The University Record, September 12, 1994

Featherman to succeed Zajonc as head of ISR

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services

David L. Featherman will be director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR). Featherman, who has been president of the Social Science Research Council in New York City since 1989, is an internationally renowned social scientist whose expertise is in life-span development and behavior.

Featherman’s U-M appointment will begin as soon as he can make the transition, but no later than June 12, 1995.

Featherman succeeds Prof. Robert B. Zajonc, who is retiring this year after 39 years of service to the University. Director of ISR since 1989, Zajonc is an internationally recognized scholar, who “led the Institute with notable energy, leadership and vision,” says Homer A. Neal, vice president for research. The ISR, established in 1946, is one of the premier social research institutions in the United States.

“Under the direction of Dr. Featherman, the important work of the ISR will continue,” Neal adds. “Dr. Featherman’s experience and background is especially suitable to sustaining and enhancing the Institute’s interdisciplinary activities. He will steer it toward new,

innovative and exciting areas of scholarly research, particularly in areas of international research. Dr. Featherman also will exercise his leadership to help establish national social science research policy.”

Featherman’s career includes faculty appointments at Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was the John Bascom Professor in the Department of Sociology in 1982–93. He also was director of the Institute on Aging and Adult Life at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School in 1982–89, and co-director of the 1980 Summer Institute at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Featherman has received numerous awards and honors. He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1991 and received the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 1990. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1986–87 and has been a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science since 1986.

Featherman is the author or co-editor of a number of books, including Intra-individual Variability and Change From an Inter-individual Differences Perspective (forthcoming); Life Span Development and Behaviors, Vols. 7-10 and 11–12; and Opportunity and Change.

Featherman received his bachelor of art’s degree in sociology from Franklin and Marshall College in 1965. He received his master of arts degree in sociology in 1967 and his Ph.D. in social psychology in 1969, both from the U-M.