Feb. 7, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 9

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    Mayer will lead Harris School as its second Dean

    By Peter Schuler
    News Office

    Susan Mayer will begin serving as Dean of the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies on Monday, July 1.

    President Randel recently announced his appointment of Susan Mayer as Dean of the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, effective Monday, July 1, for a five-year term.

    Mayer, who currently is an Associate Professor in the Harris School and the College, also is the past director and current deputy director of the Northwestern University-

    University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. She also serves as a faculty affiliate with the University’s Center for Human Potential and Public Policy.

    “Susan Mayer’s scholarship and evident passion for the work of the Harris School will certainly make her an effective intellectual leader as well as a vigorous advocate for the school with internal and external audiences alike,” Randel said. “I share her belief in the school’s importance and its place in the University. I look forward very much to working with her to enhance the significant contribution that the Harris School makes to the University and to the world of policy studies.”

    Mayer succeeds Robert Michael, the school’s first dean, who began serving his two five-year terms of appointment in 1989. Michael has helped establish the Harris School as a leading research center on public policy.

    “Susan combines leadership skills, scholarly strength, a passion for public policy, and energy and enthusiasm that are quite rare,” Michael said. “She has been very influential in creating the school at which we are now proud to be colleagues. She is just the right kind of personality to lead the Harris School to even greater distinction.”

    Mayer received her Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University in 1986 and was a research associate at the Institute for Policy Studies at Northwestern University before joining the faculty of the Harris School in 1989.

    “I feel incredibly flattered and fortunate to have this opportunity to lead the Harris School and to build upon the outstanding work that Bob Michael has done,” Mayer said. “And this is an especially exciting time for policy schools because the need for solid interaction between the public and private spheres has never been greater.”

    Mayer is the author of two books and several articles and book chapters on the measurement of poverty, the consequences for children growing up in poor neighborhoods, the effect of income on children’s well-being, and the social and political consequences of economic inequality and segregation.

    Her current research is on the consequences of economic inequality, economic mobility across generations and the role of noncognitive skills on social and economic success.