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2007 Honorary Degree

William Byham
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William Byham has distinguished himself over the last 40 years as a pioneer in the world of human resources.

He is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Development Dimensions International, Inc., in Bridgeville, Pa. Since its inception in 1970, DDI has become internationally renowned for its expertise in human resource consulting and training. DDI has more than 1,200 employees in 26 countries, working with more than 15,000 organizations worldwide.

Born and raised in Parkersburg, W.Va., Dr. Byham went to Ohio University for his bachelor's and master's degrees before coming to Purdue for his doctoral degree. He received his doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology in 1962.

He started his career in J.C. Penney Co. Inc. as a manager of selection, appraisal, and general management development. Then, just three years after co-founding DDI, Dr. Byham founded the International Congress on Assessment Center Methods in 1973.

Over the years, he has devised many methods of personnel selection, training and assessment. He pioneered such methods and technologies as the assessment center method, behavior-based interviewing, behavioral job analysis methodology and results-based employee and management training.

He has co-authored more than 20 books and has written more than 200 articles, book chapters and monographs on human resource consulting and training. One of his books, Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment, has sold more than 4.5 million copies and has been named by chief executive officers as the number one business book of the 1990s.

Dr. Byham's behavior-based interviewing system, called Targeted Selection, is now used by more than 4,500 organizations worldwide. It is also available in 10 languages.

He is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. In 2005, Dr. Byham received the Douglas W. Bray Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Application of Assessment Technology, an award named for his friend and co-founder of DDI, the late Douglas Bray.

In 2006, he donated funds to Purdue to establish the William C. Byham Professorship in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

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