History of ISSR
Throughout its history, ISSR has supported methodologically diverse research. Its earliest incarnation was the Population and Research Institute, founded in 1962 as a joint venture of the (then combined) Sociology & Anthropology Department and the Agricultural Economics Department. From 1962 to 1972, the institute was directed by sociologist and SBS Dean T. O. Wilkinson.
In 1972, sociologist and demographer David Yaukey directed the Institute, which was renamed SADRI--Social and Demographic Research Institute--and housed in the Department of Sociology .
In the mid 1970s, Peter H. Rossi was brought in to move the institute into its next phase. Taking the directorship of SADRI was important to him, and was in fact a condition of his accepting the position and coming to UMass with his wife, the reknowned sociologist Alice S. Rossi. Several years later, Rossi left briefly, to be replaced by James Wright. However, he returned shortly and began a second appointment as Director.
The Rossi/Wright period was marked by an emphasis on applied social research. SADRI faculty often consulted and had contracts with governmental and private entities, and produced important work on income inequality, homelessness, and crime, among other topics. During this time there was also an active "demography group" in the department that arranged weekly talks by those in the subfield.
From 1975-77 SADRI hosted a summer institute in evaluation research, funded by NIMH, in order to further train graduate students and those already working in applied positions. From 1983-89, Rossi and Richard Tessler ran another similar training program for mental health services evaluation.
The 1990s saw SADRI continue to grow and change under the directorship of Douglas L. Anderton. Anderton created RIP, the Research in Progress talks that continue to this day, and worked to include faculty from outside sociology in the Institute's research. He also expanded several key staff positions, including that of grants manager Karen Mason, who has worked for the Institute since 1989.
In 2011 sociologists on the SADRI governing board outlined a vision of ambitious expansion for the Institute that would make its resources and services available to all social scientists on campus. Jennifer Lundquist currently directs the Institute as ISSR makes its transition from a department-based entity to a college-based institute that will serve the needs of SBS and social science faculty and graduate students across the University.
- T. O. Wilkinson, 1962-72
- David Yaukey, 1972-74
- Peter H. Rossi, 1974-81, 1985-87, and 1989-92
- James Wright, 1982-85 and 1987-88
- Douglas L. Anderton, 1992-2011
- Jennifer Lundquist, Acting Director 2011-present
- James Wright, 1975-1982
- Peter H. Rossi, 1982-1985
- Suzanne Model, 1985-89
- Douglas L. Anderton, 1989-1992
- Richard Tessler, 1993-2003
- Michelle Budig,2004-07
- Jennifer Lundquist, 2007-10
- David Cort, 2010-11
- Enobong Hannah Branch, 2011-12
The Local Community Research Group (LCRG), run by Michael Lewis, operated out of SADRI for over 15 years. LCRG offered agencies and nonprofits in the greater New England area consulting and contractual research services of nationally established research staff. LCRG also provided graduate students in the Department of Sociology an opportunity to gain experience in applied research.
History of the Department of Sociology : Stokes, Randall. (May-June 2009). "Over 60 Years of Sociology at UMass-Amherst." Footnotes. American Sociological Association 37(5).