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About this icon's image: A 1965 photo of the just-completed Psychology Research Building behind the Psychology building.


PSYCHOLOGY'S GREAT EXPANSION: 1960 - 1975

OVERVIEW

In the early 1960s the Department was heading into a period of significant changes.


Hugh Waskom, Head of the Department since 1948, was nearing the end of his administrative career. Winthrop Kellogg had wound down his research and teaching activity. The Clinical Psychology program was growing and the School Psychology program had attracted major federal funding. Some faculty in the Experimental Psychology program were interacting with colleagues from Biological Sciences to explore a new research area, "psycho-biology". There was a growing sense that the field of psychology was changing, and that the Department's standing in the University and on the national scene could be improved. Opportunities for significant funding from federal sources were recognized as a means for advancing the Department's fortunes.


The Department's changes in the 1960s were greatly facilitated by two administrative influences. Early in the 1960s, the most important role was played by an Associate Professor, Larry Chalmers, hired in 1957, who eventually moved from the Department to upper-level administrative positions in the University where he stimulated several important initiatives for Psychology. In the mid-1960s, a Search Committee headed by Dan Kenshalo recommended the appointment of Joe Grosslight as Departmental Chair. He was charged with expanding the Department's footprint in various areas of psychology, doubling the number of Department faculty, and riding a major wave of expansion and new funding that was just getting underway. The story of this era in our history indicates the involvement of many faculty who seized many opportunities to expand the Department in ways that resonate through its subsequent history. That story is recounted here.



THE SEVERAL IMPORTANT INFLUENCES OF LARRY CHALMERS

In the history of this institution, two psychologists occupying positions in the University's upper administration have greatly altered the fortunes of Psychology on campus. One, whose contributions are discussed elsewhere in this Archive, was Edward Conradi (President of FSCW, 1909-1941). The other was Larry Chalmers (FSU: 1957-1970), who began as a faculty member in Psychology, and then rose to high administrative positions in the College of Arts & Sciences and the University. His influence on the Department's expansion in the 1960s, and in what has come afterwards, is difficult to overstate.
Click here to read about Larry Chalmers and his influence on the Department's fortunes in the 1960s.



A NEW DEPARTMENTAL CHAIR - JOSEPH GROSSLIGHT

In 1965, Hugh Waskom stepped down after 17 years as Department Head. At that time, Larry Chalmers was Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. He appointed Howard Baker as Acting Chair of the Department for 1965-1966, and Dan Kenshalo as chair of a committee to search for "a chairman who could double the number of faculty and simultaneously achieve academic distinction" (Kenshalo, 1989). The Department was energized by this opportunity, and discussions between the whole faculty and the search committee resulted in a consensus "that the new chairman should be strongly oriented toward research" (Kenshalo & Scarborough, 1989).


The outcome of the search was that Joseph H. Grosslight (Ph.D., Yale University, 1946) moved from Kent State University to become the Department's first Chair, preceded by only three Department Heads since 1915 (Edwin Hayden, Paul Finner and Hugh Waskom).


Joe Grosslight was chair for the next 20 years, during which the Department expanded in very significant ways. Soon after leaving the chair position, he died unexpectedly in 1988 at the age of sixty seven.
Click here to read about Joe Grosslight's early years as the Department's Chair.



THE GREAT EXPANSION IN PSYCHOLOGY'S RESEARCH SPACE


In the mid-1960s, the initiative to expand the Department's research space begun by Larry Chalmers and completed under the oversight of Dan Kenshalo (as described in the above account of Larry Chalmers' influences) came to fruition when a new 32,000 square foot, 5-story, research building was completed adjoining the Psychology Building.


This building was originally named the Psychology Research Building (PYR). In 1982 it was renamed the Kellogg Research Building (KRB) in honor of Winthrop Kellogg. In 2008, Psychology moved from this building to a new building on the West side of campus where the entire Department was housed together for the first time in many decades (see Changes & Growth - FSU Psychology 1975-1995).
Click here for more on the Psychology Research Building's construction and features.



ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

The Department began this 15-year period with three established areas of academic training that provided the structure for faculty hiring and graduate student recruitment - Clinical, Experimental, and School psychology. Vigorous faculty recruitment to expand these three areas was initiated in this period, and faculty were recruited for a new Social Psychology area as well. Records indicate that more than 40 new faculty members were hired during this fifteen-year period - approximately 14 in the Clinical area, 15 in Experimental, 12 in School, and 4 in Social. The pace of the recruiting effort was most hectic at the beginning of Joe Grosslight's term as Chair when at least 20 new faculty were hired in the 4-year period between 1967 and 1970 (see The Grosslight Years by Kenshalo & Scarborough [1989] in the "Department Heads & Chairs" section of this Archive). Of course, not all of those hired found a good fit here, but many remained on the faculty for years, and some through to retirement. In addition to the recruiting of regular faculty the academic areas were strengthened by additional adjunct, temporary and part-time faculty appointments, including William Rushton, a world-renowned expert in visual psychophysics from Cambridge University (England), and Bryan Robinson, M.D., a local neurologist.


Understandably, the scope and focus of Psychology's academic training areas changed in response to new initiatives and the influx of new faculty expertise during this significant period of the Department's history. Click here for an overview of developments in the Clinical, Experimental, School, and Social areas during the 1960-1975 era. Some of these changes set the stage for a major reorganization of academic areas in the next period of the Department's history (1975-1995), which is reviewed in another part of the Archive.



DEPARTMENTAL ATMOSPHERE

As waves of new faculty arrived in the 1960-1975 era, the Department remained a collegial place, with a palpable sense of momentum towards new goals. Many new arrivals were experiencing life in a medium-sized Southern city for the first time, often through the lens of political and cultural views established elsewhere. The attitudes and views of established faculty who had arrived in the 1950s was reassuring and always welcoming to the newcomers. The charm of the area's physical environment and its traditional southern ways and hospitality were impressive to most. But, Civil Rights protests in Tallahassee during the 1960s (including a faculty boycott of the Mecca Restaurant directly across Copeland Avenue from the Psychology Building) were indicative of significant social issues at the local level. Initially, the faculty was not diverse in race or gender, but by the end of this 15-year era change was afoot in both cases, and in the graduate student population as well.


Collegiality among faculty and graduate students in all Department areas was fostered by several events. As recounted by Kenshalo and Scarborough (1989) in their recollection of The Grosslight Years (see "Heads and Chairs of Psychology" elsewhere in the Archive) there was an all-hands-on-deck approach to the huge effort in faculty recruiting in the 1967-1970 period. By their conservative estimate, there were at least 60 recruiting parties during those four years in which the majority of faculty participated! Faculty, graduate students and their families were welcomed by Jack & Cynthia Hokanson at their farm near Lloyd for afternoons of softball, horseback riding, and other festive activities that were enjoyed immensely. For many years, Wally & Pat Kennedy held a Departmental party on July 4 at their unique "river mansion" in Wakulla County, where swimming, tubing, fishing, and fish-grilling by Wally provided a sample of Southern living that was an annual highlight for faculty, staff and their families. For several years, the Kennedy's also invited new faculty to dinner at their house in Tallahassee. Ned Megargee recalls that "after dinner, we repaired to the parlor. Wally served some local home-made (elderberry?) wine. He then sat down, put on his glasses and read to us. The selections included excerpts from some distinctly Southern stories and poems, and were designed to help acculturate the newbies to life in the South." Over and above Departmental collegiality, the Hokanson and Kennedy events resulted in many enduring friendships among individuals and families of faculty members of this era.



THE DEPARTMENT'S PLACE IN THE UNIVERSITY - AN EARLY-1970s CHALLENGE

A former Dean of the School of Education, Stanley Marshall, was President of FSU from 1969 to 1976. In the early 1970s, Marshall floated a proposal to reconfigure the College of Arts & Sciences, effectively reducing its size and influence in University matters.


Marshall's proposal received a tepid reception in many parts of the University community, but it posed a particular issue of self-identity for the Department of Psychology. At that time, the Department was portrayed in some quarters as being comprised of two areas concerned with professional training (Clinical and School), and one area focused on basic research (Experimental). The School Psychology area had long-standing ties with faculty and instructional programs in the School of Education, and a case was made that School's (and, perhaps Clinical's) fit within the College of Arts and Sciences was not ideal. From this point of view, breaking up the Psychology Department could be meaningful move.


The Department responded to Marshall's proposal with a forceful defense of maintaining its current Experimental, School and Clinical areas as a proper structure for Psychology. That response can be found in the Department of Psychology Position Paper on University Organization, which Dan Kenshalo circulated to the faculty in February, 1973. His cover memo indicates that the position paper was developed by a "Crystal ball committee". (Barron Scarborough was Acting Chair of the Department in that year while Joe Grosslight was temporarily heading the University's London Study Program in England.) The Department's position paper was forwarded to administrative units and committees considering Marshall's plan. In the end, the College of Arts & Sciences was not reorganized in the early 1970s, and Psychology retained the structural organization it had developed in the early 1950s.


A copy of the Department of Psychology Position Paper on University Organization (1973) was recently unearthed in Jim Smith's collection of old documents. It provides an excellent description of the Department's thinking about its identity in that era as a science department in the College of Arts & Sciences. In subsequent years, questions have sometimes arisen about the Department's position in the College and the University organization. In fact, about 10 years later the question arose again, this time within the College itself, and eventually resulted in a major change in the Department's own structure (see A New Century For Psychology 1995--2008).
Click here to see the Department of Psychology Position Paper on University Organization (1973).


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