Psychology Department Changes Locations

President Paul Gaffney announced at the start of this academic year that the Psychology Department will be leaving Edison Hall and residing in Howard Hall.

Psychology will now be amongst Computer Science, Software Engineering, Mathematics, the Department of History and Anthropology and the Department of Philosophy, Religion and Interdisciplinary Studies. “Psychology’s arrival in Howard Hall now makes even more sense from an academic collaborations perspective, as well as meeting space and improved science facilities needs,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Thomas Pearson.

The drive behind the move to Howard Hall is the desire to significantly upgrade Edison Hall as the home of the School of Science, according to Pearson. He said, “Our move of many offices in Information Management from the lower level of Howard Hall to the new top floor addition of Edison Science building opened up space for the Psychology Department.”

According to Patti Swannack, the Vice President for Administrative Services, the move of Information Management left about 75 to 80 percent of open space on the lower level of Howard Hall. She explained that only two rooms remained after their move, being a classroom with computers and the 24 hour computer lab.

Swannack described the recent changes, stating that now on the east side on the lower level of the building, there are two general purpose classrooms and a classroom that doubles as a science and archeology room. The Psychology Department now resides on the west side. “These are great improvements and use of space,” she said.

The construction cost the University a total of $200,000, according to Swannack. She continued to say that the manufacturing was all done by in-house personnel, with a few exceptions. “We did it to save money,” said Swannack.

Pearson hopes that the move will boost relationships between Anthropology and Psychology because they are closely aligned Social Sciences and are now in the same building. “Professor Robyn Holmes in Psychology teaches courses cross listed in anthropology and I would expect the collaborations between these two disciplines to increase,” he said.

Richard Veit, an anthropology professor, said “I think that it is great to have two of our social sciences, anthropology and psychology in close proximity. I expect that the Psychology Department and the Anthropology Program will work well together.”

Gary Lewandowski, associate professor and Chair of the Psychology Department, feels that this move is an improvement for employees in the department. “The biggest benefit to faculty is that we are now able to have all of our faculty in one spot,” he said. He went on to explain that the Psychology Department was formerly spread across the basement and first floor of Edison Hall.

According to Pearson, about 23 faculty members from the Psychology Department were moved to Howard Hall. This includes 12 full time faculty members, one administrative assistant and approximately 10 adjunct professors.

Joseph Boyle, a junior psychology major, also agrees with the change. “The department is now in plain sight in Howard, back in Edison you had to search for it and people had a hard time finding it,” he said.

Pearson explains further why the move was made to Howard Hall. “Also, because psychology as a discipline has strong links to the sciences, we wanted to keep it near the Edison Science Building,” he said.

“We know from recent program reviews that we need to upgrade our School of Science facilities to be on par with our high quality science faculty,” said Pearson. In order to improve Edison Hall, more space in the building was needed. To make more room in the science building, the Psychological Counseling Department was also moved and relocated off campus to the Monmouth Park Corporate Center.

The work of the construction staff was praised by Pearson stating that the space in Howard Hall was turned into a beautiful suite of offices and classrooms.

Swannack said the construction started in January of this year and was completed between the beginning and the middle of August. However, this idea has been discussed before. “The planning was decided several years ago,” said Swannack. She continued to say that further improvements are being looked at regarding redoing the flooring of the lower level of the building during the holiday break.

When Lewandowski and Pearson were asked about any downsides concerning the move, they both said there were none. “I think it will be a good change for the department. We are grateful for all of the hard work facilities put into making it such a nice space for us and our students,” said Lewandowski.

“I have heard some positive comments from [the Psychology Department] and I hope psychology students and faculty are pleased and satisfied with the changes,” Pearson said.