Center for Survey Research

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The Center for Survey Research at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, operated from July 1, 1996 to June 30, 2004, when the center closed.


The founding director was Paul J. Lavrakas, who led the center's initiatives until September 30, 2000, when he took a position with Nielsen Media Research. He was succeeded by Gerald Kosicki, an OSU associate professor of Communication, who led the center as interim director and then director until June 30, 2004. The center was managed by political scientist Herbert F. Weisberg in 2004 and 2005. Erik R. Stewart served as the Center's Director of Operations from 1997 until 2001. The center today no longer exists, but the university does continue to support its key educational initiative, the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Survey Research.[1]. This is a 23-credit hour interdisciplinary graduate program that can be selected by any graduate student at the university.

This center was notable for its innovative public-private partnership and its main project, the Buckeye State Poll. The BSP was active from November 1996 to March 2002. It consisted of two main parts. One part was a monthly survey of Ohio adults that focused on economic perceptions. Two products that resulted from this included an Ohio Consumer Confidence Index and the Ohio Debt Stress Index. The debt stress index purported to measure the extent to which Ohioans felt psychological pressure about their overall level of consumer credit card and other debts. Deidentified data from these projects are available from the Political Analysis Lab in the Department of Political Science at Ohio State.