Committee becomes Department of Human DevelopmentBy William Harms
The University has renamed the Committee on Human Development the Department of Comparative Human Development in order to better describe its role and reduce confusion about its research.
Like other departments, Human Development hires faculty, promotes them to tenure and admits graduate students to whom it awards both master’s and doctoral degrees. Human Development also offers a concentration in the College.
“The label ‘committee’ was confusing to many of our important audiences,” said Richard Taub, Chairman of Comparative Human Development and the Paul Klapper Professor in the Social Sciences and the College.
“Much time was spent explaining to potential graduate students, for example, that we really are a department.
“We know directly from numerous telephone calls and conversations that we may have lost many graduate student applicants because of the confusion,” Taub said, adding that a similar problem occurred with faculty recruitment.
Comparative Human Development is an interdisciplinary research and training program, bringing together anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, biologists and linguists.
A unit of the University since about 1940, the program was joined with the Department of Psychology in l973, and returned to its independent status in 1999.