Improving departments of psychology.


Diener, E. (2016). Improving departments of psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(6), 909-912.


Our procedures for creating excellent departments of psychology are based largely on selection—hiring and promoting the best people. I argue that these procedures have been successful, but I suggest the implementation of policies that I believe will further improve departments in the behavioral and brain sciences. I recommend that we institute more faculty development programs attached to incentives to guarantee continuing education and scholarly activities after the Ph.D. degree. I also argue that we would do a much better job if we more strongly stream our faculty into research, education, or service and not expect all faculty members to carry equal responsibility for each of these. Finally, I argue that more hiring should occur at advanced levels, where scholars have a proven track record of independent scholarship. Although these practices will be a challenge to implement, institutions do ossify over time and thus searching for ways to improve our departments should be a key element of faculty governance.

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