Replacing outgoing Provost James O’Donnell, Professor Robert M. Groves has been named Georgetown’s next Provost and Executive Vice President, effective August 20. Groves has been the director of the U.S. Census Bureau since 2009, and prior to that he served as a professor at the University of Michigan for more than three decades.
His primary field of study, in contrast to O’Donnell’s classics background, is survey methodology. At Michigan, he was the direct of its Survey Research Center. Groves completed his master’s and doctoral work at Michigan after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth University.
“The depth and breadth of Bob’s experience and scholarship will make an extraordinary impact within our community,” President John J. DeGioia said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome his innovative leadership as we continue to strengthen our academic programs and fulfill our educational mission in Washington, D.C. and beyond.”
The choice highlights the priorities of the search process. At a town hall in January, the head of the search committee declared a commitment to Georgetown’s Jesuit identity as one of the committee’s three priorities in their considerations. Indeed, prior to Groves’ appointment, only one provost in University history was neither a Jesuit nor a Catholic. However, DeGioia’s email to the community making the announcement does not mention the University’s religious identity or Groves’ commitment to it. At the time of publication, Groves’ religious affiliation was not immediately known. The identities of the other two options the committee presented to DeGioia are unknown.
Earlier this semester, DeGioia targeted April for the completion of the search for a new provost. The August 20 start date is approximately fifty days after DeGioia’s expressed wish for the new provost to begin on July 1.
DeGioia’s complete email to the University community after the jump…
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of our new Executive Vice President and Provost, Robert M. Groves, effective August 20, 2012. Dr. Groves joins our community from the United States Census Bureau, where he has served as Director since 2009.
Dr. Groves has had a distinguished career in academia and in public service. Prior to his nomination to the Census Bureau, Dr. Groves was a professor at the University of Michigan, where he began his service in 1975, and was director of its Survey Research Center. He also served as research professor at the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland.
In 2011, Dr. Groves was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Groves has authored several books and numerous articles on survey methods and other topics, and his 1989 book, Survey Errors and Survey Costs, was named one of the 50 most influential books in survey research by the American Association of Public Opinion Research.
As Director of the U.S. Census Bureau he successfully led the 2010 Census, utilizing new research capabilities, technologies and overseeing a workforce of more than 700,000 to count more than 308 million Americans.
Dr. Groves earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. He completed his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Michigan.
I would like to express my gratitude to Wayne Davis, Professor of Philosophy and President of the Faculty Senate, all the members of the search committee for their hard work and diligence in conducting a comprehensive, nationwide search for the new leader of our Main Campus. I would also like to once again thank James J. O’Donnell for his years of dedicated service as Provost.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Groves to Georgetown.
You have my very best wishes.
John J. DeGioia