Joseph E. Grush
Professor Emeritus, Psychology
One colleague recently said of Dr. Joseph Grush: “he can carry with modesty the distinction of being a faculty member and administrator who remains admired, respected, and loved.” That description summarizes the general consensus held by people who have worked with this teacher, researcher, administrator, and colleague.
After arriving at NIU in the fall of 1974 from the University of Illinois, Dr. Grush quickly earned a reputation as an outstanding teacher. A four-time winner of the Department of Psychology’s award for outstanding undergraduate teaching, he also received the Student Psychological Association Award for Excellence in Teaching twice.
As a researcher, Dr. Grush published regularly in highly prestigious journals and was successful in obtaining external resources for his research. He was principal investigator on grants totaling more than $2.9 million. As a teacher and researcher, Dr. Grush trained nearly two dozen masters and doctoral students.Dr. Grush has served in many administrative roles at NIU. As chair, he led the Department of Psychology to national recognition in scholarship and significantly more external funding. As Associate Dean and Acting Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he initiated a “Just in Time” seating model to ensure full registration for students and effective management of university resources. Dr. Grush also played an instrumental role in establishing Ph.D. programs in Physics and Geography as well as the Center for the Study of Family Violence. Throughout his career, he managed multiple budget cuts with openness and fairness that were deeply appreciated by faculty and staff in the college as well as the university administration.
Dr. Grush’s leadership in financial planning and fiscal responsibility continued up to his retirement last May as Vice Provost for Resource Planning. During his 36 years at NIU, the university also benefited from his service on diverse groups such as the University Council Personnel Committee, the Advisory Committee for PeopleSoft Conversion, the Advisory Committee to Study Feasibility of the New Convocation Center, and the University Athletic Board.
Local organizations have profited from Dr. Grush’s service, too. Among others, he has worked with the City of DeKalb, Ben Gordon Mental Health Center, DeKalb County Farm Bureau, and Barb City Manor.