The University of Chicago

School of Social Service Administration Magazine

Susan Lambert Promoted to Rank of Full Professor

Susan Lambert has been promoted to the rank of full Professor, effective January 1, 2020.

Headshot of Susan LambertSusan is regarded as a leading national scholar on the topic of low-paid employment and in the area of work scheduling. Her research has shaped the field and influenced policy makers, think tanks, and nonprofits. By stimulating new lines of scholarship on working time and low-wage employment, Susan has reignited a topic central to the social work field, one that seeks to improve work conditions and the lives of low-income working families.

Susan has accumulated an impressive track record of asking important questions and answering them using innovative research designs and rigorous empirical methods that use multiple sources of data. Her analysis of nationally representative surveys uncovers the widespread use of precarious scheduling practices in the U.S. labor market and how work impacts family income security and creates work-family challenges. Her multi-method studies inside of workplaces highlight the ways job design and management practices affect labor market inequality. Randomized studies under her direction offer insights into ways to improve the conditions of low-wage work. Most recently, Susan has been working closely with researchers and policy stakeholders to reform work hour standards through public policy, inspiring a number of local and national policy initiatives, including the federal Schedules That Work Act (under consideration), Oregon's Fair Work Week Act, and ordinances in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle.

In addition to her research efforts, Susan has been a leader in developing SSA's educational programs and contributing to the intellectual life at the University. She teaches at every level of SSA's curriculum (BA, AM, and PhD courses), has mentored both AM and PhD students, twice served as chair of the SSA's Doctoral Program, led a group to revamp the poverty and inequality program of study, and serves as the inaugural director of SSA's new minor in the College. She also has served as chair of the SSA/Chapin Hall Institutional Review Board, SSA's Curriculum Policy Committee, and co-chaired the SSA working group on Student Debt. In recognition of her exceptional teaching abilities, Susan received the SSA award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.

Within the social work field, Susan has held leadership roles as a board member of SSWR, as President of the Work and Family Researchers Network, and as editor-in-chief of Social Service Review. Her influence as a thought leader is evidenced by her high-profile roles during work policy conversations among corporate leaders, federal and local government officials, and funders. As a public intellectual, she also is a sought-after expert by major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, CNN, and NPR.

The SSA community congratulates Susan on this richly deserved promotion. Her exceptional scholarship, dedication, and talents enliven and enrich the University and SSA community.