Rod C. Gillis, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer

(305) 284-4944
Locator Code:


Brief Bio

I am a full-time teacher of Psychology. Over the past 38 years I have carved out an unusual career. I first taught Introduction to Psychology in 1977 while working on my Ph.D. in Social Psychology here at the University of Miami. The following year I accepted a position as Assistant Director of the Bureau of Measurement and Research (BMR) here at the university of Miami. Upon earning my Ph.D, in the spring of 1981, I was hired as the Director of the Bureau of Measurement and Research. BMR was part of a larger unit known as the Guidance Center, which included the student Counseling Center and a remedial Reading Center for local children in the community. The Guidance Center was part of the Division of Student Affairs. The name of BMR was soon changed to The Testing Center. As its Director, I spent the next 6 years doing administrative battle on issues pertaining to placement tests, CLEP tests, Faculty evaluations and many related issues. I served on numerous UM committees and a state-wide committee on Undergraduate Achievement. I chaired a national association of testing center directors. I found most of it to be tedious, unsatisfying and even, at times, mind numbing. It seemed that most of the obstacles I encountered resulted from battles of egos rather than of ideas. By the end of 1986 I knew that I did not care for university administration. I yearned for more, but not more of the same

Fortunately, in the spring of 1987 Herb Quay, the Chair of the Psychology Department, offered me the position of Acting Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology. I held that position for 2 years while Dr. Rod Wellens completed a research sabbatical with the U.S. Air Force. When Rod returned to resume his position of Associate Chair, I moved to Florida Memorial College, a local, historically black college, where I taught for the next 3 years.

In the spring of 1993 Rod Wellens, in recognition of my past teaching successes, invited me to become the first full-time teaching Professor of Psychology. It was made clear from the start that this new position was for teaching only. I would teach 4 courses each semester and my annual evaluations would be based solely on the success of my teaching. Rod wanted to bring me in as an Associate Professor, but the options were limited. The only 2 titles available for non-tenure-track professors at the time were "Research Associate Professor" or "Adjunct Associate Professor". Since I was specifically not expected to get involved in research, we settled on Adjunct Associate Professor. Thus I became the only full-time Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Miami, an oxymoronic title that I held for 22 years. In 2015 I accepted what was billed as a promotion to Senior Lecturer.

Research Interests

I am a full-time teacher of Undergraduate Psychology. My Graduate training focused on Social Psychology. I later spent six years as Director of the U.M. Testing Center. My early teaching focused on Tests and Measurement and Social Psychology. In recent years, however, I have become more involved with the teaching of Statistics and Research Methodology. Computerized statistical packages and smart classrooms now allow us to teach Statistics better than ever before.



1981Ph.D. Psychology University of Miami