Nancy A. Busch, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), has been named chief research officer and associate vice president for academic affairs at Fordham University. She will continue to serve as dean of GSAS and professor of psychology.
“I want research to be more on everybody’s mind; something that people associate with every area of Fordham,” Busch said. “I don’t think we’ve celebrated the research of faculty and students enough, and I’d like to see that change internally and externally.”
Busch said her top priority is increasing faculty research support in three broad categories: increased external funding, including more awards for faculty fellowships; more social support, such as better communication of and recognition for research and scholarly outcomes; and ensuring that faculty have adequate time and resources to develop grant applications.
“Teaching loads are heavy, and it takes time to develop grant proposals. Our faculty are very productive: they get Guggenheim and Mellon grants almost in spite of us,” Busch said. “Last year we had a large increase in the available funding for faculty research grants, and a huge increase in applications. This suggests to me that we’ve been under-supporting our faculty in getting research funding.”
Busch started at Fordham in 1983 as a lecturer in the Graduate School of Education and research associate at the University’s Hispanic Research Center. She has been a professor of psychology since 1994, and chaired the department from 1991 to 1996. Busch was named associate dean of GSAS in 1996, and dean in 2000. She continued to teach as dean—a team-taught graduate course in developmental assessment—and hopes to continue to do so, despite her expanded portfolio. Her research, which has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, centers on parent-child relationships, with a particular focus on Puerto Rican and Dominican families, two ethnic groups heavily represented in New York City.
As chief research officer, Busch will serve as the internal and external advocate for research-related issues, and as academic affairs liaison with other areas in the University. She will be a member, ex officio, of the University Research Council, and in her first year in office will expand the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to add a permanent director, a grants officer and grant writer.
Busch received her Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the Pennsylvania State University, and has taught at Colorado State University and the University of Guelph, Ontario. She is married to Stephen Rossnagel, a research physicist with IBM. They have a daughter who recently graduated from the College of William and Mary, and is now embarking on a Fulbright scholarship in Europe, and a son who is a sophomore in engineering at Northeastern University.
“I see the creation of the chief research officer position to coordinate research activities and the expansion of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs as a part of Father McShane’s vision to make Fordham prominent and preeminent,” Busch said. “He’s really making a commitment to emphasize research as part of our university structure.”