In January, the Institute board approved governance changes that empower the Institute president, dean and a new Faculty Senate to lead the organization more effectively.

“By approving the Organizational Effectiveness Task Force’s recommendations, we have ensured our governance structure is as contemporary as the Institute’s psychoanalytic mission and practice,” said Board Chair Robert Graham.

In fall 2017, the board created the Organizational Effectiveness Task Force, led by Vice Chair Stephen Berger.  Task Force and board members were most concerned to maintain educational excellence and develop collaborative plans with the faculty to enhance existing programs as well as to reorganize the governance of the Institute consistent with that goal and  modern practices.

They cited as one positive example the new partnership with the Institute for Clinical Social Work to open up degree possibilities for Institute students and welcome ICSW students to Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute programs.  To meet the organization’s needs they approved several changes, including:

  • President: The board approved expanding the president position from half- to nearly full-time. This will allow President Erika Schmidt additional time to lead the activities of the Institute, including fundraising.
  • Faculty Senate: The board also created a new body of seven faculty members plus the dean to consult with and advise the president, dean and board. Faculty members will serve staggered two-year terms; the dean will be a non-voting member. In an election concluded February 25, the faculty elected Laura Esikoff, MA, Steven Flagel, MD, Charles Jaffe, MD, Ann Kaplan, PhD, Mark Levey, MD, Kate Schechter, PhD and Molly Witten, PhD as the first members of the new faculty senate.
  • Dean and Academic Committees: The dean will be responsible for selecting faculty committee chairs, who will organize their respective committees.
  • Search Committees: The board also provided for creation of search committees, comprised jointly of both faculty and board members, to lead the search for candidates to fill future openings in the president and dean positions.

President Erika Schmidt thanked board and faculty members for their leadership: “I’m grateful to our board and faculty for the effort they invested in the Institute’s long-term viability with our re-branding and recent governance changes,” she said. “Future therapists and their patients, the Chicago region, and our discipline will all benefit from their work.”