|Tracking Transportation in Texas
From his UTSA office, the state demographer glimpses Texas' future
Murdock, who has spent 30 years doing demographic analyses in Texas and who has been the state demographer since 2001, says to be an effective policy researcher he must remember two things: He must never try to force the numbers to support a particular point of view, and he must truly believe
that the data he supplies can lead to better decision making.
Murdock’s work has positively affected policymaking, says Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston. He directly citedThe Texas Challenge, a book authored by Murdock and his colleagues, in proposing the TEXAS Grant Program. The program helps academically successful high school
students with financial need pay for college. Since 1999,
it has provided free tuition at Texas’ public colleges and
universities to more than 137,000 students.
“He puts a human face on a statistical analysis, and that’s very powerful in the public policy arena,” Ellis says.
Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair
and Organization Studies
State Demographer of Texas
Steve Murdock was appointed state
demographer by Gov. Rick Perry in 2001. After moving from Texas A&M University to UTSA in 2004, he was named the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Demography and Organization Studies and director of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research at UTSA. He is also director of the Texas State Data Center.
Murdock’s areas of interest include demography, human ecology, applied sociology and rural sociology.
He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from North Dakota State University, and earned master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Kentucky.
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