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Updated 9:30 AM September 8, 2009

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Axinn appointed director of ISR Survey Research Center

Sociologist William Axinn will serve as director of the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), Director James S. Jackson has announced.

Axinn, whose research interests include demography, social change and intergenerational family relationships in the United States and South Asia, brings a strong background in research methods and administration to the position.

"I am delighted that Bill Axinn has agreed to fill this important position," Jackson says. "The center and the entire institute will benefit immensely from the unique blend of energy, scholarship and deep commitment to the collection of original social science data that Bill brings to this position.

"I also want to express my gratitude to Jim House, who served as interim SRC director while we searched for a permanent replacement for Bob Groves, who left this spring to become director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census."

Axinn began his five-year term Sept. 2.

"It is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve this group of the nation's leading social scientists, and to support SRC's data collection infrastructure which is a core dimension of the country's social science research capacity," Axinn says. "Our mission is to continue to enhance data collection methods, to improve data collection efficiency and quality, to expand the measures available across numerous substantive domains, to strengthen education in research methodology and to increase the international reach of the social sciences as we work toward advancing social science in the public interest."

Axinn, 45, received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Cornell University in 1986, then went on to obtain an Master of Arts and a doctorate in that discipline from U-M in 1988 and 1990, respectively. He joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor of sociology and a research associate at the National Opinion Research Center. In 1994 he joined The Pennsylvania State University as an associate professor of sociology, and also served as a senior research associate at Penn State's Population Research Institute. In 1997 he attained the rank of full professor of sociology, and the next year moved to Michigan. Here he joined the Department of Sociology, the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, and the ISR Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center. He served as associate director of the Population Studies Center from 2003-07.

In 1995 Axinn became director of the Population and Ecology Research Laboratory in Nepal, a position he continues. Earlier this year, he became associate director of the ISR Survey Research Center and served as the faculty leader in developing a mixed mode sample management system.

The author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, Axinn is the co-author of three books: "International Family Change: Ideational Perspectives," with Rukmalie Jayakody and Arland Thornton; "Marriage and Cohabitation," with Thornton and Yu Xie; and "Mixed Method Data Collection Strategies" with Lisa Pearce.

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