The New Colleague (Again)

In 2010, Dr. Doug Wardell, who regularly taught the Department of Psychology's very popular courses in abnormal and clinical psychology, retired. Even though there was funding for his Faculty Lecturer position (obviously), after he retired, the Faculty of Arts did not provide funding to hire a replacement--which is kind of strange. (There have been a lot of budgetary ups and downs over the past decades.)

After a few years, though, funding did come through. The Department went through the arduous hiring process, and we found a great candidate. Unfortunately, literally the day after the offer was made to her, the Government of Alberta introduced their infamous slash-and-burn budget that brutally cut funding to post-secondary education. Understandably, the candidate said "no thanks" and did not join the University of Alberta.

The next year, we went through the process again. And then again the year after that. It's not easy to find someone who has clinical qualifications and also wants to teach. (Plus, you don't become a university instructor to get rich!) Happily, last year we were able to find someone who was in the process of graduating and we hired her. (In an it's-a-small-world twist, she was the wife of an old friend of mine from high school/university days.) Unfortunately, she was presented with a great opportunity elsewhere, and only taught for us for one semester. So...back to square one.

Going through the hiring process is not trivial. An ad has to be worked up and approved. You then get applications from people from all over the world (including some people with no psychology qualifications whatsoever). A screening committee has to do their due diligence and read through every one of these (cover letter, teaching statement, teaching evaluations, sample syllabi, multiple letters of reference) to come up with a shortlist. The shortlist is then scrutinized by the actual hiring committee. A small number of candidates will be invited to give a talk, a sample lecture, and be interviewed. Doing this for the third time is exhausting.But, third time's the charm, apparently. (No endorsement of superstitious beliefs is made or implied. Void where prohibited.)

I'm happy to introduce the Department of Psychology's new Faculty Lecturer, Dr. Jay Brinker. She comes to us from Calgary via Australia. (Don't hold the Calgary thing against her.) Dr. Brinker will be teaching courses like PSYCO 239: Abnormal Psychology, and PSYCO 335: Introduction to Clinical Psychology.

Please give her a warm welcome!

In other news, the Department also has a new Chair: Dr Chris Sturdy. He's not new to the Department, which is a good thing. There are deep, divisive issues facing the Department. Dr. Sturdy is going to need all the help he can get. I'm glad to see that he's prepared himself well over the summer, er, spending some time in Hawaii. Hey, everyone deserves some rest & relaxation before they get chewed up and spit out. Um, what I mean to say is, Good luck, Dr. Sturdy.

Why aren't you studying?


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