University Counseling Service

(UCS) at the University of Iowa:



Gerald L. Stone

University of Iowa


This page was completed by the current director
in acknowledgment of the 50th Anniversary of the UCS,
 celebrated in July, 1996


University Counseling Service (UCS) at The University of Iowa: 1946-1996



            Historically, counseling services in higher education could be traced to the character development emphasis within the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century private religious college.  Other historians would point to the testing and guidance activities of World War I, the student personnel work at the University of Minnesota in the 1920s and 1930s, the disciplinary function of collegiate deans in the early twentieth century, or to the modern separation between faculty interests and student goals, as appropriate historical contexts.  The origin of modern-day counseling services was the widening opportunity for higher education that occurred after World War II.  Legislation (Serviceman's Readjustment Act--GI Bill) entitled all veterans to financial support for a college education.  The majority of these veterans entered public rather than private universities, requiring additional service at these universities (e.g., testing, career and educational guidance).  In response, the Veterans Administration established guidance centers on or near a college campus.  At Iowa, such a service was administered through the founding of the Student Counseling Office in 1946.  Dewey Stuit,1 (a list of directors is attached) the first director and former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, was one of the early pioneers of counseling psychology.  The Student Counseling Office was housed in the Department of Psychology, although an earlier informal counseling program was conducted with the Registrar's entrance testing program.


            Location and staffing pattern represented another major contributor to the growth of the UCS.  As noted, the Student Counseling Office was housed in the Department of Psychology in East Hall, from 1946 until the early seventies.  As envisioned, the Counseling Office at Iowa was to follow the Minnesota model of applying science to vocational counseling activities including the use of psychometric tests.  This psychometric emphasis was certainly reflected in the founding pioneer of the Counseling Office--Dewey Stuit.  He obtained his doctoral degree at the University of Illinois in Educational Psychology with emphasis on tests and measurement.  During his tenure at Carleton College, he had contacts with Jack Darley and E. G. Williamson about the Minnesota model.  In coming to Iowa, he was director of the entrance testing program as well as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology.  During World War II, he was in the Navy and assigned to the Personnel Office concerned with testing and research.  Clay Gerken1 who was involved with the Counseling Office from 1943-57, had earlier been Director of Personnel at the University of Minnesota and a contributor to the Minnesota Occupation Rating Scale, and later in charge of the VA counseling office at Iowa.  Thus, research, psychometrics, and vocational counseling served as major foundations although one could point to some interests in personal counseling (e.g., Shoben’s1 work in 1949 about a learning approach to psychotherapy).  Most of the early work was vocational counseling with referral of serious personal issues to the Iowa Psychopathic Hospital.  Within the Department of Psychology, there had been a tradition of clinics including the speech clinic.  The research and training clinic model in which faculty members serve primarily as researchers and supervisors of graduate students who see most of the clients was adopted by the Counseling Office.


            In the mid- to late 1950s, research and training were strengthened and outreach outside the Department of Psychology was introduced by Len Goodstein.1  He improved services.  In fact, the Student Counseling Office was changed to its current name--University Counseling Service in the mid-1950s.  He brought people from other disciplines such as Donald Hoyt from Education, John Muthard from Rehabilitation, and others from the Child Welfare Station.  John Crites1 continued the research and training traditions including a two-hour battery of tests for each client.  He also completed his text on Vocational Psychology at Iowa.  The outreach activities continued especially during the 1960s with group meetings in residence halls about interracial dating and efforts to support student protesters.  If the mid-forties and fifties were the first stage, followed by consolidation and transition in the 1960s, the second stage was the 1970s.  Many changes occurred including another location change.  The movement from the Psychology Department and East Hall to the Student Services Division of the University and the Student Union was not only a physical move, but a reconceptualization of the counseling service.  The earlier priorities of research, training, and service were reversed--from a research and training clinic concerned with tests and vocational counseling to a student development center concerned with a variety of services to students.  Ursula Delworth’s1 appointment and tenure as director in the mid-1970s reflects these changes.  Coming from community service and student development background at Colorado State University Counseling Center, she stressed the development of student service programs.  As a consequence of these changes, the academic counseling psychology program moved from Psychology to Education.


            In our more recent past, the internship was accredited under Delworth’s1 guidance and the academic program in counseling psychology was re-accredited after the loss of accreditation that occurred in the move in the early 1970s.  During the late 1980s and 1990s, another physical move took place--the move from the Student Union to Westlawn, a large multipurpose building on the west side of campus.  Earlier, the Westlawn space was a nurses’ dormitory and then a residence hall for the Foreign Language House.  Although there were no major conceptual changes like before, the move did come to highlight a more professional and clinical setting dealing with students suffering from more serious psychological problems.  Although there has been an increase in clients with serious problems seeking service at the UCS, these problems are not unrelated to their academic progress.  The UCS has always provided psychological services that are directly related to the academic mission.  For example, in the early years the Counseling Office was always concerned with academic problems--reading clinic, Dewey Stuit’s1 research in how to study.  Currently, we continue this long tradition of dealing with academic problems by providing workshops on study skills, dissertation support group, and learning disability assessment.  The tragedy of multiple homicides on campus on November 1, 1991, and the aftermath including the response of the UCS for psychological intervention for the community, solidified the reputation of the UCS as a valuable university resource. The diversity theme has been a major theme for several years, beginning with the turbulence in the 1960s, through Delworth’s1 hiring of a diverse staff, to the present day infusion of diversity throughout all UCS functions.


            In coming to a close, the UCS will continue to evolve.  In the beginning, were the pioneers who established a research- and training-based clinic focused on vocational and educational counseling and staffed by a few research-oriented psychologists who supervised a number of graduate students who counseled many of the student clients.  The next stage of development represented consolidation of the past and transition from a research clinic to a student service office associated with professionals influenced by student development.  The current stage has built on the past and extended the service, training, and research functions to meet the challenges of diversity and mental health policy issues arising from the health and safety needs of Iowa students.  In looking back at major contributions, Len Goodstein’s1 work in predicting academic success, John Crites’1 research in the development of vocational interests, Ursula Delworth’s1 contributions to a developmental clinical supervision model, and Gerald Stone’s1 writings on mental health policy issues in higher education need to be mentioned.  The Golden Anniversary of the UCS was just celebrated.  During the celebration, an engagement with “rememberance of things past” with the renewal of connections to former and present colleagues occurred.  Dewey Stuit was there.
So was Len Goodstein, and Ursula Delworth.  It is now time to look ahead to the next 50 years....

Director’s List


Dewey B. Stuit


Ph.D.                    University of Illinois--1934

                              Carleton College

                              Contact Jack Darley and E.G. Williamson--Minnesota


1938                     Director, Entrance Testing Program
Registrar’s Office

                              Faculty Member, Department of Psychology


1946                     Founding of Student Counseling Office in Department of Psychology
Kenneth Spence--Head


1946                     Founding Member--Division 17
Counseling and Guidance
ABPP--Counseling Psychology


1951                     Annual Review of Psychology
Counseling:  Diagnostic Methods


1949-77               Dean, College of Liberal Arts


                              Residing at Oaknoll Retirement Residence, Iowa City, IA


E. Joseph Shoben


Ph.D.                    University of Southern California (Clinical)--1947


1947-50               Director




1959                     President, Division 17


1973-76               Associate Provost

                              University of Pittsburgh


1976-77               President, Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School


                              President, The Evergreen State College


                              Passed away - 1996

Clay Gerken


Ph.D.                    1950 University of Iowa Counseling Psychology


Earlier                   Replaced Dr. Stuit during the War--in Registrar’s Office

Directed VA counseling

1950-57               Director
ABPP--Counseling Psychology
Student Counseling Office to UCS 1955

Minnesota--Minnesota Occupation Rating Scale--co-author

Moved to
University of Nebraska, Director of Counseling Service

1981                     Living Savanah, Georgia

Passed away



Leonard D. Goodstein


Ph.D.                    Columbia--1952
1955--senior counselor

1957-64               Director


University of Cincinnati
Professor/Director of

Arizona State University

Professor/Chair, Psychology

                              Executive Officer of APA

University Associates--
consultation enterprise


                              Living in Washington, D.C.

John Crites


Ph.D.                    Columbia--1957 (worked with Donald Super)


1958-71               at Iowa


1968-70               Treasurer, Division 17


1966-1971           Director
book--Vocational Psychology--1969

ABPP--Counseling Psychology

1973                     President, Division 17

Moved to
University of Maryland to
Ball State University to





Robert Stahmann


Ph.D.                    University of Utah
Associate Professor,
College of Education

1972-75               Director

Now:                     Professor and Director, Marriage and Family--Brigham Young University




Robert Kurtz


Ph.D.                    Michigan State University--1970

1975-76               Acting Director
(1970-77)--staff psychologist


Now:                     Cleveland State University


Ursula Delworth


Ph.D.                    University of Oregon

1969-76               Colorado State University

1976-84               Director

ABPP--Counseling Psychology

                              Leadership--ACPA/APA Division 17/APS

1983                     Service as President, APA Division 17

                              Editor:  Professional Psychology


                              Associate Dean, College of Education,
University of Iowa




Gerald L. Stone


Ph.D.                    Michigan State University--1972

1972-79               Department of Psychology--University of Western Ontario

1979-84               Professor and Director of academic Counseling Psychology program, The University of Iowa


1985                     Current Director

                              Editor--The Counseling Psychologist

                              President--Division 17