Center for Social Research

CSR discusses Deliberative Polling with “Stateside” on Michigan Radio


On September 17, CSR’s Neil Carlson and Allison Rudi were interviewed by Michigan Radio’s Cynthia Canty about the Kent County Deliberative Poll.

The brief article and interview audio are published in the Next Idea series on promising ideas for the future of Michigan.

Research assistants John Gordon and Jack Van Allsburg are due special thanks and credit for their able, committed support of the project. John connected us with the Next Idea team and has been plowing through acres of research documents, while Jack has been a tireless, skilled writer, editor, and graphic designer for the project; the 6-step illustration of Deliberative Polling included in the article is Jack’s handiwork.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 08:51 AM
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Women in Leadership National Study (Gender Parity Project)

UPDATE: Christianity Today has a front-page article today (September 22) covering this study, also called the Gender Parity Project. The research team has also issued a press release.

Together with partner scholars Dr. Janel Curry of Gordon College and Dr. Amy Reynolds of Wheaton College, Calvin College is conducting the Women in Leadership National Study through the Center for Social Research. Dr. Reynolds has previewed the results on the “Black, White and Gray” blog at, which triggered later coverage by Christianity Today.

As part of the study, CSR student research assistants have collected data on over 1,400 evangelical organizations selected from the membership of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Accord Network of antipoverty organizations (formerly AERDO). Data sources are public records such as IRS forms 990 and ECFA public profiles, along with research assistants’ best estimates of the gender and race of each employee and board member listed on each organization’s 2010 form 990.

The interactive Tableau visualizations below present the results as of spring 2014.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:29 AM
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New Advisors

The When The People Speak Deliberative Poll Event is proud to announce our new project advisors:

Name Title Employer
Alan Vanderberg County Administrator Ottawa County
Curtis Holt City Manager Wyoming
Greg Sundstrom City Manager Grand Rapids
Jim Talen Kent County Commissioner 16thDistrict
Jorge Gonzalez Director of Economic Development LINC
Keith Van Beek Assistant County Administrator Ottawa County
Kevin den Dulk Executive Director of Henry Institute Calvin College
Mark Lemoine Director of System Government Affairs Spectrum Health
Neil Carlson Director of Center for Social Research Calvin College
Rosalynn Bliss City Commissioner of Grand Rapids 2nd Ward

For more information about the Poll Event, visit our website:
If you are interested in contributing to our project as an advisor, pleasecontact us!

Posted by Michael Kelly on Friday, December 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM
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Now in development: the Kent County Deliberative Poll


Civic-minded friends, watch this space for news about our newest initiative, the Kent County Deliberative Poll®, inspired by and intended for local implementation in cooperation with James Fishkin and the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University.

Please extend a warm welcome to Project Coordinator Allison Rudi, who will be contacting a broad coalition of community partners and research organizations (including you) to advise, sponsor, conduct and benefit from this combined research and civic education project. This fall, we’ll be working on coalition-building, branding and design, fundraising, research design, project planning and budgeting, development of unbiased reading materials, recruitment of expert deliberative-democracy moderators, student involvement, and more.

Questions? Want to get in on the ground floor? Contact Allison by email or call CSR at 616 526-8934.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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Project Overview: Summer Learning Academy 2013

The CSRs goal to revitalize our weblog to be current and more informative leads to a new type of post: a Project Overview post. There are several projects occurring simultaneously at CSR, so the idea behind project overviews is to give our readers a better understanding of the types of projects that we are involved in, while also thanking our clients for working with us.

Over the past 2 years, the DeVos Foundation has partnered with CSR to evaluate the effectiveness of programs that are integral to their Believe 2 Become initiative, some of which include their Baby Scholars program, Gatherings of Hope program, and Summer Learning Academy program. However, since the Summer Learning Academy programs have taken precedence for us during this time of year, it is opportune to coincide the beginnings of our project overviews with this academic initiative.


Posted by Michael Kelly on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 08:47 AM
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