About Kurt


Kurt F. Geisinger is presently Director of the Buros Center on Testing and Meierhenry Distinguished University Professor at the University of Nebraska. The Buros Center, where he has led efforts to produce volumes such as the Mental Measurement Yearbooks as well as a variety of consulting projects is a great example of the science and practice of psychology being effectively combined.

Introduction

He is currently serving as a Member-at-Large on the Board of Directors after having served two terms as Council Representative for the Division of Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics in the American Psychological Association. He also represented the American Psychological Association on the International Standard Organization’s International Test Standards committee. Within the American Psychological Association, he was elected to the Board of Directors for 2011-2013. His primary interests lie in the areas of validity theory, admissions testing, proper test use, test use with individuals with disabilities and language minorities and the adaptation of tests from one language and culture to another.

He earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Davidson College, his masters’ degree in Psychology (Measurement and Human Differences/Industrial Psychology) from the University of Georgia and his doctorate in psychometrics/educational psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. He did an internship at Educational Testing Service during his training.

He has edited or co-edited the Psychological Testing of Hispanics and Test Interpretation and Diversity, both with APA books and the 17th and 18th Mental Measurements Yearbooks as well as Tests in Print VIII and High Stakes Testing: Science and Practice in K-12 Settings. He has recently completed editing the three-volume, 101-chapter Handbook of Testing and Assessment in Psychology, to be published by APA Books. He is working on a new version of one of his previous volumes, now entitled, Psychological Testing of Hispanics: Clinical and Intellectual Foci. He has published approximately 130 chapters and journal articles.

Throughout his career, he has been an active consultant, primarily for testing agencies and universities. As an advanced graduate student, he was project director of a court-ordered study of women police officers in the City of Philadelphia, a study that resulted in the opening of this profession to women. For about 10 years, he was a testing consultant for the New York City Department of Personnel where working closely with police, fire fighters, sanitation workers, health service workers, social workers, and personnel workers to perform job analyses and ultimately build the civil service hiring and promotion examinations for those positions. He often defended these and other examinations in court. He has also represented a number of groups in cases against improper uses of tests including Hispanics, other minorities, and people with disabilities. He represented unions in New Jersey and Canada in cases related to testing. He has served organizations such as The College Board, Educational Testing Service, and others on technical advisory committees and boards and chaired both the Technical Advisory Committee and the Board for the Graduate Record Examination.

His higher education leadership experience is also described under the heading Leadership and Experience.

 

Science

Science

I consider myself as mostly an applied scientist. I was elected to lead CASAP, the caucus for academic, scientific and applied research psychology for the APA Council of Representatives. I probably fall into all three of those categories (academic, scientific and applied research psychology). I ran a doctoral program in psychometrics at Fordham for more than 10 years during my stay at that great university.

Subsequently, serving as chair of the psychology department at Fordham, that included a doctoral program in Experimental Psychology and later added a doctoral program in Developmental Psychology, I learned much about different areas of psychology that I did not know earlier in my career. Moreover, I know that all areas of psychology, whether applied or basic, have scientific elements to them and use principles based upon scientific findings.

As a dean of arts and sciences at the State University of New York at Oswego, I saw how psychology really understands science in many ways better than those in biology, chemistry, geology, physics and other similar disciplines. I found that because of the fluidity of our subject matter—mostly people to be sure—we must know our scientific procedures and their limitations much better than many other scientists.

Many scientists have left APA. We know that. It should be a goal of APA to bring all psychologists back into the fold. What APA has as one of its greatest strengths is as a forum for all psychologists. And we know that the about three-quarters of APA’s budget comes from its publications, primarily its journals. One of my main initiatives as president will be to find ways that practitioners and scientists can talk about issues in ways that benefit both.

For seven years, I have been the editor of a journal (Applied Measurement in Education) and have been on a number of editorial boards, including Psychological Assessment. I have also served on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including Educational and Psychological Measurement, the International Journal of Testing, the College Board Review, and Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, among other journals. For many years I have been a full member of Sigma Xi as well as Psi Chi. I have been a member of Division 2 of APA for as long as I have been a member of the association.

 

Practice

Practice

I am committed to psychological practice in all its manifestations. While I am an academic, I am one who has spent considerable time off campus too. For years, I had a practice of building examinations for a variety of civil service localities, primarily New York City, and serving as an expert witness in a variety of legal cases related to testing. And I have done almost all of this work as a sole practitioner, so I know the difficulties of working alone. I am board certified by the American Board of Assessment Psychology and have participated in the certification of new diplomates as well.

As chair of the Psychology Department at Fordham University, I became very familiar with the host of clinical issues that such programs face. In fact, I have been married to a clinical psychologist for more than 28 years and my father ran a university counseling center. I learned quite a bit about psychological practice from both of these individuals so influential on me. I consider myself broadly aware of the many aspects of psychological practice, which is why I have been a fellow/member of both the Division of Educational and Industrial Psychology and why the Handbook of Testing and Assessment in Psychology, which I recently edited, had sections devoted to testing and assessment in Clinical Psychology, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology, Testing in the Schools, and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. It is also one of the reasons why I have participated in more than 20 accreditation visits. I am pleased to direct the Buros Center for Testing because I believe that our publications such as the Mental Measurements Yearbooks have great benefit for practice, as they do for education. I believe that we must be concerned about all aspects of applied psychology.

In recent years, there can be no question that private practice clinicians have had a huge reduction in their ability to earn a living. This concern has been a major one for APAPO, but a role that governance members must continually hold is to remind staff that this is one of the most important concerns that psychologists face. We must continue to have influence on the reimbursement codes and we must emphasize our scientific underpinnings, a focus that makes us different from many other health-service providers. APA and the APAPO both need to be at the forefront of discussions relating to the value of psychological treatments in health care reform, including mental health. As part of that discussion, we need to ensure that psychologists receive the appropriate and optimal reimbursement for services rendered. I am prepared to participate in and lead these discussions and to work with the excellent staff of the APAPO to accentuate the prominence of psychology and psychologists in this national deliberation.

 

Education

Education

I am a lifetime academic and have served as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, and Distinguished University Professor with a chaired professorship5. I have served as a program director for a doctoral program1, as a department chair1, as a dean of arts and sciences2, as a vice president for academic affairs3,4, and as a director of a research center5. All of these positions show my desire to serve as an educator. For the years that I was a department chair, I was active in COGDOP.

The awards that I have received in my career of which I am most proud include the Jacob Cohen Award for Distinguished Teaching and Mentoring given to me by Division 5 (Measurement, Evaluation and Statistics) in 2008 and the Thomas F. Donlon Award for Distinguished Mentoring given by an educational research association. I love working with students, and I consider my doctoral students to be members of my extended family. Over the years, I have turned down much higher paying positions in industry to remain in academe.

I have supported excellence in education and have been inducted into at least four honor societies related to education, including Psi Chi and Phi Kappa Phi, of which I have been a chapter president and on the founding team at two institutions.
I have served as an accreditation site visitor of APA-approved programs of clinical, counseling and school psychology for more than 20 years and have participated in more than 20 site visits. On occasion, I have reviewed undergraduate psychology programs too. I am also an approved site visitor for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. I am a member of the Teacher Education Accreditation Commission’s Accreditation Panel and have chaired the reviews of more than a dozen schools. I have been a member of the commission that is currently panel attempting to rejuvenate the accreditation of programs for educational professionals. My work as chair of the Board for the Graduate Record Examination brought me into much contact with graduate deans and I have spoken on several occasions at national and regional meetings of graduate deans. I have taken on these tasks as part of my commitment to value and improve education.

  • At Fordham University
  • At the State University of New York at OswegoK
  • At Le Moyne College
  • 4 At the University of St. Thomas
  • At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Public Interest

Public Interest

Much of the work I have done throughout my career has been focused upon public interest. For example, the work I did for years with the New York City Department of Personnel, building police and fire examinations, was focused upon helping the City of New York to improve. When I was up for promotion and tenure at Fordham, officials in New York City wrote the Fordham personnel committees and told them of the public service component of my work.

In my case, I have also given my time generously to a host of committees and task forces for APA and other organizations. have provided a partial listing below.

  • APA, Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessments
  • APA Committee on International Relations in Psychology
  • APA Task Force for Test Interpretation and Diversity
  • APA Task Force on Guidelines for Assessment and Treatment of Persons With Disabilities
  • APA Good Governance Project committee
  • APA Board of Educational Affairs Task Force to Develop an APA Award Recognizing Schools for Promoting Effective Learning Environments
  • APA Task Force on Applying Psychological Science to the Analysis of Data for Program Improvement
  • International Test Commission, Council (Board of Directors)
  • International Test Commission, Treasurer
  • International Test Commission, Executive Council
  • Member, Organizing Committee, 5th International Congress on Licensure, Certification and Credentialing in Psychology (Stockholm, Sweden, July 2013)
  • Joint Committee on Testing Practices, Chair (and APA Representative)
  • American Educational Research Association, International Committee
  • College Board, SAT Committee
  • College Board, Research and Development Committee, Chair
  • College Board, Middle States Regional Council
  • Graduate Record Examination, Board of Directors, Chair
  • Graduate Record Examination, Technical Advisory Committee, Chair

 

Diversity

Commitment to Diversity

My commitment to diversity has been long-standing, sincere and very important. I am not sure when it began, but it has been influenced by being a foreign college student in Germany during the 70; by working 15 years in the Bronx; by working with police, fire and various social service agencies as a consultant in New York City; by having a graduate student of mine die of aids; by representing individuals with disabilities and having the son of a friend experience a horrific accident where he became quite disabled; by having family members, friends and colleagues who are gay, and lesbian; and a large variety of other life experiences. Being left-handed even has contributed, I am sure.

Below, I have listed some of my publications over the past 20 years in the areas of diversity, mostly working with linguistic minorities—primarily Hispanics/Latinos, those with disabilities, and those from other countries. I note that I have been an expert witness in a number of the most important cases related to the testing of persons with disabilities.

I would look forward to hearing from you too, especially if you have guidance for me in regard to this election or various policy issues that will come to the APA Board of Directors this year. I have served APA on three committees in addition to Good Governance Committee and at least five task forces, several of which relate to diversity. I also note that I am working presently on a second volume entitled, Psychological Testing of Hispanics: Clinical and Intellectual Issues.
I would also say that while many of my most influential work concerned language minorities and individuals with disabilities, one of my strongest orientations has been an international focus. I myself was an international student while in college and studied in Germany for one year and took and passed a German fluency test to enter the Philipps-Universität in Marburg, Germany. I was later approved for a Fulbright Fellowship to work in the divided Cyprus to help their student attend international universities, but my university would not let me take it given that I was pre-tenure. These experiences coupled with my testing knowledge and personal orientation are why I have been active recently in international psychology conferences, with the International Test Commission, and why as an academic administrator I emphasized international education. I happen to believe with the shrinking world, we must know what is happening in other countries in terms of both the science and the practice of psychology! We at APA are really fortunate to have Dr. Mery Bullock on our staff for this reason; she is perhaps one of the very best known and respected psychologists in the world.

I can also report my strong support for gender diversity in all its manifestations. As a project director of a study of police women, I enabled women to enter that profession in a large unnamed eastern city (where and when Frank Rizzo was mayor). And that “enabling” was based upon evidence gleaned using scientific methodology. As a vice president, I always publicly supported my presidents, even when I disagreed. However, one time I did fight with my president was over an issue of gender orientation. It is, unfortunately, not the kind of story that can be told on a webpage.

I happen to believe that the greatest strength of America is our melting pot quality; the greatest gift of humanity is our diversity. What makes us different, makes us great!

Selected Publications of Kurt Geisinger related to Diversity

Sandoval, J., Frisby, C., Geisinger, K.F., Scheuneman, J., & Ramos-Grenier, J. M. (Eds.). (1998). Test interpretation and diversity: Achieving equity in psychological assessment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1998.

Geisinger, K. F. (Ed.), (1992) Psychological Testing of Hispanics Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Geisinger, K. F. (2012). Worldwide test reviewing at the beginning of the twenty-first century. International Journal of Testing, 12, 103-107.

Geisinger, K. F., Kriegsman, K., Leigh, I. W., Manghi, E., Schultz, I.Z., Seekins, T., & Taliaferro, T. (Authorship by this committee and listed in alphabetical order.) (2012). Guidelines for assessment of and intervention with persons with disabilities. American Psychologist, 67, 43-62.

Geisinger, K. F. (1994). Psychometric issues in testing students with disabilities. Applied Measurement in Education, 7, 121-140.

Geisinger, K. F. (1994). Cross-cultural normative assessment: Translation and adaptation issues influencing the normative interpretation of assessment instruments. Psychological Assessment, 6, 304-312.

Tenopyr, M. L., Angoff, W. H., Butcher, J. N., Geisinger, K. F., & Reilly, R. R. (1993).Psychometric and assessment issues raised by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Score, 15 (4), pp. 1-2, 7-15.

Geisinger, K. F. & McCormick, C. (2012). Testing and assessment in cross-cultural psychology. (2012). In Naglieri, J., & Graham, J. (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology, Volume 10: Assessment Psychology (pp. 161-224). NY, NY: Wiley.

Geisinger, K . F. (2004).Testing students with Limited English Proficiency. In J. E. Wall & G. R. Walz (Eds.), Measuring up: Assessment issues for teachers, counselors, and administrators (147-159). Greensboro, NC: ERIC Clearinghouse for Counseling and Student Services and the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Geisinger, K. F. (2003). Testing and Assessment in Cross-Cultural Psychology. In J. R. Graham & J. A. Naglieri (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology (Volume 10: Assessment Psychology) (95-117). I. B. Weiner (Editor-in-Chief). New York: John Wiley.
Geisinger, K. F., Boodoo, G., & Noble, J. P. (2002). The psychometrics of testing individuals with disabilities In R. Ekstrom & D. K. Smith (Eds.), Assessing Individuals with Disabilities in Educational, Employment, and Counseling Settings. (pp. 33-42). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Geisinger, K. F. & Carlson, J. F. (2001).Testing students with disabilities In G. R. Walz & J. C. Bleuer (Eds.), Assessment: Issues and Challenges for the Millennium. Greensboro, NC: CAPS Publications/ERIC Clearinghouse for Counseling & Student Services. Pp. 375-380.

Geisinger, K. F. (1998). Testing accommodations for the new millennium: Computer-administered testing in a changing society. In Niyogi, S. (Ed.). New Directions in Assessment for Higher Education: Fairness, Access, Multiculturalism & Equity (FAME). The Graduate Record Examination FAME Report Series, No. 2, pp. 12-20.

Sireci, S. & Geisinger, K. F. (1998). Equity issues in employment testing. In J. Sandoval, C. Frisby, K. F. Geisinger, J. Scheuneman, & J. M. Ramos-Grenier (Eds.) Test interpretation and diversity: Achieving equity in psychological assessment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 105-140.

Geisinger, K . F. (1998). Psychometric issues involved in test interpretation. In J. Sandoval, C. Frisby, K. F. Geisinger, J. Scheuneman, & J. M. Ramos-Grenier (Eds.) Test interpretation and diversity: Achieving equity in psychological assessment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 17-30.

Geisinger, K. F. & Carlson, J. F. (1998).Training psychologists to assess members of a diverse society. In J. Sandoval, C. Frisby, K. F. Geisinger, J. Scheuneman, & J. M. Ramos-Grenier (Eds.) Test interpretation and diversity: Achieving equity in psychological assessment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 375-386.

Geisinger, K. F. & Carlson, J. F. (1995). Testing students with disabilities. (ERIC/Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services Digest, 1995, (ERIC #EDO-CG-95-27). In W. D. Schafer (Guest Ed.), Assessment in counseling and therapy: An ERIC/CASS Special Digest Collection, Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services.

Geisinger, K. F. (1995). Psychometric and policy issues in the use of tests with individuals with disabilities. Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Disability Issues, pp. 141-145. April, 1995.

Geisinger, K. F. (1992). Testing LEP students for minimum competency and high school graduation. In Focus on Evaluation and Measurement (Volume 2). Washington, DC: United States Department of Education, Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs, pp. 33-67.