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Ladd to retire after 22 years
as head of Roper Center
July 19, 1999

Everett Carll Ladd, director of the Institute for Social Inquiry and executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research since 1977, has announced his retirement from the University.

Ladd, who for years has been among the most quoted of UConn's more than 1,000 faculty members, appearing regularly in such widely distributed newspaper columns as those written by George Will, and a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and other major newspapers, has worked at UConn for 35 years.

"Everett's retirement means the loss to the department and the University of a prolific scholar with an eminent national and international reputation. We can refill the position, but we cannot replace Everett," says John Rourke, head of the political science department and a colleague of Ladd's for many years.

Robert Smith, vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school, said an international search for a successor is under way. During the search process, Lois Timms-Ferrara, associate director under Ladd, will serve as interim director.

"Many of our colleagues have the privilege and pleasure to know leading figures in their disciplines. For those in the social sciences and, especially, political science, I know that Everett Ladd is looked upon as a legend in his time. The Roper Center is truly one of our centers of excellence and the University is most appreciative of Everett's role in guiding its development for more than two decades," Smith said.

The Roper Center, founded in 1947 by public opinion pioneers Elmo Roper and George Gallup, was moved from Williams College to UConn in 1977. Under Ladd's leadership, it has become the largest archive of polling data in the world, with complete data sets on more than 14,000 major surveys. Ladd developed the vision to create the Public Opinion Location Library (POLL) database, which today contains more than 300,000 questions and answers from surveys conducted in the United States since 1935.

In December 1998, center officials announced the addition of the Japan Public Opinion Location Library (JPOLL), which includes recent

Japanese polling data on social, economic and political issues in Japan. Recent acquisitions include information from Canada, Poland, and the Ukraine, joining more than 120 other countries.

Ladd has written or edited 20 books on American political thought, electoral politics and public opinion, including the recently published The Ladd Report, which analyzed volumes of data regarding how voluntary groups, activities and charitable donations were reshaping America's towns and cities. He also developed and edited The Public Perspective, a bi-monthly compendium of recent public opinions and polls.

Richard Veilleux