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Social Science Research Institute



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Social Science Research Institute, 1970-2002 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Social Science Research Institute, 1970-2002

Predominant Dates:1970-2002

ID: RHC/UA/30/-7

Extent: 1.0 Linear Feet


The Social Science Research Institute records are a subgroup within the Academic Centers record group.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The records of the Social Science Research Institute are composed primarily of reports and publications from three of the centers affiliated with the Institute during the 1970's and 1980's.  They are the Center for Biopolitical Research, the Public Opinion Laboratory, and the Center for Governmental Studies which makes up the bulk of the collection.  Of particular interest is Dr. Jon D. Miller’s presentation “Public Attitudes toward the Regulation of Research,” before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in March of 1986.  Researchers should also consult related materials found in the President’s Papers (UA 4), Provost Office (UA 16), Faculty Records (UA 18), and Faculty Papers (UA 19).

Collection Historical Note

The Office for Social Science Research was formally established at Northern Illinois University on August 1, 1980 under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  In January 1982 the Board of Regents approved a University proposal to establish the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) which integrated several existing programs and research areas into a single administrative structure.  The mission of the Social Science Research Institute is to develop policy and research services that address the public priorities of the state and region.  Headed by a Director who reports to the Dean of the Liberal Arts and Sciences College, it is overseen by a policy board that includes the Deans of the Graduate School, Business, Education. Health and Human Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In March of 1982 Northern Illinois University signed an agreement to lease the former Rice Hotel in downtown DeKalb.  Following renovations the Social Science Research Institute moved into the building in August 1982, consolidating its scattered components into one location.  In 1992 the University purchased the building from Tom Rosenow.

Over the years there have been a number of programs associated with Social Science Research Institute including the Center for Biopolitical Research (1977 to 1981) which was renamed the Center for Biosocial Research in 1982, the Census Data Laboratory, Illinois City Management Association, Labor Market Information Project, the Local Government Information Network, and the Center for Governmental Studies.  The latter was first proposed by the Political Science Department in September of 1969, approved by the Board on October 21, 1969, and established in 1970.  Over the years the Center for Governmental Studies has maintained an extensive publication program including newsletters, bulletins, bibliographies, research studies, occasional papers, and books.  In February of 1993 the Thomas C. Wiegle Library was opened in the SSRI.  It was named after the late Dr. Wiegle, a University Research Professor of Political Science and Director of the program for Biopolitical/Biosocial Research from 1977 until his death in 1991, and one of the faculty leaders who helped establish the Social Science Research Institute.  As of 2002 there are five centers affiliated with the Social Science Research Institute: the American Farmland Trust Center for Agriculture in the Environment, the Center for Governmental Studies, the National Social Norms Resource Center, the Office for Social Policy Research, and the Public Opinion Laboratory.

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the records.

Use Restrictions: Literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],

Box 1
Folder 1: Social Science Research Institute, 1981-1982, 2002
Folder 2a: Center for Biopolitical Research - Annual Reports; "Politics and the Life Sciences," edited by Wiegle, 1979,  1981;  1984, 1985
Folder 2b: Center for Biopolitical Research, "NOTES" newsletter, 1979
Folder 3: Public Opinion Laboratory, and Jon D. Miller, 1985-1986
Folder 4: Center for Governmental Studies: Annual Reports, (1976-1981), 2000
Folder 5-7: Center for Governmental Studies: Publications, 1970-1973
Box 2
Folder 1-5: Center for Governmental Studies: Publications, (1974-1986)
Folder 6: "Illinois Policy Survey", (2001-2006)
Folder 7: Center for Governmental Studies: "Policy Profiles", 1989, 2001, 2004, 2006

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