2011 – Robert Groves

7th Annual W.J. Usery Distinguished Lecture

U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves on What is Quality? Government Statistics and the Larger Social Science World

Dr. Robert M. Groves

Dr. Robert M. Groves

Dr. Robert M. Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau and former director of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan,  presented the 7th Annual W.J. Usery Distinguished Lecture on April 15 at 2:00 p.m. on the 7th floor Seminar Room of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, 14 Marietta Street.

Census data “helps us better understand who we are, where we have come from, and how we are doing,” writes Groves in his Director’s Blog at http://www.census.gov/. “[I]t is helpful to a greater understanding of our population.”

During his presentation, “What is Quality? Government Statistics and the Larger Social Science World,” Groves discussed the 2010 Census operations and the use of census statistics in making decisions. He discussed evaluative perspectives on the census and compared evaluative conceptual frameworks common in the social sciences to those of government statistics.

“In democracies, government statistics are key tools for an informed citizenry to evaluate their government,” he writes. “The quality framework for government statistical information is typically broader than those in the social sciences, bringing into perspective the possibility that the same piece of information might be used for different purposes by different users.” 

Groves began his tenure as director of the Census Bureau on July 15, 2009, two days after the Senate confirmed his appointment by President Barack Obama. A professor at the University of Michigan and former research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland, Groves had joined the Census Bureau as its Associate Director for Statistical Design, Methodology and Standards from 1990 to 1992 while on loan from Michigan.

Groves has authored several articles and books. His Survey Errors and Survey Costs (Wiley-Interscience, 1989) was named “one of the 50 most influential books in survey research” by the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and Nonresponse in Household Interview Surveys(Wiley-Interscience, 1998), written with Mick Couper, received the 2008 AAPOR Book Award.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Statistical Association and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, Groves has received a number of awards recognizing his contributions in the development of economic statistics.

Groves earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan.

Find his biography at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/pdf/GrovesBio_on_letterhead.pdf and http://www.georgetown.edu/news/new-provost.html