Robert E. Stake (born December 18, 1927) is a Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Stake is a native of Adams, Nebraska. After earning a PhD in Psychometrics at Princeton University in 1958, he assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which he held until moving to the University of Illinois in 1963. He became Associate Director of the Illinois State Testing Program. The testing program was absorbed by the Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation (CIRCE) in 1969. There he served as Co-Director and subsequently in 1975 as Director of the CIRCE until his retirement in 1998. He has been a leader in development of program evaluation methods for decades. Among his many contributions are the 2010 book Qualitative Research: Studying How Things Work, and in 1995, The Art of Case Study Research. .
In the field of Educational assessment, Stake had stated that we must evaluate the quality of the curriculum or by its qualities. In order to do that we need to have made evaluation that is formative and to gather different points of view in the process.
He was the recipient in 1988 of the Lazerfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association  and an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala in 1994. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Valladolid in 2009. In 2007 Robert Stake received a Presidential Citation from the American Educational Research Association "for his significant contribution to qualitative methodology, to the theory and practice of evaluation".
Stake's writings and thinking in the field of program evaluation have influenced the work of numerous scholars in the field including that of Ernest R. House, his colleague at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1969 to 1985.
Robert Stake is the father of Ben, Sarah, Jake, and Tom.
- Stake, Robert E. (1967), The Countenance of Educational Evaluation, Teachers College record 68, 523-540
- AEA Award recipients. Archived 2012-01-14 at the Wayback Machine American Evaluation Association. Accessed May 6, 2010.
- http://www.uu.se/en/about-uu/traditions/prizes/honorary-doctorates/. Accessed July 29, 2016
- Doctores Honoris Causa, University of Valladolid. Accessed May 5, 2010.
- Awards Go to 16. AERA Honors Scholars for Contributions to Education Research, American Educational Research Association, April 11, 2007. Accessed May 5, 2010
- Robert E. Stake Homepage
- Cameron, Bobby Thomas.(2014). Using responsive evaluation in strategic management. Strategic Leadership Review 4(2), 22-27.