“As chair, he served as a wonderful mentor to many junior faculty who came to the department in an expansion in the 1980s,” Professor Robin J. Lewis said of Raymond Kirby. “These faculty went on to have long and productive academic careers.” Photo ODU Libraries


By Joe Garvey

Raymond H. Kirby was a transformational figure during his tenures as chair of Old Dominion University’s Department of Psychology.

But he brought about change with a human touch.

“He was warm, welcoming and created a collegial atmosphere in the department,” Professor Robin J. Lewis recalled. “He had a calm demeanor and displayed the utmost integrity.”

“He was an exceptional colleague and a strategic administrator,” added Janis Sanchez, Professor Emerita of psychology.

Kirby, who brought an emphasis on research to the department, established its first doctoral program and championed diversity among faculty and students, died on March 22. He was 88.

Kirby, who came to ODU in 1968, served two stints as chair, from 1969 to 1973 and 1979 to 1985. He earned the A. Rufus Tonelson Faculty Award, which is given annually and recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching, research and service to the University, in 1985. His research interests included experimental areas of psychology. He retired in 1998.

Kirby set about transforming the department’s focus through the professors he hired.

“I think only Joe Adkins was a research-oriented faculty member before Ray arrived,” said Professor Emeritus Valerian Derlega. “Ray went about, almost single-handedly, hiring Pete Mikulka, Fred Freeman and the group I came with,” which included Alan Chaikin, Steve Klein, Bill McVaugh and Perry Duncan, and others who came later.

Kirby also hired Earl Alluisi, an internationally recognized scholar in the perceptual and human factors areas, to lead the industrial psychology area, which became the department’s first Ph.D. program.

“Then he pushed for the PsyD program in clinical,” Derlega added. “Remember that way back when, in Virginia, no school could start a doctoral program in an area if there was already such a program in existence elsewhere in the state? Hence, the unique focus early on for a Ph.D. in industrial psychology and a PsyD in clinical psychology.”

“He had a lot …….

Source: https://www.odu.edu/news/2022/4/raymond_kirby_obitua

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