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Updated 10:00 AM October 19, 2009

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Alter named acting director of ISR's ICPSR

Institute for Social Research (ISR) Director James Jackson has appointed George Alter as acting director of the ISR Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world's largest digital social science data archive.
(Photo by Scott Galvin, U-M Photo Services)

"This decision has the full support of the ICPSR Council, the senior leadership in ICPSR and the ISR directors," Jackson says.

Since 2007 Alter has played a key administrative role as the associate director of ICPSR and has served as director of ICPSR's Collection Development Unit, which coordinates the consortium's data acquisition and processing functions.

Alter also holds two academic appointments at U-M, as professor of history and research professor at ISR's Population Studies Center. His research grows out of interests in the history of the family, demography and economic history, and recent projects have examined the effects of early life conditions on health in old age and new ways of describing fertility transitions.

Prior to joining ICPSR, Alter was professor of history at Indiana University, where he served as director of the Population Institute for Research and Training.

Alter will serve as acting director through Aug. 31, 2010. An ICPSR Situational Review Committee has been appointed to initiate the process of identifying the next permanent Director of ICPSR.

Alter replaces Myron Gutmann, who is leaving Nov. 1 to head the National Science Foundation's Social, Behavioral and Economics Directorate.

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