The Board of Directors of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, the world’s largest archive of public opinion data, is pleased to announce the selection of Cornell University as its new host institution.
“We are delighted that Cornell will be the center’s new home,” said Robert Y. Shapiro, chairman of the Roper board. “This move brings the nation’s leading archive of survey data to one of the nation’s great universities.”
The Roper Center at Cornell University (informally, Roper@Cornell) will move as of November 7 from its current home at the University of Connecticut. Peter Enns, associate professor of government in Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as the center’s executive director.
“Bringing the Roper Center to Cornell was a faculty-driven initiative that garnered enthusiastic backing from social scientists across the university and, as the result, received strong support for this transition to Cornell from three colleges, with matching support from the university,” said Bob Buhrman, Cornell’s senior vice provost for research. “I am very grateful for Peter Enns’ leadership of this new interdisciplinary initiative for Cornell, which will provide our researchers with expanded, in-depth access to a truly unique resource.”
Gretchen Ritter, Harold Tanner dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said: “The Roper Center is a perfect fit with Cornell’s strong commitment to public engagement, social science research and teaching, and interdisciplinary collaboration across the university.”
Enns credited faculty enthusiasm, evidenced by more than 50 letters of support from faculty at Cornell, with playing a crucial role in the university’s successful bid to host the center. “This is an amazing opportunity for Cornell and I’m honored and thrilled to be a part of it,” said Enns. “Our students and faculty will benefit immeasurably from this rich data resource, as will scholars and other members of Roper@Cornell nationally and around the world as we expand the collection and enhance the archive.”
Founded by polling pioneer Elmo Roper in 1947, with support from George Gallup and later, Burns (Bud) Roper, the Roper Center today includes more than 600,000 survey questions and 20,000 datasets from U.S. and international polls since 1935, available via state-of-the-art online access. Researchers from academic institutions and other member organizations search, select and download survey results and datasets more than 100,000 times each month to assess the history of public opinion on issues of interest and to add context and insight to understanding public attitudes today.
Roper@Cornell staff will work closely with Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research in operations and management. Social scientists, archivists and computer experts at Cornell will add additional benefits to the center’s operations.
“The board and I were particularly impressed with Cornell’s commitment to the core mission of the Roper Center and its pledge to enhance and expand its services to members and users,” Shapiro said. “Cornell’s strong leadership team will take the center to the next level of service, enabling it to play an even larger role in scholarship and public service in the years ahead.”
Full access to center archives will be maintained during the transition to Cornell, and the center’s staff will continue to add new surveys and datasets to its collection. The directors of the center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will continue to guide its policies and strategic direction.