1 AGENDA ITEM III C PROPOSED ACADEMIC PROGRAM LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY Ph.D. IN INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
2 AGENDA ITEM III C PROPOSED ACADEMIC PROGRAM LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY Ph.D. IN INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY BACKGROUND INFORMATION Louisiana Tech University has offered an M.A. program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology since It has been a very successful program at the University, having graduated 289 students over the past five years. The University now seeks approval for a new Ph.D. program is this same field of study. If approved, this program would be the ninth doctoral degree offering at the University. To understand the interrelationship of Industrial/Organization Psychology with the existing mission and program offerings (including a Doctor of Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology) of Louisiana Tech University, the following subject definition from the U.S. Department of Education 2000 Edition: Classification of Instructional Programs is useful: Industrial/Organizational psychology focuses on the scientific study of individual and group behavior in institutional settings, applications related to problems of organization and industry, and that may prepare individuals to apply such principles in industrial and organizational settings. I/O includes instruction in group behavior theory, organizational theory, reward/punishment structure, human-machine and humancomputer interactions, motivational dynamics, human stress studies, environmental and organizational influences on behavior alienation and satisfaction, and job testing and assessment. REVIEW PROCESS In Fall, 2007, staff sent a list of prospective external consultants from similar program nationwide to Louisiana Tech University for its reaction. From this list, staff and the University jointly agreed on three appropriately qualified individuals to conduct the on-site review: Dr. Harold Goldberg, Chairman, City University of New York, Bernard Baruch College Dr. Roya Ayman, University of Iowa Dr. William Sauser, Auburn University This review team performed its on-site visit to Louisiana Tech on February 11-12, 2008 and submitted its finding in a report dated March 31, This report was immediately sent to Louisiana Tech for a response which was received May 1, The following staff summary and analysis excises relevant portions both of these aforementioned documents, leading to a staff recommendation.
3 CONCLUSION AND GENERAL RECOMMENDATION OF THE REVIEW COMMITTEE, WITH A RESPONSE FROM LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY Based on our review, the committee fully supports the proposal for the creation of a doctoral program in I/O psychology at Louisiana Tech University. The committee feels there is a strong need for such a program in the state given the trends in the world of business toward a focus on strategic human resources. Furthermore, we feel that the university is well situated for creating a successful program in this area. In our eyes, the program would fit well in the supportive environment of the university, could partner in a synergistic way with other departmental programs as well as those in the business school, and could leverage various opportunities to create a program with some strong competitive advantages. While suggestions are provided by the committee in the report for how to improve the program proposal (e.g., curriculum adjustments), we found that it was generally on target and comprehensive in terms of developing a strong program. In order for the program to be successful, proper resources must be committed and various recommendations should be followed as summarized in this report. Key commitments that must be made include: *Competitive funding for two I/O faculty lines (i.e., an experienced position at start up and a junior position after 3-4 years) and office space, equipment, and research start up funds. *Stipend, office space, equipment, and funding for research and travel for incoming doctoral students (i.e., a staggered start of 2-3 students for 2-3 years and subsequently classes of approximately 5 students to a cohort). Of critical importance in recruiting top students is a competitive stipend and a tuition waiver (or including additional money in the stipend to cover tuition). *Dedicated lab space for faculty and student research teams. This space can be unique or common depending on the needs of the research teams. Additional funds must be earmarked for needed research equipment for such labs. *Release time to cover program administration, research activities, and the mentoring of doctoral students (e.g., release time for the program head, research release time for faculty, workload credits for mentoring theses and dissertations). *Dedicated space and funding for program events (e.g., meetings, colloquium). *Dedicated space and funding for a program administrator/secretary. *Travel funding for faculty and students to attend conferences so that research can be presented and the profile of the program can be raised.
4 *Funding to support diversity initiatives for the program (e.g., grants to attract minority students). Louisiana Tech University is pleased that the review committee fully supports the creation of a doctoral program in I/O Psychology. The committee confirmed the need for the program and the fit for the program in the supportive environment and collaborative opportunities at the university. The committee recognized that the proposed program is well poised to take advantage of the current Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, the potential partnerships to be developed with the military and government agencies and the growing entertainment industry and other growth businesses in the area, and other evolving opportunities in the State of Louisiana, as well as the nation. The University feels that its commitments address the recommendations of the review committee. As noted in the review report, the strong faculty already in place and the administrators are very supportive and excited about the opportunities to be available through this Ph.D. program. We wish to express our appreciation to the review committee and Board of Regents staff for the positive review and recommendations to enhance the program s potential. With Board of Regents approval, Louisiana Tech University would implement the Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology in the Fall WEAKNESSES AND PROBLEMATIC AREAS WHICH THE REVIEW COMMITTEE IDENTIFIED, WITH RESPONSES FROM LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY ADDITIONAL FACULTY ARE NEEDED Hiring additional I/O faculty is a critical component for success. We recommend immediately hiring an experienced I/O faculty member (e.g., associate or full professor) to serve as program head. The salary outlined in the proposal should be increased to attract a strong candidate. In addition, money should be set aside to hire an additional junior I/O faculty member two or three years after the program is started. The promise to make this hire can be used as added incentive when trying to attract the experienced hire. Both of these hires need appropriate office and lab space as well as start up money for research (e.g., to purchase lab equipment). The University has approved the hiring of an experienced I/O faculty member (associate professor rank) to be in place no later than the second year of program operation. It will also add another junior faculty member in the third year of program operation dependent on program growth. The University will provide new faculty appropriate office and lab space as well as start up money for research. Within a two to three year window, additional space for this program will be provided in the Enterprise Center or in the College of Education. This space will be made available through relocation of other programs. Travel funds to ensure that faculty and
5 students are able to present their research at conferences will be made available. The faculty hired will be at market salaries and the University will provide merit based salary increases to maintain competitive salaries for employed faculty. ADDITIONAL FACULTY SUPPORT IS REQUIRED For current faculty as well as the new hires, it is important to examine salaries to see how they compare to typical I/O salaries in the field. Also, summer salaries could be provided to junior faculty to support their pursuit of tenure. This way, they would not need to do course overloads or teach summer school during this time period. In addition, the current faculty members need to have the proper lab space in place to mentor doctoral students in research. Also, they need money for conference travel which is particularly important in promoting research, facilitating faculty development, and building the presence of the program to the field. We will continue to examine salaries to see how they compare. According to the SIOP salary survey, our current assistant professor positions appear to be well above the national average. In terms of doctoral faculty, the salaries are in line with the national average. These faculty will be eligible for university funded competitive summer research grants and summer teaching. While laboratory space is available in the current building, we anticipate space in the Enterprise Center becoming available for program faculty and students. Additional travel funding was included in the proposal budget. STAGGERED PROGRAM START IS RECOMMENDED A staggered start is recommended in terms of bringing in doctoral students. We feel that the program should start off the first 2-3 years by bringing in 2-3 students a year. Eventually, the class size should grow to 5 students per year, but this allows the program to get started without overwhelming the faculty with too many graduate students to mentor. To attract students and facilitate their success, three to four years of stipend support should be provided in the form of RAs and TAs. The package provided should be approximately 15,000 to 18,000 dollars a year plus tuition (perhaps a process of tuition remission can be put in place). In addition, office space and computer equipment for students should be provided as outlined above as well as funds for conference travel and research. We suggest that a six-student cohort be admitted to maximize resources available. Based on our experience with doctoral students, this cohort will withstand possible attrition and provide a sufficient group to benefit from interaction with one another both in class and in professional and social collaboration. We feel that we can attract a qualified student cohort (5-6) in the first year with student stipend support of $12,000 (RA and TA packages), renewable for up to 4 years. We
6 will review the level of funding each year with a commitment to remain nationally competitive. The applicants would also be eligible for competitive awards through the Minority Doctoral Fellowships and the Louisiana Tech Doctoral Fellowships. The President has in place a process by which he can provide tuition remission for outstanding doctoral applicants. Adequate office space is currently available for students in the first- year class. With the admission of Class 2, additional space should be available to I/O faculty and students either in the College of Education building or the Enterprise Center as a result of relocation of other programs. Computer equipment is available for assignment to students for use in their oncampus offices FACULTY RELEASE TIME WILL BE NEEDED Release time and/or workload credit is needed for mentoring doctoral students and conducting research. For example, faculty who are productive researchers should be given course releases to support their endeavors (e.g., one course per year as long as conducting research). In terms of mentoring students, workload credits could be provided to faculty. For example, a part of a credit could be provided for each student masters thesis and dissertation that a faculty is overseeing (e.g., 1 semester-hour of course credit per dissertation per semester). In addition, release time should be provided to the program head to cover administrative duties. Workload adjustments for I/O program faculty will follow the workload plan already in practice for the current Counseling Psychology doctoral program. CURRICULAR REVISIONS DESIRABLE TO ENSURE STRONG RESEARCH FOUNDATION We recommend reviewing the curriculum to make sure the necessary level of research and psychometric courses are in place to provide a strong foundation for the doctoral students. In addition, the courses outlined should be enhanced with journal readings as well as research oriented writing assignments so they are at the proper depth for a doctoral program. In addition, a comprehensive exam plan should be put in place as well as committee member requirements for theses and dissertations. The proposed curriculum provides 9 hours of statistics and 6 hours of psychometrics. The statistics courses are also required by the Counseling Psychology doctoral program. We agree with the consultants that additional training is needed. We will add a course on structural equation modeling to the proposed curriculum.
7 Some course syllabi in the initial proposal did not include extensive reading lists due to the need for such lists to be current and cutting edge. In practice, all core I/O classes will include extensive readings of both current and classic research articles with a focus on developing research. ASSESSMENT TRACK WOULD CREATE SYNERGY BETWEEN COUNSELING AND I/O PROGRAMS The committee also recommends pursuing directions of competitive advantage for the program. For instance, the development of an individual assessment sequence as outlined in the proposal is a good idea for collaboration between the counseling and I/O programs. Creation of this track could help the program in developing students to do executive coaching, career development, and individual assessment. Furthermore, the program may want to explore enhancing student exposure to areas that will assist in application of ideas to the business world. For instance, a minor could be created in functional business courses such as marketing, finance, accounting, and operations. Another possibility is to offer consulting skills-based courses that focus on the proper application of I/O principles to the business world. The proposal includes most of the recommendations above with the exception of the broad selection of business courses. We believe that as the program evolves and matures that connections like this will occur. Regarding the possibility of the consulting course, the proposal calls for a course titled Organizational Consulting Skills which will directly address this area. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES WOULD HELD CREATE DOCTORAL CULTURE To develop the proper culture of the program, activities should be put in place such as program meetings, invited speakers, and brown bag activities that could focus on presentation of faculty and student research. Funding must be provided for these activities and space should be identified for holding these events. We agree and such activities will be funded and space will be identified for the events. ADDITIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT IS NEEDED We recommend exploring the need for administrative support for the program. Thought should be given to hiring an administrator/secretary to assist in the functioning of the program.
8 The University will explore this matter and forward such requests as needed through the financial budgeting and planning process for review and action. USE OF ADJUNCT FACULTY/TEACHING ASSISTANTS SHOULD BE EXPLORED In order to maintain the current Masters program as well as add the doctoral program, thought should be given to identifying further teaching resources so that faculty are not overwhelmed by the workload. Proper adjuncts should be identified and doctoral student TAs can be utilized to help. As with the Counseling/Psychology program, TA s will be utilized to teach undergraduate courses and allow greater flexibility of release time to graduate faculty. PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE BUSINESS SCHOOL SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED Formal discussions should be held with the management faculty members of the business school as well as their program head and/or dean to determine tangible ways to partner that will be mutually beneficial (e.g., open classes to enrollment from both programs, coordinate course offerings, serve on dissertation committees, hold joint colloquium and invited talks). This process of formal discussions has already begun with full support of the Dean of the College of Education and the Dean of the College of Business to achieve this recommendation. EFFORTS ARE NEEDED TO PROMOTE FACULTY/STUDENT DIVERSITY We recommend a deeper investigation into ways to promote diversity in the program in terms of students and faculty. A structure should be put in place for exploring this issue (e.g., a committee formed to head up this process). The need for increased diversity in both our faculty and student population is ongoing and is always an integral part of our decision making process. Special efforts to recruit applicants to our Counseling Psychology program have been to offer targeted fellowships and the development of a plan to target recruitment efforts toward traditionally black colleges and universities. The
9 Minority Doctoral Fellowships program funded at the university level will be available to recruit and support minority students. STUDENT WORK PLACEMENT PROGRAM SHOULD BE CONSIDERED We recommend that thought be given to creating a placement plan for doctoral students in the work place. The members of the program should look for viable avenues of employment for the students as well as ways to partner with industry to get students the level of experience they need to be placed in good work positions. We have a great deal of experience with such activities at the master s level and feel that this experience will transfer to the proposed doctoral program. PROGRAM SELF-EVALUATION PROCESS SHOULD BE DEVELOPED We recommend that the program put in place a self evaluation process. By benchmarking against peer programs, the program can determine the level of success it achieves as well as pinpoint areas to develop. We concur and feel that ongoing assessment and change are the hallmarks of success. STAFF SUMMARY The external reviewers were enthusiastic about the likely development of a new Ph.D. program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology program at Louisiana Tech University. Their enthusiasm was largely the result of the high quality of the existing M.A. program and the supporting advantages of the University s Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology and Doctor of Business Administration program. This is not to say, however, that the reviewers did not have some concerns and, as a result, made several recommendations for program enhancements. The University did not argue the validity of the consultants suggestions, but it several cases, Louisiana Tech either requested some changes or agreed in principle without a specific plan for remedy. The following staff observations, therefore, are relevant: 1. Student/Faculty Numbers - The staff agrees with the University that an entering class of only 2-3 students is less than optimum and concurs that this number should be increased to 5-6. This will effect more efficient course planning and provide for a critical mass of students essential to intellectual exchange. To avoid overburdening an already very busy faculty, however, the staff believes that the consultants are correct in insisting that the program begin with one additional new
10 I/O doctoral faculty, instead of waiting until the second year of program operations as suggested by the University. As the University does not plan to implement this degree until Fall, 2009, there should be adequate time to successfully search, interview, hire, and fund this essential position. A second new, additional doctoral I/O faculty should be hired in the third year as provided in the consultants report. 2. Student Stipends - The University has been successful in the past in attracting high-quality students at reduced assistantship salary levels, but as a new, fledgling program, this may be more difficult in this case. Some additional flexibility in stipend amounts is needed amounts for each need not all be the same, depending on student need and desirability. 3. Curricular Augmentations - A more definitive plan for instituting the type of extracurricular activities recommended by the reviewers is needed. This includes a speakers series, program meetings, informal get-togethers, work placement program, etc. The how, when, and where of such activities should be spelled out in more detail. 4. Cross Disciplinary Activities - Similarly, there appears to be many possibilities for cross-disciplinary curricular activities with counseling psychology and management faculty and students. Such occasions should be fully investigated and planned for during the upcoming program planning year. 5. Administrative Support - Clearly, this program will require additional staff support. The University should commit to such up front and plan for needed hirings in time for program implementation. 6. Budget - The University submitted a program budget with its original proposal, but this budget is largely null and void, given program needs above which still need to be addressed. A new comprehensive five-year budget should be submitted and approved. In conclusion, the staff recommends conditional approval, with a stipulation requiring the submittal of a University progress report addressing to the fullest extent possible the program needs mentioned above. This report should be required by June 1, 2009, prior to anticipated program implementation in Fall, STAFF RECOMMENDATION The staff recommends that the Academic and Student Affairs Committee grant conditional approval for the proposed Ph.D. program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (CIP Code ) program at Louisiana Tech University, effective Fall, By June 1, 2009, the University shall submit a progress report to the Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs, addressing remaining program needs as indicated in the Staff Summary.
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