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William Byham

Byham1: William C. Byham, ’58, ’60, is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI), a pioneer in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Photo courtesy of: William C. Byham, Ph.D.

William Byham

William C. Byham (pictured here with Yohei Ichikawa, consulting associate) was a co-developer of Interaction Management, a leadership training program in which more than 10 million supervisors and managers have participated.

Photo courtesy of: William C. Byham, Ph.D.

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Byham gift to increase graduate support for Industrial/Organizational Psychology

This spring, the College of Arts and Sciences received a significant gift that will further enhance extra-curricular programming in the Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology program. The alumnus responsible for the gift is no stranger to the field.

William C. Byham, 1958 and 1960 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI). A pioneer in applying psychology to personnel management, DDI is the largest private employer of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists in the world.

“I/O Psychologists get the right people into jobs that they can perform and ensure that those individuals have meaningful training and supervisors who are effective in guiding their performance,” Byham said. “It is about empowering people in their job so they can enjoy their work.”

Byham’s gift will add to the endowed chair position he established 2008, as well as establish The William C. Byham Industrial/Organizational Psychology Graduate Student Support Fund to support the professional and research activities of the program’s graduate students.

The current William C. Byham Chair Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Rodger Griffeth, professor of psychology, will oversee the fund.

“Dr. Byham’s continued investment in this institution will further enhance the student experience at OHIO, and in turn, yield a stronger pool of I/O Psychology candidates who will have a profound impact on the field,” Griffeth said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has ranked I/O Psychology as the fastest growing profession by percentage increase for the foreseeable future, with a projected increase of 53 percent in new jobs in the coming years.

“I am very interested in seeing a steady supply of Ohio University graduates come into the field; it is good for the school, society and even my own company, as we have quite a few I/O Psychologists working for us [at DDI] now,” Byham said. “Everybody wins.”

While a post-professional degree is not required to enter the field of I/O Psychology, Byham hopes that the increase in graduate student support within the program will motivate students to stay at Ohio University to complete more schooling, diversify their experience and hone their skills before joining the workforce.

“You can cover all the basic elements in the undergraduate curriculum, but those extra years when you are able to complete a thesis and get more focused training in research are critical,” Byham said. “This fund will round out that experience with opportunities like professional conferences.”

In addition to presenting and networking with scholars at conferences, this support fund will provide opportunities for graduate students to engage in research activities otherwise too costly to run.

“We were ranked the number one program in the field, partially because of Dr. Byham’s endowed chair gift,” said Jeffrey B. Vancouver, professor in the Department of Psychology. “Dr. Byham’s most recent gift will expand further the opportunities otherwise precluded to our students because of financial limitations. Thanks to his contributions, OU can provide the kind of educational experience necessary for future ‘Dr. Byhams.’ We call that a positive feedback loop.”

The William C. Byham Industrial/Organizational Psychology Graduate Student Support Fund is part of the Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which topped its $450 million goal in April 2014—14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015, deadline. Already securing more than $474.5 million, the Campaign continues to raise funds in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and select facilities at Ohio University. 

Established in 1945 by OHIO President John C. Baker, The Ohio University Foundation is the fundraising unit responsible for raising, investing and disbursing funds in support of the OHIO educational mission. The Foundation is an institutionally related, non-profit, tax exempt, 501c(3) organization, and is the repository for all private gifts to the University through annual giving programs, capital and special campaigns, and planned or deferred gifts.