By Dan Meisler and Mark Thompson-Kolar, ICPSR editors
The ICPSR Summer Program staff in May 2011. From left, back row: Director William Jacoby, Assistant Director Edward Czilli, Phil Guichelaar, Hank Heitowit, and Assistant Director Deiter Burrell. Front row: Sarah Liang, Gwen Tessier, and Dominque Lewis.
From the beginning, the founders of ICPSR believed a training component was a necessary part of the organization in order to teach researchers how to use the newly available data the consortium was providing.
The first Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research was held in 1963, and was attended by 21 faculty members and 41 graduate students from member institutions, according to the Summer Program section of the 1963-1964 ICPSR Annual Report. The program offered nine courses, with the most popular class, "Proseminar in Behavior Research Methods," attracting 46 participants.
The next 49 sessions of the program in many ways mirrored the growth of ICPSR as a whole — participation grew, the offerings became more diverse, and the program established itself as one of the top training centers for social scientists in the world.
In 2012, the attendance surpassed the one-thousand mark, with 1,027 participants. The program offered 75 courses.
The following year, 2013, Summer Program enrollment again hit an all-time high, at 1,044. It marked the fourth consecutive year of record enrollment. Participants came from 322 institutions in 34 countries and represented two-dozen academic disciplines. This year, 97 faculty and 41 teaching assistants offered 82 courses, seven more than in 2012. Along with the major component of the program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, additional workshops were held at:
- Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec
- Fordham University — Manhattan Campus
- Indiana University, Bloomington
- University of California at Berkeley
- University of Colorado, Boulder
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
William Jacoby announced in 2013 that he was stepping down from leading the program. A search for a successor was initiated. John Garcia accepted the role of interim director.
Videos describe program's growth
In the following videos, Hank Heitowit, director of the Summer Program for 26 years, and William Jacoby, Summer Program director 2007-2013, talk about the evolution of the program over the years.