Longstanding Educational Psychology professor and department head Dr. Vic Willson will retire from the College of Education and Human Development after 37 years of service. Throughout his career, Dr. Willson played a key role in the developmental growth of the department.
Dr. Willson began working at Texas A&M in the late seventies. He recalled the excitement he had upon arriving to implement the educational blueprints that he and other faculty members shared for the future of the department.
“One of my interests in coming here was that the university was going to be built up,” said Dr. Willson. “Much of the growth took place within the mid-seventies through the mid-eighties. The dean at the time had in mind of developing a department built with a research focus that offered full graduate programs.”
In the midst of this growth, Dr. Willson led a series of hiring waves, bringing in new faculty members, increasing research funding, and strengthening the overall output within the department.
“We’ve had really good faculty come in over the years that have helped to bring notoriety to the college,” Dr. Willson said. “My view is to hire good people and get out of the way. From a research standpoint, we’ve had more faculty members hired from the national scene and it has allowed us to put students in the position to be successful.”
On a student level, Dr. Willson pushed for stronger graduate programs that aimed towards focus-based student learning and research collaboration.
“There is an increasing awareness from graduate students about their needs and the expectations they have toward faculty members,” he said. “My goal has been to develop climate in the department and this department is good at mentoring students. We have many resources that few universities can match.”
A retirement reception for Dr. Willson will be held Wednesday, June 8 in the Stark Galleries.