Susan Brutschy co-founded Applied Survey Research in 1981 with Sociology Professor Dane Archer of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been President of ASR since 1989, leading hundreds of evaluations, assessments, and strategic planning processes in community quality of life, early childhood development, domestic violence, child abuse and maltreatment, early literacy, K-12 education, and homelessness.
Ms. Brutschy has expanded ASR’s work to national and international prominence. In 2006, ASR won the prestigious Community Service Award from the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS). They noted that ASR won the honor “for its outstanding work in applying its data collection, analysis, reporting, and management skills to addressing homelessness and other social problems.” In 2007, ASR and the United Way of Santa Cruz County won a national award from the Brookings Institution for having the best indicator project in the nation, the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP).
Over the last decade, Ms. Brutschy has pioneered an outcomes framework for ASR’s work in community assessments, evaluations, and strategic planning processes. This framework, known as Results Based Accountability (RBA), was created by Mark Friedman of the Fiscal Policies Institute. The framework’s goal is to begin with the outcomes that a community would like to achieve. Once a community agrees on those outcomes, Ms. Brutschy and ASR staff use RBA to develop the best methods to achieve those ends.
She has successfully led many projects using RBA, including the previously mentioned Santa Cruz County CAP, which functions as a community report card with over 135 indicators; First 5 Santa Cruz County to benefit children ages 0-5 in low income communities of color; and Kindergarten Readiness Assessments in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties.
Ms. Brutschy believes that data should not sit in binders collecting dust, but rather that it should become a catalyst for community change. She has helped many communities in California, Arizona, and Alaska to achieve improvements in health, domestic violence, child abuse and maltreatment, early childhood literacy, drug and alcohol abuse, and school safety.
She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with highest honors in Sociology, and received awards for her research in designing and implementing quantitative assessments of community opinion for the Social Research Unit. In addition to her work at ASR, Ms. Brutschy enjoys reading about the history of ancient Egypt, international travel, and camping with her husband and four adult children.