Morgan named new director of UNC’s Carolina Population Center

Originally posted June 2012

phil-morgan.jpgS. Philip Morgan, an internationally known sociologist and population scientist, has been named the new director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will also become a UNC professor in the sociology department. His appointment is effective July 1, 2012.

Currently, Morgan is at Duke University as a professor of sociology, the Norb F. Schaefer Professor of International Studies, and the faculty director of the Social Science Research Institute. Before moving to Duke University, he was a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Morgan served as Chair of both the Penn and Duke sociology departments.

Morgan succeeds Barbara Entwisle who became UNC’s vice chancellor for research in 2011. She resigned as Carolina Population Center (CPC) director in 2010 when she became UNC’s interim vice chancellor for research and economic development. Since then, CPC has been led by interim directors Kathleen Mullan Harris (2010-2011) and Paul Voss (2011-2012). Both Harris and Voss are UNC sociology professors and CPC faculty fellows.

Morgan will be CPC’s seventh director since it was founded in 1966. Currently, the center has 61 faculty fellows, 60 trainees and about 100 staff members. Its faculty fellows conduct research in more than 50 countries and, since July 2011, have been awarded $50 million from federal, state and private sources.

Barbara Entwisle, UNC’s vice chancellor for research, said “The CPC is one of the crown jewels of the university. Phil Morgan brings precisely the right combination of outstanding scholarship and administrative expertise needed to continue and build on CPC’s success.”

Morgan brings extensive research expertise to his new role as CPC director. Most of his research has focused on human fertility and factors that explain variations in fertility patterns across populations. He has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator of 28 research projects, mostly funded by the National Institutes of Health. The National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation and Duke University have also supported his research. Morgan has led NIH review panels, has served on National Academy of Science panels, and has advised the Social Security Administration Trustees.

Morgan is a past president of the Population Association of America, a long-standing member of both the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and the American Sociological Association (ASA). In 2011, ASA honored him with a distinguished career award.

He is a former co-editor of Demography and has served on the editorial boards of more than 15 other journals. Morgan has co-authored more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and three books including Understanding Family Change and Variation: Structure, Conjuncture, and Action, published in 2011 by Springer.

Morgan is a Tar Heel alumnus: he received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from UNC. His undergraduate senior thesis was supervised by Amos Hawley a renowned population scientist. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona. Morgan also was a postdoctoral scholar at the Carolina Population Center from 1980 to 1983. While at CPC, he was mentored by faculty fellow and former CPC Director Ronald R. Rindfuss.

Commenting on his appointment Morgan said: “This is wonderful opportunity for both professional and personal reasons. Professionally, CPC is the premier population center in the world. It is a model institution supporting multidisciplinary research on some of today’s most important social problems. I look forward to collaborating with my CPC colleagues to extend CPC’s educational and research missions. Personally, I owe much to UNC/CPC. I received a wonderful undergraduate education at UNC and experienced a truly formative CPC post-doc. My career has included many wonderful opportunities, to return to UNC/CPC as Director of CPC is by far the greatest.”

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