Degree: Ph.D., University of Nebraska, (1957)
Office: Larsen 418
Dean Whitla is a psychologist with a particular interest in assessment and evaluation, who has spent much of his professional life evaluating progress, development and change in people and in institutions. His current major research effort is directing the National Campus Diversity Project, searching for best practices in campus diversity initiatives. He will be offering a seminar this spring connected to the project entitled "Analyzing Issues of Diversity and Prejudice."
He directed the Office of Instructional Research and Evaluation in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for some 40 years. He has also founded and directed the Danforth Center for Teaching and Learning (now the Derek Bok Center), served as Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Lowell House, and as Associate Director of Admissions at Harvard College, founded and still directs the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions.
One expression of his interest in assessment has been found in his course "Individual Psychological Assessment," which he taught for more than 40 years. It was designed to help students develop the skills and insights fundamental to diagnosing children and adolescents with special needs.
He has also evaluated the effects of block scheduling in a number of secondary schools, evaluated the outcomes of College Board Advanced Placement Programs, conducted many studies on college admissions, evaluated faculty development in UNCF colleges, studied the effects of aging on cognitive competencies, and co-authored a book with Doug Powell, published by the Harvard Press, entitled Profiles in Cognitive Aging. Additionally, he has served as a consultant for The Ford Foundation, the Bush Foundation, USAID, the Naval War College, the College Board, and Dartmouth College.
Profiles in Cognitive Aging (with D. Powell),(1994)