- Professor Emeritus
Dave Abbott [Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts] was hired in 1967, initially as a consultant, to plan a Psychology curriculum for the future Department of Psychology at Florida Technological University, now UCF. Dave was an Associate Professor at Stetson University at that time and was subsequently hired in 1968 as an Associate Professor and the first Chair of the new Department of Psychology for FTU. Dave hired one other faculty member and the doors of FTU opened to its first students in the Fall of 1968. Under Dave’s able leadership the department grew rapidly and by the Fall of 1972, the Department consisted of 20 full time tenured/tenure earning faculty with an Undergraduate BA degree and two M.S. degree programs [Industrial-Organizational Psychology; and Community/School Psychology]. Dave served as Chair of the Department until 1977. By that time, the Department majors had grown from 90 in 1968 to almost 400. Dave was responsible for bringing the first research contract from the U.S. Navy to FTU and these contracts and many others which followed paved the way for a long-standing, close relationship between the Department of Psychology and the Navy and which ultimately led to the development of the first Ph.D. degree program in the department in Human Factors Psychology.