October 9-13, 2004
Stockholm, Sweden
For meeting information, go to www.ecnp.nl

ICGP 4th Annual Meeting
October 14-17, 2004
Basel, Switzerland
For meeting information, go to www.icgp.org

ACNP 43rd Annual Meeting
December 12-16, 2004
San Juan, Puerto Rico

ADAA 25th Annual Conference
March 17-20, 2005
Seattle, WA
For meeting and award information, go to www.adaa.org .

CCNP 28th Annual Meeting
July 2-5, 2005
St. John's, Newfoundland, CANADA
For meeting and award information, go to www.ccnp.ca .

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Important Dates

The Annual Meeting registration packet was mailed to the membership in mid-June. If you haven't already completed your meeting registration and hotel forms, do it soon. The deadline for early registration is NOVEMBER 19th . The deadline for reserving a room at the convention rate is NOVEMBER 5th.

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