No professional organization's history can be encompassed in one telling. There is no way to give each year its allotted weight, to include each event, each person who helped to shape its development. What can be done is to be faithful in spirit to the record and try to find one's way to the heart of the organization.

Adapted from Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi.

Introduction

Neuropsychologists are very familiar with the reasons why it is important to study history. The study of history is important for organizations as well as individuals. Preservation and understanding of an organization's history facilitates a deeper appreciation of where the organization has come from, including some of those who played key roles in its development, and helps current and future leaders learn what went well and what mistakes were made so that the organization can prosper in the future.

As I prepared to become the 30th president of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) in 2010, the organization's 35th year of existence, I thought the timing was good for delving into NAN's early years and subsequent development, building upon the earlier and briefer descriptions of NAN's history. My goals were simple: To learn about NAN's history for my own interest, share what I learned with others, and preserve and memorialize NAN's history for those who may be interested in learning more about the organization in the future. It is hoped that the information obtained from the past presidents and others can help future leaders of the organization to ensure NAN's continued success.

Methods

Learn every day, but especially from the experiences of others. It's cheaper!

John Clifton Bogle (1929–)

Gathering Information

When I became president-elect of NAN in January 2009 and decided to pursue a history of the organization, it was immediately apparent that the project would take a considerable amount of time and effort and that I needed to begin before becoming president. As a result, I began compiling previously published materials and reaching out to the past presidents in 2009. I sent an initial email to the past president's listserv, introducing the idea and asking for their assistance. The reactions that I received regarding idea were very positive and encouraging, and I began scheduling in-person and telephone meetings with the past presidents. Some past presidents sent written summaries of their experiences in addition to, or instead of, providing information verbally. Larry Hartlage provided additional materials, such as brochures and minutes from early conferences and meetings, original seals of the organization, and copies of the first newsletter and other publications. Table 1 lists the procedures that were used to gather background information on the organization.

Table 1.

Procedures used to gather background information

Read previously published documents on the history of NAN and neuropsychology 
Interviewed past presidents 
Interviewed other involved parties 
Read Board meeting minutes 1988, 1993–2010 
Read NAN Bulletin from 1987, 1996, 1999–2010 
Read nonpublished materials sent by past presidents and others 
Read information on the NAN website 
Read previously published documents on the history of NAN and neuropsychology 
Interviewed past presidents 
Interviewed other involved parties 
Read Board meeting minutes 1988, 1993–2010 
Read NAN Bulletin from 1987, 1996, 1999–2010 
Read nonpublished materials sent by past presidents and others 
Read information on the NAN website 

Note: NAN = National Academy of Neuropsychology.

The plan was to interview the past presidents in chronological order, with some flexibility based on scheduling and logistical needs. Cecil Reynolds was the first past president to be interviewed, and we met at the Sheraton Hotel during the 2009 conference in New Orleans, LA, USA. The final interview was of Barbara Uzzell, and we met in the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver, BC, Canada, just hours before my presidential address on October 14, 2010. I was specifically interested in asking about three topics: (1) accomplishments while president, (2) challenges while president, and (3) recommendations for future NAN leaders. I also welcomed any additional memories or thoughts about the organization and neuropsychology. In addition to discussions about NAN, conversations ranged widely and involved some important questions of the day, such as: (1) Can our profession thrive with more than one board certifying organization? (2) Is forensic work helpful to our profession or is it ripping it apart? (3) What is a hubcap diamond star halo (from the 1971 T-Rex song “Bang a Gong [Get it On]”)? It was an honor and a pleasure to speak with such distinguished colleagues and (generally speaking) nice people.

As expected, memories fade and blend over time. Separating what happened during a presidential year 20 or so years ago from what occurred while serving on the Board of Directors for 5 or more years surrounding the presidential year can be very difficult or impossible. As a result, some of the information provided covers the past president's overall experiences while on the Board, rather than just the term as president. Additionally, what one past president considered important may differ from what is noteworthy to another. As Wedding, Franzen, and Hartlage (1987) stated, “It is well recognized that a knowledge of the history of behavioral neurology and neuropsychology is important for making future progress (Prigitano [sic], 1985). What is not so well recognized is that what constitutes a history may represent hypotheses concerning what is relevant rather than an unequivocal chronical [sic] of events and individuals” (p. 6).

Organizing the Information

I found that I needed some structure to help organize the historical information, so I turned to group development theory (Arrow, 1997; Brabender & Fallon, 1993, 2009; Kerr, 1981; Lichtenberg & Knox, 1991; Quey, 1971; Sundstrom De Meuse & Futrell, 1990; Tuckman, 1965; Tuckman & Jensen, 1977; Yalom, 1985). Tuckman (1965), having reviewed 50 articles on group development, proposed that therapy groups progress through a series of stages as they develop. The stages have been labeled Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Tuckman contended that these phases, which overlap, are all necessary and inevitable if the group is to grow, confront challenges, find solutions, work together, and achieved desired outcomes. Adjourning has also been described as the final stage of the group development process.

I borrowed this model from group therapy and applied it to the history of NAN because I thought it nicely captured the nature of the organization's development as I understood it. It is important to consider that whereas some groups are considered closed groups that do not allow members to rotate in and out, NAN leadership is considered an open group that undergoes a transition each year, with some Board members ending their terms and rotating off the Board and other members beginning their terms and rotating on. Open groups such as this are constantly re-experiencing some of the early stages of the development process, in NAN's case at the Board level, while the organization as a whole gradually progresses. Therefore, as the history of NAN is presented according to this group development framework, it is important to consider that the substantial overlap and re-experiencing of developmental traits in the context of changing personalities necessitates flexible application of the model.

Forming

The early years of NAN span from 1975 to approximately 1985, with the idea for a professional organization devoted to the interests of practicing neuropsychologists germinating during the early 1970s. The International Neuropsychological Society (INS) had been founded in 1967 (Boake & Bieliauskas, 2007; Rourke & Murji, 2000), with approximately equal numbers of psychologists and physicians, and the psychologists as a group had more of a physiological than clinical background and focus (seeLamberty and Nelson, in press, for additional review of the history of neuropsychological professional organizations, with a focus on credentialing). INS made very little progress as an organization until Arthur Benton became president in 1972 (Meier, 1992). The INS leadership ultimately determined that the organization would have a research (vs. applied) focus, be international in scope, and be interdisciplinary in its composition. Thus, in the early to mid 1970s, the segment of psychologists who preferred a professional neuropsychological organization that focused on the practice of neuropsychology in the USA found their needs imperfectly realized by INS. There remained a need for an organization that could provide practicing U.S. psychologists with credentialing standards in neuropsychology, facilitate the exchange of neuropsychological information, and provide continuing education workshops and credits.

In addition to the early efforts of INS, psychologists with an interest in the emerging specialty of clinical neuropsychology were meeting during annual conferences of the American Psychological Association (APA) in the early 1970s. The clinicians, like the specialty, were relatively young, with many of them in their late 20s and early 30s. There was general agreement among those present during the early meetings that there was a need for a professional organization devoted to the needs of the specialty and its practitioners; however, there was considerable discussion about the direction that a new organization should take. Some of the issues considered included whether the organization should (a) serve the needs of researchers or practitioners; (b) serve as a credentialing body; (c) provide continuing education in neuropsychological principles, methods, and procedures; and (d) serve primarily U.S. professionals or be international in scope.

Larry Hartlage and Robert Woody attended the early meetings, including an early INS meeting in 1973 and left the INS meeting with the realization that a second neuropsychological organization was needed. Richard Durfee had been compiling a list of colleagues with an interest in corresponding about neuropsychological matters, and he provided the initial list of contacts for the new organization (Dr Durfee passed away at a young age, and some of the early NAN leaders, such as Dr Hartlage, never had the opportunity to meet him in person). In 1975, the National Academy of Neuropsychologists was founded. It was Richard Durfee who suggested the name; he had founded another association in marriage and family therapy and liked the term “academy” (Dodrill, 1997). Dues were $20.00 per year.

Arthur Canter was NAN's first president. Dr Canter trained in clinical psychology with Arthur Benton at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1950, before the university had a program called neuropsychology. By the mid 1970s, he had very broad-based experiences in clinical psychological, including the development and publication of the Canter Background Interference Procedure (BIP), which he used to help determine when to make referrals to neurologists or other specialists for additional testing. Because of the name recognition that came with the publication of the Canter BIP, he was considered a strong candidate to take a primary leadership role. He was initially elected to chair a steering committee and then to become the first NAN president (although not elected by the membership). The other members of the steering committee included Larry Hartlage, Lynn Smith, Richard Durfee, Helen Hughes, and Robert Woody (Dodrill, 1997).

The presidency was a 2-year position in the early years to promote stability in the new organization, and Dr Canter served in 1975 and 1976 (see Table 2 for the list of NAN presidents to date). Dr Canter reported that although he was nominally the leader during those years in the sense of conducting meetings in an orderly fashion, the growth of NAN depended upon the efforts and the enthusiasm of others. He stated that after the organization became established and successful, he felt he had little to contribute to the organization so he “took a back seat and pridefully watched it grow.” In a 1997 letter from Dr Canter to Dr Dodrill for use in Dr Dodrill's presidential address, Dr Canter provided the following message for the NAN membership: “My greetings to the members of NAN and may the organization have a long and illustrious life. When NAN was born, I had no idea that it would grow up so sturdily to become such a large and important organization. It bespeaks of healthy nurturance and excellent guidance in its growth. May it always be so. I can take pride in having been one of its parents.”

Table 2.

National Academy of Neuropsychology Presidents

1975–1976 Arthur Canter, PhDa 
1976–1977 W. Lynn Smith, PhD (1923–2008) 
1978–1979 Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhDa 
1980–1981 Charles J. Golden, PhDa 
1982–1983 Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhDa 
1984–1985 Raymond S. Dean, PhDa 
1986–1987 Cecil R. Reynolds, PhDa 
1988 Francis J. Fishburne, PhDa 
1989 Richard A. Berg, PhDa 
1990 Erin D. Bigler, PhDa 
1991 Antonio E. Puente, PhDa 
1992 Gerald Goldstein, PhDa 
1993 Nelson Butters, PhD (1937–1995) 
1994 Gordon Chelune, PhDa 
1995 Sandra P. Koffler, PhDa 
1996 Jeffrey T. Barth, PhDa 
1997 Carl Dodrill, PhDa 
1998 George Prigatano, PhD 
1999 C. Munro Cullum, PhDa 
2000 Barbara P. Uzzell, PhDa 
2001 Ronald M. Ruff, PhDa 
2002 Jim Hom, PhDa 
2003 Eric Zillmer, PsyD 
2004 Robert J. McCaffrey, PhDa 
2005 Robert Elliott, PhDa 
2006 Arthur MacNeill Horton Jr., EdDa 
2007 William Perry, PhDa 
2008 Ruben Echemendia, PhD 
2009 Robert Denney, PsyDa 
2010 Shane S. Bush, PhDa 
2011 Alex Troster, PhD 
2012 Robin Hilsabeck, PhD 
1975–1976 Arthur Canter, PhDa 
1976–1977 W. Lynn Smith, PhD (1923–2008) 
1978–1979 Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhDa 
1980–1981 Charles J. Golden, PhDa 
1982–1983 Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhDa 
1984–1985 Raymond S. Dean, PhDa 
1986–1987 Cecil R. Reynolds, PhDa 
1988 Francis J. Fishburne, PhDa 
1989 Richard A. Berg, PhDa 
1990 Erin D. Bigler, PhDa 
1991 Antonio E. Puente, PhDa 
1992 Gerald Goldstein, PhDa 
1993 Nelson Butters, PhD (1937–1995) 
1994 Gordon Chelune, PhDa 
1995 Sandra P. Koffler, PhDa 
1996 Jeffrey T. Barth, PhDa 
1997 Carl Dodrill, PhDa 
1998 George Prigatano, PhD 
1999 C. Munro Cullum, PhDa 
2000 Barbara P. Uzzell, PhDa 
2001 Ronald M. Ruff, PhDa 
2002 Jim Hom, PhDa 
2003 Eric Zillmer, PsyD 
2004 Robert J. McCaffrey, PhDa 
2005 Robert Elliott, PhDa 
2006 Arthur MacNeill Horton Jr., EdDa 
2007 William Perry, PhDa 
2008 Ruben Echemendia, PhD 
2009 Robert Denney, PsyDa 
2010 Shane S. Bush, PhDa 
2011 Alex Troster, PhD 
2012 Robin Hilsabeck, PhD 

Note: Drs Troster and Hilsabeck had not yet served their presidential terms when this project was undertaken.

aContributed information about their presidential experiences and/or NAN history to this project.

Dr Woody had a modest budget and printing materials so he became the first secretary and publisher of the newsletter, GRAMMA. The first issue of GRAMMA was published in August 1976, and the first NAN business meeting was held on September 3, 1976, at the Washington School of Psychiatry. Dr Woody addressed the origin of the title “GRAMMA” in the first issue: “The title of our publication, GRAMMA, should have special meaning to neuropsychologists, especially those of us who deal with electroencephalograms and related printouts. The term GRAMMA is, of course, Greek and means writing or record. Hopefully, the name properly reflects the scope of our publication” (Woody, 1976, p. 2). As Dr Woody stated, the first issue of GRAMMA was a milestone in NAN's development.

In 1976, Lynn Smith became NAN's second president and the first to be elected by the membership. He had been Richard Durfee's supervisor and reportedly had the first freestanding neuropsychology laboratory in the USA. Dr Smith gave the first NAN presidential address. Next, because no one else with greater name recognition was interested in holding office, Larry Hartlage assumed the presidency in 1978, and during his term NAN's treasury grew to $1,025.85. By this time, a meeting of the leadership was being held annually (see Fig. 1 for the agenda of the third NAN business meeting). Charlie Golden served as president in 1980 and 1981. Then, because no one else was interested in pursuing the office, Dr Hartlage served a second term as president in 1982 and 1983. Although many NAN leaders have held multiple elected and appointed positions, Dr Hartlage is the only one to serve as president more than once. Raymond Dean held the presidency in 1984 and 1985, completing the period that in retrospect is being considered NAN's early years.

Fig. 1.

Agenda, Annual Meeting of NAN, 1979. Provided by Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhD.

Fig. 1.

Agenda, Annual Meeting of NAN, 1979. Provided by Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhD.

The early years were “a wonderful time of great enthusiasm.” There was an air of energy and excitement as the field began its period of amazing growth. However, there were also concerns that the fledgling organization would not get off the ground, would be subsumed by one of the larger organizations, particularly those of related disciplines, or would not attract enough members and generate enough income to sustain its efforts. Finding colleagues with awareness of and interest in the emerging specialty was a sustained goal in the early years. Finances were a related concern, requiring NAN leaders to turn to medical schools in search of support for expenses, of which postage was primary. The intermingled issue of respect and credentialing was also a pressing issue.

Initially, with INS being the first established neuropsychological society, it had membership, size, organization, and an element of prestige that NAN did not yet have. INS's original leadership consisted of a number of prominent neuropsychologists who were committed to the success of that organization. Perhaps, because INS was still in the early years of its existence, there was opposition by those were well established within INS to the establishment of a new neuropsychological organization.

In 1980, Dr Hartlage and NAN capitalized on an opportunity to promote the organization and the specialty on a large scale. In September 1980, Dr Hartlage organized a NATO-supported neuropsychology conference at his lab in Georgia. He was given a grant to bring scientists from each NATO country to his lab, and colleagues ranging in experience from junior to senior came. Many attendees were bused to the conference from a local Army base by military police. President Carter sent telegraphs stating that he was aware of and paying attention to the conference. That conference brought valuable exposure and, in the minds of some colleagues, legitimacy to NAN. More of the researchers and academia-based clinicians who were previously members of INS began joining NAN, bringing increased name recognition because of their publication history. The proceedings of the conference were published in Neuropsychology and Cognition (part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series, Series D: Behavioural and Social Sciences, edited by R. N. Malatesha & L. C. Hartlage; see Table 3 for a list of the contributors to Neuropsychology and Cognition, Vol. 2).

Table 3.

Contributors to Neuropsychology and Cognition, Vol. 2

Erin Bigler 
Jack Fletcher 
Paul Altman Fuld 
Charlie Golden 
Drew Gouvier 
Manfred Greiffenstein 
Larry Hartlage 
Mac Horton 
Edith Kaplan 
Charlie Long 
Manfred Meier 
Bill Milberg 
Cecil Reynolds 
Donald Stuss 
Gerry Taylor 
Erin Bigler 
Jack Fletcher 
Paul Altman Fuld 
Charlie Golden 
Drew Gouvier 
Manfred Greiffenstein 
Larry Hartlage 
Mac Horton 
Edith Kaplan 
Charlie Long 
Manfred Meier 
Bill Milberg 
Cecil Reynolds 
Donald Stuss 
Gerry Taylor 

Credentialing and Professional Organizations

A primary goal when conceptualizing and founding NAN was to establish a credentialing mechanism for recognizing professional competence. The need for credentialing standards was evident, but opinions about how such standards should be established and examined varied, fairly consistently according to competing INS and NAN leadership factions. Dr Hartlage reported that he was contacted by the executive director (ED) of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), Margaret Ives, and they discussed the possibility of offering the new specialty of neuropsychology as an added qualification to the ABPP credential. They agreed in principle to move in that direction, and a group of about 20 colleagues who were already board certified by one of the few existing ABPP specialties, primarily clinical psychology, but also school psychology or other specialties, was established to proceed with the plan.

However, concurrently, a group led by Manfred Meier started another board certifying organization, the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN, incorporated in 1981), and reached out to ABPP to form an alliance (additional members of the group included Linas Bieliauskas, Louis Costa, Edith Kaplan, Muriel Lezak, Charles Matthews, Steven Mattis, and Paul Satz; Manfred Meier became the first ABCN president [Boake & Bieliauskas, 2007]. Some early leaders of this group were referred to informally, with varying degrees of affection, as neuropsychology's “Boston Mafia”). ABPP decided to move forward with ABCN, and ABCN became a member board of ABPP in 1983 (for additional information on the history of ABCN, seeYeates & Bieliauskas, 2004).

The other group of ABPP-credentialed colleagues, including Drs Hartlage, Golden, and Woody; future NAN president Francis J. Fishburne and other well-known clinicians, such as Theordore Blau, Jerome Sattler, and Zygmunt Piotrowski, formed the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABPN, later changed to ABN; for additional information on the history of ABPN, seeHorton, Crown, & Reynolds, 2001). Dr Hartlage, while serving on the ABPN Board of Directors, was invited by Dr Meier to also serve on the Board of Directors of ABCN, and he accepted. He stated that he served on both boards simultaneously for two meetings, at which point he was asked to choose one board; he chose ABPN. Although efforts in subsequent years brought the boards close to merging, Dr Hartlage's simultaneous service on the boards of directors of both ABCN and ABPN was the closest that the profession has come to a unified credentialing body.

The neuropsychology professional organizations were ultimately fairly consistently split along board certifying organization lines during that early period, with NAN primarily associated with ABPN and INS primarily associated with ABPP/ABCN. The APA Division of Neuropsychology (Division 40) was founded in 1979, following coordinated petitioning by INS ED Lou Costa and NAN (for additional information on the history of APA Division 40, seePuente & Marcotte, 2000). Helen Hughes was NAN's liaison to INS and helped Larry Hartlage get the petitions from NAN members and facilitate interaction with INS; NAN members provided strong support for the new division.

There was considerable overlap among the leadership and interests of INS, Division 40, and ABCN, whereas the leadership of NAN often overlapped with the leadership of ABPN. Larry Hartlage was the first former NAN president to serve as president of Division 40, and the experience was very challenging because of conflicts with other leaders along board certification lines. Competing interests and alliances and the fight for board supremacy along these lines were referred to as the “Battle of Boards” (described further in subsequent sections of this article). The relationship between the professional organizations and the different board certification bodies has been more or less distinct over the years, and NAN ultimately adopted, and periodically reaffirmed, a position of neutrality with regard to board certification organizations (Table 4). Today, both boards continue to certify clinicians and have fairly similar examination procedures, although ABCN has credentialed many more clinicians in recent years. Approximately 50 neuropsychologists have been board certified by both boards, including recent NAN presidents Bob Denney and me (for additional information on the history of board certification in neuropsychology, seeGoldstein, 2001).

Table 4.

NAN Position on Board Certification

NAN recognizes that successful completion of a rigorous peer examination of neuropsychological knowledge and skill through board certification provides the clearest evidence of competence to practice clinical neuropsychology. The NAN 2001 definition of a neuropsychologist (National Academy of Neuropsychology Policy & Planning Committee, 2001) notes that board certification is not required for professional practice, but it is evidence of advanced training, supervision, and applied fund of knowledge in the field. In 2004, NAN past president Robert J. McCaffrey noted that (a) NAN has a longstanding policy regarding nonpartisanship and neutrality regarding board certification organizations (Executive Board Minutes, October 30, 1990; April 5, 1991), and (b) this position has been reaffirmed officially by resolution several times over the years by the NAN Board of Directors (McCaffrey, 2004). In 2000, the NAN Board of Directors reaffirmed this position of neutrality. Thus, NAN recognizes the importance of board certification while continuing to maintain a position of neutrality regarding board certifying organizations. 
NAN recognizes that successful completion of a rigorous peer examination of neuropsychological knowledge and skill through board certification provides the clearest evidence of competence to practice clinical neuropsychology. The NAN 2001 definition of a neuropsychologist (National Academy of Neuropsychology Policy & Planning Committee, 2001) notes that board certification is not required for professional practice, but it is evidence of advanced training, supervision, and applied fund of knowledge in the field. In 2004, NAN past president Robert J. McCaffrey noted that (a) NAN has a longstanding policy regarding nonpartisanship and neutrality regarding board certification organizations (Executive Board Minutes, October 30, 1990; April 5, 1991), and (b) this position has been reaffirmed officially by resolution several times over the years by the NAN Board of Directors (McCaffrey, 2004). In 2000, the NAN Board of Directors reaffirmed this position of neutrality. Thus, NAN recognizes the importance of board certification while continuing to maintain a position of neutrality regarding board certifying organizations. 

Notes: NAN = National Academy of Neuropsychology. Retrieved January 20, 2011, from http://nanonline.org/NAN/AboutNAN/BoardNeutrality.aspx.

The Journal and Bulletin

Clinical Neuropsychology was started and published by Bob Owens at The Owens Clinic in 1979 and was adopted as NAN's official journal the same year, with Drs Hartlage and Golden as co-Editors-in-Chief (see Table 5 for the contents of the Fall 1980 issue, Vol. II, Number 1). The cover describes the journal as “A quarterly resource devoted to the understanding, measurement and treatment of maladaptive human behavior dependent upon brain functioning designed primarily for utilitarian value to practicing clinicians and exists as a result of their participation.”

Table 5.

Clinical Neuropsychology, Fall 1980, Vol. II, Number 1, Table of Contents

Title Author(s) 
A CLASSIC IN NEUROPSYCHOLOGY—“Neuropsychology in the Local Diagnosis of Brain Damage” A.R. Luria 
A WORKSHOP IN NEW YORK Charles J. Golden and Lawrence C. Hartlage 
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS ADVERTISEMENT  
FIRST IN A SERIES—“Interpretation of the Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery  
 by Item Intercorrelation: The Writing Scale” Charles J. Golden and Richard A. Berg 
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS  
CASE STUDIES—“Neuropsychological Assessment and Brain Scan Results: A Case Study Approach” Erin D. Bigler 
A WORKSHOP IN THE LOS ANGELES AND CINCINNATI AREAS Lawrence V. Majovski and Robert J. Sbordone 
INFORMATION EXCHANGE—“Improvement in Cognitive Functions by Increased Blood Flow to the Brain” Judith Rosenstock, John T. Garner, Skip Jacques and Lawrence V. Majovski 
NEW YORK NEUROPSYCHOLOGY GROUP  
UNIVERSITY MICROFILM INTERNATIONAL  
GENERAL ARTICLE—“Cerebral Dysfunction and Self-Concept in Chronic Alcoholics” Jeffrey T. Barth, Howard M. Sandler and Kenneth N. Anchor 
DATA REPOSITORY  
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE OF W. LYNN SMITH, PH.D.  
NEW GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING BOOK REVIEWS FOR PUBLICATION IN CN  
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE—“Early Quantitative Studies of Neuropsychological Impairment, 1899–1939” Harry C. Mahan 
OPEN PEER COMMENTARY  
BOOK REVIEW—“Brain Damage, Behaviour and the Mind”  
BOOK REVIEW—“Parents and Children in Autism”  
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE ADVERTISEMENT  
Title Author(s) 
A CLASSIC IN NEUROPSYCHOLOGY—“Neuropsychology in the Local Diagnosis of Brain Damage” A.R. Luria 
A WORKSHOP IN NEW YORK Charles J. Golden and Lawrence C. Hartlage 
HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS ADVERTISEMENT  
FIRST IN A SERIES—“Interpretation of the Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery  
 by Item Intercorrelation: The Writing Scale” Charles J. Golden and Richard A. Berg 
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS  
CASE STUDIES—“Neuropsychological Assessment and Brain Scan Results: A Case Study Approach” Erin D. Bigler 
A WORKSHOP IN THE LOS ANGELES AND CINCINNATI AREAS Lawrence V. Majovski and Robert J. Sbordone 
INFORMATION EXCHANGE—“Improvement in Cognitive Functions by Increased Blood Flow to the Brain” Judith Rosenstock, John T. Garner, Skip Jacques and Lawrence V. Majovski 
NEW YORK NEUROPSYCHOLOGY GROUP  
UNIVERSITY MICROFILM INTERNATIONAL  
GENERAL ARTICLE—“Cerebral Dysfunction and Self-Concept in Chronic Alcoholics” Jeffrey T. Barth, Howard M. Sandler and Kenneth N. Anchor 
DATA REPOSITORY  
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE OF W. LYNN SMITH, PH.D.  
NEW GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING BOOK REVIEWS FOR PUBLICATION IN CN  
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE—“Early Quantitative Studies of Neuropsychological Impairment, 1899–1939” Harry C. Mahan 
OPEN PEER COMMENTARY  
BOOK REVIEW—“Brain Damage, Behaviour and the Mind”  
BOOK REVIEW—“Parents and Children in Autism”  
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE ADVERTISEMENT  

Note: Provided by Erin Bigler, PhD.

The journal evolved into the International Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology until, in 1985, the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology (ACN) became the official journal, with Ray Dean as the first Editor-in-Chief. Elsevier was the first professional publishing house to publish NAN's journal. Cecil Reynolds and Drew Gouvier were subsequent Editors-in-Chief, and Bob McCaffrey is the current Editor-in-Chief. Erin Bigler served as associate editor for many years. Although ACN remains NAN's official journal, the journal was sold to Oxford University Press in 2008. Today, the journal has one of the highest impact ratings among neuropsychology journals, currently 2.2.

In addition to ACN, Neuropsychology Review was an official journal of NAN from 1997 through 2001. Tony Puente was the Editor-in-Chief, and the journal was published by Plenum. Thus, NAN members received copies of both journals during those years. The NAN Board in 2001 determined that the organization should move forward with ACN as its sole journal. Neuropsychology Review, now published by Springer and under different editorship, remains available but is no longer a benefit for NAN members.

The NAN Bulletin is another publication that has been a member benefit and a way of disseminating and exchanging information on a variety of topics. The Bulletin, with Ray Dean as the first Editor-in-Chief, was begun and published in the early 1980s when the organization was still called the National Academy of Neuropsychologists. After a break in publication, it resumed in 1987 with Arthur MacNeill Horton, Jr. as the Editor-in-Chief and has continued under the leadership of a number of accomplished and forward-thinking colleagues. The Bulletin is now available in electronic format only, whereas ACN can be accessed electronically but is still provided in paper format (all issues of the NAN Bulletin from 1999 to present are available on the NAN website at http://nanonline.org/NAN/ResearchPublications/Bulletin.aspx).

The Conference

The first NAN conference was held in 1981 at the Sheraton World Resort in Orlando, FL, and was attended by approximately 220 people, which was a better turnout than expected. The second conference was held in Atlanta, GA, in 1982, right after the film “Smokey and the Bandit” had been filmed at the same hotel (see Table 6 for research poster topics). Early challenges included handling the logistics, such as finding meeting space. There were few hotels at the time that would accept the new organization, and Drs Hartlage and fellow Board member Michael Dimitroff had to drive all over Orlando looking at hotels and talking to hotel personnel before they found a suitable location for the first conference. The conferences quickly became the cornerstone of the organization, offering CE workshops, poster sessions, and a place where practitioners could meet and exchange ideas and experiences. In contrast to some other conferences, practitioners were able to return to their practices the following week and apply what they had learned at the conference.

Table 6.

National Academy of Neuropsychologists 1982 Meeting, Scheduled Poster Sessions

graphic 
graphic 

Note: Provided by Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhD.

From the beginning, NAN conferences were also a primary place where clinicians could learn to use neuropsychological test batteries, such as the Luria Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (LNNB) and the Halstead-Reitan Battery (HRB). As the developer of the LNNB, Charlie Golden's presence on the NAN Board of Directors connected NAN and the LNNB in the minds of many colleagues.

Although prominent neuropsychologist Ralph Reitan was not interested in the politics of the organizations or participating in such activities, HRB-based workshops, information, and products were prominent at all early NAN meetings. Dr Hartlage stated that at a NAN conference in 1994 ABPN gave Drs Reitan and Hartlage awards, which led to a greater presence of Dr Reitan at NAN events and meetings of the Reitan Society being held during NAN conferences. With the strong presence of Dr Reitan's works and workshops at, or in conjunction with, NAN conferences, a real or perceived association between NAN and the HRB and its users emerged. Some colleagues expressed concern about sole reliance on workshop-based neuropsychological education and training (e.g., Bigler, 1983). As a result, associations between NAN and these test batteries came to be used as dividing lines between competing factions within the evolving field, as exemplified by the “Battle of the Boards.” The Reitan Society continues to hold lunch meetings at NAN's annual conference.

The 1983 conference in Houston, TX, was the site of the first installation of NAN Fellows, recognizing neuropsychologists who had made significant contributions to the science and/or profession of neuropsychology (Hartlage, 1987). Today, there are more than 320 neuropsychologists that have awarded fellow status in NAN (see complete list at http://nanonline.org/NAN/AboutNAN/NANFellows.aspx).

NAN conferences remain the largest venue for practicing neuropsychologists to exchange professional information on a broad range of topics, gather informally for social activities and networking, learn about credentialing requirements from the various board certifying bodies and take board certification exams, and earn continuing education credits. For those who are more interested in pure cognitive neuroscience, subspecialty practice, or advanced neuroimaging, other conferences remain attractive. The NAN Board of Directors makes an attempt to hold the conferences at desirable, typically warm weather, locations across the US, although the 2010 conference was held in Canada and the 2014 conference will be held in Puerto Rico. Student volunteers play a very important role at NAN conferences, and the Board of Directors has from the beginning been committed to making the conference a rewarding experience for students.

Executive Secretaries and Directors

In 1985, NAN established the Executive Secretary position to help separate the administrative tasks that the president and other Board members traditionally had to attend to from the more mission-focused aspects of leadership. In the early years, the NAN office address and its materials moved with the appointment of new executive secretaries. The office moved to Denver, CO, when Dr Cullum's tenure began and has remained there since that time, although Dr Cullum later moved to Texas and ran the office from Dallas during his final couple of years in that position. It was also during Dr Cullum's tenure that the title was changed from Executive Secretary to ED. Some of the responsibilities of the ED during that time included (a) establishing procedures (e.g., for communication with the Board of Directors, creating an operations manual for ED), (b) scheduling Board meetings, (c) gathering and disseminating Board materials (e.g., meeting agendas), (d) running the conference in collaboration with the program chair, and (e) working with the treasurer to manage finances. Dr Cullum turned over ED duties to Josette Harris when he became president-elect of NAN in 1998.

After Dr Harris left the position in 2003, the Board experimented with running the organization without an ED but ultimately determined that the work was too much of a burden for the nonpaid elected Board members. From 2005 until 2010, NAN experimented with having experienced, business-trained non-neuropsychologists serve as EDs. Between the periods that Ms Dorothy Shaddrick and Mr Richard Morgan were EDs, Immediate Past President Bill Perry took over as interim ED, requiring him to suspend his role as a voting member of the Board of Directors so that he could receive the salary that came with the ED position. Ultimately, the Board of Directors determined that the ED and NAN are well-served by the ED having an intimate understanding of the profession to the degree that could only be attained by a neuropsychologist. Long-time NAN employee Heather Santos was promoted to Director of Operations in 2010, and a search began for a part-time neuropsychologist ED (as of this writing, the search for a part-time neuropsychologist ED is underway, but the position remains unfilled; see Table 7 for a list of executive secretaries and directors).

Table 7.

National Academy of Neuropsychology Executive Secretaries/Directors

1985–1988: Richard Berg, PhDa 
1988–1991: William MacInnes, PhDa 
1991–1998: C. Munro Cullum, PhDa “Secretary” changed to “Director” in 1996 
1998–2003: Josette Harris, PhD 
2005–2007: Dorothy Shadrick, MBA 
2008–2009: William Perry, PhD, interim EDa 
2009–4/10: Richard Morgan, MBA,1st full-time 
2011– ? 
1985–1988: Richard Berg, PhDa 
1988–1991: William MacInnes, PhDa 
1991–1998: C. Munro Cullum, PhDa “Secretary” changed to “Director” in 1996 
1998–2003: Josette Harris, PhD 
2005–2007: Dorothy Shadrick, MBA 
2008–2009: William Perry, PhD, interim EDa 
2009–4/10: Richard Morgan, MBA,1st full-time 
2011– ? 

aContributed information about their experiences and/or NAN history to this project.

The End of the Innocence (Song Title by Don Henley from His 1989 Album of the Same Name)

Thus, the forming process consists of the coming together of persons with common interests to pursue common goals, in the context of preexisting relationships and organizations. Organizational structure is established, members are oriented to the organization and come to depend on each other, roles are defined and tested, and logistics are negotiated (Tuckman, 1965). However, what for many members often seems like a honeymoon period eventually comes to an end, as it must for continued growth.

Storming

Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in terrific bills.

Minna Antrim, US Writer 1856–1950

Source: Naked Truth and Veiled Illusions (1902)

Storming in this context refers to intragroup unrest, characterized by conflictual interactions and contentious relationships (Tuckman, 1965). Initial group cohesion and logical task-mindedness erode amid increasing emotionality, unrest, and disharmony. Rebellion and oppositionality commonly follow, and leadership struggles may emerge. Depending on the nature and severity of the friction, productive work may slow or may be continued by a minority of the group. Storming, both within NAN and between NAN and outsiders, had been part of process since the beginning of the organization and continues today but seemed to be particularly challenging from the mid-1980s through the early 21st century.

Cecil Reynolds, the final president to serve a 2-year term, was president in 1986 and 1987. Remarkably, he served on the Board of Directors in various capacities, was Editor of ACN, and chaired several NAN Committees, and reportedly missed only one Board meeting for 23 consecutive years. Because NAN was firmly established by the end of Dr Reynolds' term, the term for future presidents was reduced to 1 year to increase the influx of new energy and ideas. Francis J. Fishburne became president in 1988, the year of the first mid-year Board meeting, followed by Richard Berg in 1989. Despite conflicts within the NAN Board and between NAN leaders and those of other organizations (especially APA Division 40), these years witnessed a tremendous growth in neuropsychology in general and NAN in particular. The conference grew significantly, becoming the primary educational and social gathering for practicing neuropsychologists and a primary source of revenue for the organization. As J. Michael Williams, the 1988 conference program chair, put it, “The conference blew up … we could barely cope with the growth.” Additional committees were established to address the increasingly broad and complex scope of activities required of the membership, the profession, and consumers of neuropsychological services. Dr Reynolds reported that despite the growth of the organization, the Board remained concerned about finances and worked hard to ensure the financial stability of the organization, controlling spending while keeping dues low. The net income from the NAN annual conference was the primary source of income for the organization as dues were kept below those of typical organizations of the time. There were also efforts to get members more involved with issues of importance to the field.

The first Distinguished Neuropsychologist Award was presented in 1989 to Arthur Benton, PhD. The presentation of the award served not only to recognize a luminary figure in the field but also to bring Dr Benton to NAN where his presence would further help promote the organization within the wider neuropsychology community. The name of this award was changed in 2007 to the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Neuropsychology Award when it was presented to UCSD professor Igor Grant, MD, the only non-psychologist to date to receive the award (all NAN award recipients and descriptions of the awards can be found on the NAN website at www.nanonline.org/NAN/awards).

When Erin Bigler was president in 1990, NAN had 1,317 members and was growing at a rate of 200–300 members per year, with members in 49 states. NAN's treasury had increased to $123,511.12, with an annual income of $219,570.47 and expenses of $205,624.49. It was that year that NAN's name was changed from National Academy of Neuropsychologists to National Academy of Neuropsychology (emphasis added). Nineteen-ninety was also the year that the first Early Career Award was presented, going to Jeffrey Gray, PhD. Changes to the bylaws were made during this time to limit the length of time past presidents served as voting members of Board of Directors and to improve the elections process.

Antonio “Tony” Puente assumed the NAN presidency in 1991. He has the distinction of having presented in one form or another at every NAN conference to date. Having his origins in Cuba, he was also the first ethnic minority president of NAN. Dr Puente's dedication to understanding reimbursement issues, particularly the use of diagnostic and billing codes, and to sharing his knowledge with neuropsychology practitioners at the annual NAN conferences helped to further cement NAN's role as the place to go for information on practice-related matters. His presentations on these topics have consistently been among the most well-attended conference workshops.

Gerald Goldstein, a former INS president, became NAN's president in 1992. There was a movement during this time to broaden NAN's appeal to neuropsychology's scientific community and those who were previously solely involved with INS and APA Division 40. Dr Goldstein's election built on the efforts of the prior couple of years and was a turning point toward a broader-based, more science-focused era in NAN. Nelson Butters (1937–1995), who had also been an INS president, served as NAN president in 1993; however, because of Dr Butters' declining health, Dr Bigler served the last 2 years of Dr Butters' term on the Board of Directors as past president. Dr Butters' entrance into the organization as president was, according to some past presidents, an important step for the organization, helping to bridge the gulf between NAN and other neuropsychological organizations. He made great efforts to attract the most accomplished scientific neuropsychologists into NAN, both as members and workshop presenters (Dodrill, 1997). Because of his advancing symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Dr Butters was unable to give his presidential address himself; however, he “pecked out” the address himself one key at a time, and David Solomon presented the address to the membership while he listened from the audience in his wheelchair (Dodrill, 1997). The Nelson Butters Award was established that year, signifying the best research paper published in the ACN over the preceding year. The first award went to Reidy, Bowler, Rauch, and Pedroza (1992).

Gordon Chelune, having taken over many of the presidential responsibilities during his years as secretary and president-elect when Dr Butters became sick, assumed the presidency in 1994. The theme of his presidency was “Building Bridges and Opening Doors,” representing continued efforts to expand and diversify the NAN membership and to building relationships with other organizations.

In 1995, Sandra Koffler became NAN's 14th president, and its first female president. She served during NAN's 20th year and presented a history of NAN during her presidential address, although she did not publish the address. A primary focus of Dr Koffler's presidency was merging ABCN and ABPN and putting and end to the “Battle of the Boards.” She was the first NAN president since Dr Dean to be credentialed by both boards, so she was a natural person to serve as a bridge between the parties. During the NAN conference in San Francisco, she succeeded in bringing leaders of both groups together in her hotel suite. She stated that the meeting went very well and the boards were close to merging, but ultimately were unable to do so. The Clinical Neuropsychology Synarchy, chaired by Kerry Hamsher, was established that year to bring various neuropsychology organizations together, and Dr Koffler played an important role in those efforts (additional information on the CNS and its history can be found at www.appcn.org/synarch.html and in Boake & Bieliauskas, 2007). Dr Koffler also emphasized the important role of students in the organization in general and at the conference in particular, and she has worked closely with student members since then.

Jeff Barth became president in 1996. In contrast to most of the preceding presidents, he had not held any other positions in NAN before running for president; nevertheless, he and others thought that he would be a good person to help continue Dr Koffler's efforts of bringing people and the boards together. Although the efforts to merge the boards were ultimately unsuccessful, Dr Barth's spirit of goodwill and collaboration appeared to take hold and begin to spread. Dr Cullum's work as ED during this time had the organization running well administratively, so Dr Barth was able to devote time and energy to the professional politics. Although Dr Barth did not hold any positions with the organization prior to running for president, he has remained actively involved in many capacities since that time.

Carl Dodrill was president in 1997. Despite the prior efforts of many of neuropsychology's leaders and the current efforts of Dr Dodrill, contentious infighting around board certification continued. The conference that year was in Las Vegas. In the spirit of getting people together, he publicly acknowledged all the past presidents, reading a paragraph about each one and giving them plaques and pins, starting a tradition that continued in subsequent years. His presidential address (unpublished) also focused on the importance of the profession coming together to address challenges faced by all. This was also the year that NAN's clinical research grant program was established, and the Houston Conference (described in a subsequent section of this article) was held.

George Prigatano was president in 1998, the year the first Student Poster Awards were presented. The initial awards went to Shelly Hargrave, Katarzyna Lesniak-Karpiak, Robin Hilsabeck, Lyn Mangiameli, Cari Cohorn, and Catherine Hooker. Having served two 3-year terms as ED, Dr Collum became president in 1999, with efforts to continue to grow the organization, improve the organization's visibility nationally, establish a more sophisticated database, and maintain fiscal responsibility.

The mid to late 1990s are remembered as a time of transition, bringing new people into the organization and attempting to bring people together within the field, including the board certifying organizations. Transitions are difficult and can be contentious, as they were for many neuropsychology leaders during that time. However, the efforts of many colleagues during that period were successful in laying the foundation for improved collaboration in the future.

Information Technology

It was during the early to mid 1990s that the first NAN website was developed, launched, and managed by Dr Williams. A few years later, Dr Koffler approached the NAN Board of Directors with an idea for online interactive neuropsychological education. Doug Chute helped to frame the idea for the project, and he and Phil Schatz, with assistance from Jeff Browndyke, developed DistanCE in 1997, using a server at Drexel University. The NAN website hosting was also transferred from Dr Williams to the Drexel server under the management of Dr Schatz. In 2000, the web address was changed from NAN.Drexel.edu to NANonline.org.

In recent years, NAN has pursued increasingly sophisticated technology platforms and services to handle all the organization's evolving and expanding activities and needs. NAN has retained the services of IT companies which have helped advance the organization's IT capabilities somewhat; however, at the time of this writing, NAN's IT endeavors remain a work in progress.

Battle of the Boards

As previously described in some detail, the mid-1990s witnessed the intensifying and, thankfully, peaking of the so-called battle of the boards. Factions in neuropsychology leadership within and between professional organizations were largely split along board certification lines. The intensity of the division, according to many, was threatening to tear the profession apart. NAN presidents spent a tremendous amount of time and effort to bring people together, with the goal of merging the boards. The merging of ABPN and ABCN became the primary focus of more than a couple NAN presidencies, taking time and energy away from outside threats to the profession, such as managed care. A board merger very nearly occurred, but each side maintains that the other side was unwilling to bend on a final point. Despite getting key players together at the same table, agreement could not be reached, and the parties went their separate ways, likely forever.

Over time, the friction between boards and board-certified clinicians has, by and large, decreased, resulting in a peaceful coexistence. In recent years, the boards, via their membership organizations (the American College of Professional Neuropsychology [ACPN] is the membership organization for ABN and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology [AACN] is the membership organization for ABCN), have even collaborated with NAN on important issues facing the profession, such as reimbursement. It is important to note that the vast majority of NAN members and others who consider themselves neuropsychologists or providers of neuropsychological services were not, and still are not, board certified by any board (Sweet, Peck, Abramowitz, & Etzweiler, 2002), although increasingly more neuropsychologists are pursuing board certification.

Old Guard–New Guard Stereotypes

Divisiveness among those who were active in professional organizations and leadership was often split along board certification lines, but the split was also characterized as the “old guard” versus the “new guard” (Puente & Rosenstein, 1998). The so-called old guard leaders within NAN were those who were involved with the founding and early years of the organization and remained involved into the 1990s. These neuropsychologists were characterized as (a) being non-traditionally trained, with professional lineage traced to alternative but related disciplines, such as school psychology; (b) being private practitioners, rather than employed by academic institutions; (c) preferring the LNNB; and (d) being board certified by ABPN. The new guard was considered essentially the opposite; that is, they were (a) trained in neurosciences in academic or medical centers, (b) academicians, (c) preferred a flexible battery or process approach, and (d) were board certified by ABCN. The generalizations were largely unfounded, but nevertheless were divisive. There were misunderstandings between those who were considered to fall into each of the camps. During this period in the mid to late 1990s, the old guard was excluded from top NAN leadership positions despite holding secondary leadership roles and a continued willingness and desire to hold higher offices in NAN. Those “old guard” neuropsychologists were still very active the field, many publishing regularly, editing professional journals, directing clinical programs, and serving in leadership positions in board certifying organizations and were essentially professional contemporaries of the “new guard.” Addressing this issue and its effect on the profession, Puente and Rosenstein stated:

It is critical to appreciate that divisiveness, often a hallmark in clinical neuropsychology, is not desirable, especially now, including within NAN. We believe that this divisiveness may be more a function of an evolution than a collusion, at worst due to misunderstanding and miscommunication … The future of NAN depends on a policy of evolution but not at the price of exclusion. Increased cooperation, communication, and integration between all segments of our organization will not only further the mission of NAN and the welfare of its members but discourage divisiveness in our traditionally fragmented field. (p. 15)

Houston Conference

In September 1997, a group of key figures in neuropsychology convened at the University of Houston to establish education and training guidelines for neuropsychologists. NAN was an official sponsor of the gathering. The conference resulted in publication of a document entitled the “Houston Conference Policy Statement” (Hannay et al., 1998). As with many other topics in neuropsychology, there were disagreements about aspects of the proposed guidelines, including the process by which conference delegates were selected (or omitted). The Reitan Society and other colleagues opposed the guidelines (Reitan et al., 2004). George Prigatano, the NAN president in 1998, wrote the following as part of the NAN response to the Houston Conference guidelines (Prigatano, 1998):

Be it resolved that the Executive Board of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, while meeting in open session and having been a sponsor of the Houston Conference, views the requirement for employment that a Neuropsychologist ‘be trained in accordance with the principles of the Houston Conference’ or similar statements to be premature. The Houston Conference Training Guidelines are properly considered as aspirational and should not be subject to rigid application.

This reply was ultimately approved by the NAN Board of Directors on October 30, 2001.

Practitioner Focus and Conflicts of Interest

Also during this period, there was increasing concern by some NAN members and leaders that NAN had moved too far away from its original practitioner focus toward a more INS-like research focus, and there was a need to swing the pendulum back. The Coalition of Clinical Practitioners in Neuropsychology (CCPN) formed to address the needs of practitioners, which NAN was perceived as neglecting. ABPN diplomates, many of whom had been involved in the early days of NAN and/or served on the NAN Board of Directors at that time, held many of the CCPN leadership roles. As was common among all neuropsychological professional organizations at the time, some NAN leaders also held leadership roles in their board certifying organizations. These dual leadership roles led to concerns about conflicts of interest in the late 1990's and early twenty-first century. Additionally, CCPN meetings were often held concurrent with, and in the same vicinity as, NAN conferences and were seen by some as directly competing with the success of the NAN conferences.

Concerns about the role of NAN leaders in CCPN and other professional organizations came to a head at the business meeting held at the NAN conference in Miami, FL, in 2002. In response to the concerns of the membership, the NAN leadership established a conflict of interest (COI) task force in December 2002. The task force studied the concerns and relevant issues and provided recommendations for reducing and resolving COIs, including the need to establish a COI committee, which was done in 2003. NAN has been more sensitive to COI issues since that time and is probably more conservative in this area in some ways than most other professional organizations. For example, NAN prohibits its elected Board members from serving on the Board of Directors of another neuropsychological organization, but other neuropsychological organizations do not seem to have that same prohibition. However, questionable or clear COIs still emerge among Board members, and the COI policy and committee have been very helpful in addressing such situations.

In response to CCPN's activities, NAN ultimately re-emphasized its focus on practitioners, as demonstrated by the creation of the Professional Affairs and Information Organization (PAIO; described in more detail in a subsequent section). With NAN's renewed focus on clinical practice and practitioners, CCPN had achieved its primary goal and in 2006 was disbanded.

Policies, Planning, and Position Papers

In the late 1990s, NAN established a Policy and Planning Committee, originally chaired by past-president Jeff Barth and co-chaired by Neil Pliskin. Although charged with many tasks, the committee's production of position papers has had considerable tangible benefits for practitioners and others with interest in important aspects of neuropsychological practice. Under the leadership of Drs Barth and Pliskin, and with the contributions of their committee members, NAN completed its first position paper on the presence of third party observers during neuropsychological testing in 1999 (National Academy of Neuropsychology Policy and Planning Committee, 2000). The committee followed with a paper on the importance of test security, and its productivity has continued under the leadership of other chairs, particularly Ron Ruff and his co-chairs Alex Troster and Grant Iverson. Dr Berg recently became chair of the committee, and Dr Iverson remains the co-chair. At this time, NAN has published and/or provided online 17 position statements and education papers on a variety of topics of importance to neuropsychological practice (seewww.nanonline.org/NAN/ResearchPublications for a complete list of, and links to, the NAN position and education papers).

NAN at 25

Barbara Uzzell was the first NAN president of the twenty-first century, and only NAN's second woman president. Her efforts in 2000 were geared toward bringing neuropsychologists together to achieve goals beyond professional politics, with a particular emphasis on the needs of practitioners. In the year 2000, after 25 years of existence, NAN had grown to 3,323 members and had assets totaling $1.4 million, with an annual budget of $761,897, annual revenue of $721,286, and annual expenses of $699,596. It was in 2000 that the first Distinguished Service Award was given, going to Dr Puente.

NAN Foundation

In July 2000, the NAN Foundation was founded and incorporated in Colorado (Fig. 2). The NAN Foundation bylaws were adopted on October 30, 2001. According to the bylaws, the NAN Foundation is organized and operated exclusively for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes, with its primary focus being to financially support the charitable, educational, and scientific purposes of NAN, Inc. Until very recently, the NAN Foundation Board of Directors was the same as the NAN, Inc. Board; however, the importance of having separate but overlapping Boards was realized, and a new Board was established in 2009 with Dr Barth as the chair.

Fig. 2.

Articles of incorporation. Provided by Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhD.

Fig. 2.

Articles of incorporation. Provided by Lawrence C. Hartlage, PhD.

2001 to Present: Confronting and Moving Through the Crossroads

Ron Ruff became NAN president in 2001. As previously described, this was a time of contentiousness within the field and the organization. NAN was in jeopardy of a severe split. There was considerable conflict regarding whether the organization should adopt a more clinical or academic focus. CCPN was at the forefront of the movement to shift the focus back onto clinical practice during this time, but those activities caused conflict among the NAN Board. Board meetings were acrimonious and required Dr Ruff's deft navigational skills. Because he was not board certified in neuropsychology (he is board certified in rehabilitation psychology by ABPP) and thus not aligned with either group, he seemed to be adequately positioned to try to keep the peace. Like Dr Barth, Dr Ruff had not previously been actively involved with NAN, having been more involved with INS until being elected to the NAN Board. Therefore, he was very surprised at the dynamics and challenges experienced by the NAN Board members. There were also problems at the NAN office during this time, so the mid-year Board meeting was held in Denver to afford the entire Board the opportunity to spend time at the office. An important accomplishment during this time was the initiation of the Diversity Committee.

Jim Hom became president in 2002 and continued the efforts to move NAN's focus back onto practitioners. Important accomplishments during this period were the establishment of the COI Task Force (previously described) and the PAIO (described in more detail in a subsequent section of this article). Eric Zillmer and Bob McCaffrey were the next two presidents, during 2003 and 2004, respectively. The interactions among the Board of Directors and between the Board and some prominent members were contentious at times, although the leaders remained invested in maintaining and improving working relationships for the benefit of the organization and the profession. With a PsyD degree, Dr Zillmer was the first NAN president to have a doctoral degree other than a PhD.

An open letter from Dr Bigler to the Board and the response from Dr McCaffrey represented an important and challenging exchange regarding NAN leadership, image, and direction (Bigler, 2004; McCaffrey, 2004). With the departure of the ED just before the 2003 conference, the organization was in a bit of disarray, and the Board of Directors needed to take over conference activities, get a better handle on finances, and determine how best to manage the NAN office going forward. The organization was at a crossroads; however, through the dedication and work of the Board and remaining office staff, the transition continued in a positive direction. Improved transparency of Board activities and organization matters was a particularly important outcome of the difficulties that the organization went through during those years.

Bob Elliott and Mac Horton were among the earliest members of NAN and among the first to become involved in NAN leadership. They both served NAN in many appointed and elected capacities throughout its history, ultimately becoming president during 2005 and 2006, respectively. Dr Elliott held every elected Board position and many of the committee chair positions over the years, and Dr Horton's contributions were similarly significant. Dr Horton is the only NAN president to have an EdD degree and was only the second to have a doctoral degree other than a PhD. During part of 2005, NAN was without an ED, so the presidency required greater time and effort to run the organization from a logistics perspective, in addition to pursuing the goals of the organization in a manner consistent with its mission. To address some of the concerns and challenges of the previous few years, a management audit was performed by an independent management consulting firm. The feedback obtained from the audit helped NAN to refocus on strategic planning.

NAN accomplished a lot during these years, including through Dr Puente's efforts, providing extensive information on the use of new current procedural terminology codes; publishing more position papers; hiring a conference management company; contracting with a new investment firm; changing law firms; providing more online education offerings; reaching out to colleagues who were directly affected by hurricane Katrina; and hiring, orienting, and supervising a new, non-neuropsychologist ED. The audit and the other requirements of the presidency were extremely time-consuming, requiring hours of work each day on behalf of the organization.

Although much was accomplished during this period, there was acrimony among Board members, particularly in 2006, and some disappointment that the need for crisis management kept the president from being able to invest more effort to address professional issues and advocacy, such as dealing with managed care and improving reimbursement for practitioners. Dr Horton was invested in maintaining a fair governing style, accepting group consensus, promoting the organization's committee structure, and maintaining fiscal responsibility. Whereas some leaders micromanage and promote themselves, which stifles the development of junior colleagues, he was committed to supporting the work of committee chairs.

Professional Affairs

To help NAN reconfirm its commitment to private practitioners, in 2002, the Professional PAIO was established. The name of the committee was later changed to Professional Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC; see Table 8 for a list of PAIO/PAIC Directors and Chairs). The committee was originally funded by a special dues assessment, but that extra dues payment was later incorporated into the overall dues structure, from which committee activities were then funded.

Table 8.

PAIO and PAIC Directors and Chairs

2002: Leslie Rosenstein, PhD (Chair); Neil Pliskin, PhD (Co-chair in 2002) 
2006: Edward Peck, III, PhD (Robert Leark, PhD, Chair) 
2007: Patricia Pimental, PsyD (Shane S. Bush, PhD, Chair) 
2010 and continuing: Brenda Austin, PhD, and Paul Richards, PhD 
2002: Leslie Rosenstein, PhD (Chair); Neil Pliskin, PhD (Co-chair in 2002) 
2006: Edward Peck, III, PhD (Robert Leark, PhD, Chair) 
2007: Patricia Pimental, PsyD (Shane S. Bush, PhD, Chair) 
2010 and continuing: Brenda Austin, PhD, and Paul Richards, PhD 

Notes: PAIO = Professional Affairs and Information Organization. PAIC = Professional Affairs and Information Committee. Antonio Puente, PhD, served as a consultant to the PAIO/PAIC from 2002 through 2009 and has continued to serve on the committee since 2010.

Although the specific goals and activities have evolved since the committee's inception, the primary goal has always been to address professional issues of importance to the neuropsychology practitioner. More specifically, the PAIC's current goals are to (a) provide practice-related information to the NAN membership, (b) provide professional advocacy on behalf of clinical neuropsychology and consumers of neuropsychological services, (c) develop and provide practice-related information and resources, (d) promote the profession of clinical neuropsychology by interacting with local and national organizations that directly impact the profession of neuropsychology (e.g., health insurance companies, other healthcare professionals), and (e) educate the general public regarding neuropsychology's role in health care. In response to the needs of the membership, a focus on billing issues emerged from the committee's broad and ambitious agenda to take center stage in the past couple of years.

Because of a new policy requiring that NAN committee chairs not be able to receive stipends from NAN, the title of the person(s) in charge of the PAIC was changed from “chair” to “director” so that the position could remain funded; a nonpaid “chair” was then appointed from among the Board of Directors to assist with committee activities and leadership and to provide a direct link to the Board of Directors. To be consistent with the other NAN committees, the leadership position was later defunded, and the title was changed back to “chair.” The formation of the Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Committee (chaired by Laura Howe, PhD, JD) in 2009 helped to pick up some of the tasks for which the PAIC was previously responsible.

Sun Shines Through the Storm Clouds

Despite, and in part because of, the storming that occurred before, during, and since this period, NAN became and remains a preeminent professional organization. Through the efforts of untold numbers of volunteers under the direction and supervision of the past presidents, NAN made and continues to make significant contributions to the specialty of neuropsychology, individual practitioners, and consumers of neuropsychological services.

Norming and Performing

Norming involves the development of group cohesion; it is a time in which the group becomes increasingly unified, with common goals and a sense of group spirit (Tuckman, 1965). Behaviorally, there is cooperation and mutual support. Similarly, the performing stage of group development “is a stage of mutual task interaction with a minimum of emotional interference made possible by the fact that the group as a social entity has developed to the point where it can support rather than hinder task processes through the use of function oriented roles” (Tuckman, 1965, p. 390). Whereas norming involves the development of group cohesion, performing involves the use of group cohesion.

With intradiscipline tensions easing somewhat, NAN as an organization seemed be solidly within the norming and performing stages of development by the middle to late years of the first decade of the 21st century (i.e., around 2007). From that point to the present, there have continued to be elements of storming around specific issues and involving certain personalities, but overall the organization has made considerable strides that have helped to keep the organization at the forefront of the profession and to keep the profession of ever greater relevance and value to consumers of neuropsychological services, resources, and information.

Bill Perry, Ruben Echemendia, and Bob Denney served as presidents from 2007 through 2009. Those years were a time of re-examining and recommitting to the vision, mission, and goals of the organization. Since then there has been greater outward focus, with education and advocacy from local to federal levels. NAN representatives serve in consulting and advocacy roles with sports organizations, military leadership, a congressional task force, and national political leaders (Elliott, Golden, & McCaffrey, in press), as well as health insurance companies and other parties that have overlapping interests with neuropsychology. There has been a renewed commitment to increasing inter-organizational relationships and ventures, both within and beyond neuropsychology. Perhaps, the greatest challenge during this period has been the need to creatively explore options for balancing the ambitious and important goals of the organization with fiscal responsibility. The commitment to doing more and to being, or striving to remain, preeminent comes with a price tag, and there have been years during this period when the organization was unable to generate new income streams to meet the needs of its increased spending. When combined with a national and global financial recession, by 2010, the organization was in a position of needing to reduce its expenses by re-prioritizing its needs according to its mission and making difficult decisions to postpone funding of otherwise important endeavors.

Additional accomplishments during this time included the establishment of new awards. The first student poster award for a diversity-related topic which was presented in 2005 to Liza San Miguel-Montes, and the first Outstanding Dissertation Award was presented to John DenBoer, PhD, in 2008.

The year 2010 was NAN's 35th year, and I became NAN's 29th president. (Although Larry Hartlage served two separate terms as NAN president, only 28 different people had served as president before 2010. The presidents served 2-year terms until 1988.) The 30th annual conference was held in October 2010 in Vancouver, BC, Canada; it was the first NAN conference to be held outside of the US. In 2010, NAN's total membership was 3,580, assets totaled $2,530,158.37, annual revenue was approximately $1,000,000.00, and annual expenses exceeded $960,000.00. Clinical neuropsychology continued to face exciting opportunities, such as ability to contribute to an improved understanding of, and service to, military personnel who served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the integration of new technology into neuropsychological practice. However, we also continued to experience threats to our professional livelihood and our ability to provide quality and timely services to people in need. Changes to healthcare services and reimbursement nationwide across disciplines were promised, and the uncertainty made planning difficult. Nevertheless, consistent with NAN's mission, the NAN leadership has maintained a commitment to the advancement and protection of clinical neuropsychology in all practice contexts (NAN's mission is to “advance neuropsychology as a science and health profession, to promote human welfare, and to generate and disseminate knowledge of brain-behavior relationships” [www.nanonline.org/NAN/AboutNAN/Bylaws.aspx]).

Moving Forward

The present is illuminated by scenes of the past, which in turn are explained by scenes of an earlier past – and past and present mingle as contemporary forces in compounding thoughts and events and their significance. If there is any direction in time, we must bring this past/present to concentrate on our future. (Smith, 1978, p. 4)

In my interviews with past presidents, I asked them what recommendations they have for current or future NAN leaders. There was considerable consistency in their responses. The primary message was that NAN's original goals remain as important now as they did more than 35 years ago. The focus of the organization should remain on clinicians, particularly private practitioners, and on those we serve (see Table 9 for a list of common recommendations for future leaders). The direction and agenda of the organization should be member driven, rather than Board driven. The Board should strive, through informal interactions and structured methods, to determine what members want that they cannot achieve or accomplish alone.

Table 9.

Common Recommendations for Future NAN Leaders

Keep the focus on clinicians and practice 
Maintain a good conference and journal 
Support increasing practical application of technology (e.g., neuroimaging, virtual reality) 
Support evidence-based practice and education 
Bring neuropsychologists together to accomplish mutual goals for the profession 
Bring neuropsychology and other professions (within and beyond healthcare) together 
Promote neuropsychology to the public, through education and altruism 
Increase transparency in organizational matters 
Facilitate communication among Board members 
Increase use of past presidents 
Increase political advocacy for neuropsychological practice and science 
Keep the focus on clinicians and practice 
Maintain a good conference and journal 
Support increasing practical application of technology (e.g., neuroimaging, virtual reality) 
Support evidence-based practice and education 
Bring neuropsychologists together to accomplish mutual goals for the profession 
Bring neuropsychology and other professions (within and beyond healthcare) together 
Promote neuropsychology to the public, through education and altruism 
Increase transparency in organizational matters 
Facilitate communication among Board members 
Increase use of past presidents 
Increase political advocacy for neuropsychological practice and science 

Notes: NAN = National Academy of Neuropsychology. Compiled from interviews of past presidents.

Conclusions

“There is only one kind of narrative where the accuracy of what's described on the printed page cannot be questioned, and that is fiction.”

Janet Malcolm as cited in Ignatius, D. (2007). Body of Lies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

The journey of obtaining and writing a history of the NAN was a wonderful experience. This project afforded me the opportunity to talk to both legends in the profession and others who, although less well known on the national stage, nevertheless made invaluable contributions to the organization and are every bit legends to me. The one thing that struck me in my interviews with past presidents and others was that each person I spoke to conveyed, in words or substance, a kindness, altruism, and deep sense of commitment at some point in their lives, or throughout their careers, to NAN and neuropsychology. I am confident that despite the storming that has existed in NAN, as in all organizations, each person who served NAN in a leadership role did the best they could for the organization.

Through its growing pains, NAN has truly become a strong, independent, and professional organization influenced and run through a collaborative process by a collective group of neuropsychologists attempting to do what is best for our patients, society, and the profession. NAN is currently on solid footing with excellent current and future leadership, to the extent that the offices have already been filled. There is no doubt that as health care, mental health care, neuropsychology, and NAN continue to change over time, NAN will remain committed to the needs of clinicians and the consumers that we serve. As stated in the NAN History section of the NAN website (National Academy of Neuropsychology, 2009), “The involvement and contributions of the diverse membership will ensure NAN's continued success as a professional organization well into the future.” Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as NAN's president in its 35th year; it has been an honor.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Acknowledgements

Attempting to compile a history of the National Academy of Neuropsychology was a project that required assistance and input from many people. I am very grateful to the past presidents and others who spoke to me by phone and/or sent information via mail or e-mail. I received information from 24 of the 27 past presidents (listed in Table 2); Phil Schatz, PhD, and J. Michael Williams, PhD, who played key roles in the development of NAN's technology and web presence; William MacInnes, PhD, who served as a NAN Executive Secretary (Director) and in other capacities; and Heather Santos, NAN employee and current Director of Operations. Special thanks go to Drs Lawrence Hartlage and Erin Bigler for providing historical materials and to Drs Erin Bigler and Cecil Reynolds for reviewing a prior version of this manuscript. This project could not have been completed with the help of all who contributed, although any errors in the content are my responsibility alone.

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Author notes

Based on the National Academy of Neuropsychology Presidential Address October 14, 2010, Vancouver, BC, Canada.