Nora Cate Schaeffer

Credentials: Ph.D.

Position title: Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology, Emerita


Phone: (608) 262-3868

4422 Sewell Social Science
Madison, WI 53706

Department Site
Department of Sociology

Dr. Nora Cate Schaeffer is the Faculty Director of UWSC and, beginning in August 2019, she will serve as Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research in the Social Sciences. Dr. Schaeffer assists Center projects by consulting on research and instrument design. Dr. Schaeffer is Sewell Bascom Professor of Sociology and former Associate Chair of that department. She teaches courses in survey research methods and conducts research on instrument design and survey measurement and on interaction in the survey interview. She has taught instrument design at the Summer Institute of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan and through the University of Michigan-University of Maryland Joint Program in Survey Methodology.

Professor Schaeffer was elected to a three-year presidential term (vice president, president, and past president) of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, beginning in May 2018. In 2010 she was selected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Fellow of the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research in 2015.

Her recent and current service includes National Academies’ Panel on Improving USDA’s Consumer Data for Food and Nutrition Policy Research (2018-2019), National Academies’ Standing Committee on Integrating New Behavioral Health Measures into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Data Collection Programs (2014-2016) and the Panel for National Science Foundation’s data program on Science and Engineering workforce surveys (2016-2017), the Board of Overseers for the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the editorial boards for Public Opinion Quarterly, Sociological Methods and Research, and Sociological Methodology.

In the past, she has served on the Board of Overseers for the General Social Survey; the Council on Sections Representative of the American Statistical Association; the Census Advisory Committee of Professional Associations Panel to Review Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation of the National Research Council; the Technical Review Committee for the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; the Panel to Evaluate Alternative Census Methods for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences; on the American Statistical Association Technical Advisory Committee on the Survey of Income and Program Participation; on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; and on the governing Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Before receiving her doctorate from the University of Chicago (1984) in Sociology, she worked at the National Opinion Research Center.