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Week of August 15, 2011

Alter to direct ISR Inter-university 
Consortium for Political and Social Research

Historian George Alter has been appointed director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), part of the Institute for Social Research (ISR).

“I am very pleased to make this appointment,” says ISR Director James S. Jackson. “George has the strong and unanimous support of the ICPSR Council and the ISR leadership.

“Personally, I am delighted to be able to continue the strong working relationship George and I have developed over the past two years that he has served as ICPSR’s acting director. And I look forward to working with him to strengthen ICPSR’s standing as the world’s leading data repository and preservation center and to help the consortium take advantage of new research and preservation opportunities.”

ICPSR is the world’s largest archive of digital social science data, with nearly 8,000 data collections currently archived and up to 500 new collections added each year. The archive’s membership has grown from 21 founding institutions in 1962 to nearly 700 educational and research institutions around the world today.

In addition to his position at ICPSR, Alter holds two U-M academic appointments. He is professor of history in LSA, and research professor at the ISR Population Studies Center. He also is president of the Social Science History Association. He joined ICPSR as associate director in 2007. His five-year term as ICPSR director starts in September.

Before coming to ICPSR, Alter was a professor in the history department at Indiana University, where he had held various positions since 1979. He holds a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in applied economics from U-M.

“I’m thrilled to serve this great organization at such an exciting time,” Alter says. “There has never been as much recognition of the important work that we do at ICPSR, and the coming years promise to be challenging and productive.”

Alter replaces Myron Gutmann, who left ICPSR in 2009 to lead the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economics Directorate.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Mary Bagwell, laundry feeder folder, U-M Health System Laundry Services, on the key to great spaghetti: “You add a little bit of sugar or a little bit of mint to take out the bitterness.”

EVENTS

William Faulkner’s Artifacts of Authorship exhibit, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Special Collections Library

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