Science Leadership Conference speakers discussed ways to promote
psychological science in today’s financially lean times.
BY REBECCA A. CLAY
To kick off APA’s 2012 Science Leadership Conference, psychologists serving as academic leaders explored ways of advancing psychological science within higher
education in a time of constrained resources and competing
about where the field is going and then focus on what you’re
good at, she said. Find a niche you can fill and make sure
every decision moves you toward that goal, she advised.
Be sure to consider the wider context, added Mary Anne
Fitzpatrick, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
at the University of South Carolina. Simply asking for more
money won’t work, she said. “Array your strategic plan as
much as possible in the direction in which the college or
university is going,” she said.
In some cases, working toward a long-term goal might
mean cutting courses or programs that don’t fit your strategic
plan, if only temporarily. “Pruning a tree makes the tree come
back stronger,” Benbow pointed out. At the same time, she
said, don’t just think about cutting. Finding new ways to raise
revenue, such as developing a master’s degree program, could
be a way to “grow yourself out of” financial problems.
Get your faculty involved in making these hard decisions,
said Isaac Prilleltensky, PhD, dean of the School of Education
and Human Development at the University of Miami.
“Faculty members want to be consulted,” he said. “If we invest
in developing participatory democracy, people will come up
with great ideas for new sources of funding.”
A one- or two-day faculty retreat away from campus is a