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Experimental Psychology Contacts for Graduate Students

The Psychology Department is organized in a somewhat decentralized fashion to help spread the workload around. It has a chair, two assistant chairs, and two program directors. Below is a short description of their functions so that graduate students will know whom to turn to for various needs.

Department Chair

The chair has responsibility for just about everything but has delegated a number of these responsibilities to the positions described below. The chair works primarily on matters relating to the faculty, the budget, scheduling of courses, etc. and represents the department when dealing with other units. Students will need to see the chair if they present convention papers (which is encouraged) in order to get partial reimbursement for their travel costs (see Travel Support) or to discuss available funding for thesis and dissertation research (see Research Support).

Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies

This person oversees policies and procedures relating to all the graduate programs. If students have questions about program requirements, registration, financial aid, grievances, GA, TA, or RA assignments, deadlines, and various other practical matters, they should check with the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies. However, students are encouraged to consult this manual first.

Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Studies

This person oversees policies and procedures relating to the undergraduate program.

Director of Experimental Training

The Director of Experimental Training (DET) plays an important role in guiding the experimental program and in exploring procedures and options for providing better experimental training. The DET?s primary functions are to encourage excellence in graduate experimental teaching and to promote research opportunities for experimental graduate students. The DET should work in close cooperation with the Department Chair in attaining these goals. In the service of these goals, the DET may engage in a wide variety of tasks, many of which cannot be specified in advance. However, some duties that the DET may perform include the following:

Facilitate and support the development of graduate students by:

  • Encouraging grant writing and research activities among graduate students.
  • Assisting and coordinating the development of off-campus research and training experiences for experimental graduate students.
  • Assisting students (as requested) in placement related efforts.

Facilitate the development and enrichment of programs within the section by:

  • Encouraging the development and modification of programs of study, and maintaining the currency of program offerings and of their integration.
  • Exploring and developing funding opportunities for major section goals and programs (e.g., program excellence, training grants, and equipment grants).
  • Working with the colloquium coordinator (Jeffrey Vancouver) to further the objectives of the experimental section programs by establishing an ongoing and regular program of speakers.
  • Working with the Chair and Director of Clinical Training (DCT: Julie Suhr) on joint venture research and training opportunities.
  • Serving as an ex officio member of the Experimental Admissions Committee.
  • Assisting in the recruitment of quality students for experimental programs.

Conduct the routine business of the section by:

  • Providing effective day-to-day management of experimental section activities such as student evaluations, equipment expenditure recommendations, and policy decisions.
  • Conducting committee elections, or appointing minor section committees and advising the chair on the appointment of individuals to department committees, following up on committees, stimulating committee action.
  • Working with the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies (ACGS) on program updates, etc. Invite same to all section meetings when graduate policies will be discussed.
  • Annually reviewing and updating of the Experimental Section Graduate Student Manual.
  • Listening to inter-faculty and student-faculty problems and complaints relevant to the experimental section and trying to find solutions.

Serve as a standing member of the departmental Faculty Load Committee (with the Director of Clinical Training and Chair) and the Graduate Committee (with the DCT and ACGS)

  • The departmental release time for this position is one course per year.
  • The normal term for the DET is three years. The office may be held for a maximum of two terms in succession by any one person.

Organizes PSY 6980 (Research Seminar), which includes recruiting and introducing speakers.