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President Susan R. Burns, PhD


President Susan R. Burns, PhD, stands in front of a stone wall on the Mount Saint Vincent campus, with greenery in the background, wearing a black blazer with her hands clasped
Dr. Susan R. Burns serves as the sixth president of the University of Mount Saint Vincent. Embodying a deep-seated commitment to the liberal arts and its inherent promise to provide access to an authentic, high-quality education to talented students of every background, Dr. Burns has dedicated herself to the common good, Vincentian service, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

An extraordinarily effective and collaborative leader, Dr. Burns came to the University of Mount Saint Vincent from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, where she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty. Prior to this position, Dr. Burns served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Morningside College. At Morningside, she also taught psychology and statistics, holding the rank of full professor with tenure.

A psychologist, Dr. Burns remains active in her field of study. Her career and scholarly engagements have involved collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines to engage students in research projects resulting in presentations at local, regional, and national conferences, as well as publication in professional outlets. A prominent advocate for student success and undergraduate research, she has sponsored student publications in the Psi Chi Journal and the Journal of Psychological Inquiry.

Dr. Burns is widely published, authoring numerous articles and research papers for peer-reviewed journals, as well as several books and book chapters. She has co-authored a textbook titled Human Relations for the Educator: Meeting the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow, now in a second edition, and she most recently authored a textbook titled Psychology of Sex and Gender, a text designed for courses in gender, gender issues, the psychology of women or men, and sex roles, as well as sociology and anthropology courses on diversity.

The recipient of several academic and leadership awards, Dr. Burns was selected twice for the Morningside College Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Award, received the American Association of University Women Iowa Chapter Distinguished Faculty Award, and was named the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society Faculty Person of the Year. She has also served on many community and professional organizations, including the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in experimental psychology from Emporia State University and her Ph.D. in social/personality psychology with an emphasis in child development from Kansas State University.

Certifications and Memberships

  • Bronx Chamber of Commerce | Board of Directors
  • Riverdale Main Street Alliance | Board of Directors
  • Divine Word College | Board of Trustees
  • Women’s Forum of New York | Member
  • American Council on Education | Regional Women’s Leadership Forum
  • Harvard Institute for Higher Education | Management Development Program
  • Teaching of Psychology | Reviewer
  • Journal of Psychological Inquiry | Managing Editor, 2006-2012
  • Psi Chi Journal | Consulting Editor, 2004-2010
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology | Division 2 of the American Psychological Association
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society | Kansas State University
  • Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology