A professor of psychology at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, Calif., has been hired as UNLV's first Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies, President Carol C. Harter announced Thursday.
Charles T. Tart will assume his duties in UNLV's College of Sciences this fall.
The Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies was established and funded by a gift of $3.7 million from Robert T. and Diane Bigelow of Las Vegas. The chair will initially be filled on an annual basis by distinguished visiting science scholars.
"UNLV is about to begin developing a program in the fascinating area of consciousness studies, and we are most fortunate to have a scholar of Dr. Tart's considerable experience and reputation in the field to guide our efforts," Harter said.
Tart, who has been at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology since 1994, also served as visiting professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco (1994-95) and professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis (1966-94), where he is now professor emeritus. He is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Noetic Sciences in Sausalito, Calif., was a lecturer in psychology at Stanford University (1964-65), and an instructor in psychology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
"Dr. Tart's scholarship in the area of consciousness studies is extensive," said Provost Douglas Ferraro. "At UNLV, he will be developing curriculum and launching our program in consciousness studies."
Robert Bigelow said, "With his long and distinguished record in consciousness studies, Dr. Tart is well suited to establishing a program at UNLV in which empirical scientific investigation can be applied to research into the nature of human consciousness."
Tart, who received his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in psychology from the University of North Carolina, serves on several advisory boards for organizations concerned with psychical research and is a member of the American Society for Psychical Research.
He sits on the editorial boards of eight professional journals in the field and has written a dozen books and numerous articles and published numerous audio tapes on related topics.