Marvin Parnes, who has been serving as associate vice president for research in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) at U-M, has been appointed managing director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR).
“Marvin brings over 25 years of academic management and research experience to this new position,” said ISR Director James Jackson. “I am excited to have him on board and very much look forward to his contributions to the Institute’s strategic as well as operational advancements. His broad experience and deep connection to the social and behavioral sciences make him an extremely valuable addition to ISR’s leadership team.”
As managing director, Parnes will work closely with the Jackson and center directors to formulate long-range strategic plans to further enhance ISR’s standing as the nation’s leading social science research institute and will assist in addressing the challenges associated with continued federal funding for social science research. In addition, he will oversee the ISR budget and the ISR Center for Institute Services, serve as ISR’s representative to a variety of U-M academic and administrative groups and committees, and oversee the expansion of the ISR-Thompson Street building to accommodate all ISR faculty and staff. Parnes assumed his new role Sept. 4.
“Assuming the role of managing director of ISR is an honor,” Parnes said. “This position is an opportunity to apply my experience for the benefit of one of the intellectual treasures of the university and the nation.
“Throughout my career, I have worked to establish and maintain excellent working relationships with the national higher education community. In recent years, I have also focused on building new ties between academia, federal agencies and the private sector. These networks will help ISR to establish strategic partnerships on campus and beyond and to advocate for federal funding for the social and behavioral sciences.”
Since 1988, when he arrived at the OVPR, Parnes has served in a number of positions. Most recently, he has been associate vice president for research, Programs & Operations, and director and principal investigator of the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Parnes also chaired the OVPR Faculty Grants & Awards Committee, and participated in a number of planning and advisory committees and task forces throughout the university.
“Marvin has provided 25 years of dedicated service, creativity, and boundless energy at OVPR,” said Vice President for Research Steven Forrest. “I believe he will be a valuable asset for ISR as it works to strengthen and expand its reputation.”
Parnes received a master’s degree from the School of Social Work, and a bachelor’s degree from The City College of New York, where he also did graduate work in education.
“My early professional interests in group-focused practice, organizational change, and innovation were inspired by work on group dynamics and the promotion of innovation conducted by researchers at ISR,” Parnes said. “As an undergraduate at CCNY, I was forever changed through my participation in the National Training Laboratories in Group Development in Bethel, Maine, and have fond memories of being in groups with legendary ISR researchers Ron Lippitt and Dorwin Cartwright.”
Parnes is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Deputy Director for Intramural Research at the National Institutes of Health; the Boards of Directors of Transformative Regional Engagement and of Fraunhofer USA; and the Executive Committee of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Jackson added that he is grateful to Parnes’s predecessor Anna Schork, who served as ISR assistant director for five years before joining the U-M Life Sciences Institute. “She was an incredibly effective manager, and instrumental in planning for the current ISR Thompson Street building addition,” he said.
Margot Finn, a lecturer in university courses, on what she could not live without: “My existence would be profoundly different without the Internet (for research and communication).”
Audra McDonald performs favorite show tunes and more, 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Hill Auditorium.