PULLMAN, Wash. — Frances K. McSweeney, a professor of psychology at Washington State University, was named Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, effective Jan. 1.
“Fran McSweeney will bring to this position a strong tenure of work in faculty leadership positions. I look forward to her counsel in efforts to support faculty needs,” said Robert Bates, WSU academic vice president and provost. “Dr. McSweeney will provide leadership in the evaluation of our current faculty policies and practices that will include reviewing such areas as faculty development, salaries, hiring, mentoring, performance reviews, and tenure and promotion procedures.
Where appropriate, I expect that her efforts will result in the updating of our administrative procedures, development of new or revised programs and bench-marking with faculty affairs of other similar universities,” he said. “In addition Fran will be a member of the Council of Deans and serve as a liaison to the Faculty Senate.”
“We have a president and provost who believe we need to have a world-class faculty to have a world-class university,” McSweeney said. “I look forward to being a part of it.”
She will continue her research and work with graduate students while assuming the half-time position.
McSweeney, a faculty member at WSU since 1974, is known for her fundamental work on behavior and reinforcement, which helps with the understanding of learning and other human behaviors. One of her discoveries is said to have broad implications for the study of learning, motivation and animal behavior that may cause theories of complex human behavior to be modified.
She is a former WSU Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Psychology and recipient of the 2002 Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Arts. A past chair of the Faculty Senate, McSweeney also received the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award for 2001. She is a Smith College graduate and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.