‘The ACLP Board has decided that our venue selection process must be apolitical’
Dear Academy colleagues,
In the last few years, during a period of increasingly heightened political tensions (and with, sadly, little expectation of it lessening), the ACLP Board has been challenged, typically for political reasons, on our selection of locations for our annual meetings. I’m writing to explain the Board’s thinking behind our selection process.
By necessity, we prioritize the operational, logistical, and financial requirements of the meeting, and the corresponding value members get from attending. These factors, adopted by staff in their search, are fundamental to contracting with a cost-effective venue that has adequate travel links sufficient to draw members nationally. As our primary vehicle for delivering education and networking for our members, it is mission-critical, the Board believes, that the annual meeting succeeds on these terms.
The Board decided some years back that the venue selection should not become an expression of any one political persuasion, nor a tool to express the virtues of one side of a political argument over another. We endeavor to be apolitical while holding close the values and common decency that underpin our role as health care professionals; we endeavor to be apolitical if we are to succeed in creating a safe and inclusive environment that brings all our members together around C-L Psychiatry.
However, there are also practical reasons:
It is for these reasons that the ACLP Board has decided that our venue selection process must be apolitical, and we must avoid political views from influencing what should be a practical business decision. I hope and trust you will understand the Board’s position. Of course, the Board and I are open to hearing your thoughts.
Phil Bialer, MD, FACLP