PULLMAN, Wash. — A Washington State University social scientist described as the most influential in developing the scientific basis for survey research methodology over the last 25 years has been named recipient of the Eminent Faculty Award, the university’s top faculty honor.

The winner, Don A. Dillman, and five other faculty members will be saluted during the annual WSU Faculty Honors Convocation set for 3 p.m. April 4 in Bryan Hall Auditorium.

“He epitomizes the WSU motto, ‘World Class. Face to Face.’ The strength of our university is reflected in Don Dillman’s excellence,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins.

Dillman, a Thomas S. Foley Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Policy in the Departments of Sociology and Rural Sociology, is recognized internationally as a major contributor to the development of modern mail and telephone survey methods. His book, “Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method,” was the first to provide detailed procedures for conducting surveys by these methods.

He has written nine books and 180 publications and served as investigator on 71 grants and contracts worth nearly $10 million. From 1991-95, he was senior survey methodologist in the Office of the Director, U.S. Bureau of the Census. He provided leadership for the development of new questionnaire designs and procedures for the 2000 Decennial Census and other government surveys.

Dillman is president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research. He is deputy director for Research and Development in the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at WSU. In 1970, he was founding coordinator of the SESRC’s Public Opinion Laboratory, one of the first university-based telephone survey laboratories in the United States. He directed SESRC from 1986-96. He has worked at WSU for 33 years.

He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Iowa State University.

Dillman is the second faculty member to receive the award, created last year by Rawlins to “honor career-long excellence within WSU’s superb academic community.” An award committee selected Dillman following reviews of nomination material.