Posted on Feb 26, 1999

February 15, 1999

1. The minutes of February 8, 1999 were approved.

2. Professor Ken DeBono, chair of psychology, discussed the external review of the
Psychology Department. He noted two problems with the review. First, the reviewers did not
complete the report until a year after the review. Second, the clinical psychologist on
the team was unable to come at the last minute; consequently, a clinical perspective is
missing in the report.

Professor DeBono said that the review process had led to reconsideration of the
structure of the major. He pointed out that the size of the faculty and the lack of
physical resources made it impossible to have more laboratory courses as the report
suggests. He pointed out that the average grades in the department of tenure line faculty
are 2.58 and that the average grade of freshmen is 2.4. He noted that one-fifth of the
graduates last spring were either psychology majors, ID majors, or minors and expressed
the need for more permanent faculty to handle this load. The current tenure line faculty
number is 6 1/2; previously, they were eight. The most glaring curricular gaps are in
experimental psychology, especially the psychology of learning or cognitive-neuro
psychology and in social psychology dealing with cross cultural or interrracial issues. A
question was raised about the appropriate use of multiple choice exams. Prof. DeBono
explained that they were used almost exclusively in the introductory courses especially
when the enrollments were 50 and over, and that, if one looks at the testing literature,
forced-choice tests are proved to be more reliable tests of learning than many other
means. Changes proposed by the department include allowing only one independent study to
count toward the major. The success of the psychology major is to a degree indicated,
Professor DeBono reported, by the large number of psychology students who continue to
graduate school.