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Welcome to Clarke University! Together, we will cultivate new ways of delivering the Clarke experience — supporting each other and our community. We stand as One Clarke, One Community.

Spring 2020 Return to Campus Information
COVID-19 Communication

Portrait of Susan R. Burns

Susan R. Burns, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
(563) 588-6540
Haas Administration
MS 1751 (to send on-campus mail)

Educational Background

Ph.D. – Personality/Social Psychology emphasis Child Development. Kansas State University, 2002

Masters of Science – Experimental Psychology. Emporia State University, 1998

Bachelor of Science Cum Laude – Psychology, Emporia State University, 1996

Desmond Tutu said, ‘Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.’ Clarke University is a place where all – students, faculty, and staff – are committed to doing their ‘little bits of good.’ Together we make a significant impact!

Susan R. Burns


Purpose – Mission of work

In my current position as Vice President for Academic Affairs, I am trusted to affect change as Chief Academic Officer through leadership and support of faculty, academic staff, and students of Clarke University. I work hard to be a collaborative leader who is committed to gathering information, deliberate listening, and effective communication to empower others with understanding. Higher education today needs leaders who approach others with integrity, honesty, transparency, and a genuine nature, and I strive to embody these characteristics.

Professional Background

Susan R. Burns, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, joined the Clarke University administration in the summer of 2014. As Chief Academic Officer, Burns is responsible for the oversight of academic programming and functions for all degree programs. Susan remains active in her field of study: writing a psychology of gender textbook for Worth Publishers, as a member of the Association for Psychological Science, Society for the Teaching of Psychology, and by serving as a reviewer for various journals. Dr. Burns was selected as a recipient of the Morningside College Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Award in 2004 and 2008, the 2006 state of Iowa American Association of University Women Distinguished Faculty Award recipient, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society 2006 Faculty Person of the Year.

Certifications and Memberships

  • American Conference of Academic Deans
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Ask Big Questions, Advisory Board Committee Member
  • Council of Independent Colleges, Chief Academic Officer Member
  • American Council on Education (ACE) Regional Women’s Leadership Forum
  • Harvard Institute for Higher Education, Management Development Program
  • Reviewer for the Teaching of Psychology Journal
  • Managing Editor, Journal of Psychological Inquiry, 2006-2012
  • Conduct External Departmental Reviews for Psychology Departments
  • Consulting Editor for Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2004-2010
  • Association for Psychological Science, Member
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology, APA Division 2
  • Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society Chapter at Kansas State University
  • Psi Chi, International Honor Society in Psychology