2001-2002 Annual Report

The California State University



30TH Annual Report

Elliott R. Barkan (CSUSB), Chair, 2001-2002

Origin and Mission

The Social Science Research and Instructional Council is the oldest of the disciplinary councils in the California State University system. It began in 1972 as an advisory group to the Office of Information Resources and Telecommunications. Today, the Council continues its liaison with the Chancellor's Office and is dedicated to assisting CSU social science students and faculty in their learning, teaching, and research.


The Council develops and coordinates programs to extend the quantitative skills of faculty and students by

  • providing a forum for sharing information about social science data and computer products;
  • initiating and conducting training programs;
  • recommending computerized social science projects in the CSU curriculum;
  • encouraging the collection and distribution of social science data and computer-related instructional and research materials;
  • supporting CSU’s membership in the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan) and its on-going relationship with The Field Institute (San Francisco), one of the two major polling organizations in California;
  • advising CSU administrators on policies related to providing quantitative social science data for research and instruction; and collaborating with the Social Science Data Base Archive (at CSU Los Angeles) to provide instructional workshops, maintain a user-friendly web site for access to SSRIC instructional materials, and to make available to students and faculty a wide variety of social science data bases.

Meeting Schedule for 2001-2002

  • October 5-6, 2001, Humboldt State University
  • February 8-9, 2002, CSU, Fresno
  • April 26-27, CSU, San Bernardino

Highlights of 2001-2002 Activities

The 26th Annual SSRIC Student Research Conference was held at CSU San Bernardino on April 26. Nineteen students presented their work, one of the largest turnouts in years. Professor Armando Navarro of University of California, Riverside, was the keynote speaker.

The Betty Nesvold Award for best graduate paper went to Kathy Stephens, of CSUSB

The Charles McCall Award for best undergraduate paper went to Jill Messing, also of CSUSB.

The Field Institute / California Poll subcommittee recommended that Susannah O’Keefe’s (CSU Sacramento) questions on living wage issues be revised and included in the California Poll. The Annual Field Institute Workshop was postponed until September 2002.

Inter-University Consortium for Social and Political Research (ICPSR) Summer Workshops coordinator, Jon Ebeling, noted that there were two applicants interested in attending the 2002 workshops. Diane Schmidt (Chico), wished to attend two, five-day workshops, one on network analysis and one on categorical data. Elliott Barkan (San Bernardino) requested support for the five-day workshop on Census 2000. The Council awarded $1800 to Schmidt and $1200 to Barkan.

ICPSR Direct, a major new development that allows individual access to ICPSR. It was noted that this could result in revisions in the fee structure for federations, such as the CSU.

Tony Hernandez (CSU, LA & SSDBA) submitted IP addresses so each campus could have automatic access to ICPSR Direct.

Tony Hernandez indicated the cost for the social sciences data bases were: ICPSR contract $81,415, Roper $6,250, and Field’s $52,000.

ICPSR Direct, and the fee structure will continue to evolve over the next year.

ICPSR Biennial Meeting was scheduled for Fall, 2002. Nan Chico (CSU, Hayward), John Korey (CSPU, Pomona), and Ed Nelson (CSU, Fresno) attended. An updated priority listing of campuses is as follows:

  1. San Jose
  2. San Bernardino
  3. Bakersfield
  4. Humboldt
  5. Fresno
  6. San Diego
  7. San Francisco
  8. Los Angeles
  9. Sonoma
  10. SLO
  11. Pomona
  12. Fullerton
  13. Long Beach
  14. Sacramento
  15. Northridge
  16. Hayward
  17. Chico
  18. Stanislaus
  19. Monterey Bay
  20. San Marcos
  21. Dominguez Hills
  22. Martime Academy

ICPSR Biennial Meeting, Cont’d. A listserv was being established by ICPSR on teaching research methods. The following was later made available: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/mailman/listinfo/teach-methods .

ICPSR was also creating a Site for Instructional Materials and Information, which would be national in scope, as opposed to the SSRIC’s TRD (Teaching Resource Directory), which focused only on California. Korey noted that the future of the 13 federations in North America had not been resolved. CSU, with only MA degrees, differs from other federations where there is a PhD-granting institution as a hub for other nearby smaller universities.

SSDBA – Tony Hernandez reported the SSDBA is funded at $157,000 based on each of the 17 subscribing campus’s enrollment. The server runs on a Solaris (Unix) platform that has 218 GB storage. 40 GB more is available on a separate site. Over 1500 studies currently reside online, but many more are available on CD-Rom and other formats from the SSDBA.

Discussion about extent of usage and ease of accessibility followed, especially for instruction. The American Election Studies, the General Social Survey, Field Polls and other studies are now available in the easier-to-use SDA format. The discussion focused on SDA, the dilemma of how SSDBA would need to be reconfigured, and its role revised in light of the role it would play if COLD supports inclusion of the social science data sets. While subscriptions and SSDBA were separate issues, they were clearly related. Indeed, the importance of the SSDBA had been underscored in the SSRIC report to COLD, with it playing a vital supportive role for faculty, staff, and students.

Chancellor’s Office The principal issue confronting the SSRIC during the 2001-2002 year was the continued funding of the ICPSR, Roper, and Field Institute contracts by the Chancellor’s Office, although funding had been guaranteed by they Chancellor’s Office several years ago.

Prior to the Fall meeting, Elliott Barkan and Ed Nelson (CSU Fresno), along with the Chair of the Business Council, David Cary (Cal Poly Northridge), met with Gerard Hanley and Michael McLean, of the Chancellor’s Office, to discuss the Social Science and Business Specialty Centers and the uncertain fate of the data sets’ funding.

The SSRIC was encouraged to submit a report to the Council of Library Directors (COLD) and its technical review committee, the Electronic Access to Information Resources Committee (EAR) in an effort to persuade them to include ICPSR and Field resources in PHAROS. Elliott Barkan, Ed Nelson, Ted Anagnoson (CSULA), and Tony Hernandez (Manager, SSDBA) drafted that report in October 2001 and forwarded it to COLD. In early February 2002, the response came from EAR expressing a variety of concerns and a withholding of support for the proposal to incorporate those social science data sets into PHAROS.

EAR’s report indicated how difficult it was to persuade the librarians that they were not expected to become experts in the use of the data (any more than they are expected to explain physics articles to students). Furthermore, the report indicated:

  1. The SSDBA should play a critical intermediary role assisting students, faculty and staff.
  2. The data should soon become directly accessible by anyone working or studying at a CSU campus.
  3. COLD should not be asked to take up the funding of Field, Roper and ICPSR, for they were to become a line item in the Chancellor Office’s budget once those data sets were incorporated into PHAROS. This Gerry Hanley and Mike McLean had clearly intimated at the outset (the quid pro quo for applying to COLD).

A conference call between the SSRIC and Gerry Hanley and Mike McLean during the Winter, 2002 meeting began with a brief overview of the SSRIC and the battle to fund the databases. Gerry Hanley acknowledged the merits of the situation and noted COLD’s concerns about the funding issue. The call continued with a focus on the challenge of making the databases most readily accessible and getting librarians to understand the value of the data sets. He then explained some of the important aspects of PHAROS, as it would relate to SSDBA and the social science databases.

Mike McLean from the Chancellor’s Office reported on the database issues and COLD. He acknowledged that funding would be provided for 2002-2003 but that meeting COLD’s standards was still imperative. He added that the IT emphasis on infrastructure upgrading was now shifting to academic technology materials and the databases should be considered here. However, he could not assure the Council about future funding because of budget shortfalls, but added that it could come from COLD or Academic Technology. Both EAR and COLD now report to the Vice chancellor who allocates funding.

Mike McLean also outlined Gerry Hanley’s model for a CSU On-Line Faculty Resource Center that would include text bibliography, image databases, language and learning labs, alphanumeric databases, pedagogical databases (part of the MERLOT project), and CATS Simulations.

Other related topics concerned the chicken-egg dilemma of having SSDBA establish an open access system before COLD would approve the adoption of the databases or afterward. The Council said it is not clear exactly what more COLD and EAR want to hear from us. We have addressed all their points of concern, and so a specific list was needed. Mike McLean reiterated the importance of Council members speaking to deans and librarians, and campus presidents to emphasize the importance of making these databases a part of PHAROS.

The SSRIC and SSDBA ended the year working on the suggestions outlined by EAR and COLD. They were:

That the SSDBA and AMSPEC advisory councils (the SSRIC and BIC respectively) include a CSU library faculty member in their council membership;

That the SSDBA and AMSPEC specialty centers move as quickly as possible to provide IP authenticated access to their resources in order to facilitate and encourage broader use by CSU students and faculty;

That libraries at subscribing CSU campuses seriously consider linking to the SSDBA and AMSPEC Web sites, and work with specialty center staff to facilitate and enhance access to their services and resources for students and faculty on those campuses;

That COLD encourage the Chancellor's Office to continue funding SSDBA, AMSPEC and other specialty center database subscriptions for the campuses, and that the SEIR/EAR funding model be followed, wherein core electronic resources are licensed centrally for the system and the mechanisms for providing physical access to those resources are the responsibility of the campuses.

2002-2003 SSRIC Meetings will be as follows:

  • October 25-26, Sonoma
  • February 21-22, San Luis Obispo
  • April 25-26, San Francisco (Student Research Conference.)