- Published on Jul 14, 2009
- Contact Diane Swanbrow
As census director, Groves, 60, will oversee the 2010 head count, a $15 billion enterprise.
Groves resigned in May as director of the Survey Research Center at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), a position he held since 1992.
"Bob's appointment to the important job of census director is a great honor to the University of Michigan and to ISR," said ISR Director James S. Jackson.
"We are fortunate that U-M sociologist James House has agreed to serve as interim Survey Research Center director while we search for Bob's permanent replacement."
Groves is the third Ann Arbor resident to serve as census director. Barbara Everitt Bryant served as census director in 1989-1993, and Martha Farnsworth Riche served in that position 1994-1998.
An internationally recognized expert in scientific survey sampling, Groves is also a professor of sociology at the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Groves, an author, co-author and editor of several classic books on survey methods, served as an associate director at the Census Bureau from 1990-1992. In 2001 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research.
Groves received an A.B. degree in sociology from Dartmouth College in 1970, M.A. degrees in statistics and sociology from the 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 U-M.
He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association, an elected member of the International Statistical Institute, and past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Groves currently serves on the National Research Council's Committee on National Statistics, the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, and the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate.
He has consulted on survey designs for a wide range of public and private organizations, from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Social Security Administration, to A.C. Nielsen and Company, the Gallup Organization, the American Lung Association, Cornell University, and Statistics Sweden.
Groves has also served as project director of the National Survey of Family Growth. Funded and directed by the National Center for Health Statistics, the survey of more than 18,000 men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 is the principal source for national estimates of factors affecting pregnancy and birth rates.
As census director, Groves will lead an organization that employs more than 1 million temporary workers for the decennial census, in addition to 12,000 permanent employees.
In March 2010, the Census Bureau will mail or hand deliver questionnaires to every household in the nation, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.
Established in 1949, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) is among the world's oldest academic survey research organizations, and a world leader in the development and application of social science methodology. ISR conducts some of the most widely cited studies in the nation, including the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the American National Election Studies, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Health and Retirement Study, the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, and the National Survey of Black Americans. ISR researchers also collaborate with social scientists in more than 60 nations on the World Values Surveys and other social science research projections.