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Updated 10:00 AM April 6, 2009

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Groves to be tapped as Census director

U-M survey expert Robert M. Groves, who directs the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), will be nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next director of the U.S. Census Bureau, the White House announced Thursday.

"The intended nomination is an honor to the university and to ISR," says ISR Director James S. Jackson.

Groves is an excellent choice for this important job, Jackson says, and he will be sorely missed at ISR if confirmed for the job at Census. An internationally recognized expert in the scientific conduct of surveys, Groves has directed the ISR Survey Research Center since 2001. He also is a professor of sociology in LSA.

The author, co-author, or editor of several classic books on survey methods, Groves served as an associate director at the Census Bureau from 1990-92. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

His educational and professional background also is right for the job, Jackson further explains. Groves received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Dartmouth College in 1970, master's degrees in statistics and sociology from U-M in 1973 and a doctorate in sociology from U-M in 1975.

He joined the U-M Department of Sociology as a lecturer in 1975, attaining the rank of assistant professor in 1977, associate professor in 1983 and full professor in 1990. From 1990 to 1992, he served as associate director of statistical design, standards, and methodology at the U.S. Census Bureau, on loan from Michigan.

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