2004-2005 Annual Report

The CaliforniaStateUniversity

Social Sciences Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC)

33rd Annual Report

Richard Taketa (San JoseStateUniversity), Chair, 2004-05

Origin and Mission

The Social Science Research and Instructional Council is the oldest of the disciplinary councils in the CaliforniaStateUniversity 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 the CSU’s 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; providing 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.

2004-05 Activities

This year represents the culmination of a major transition for the SSRIC that began in 2003 under the leadership of Richard Shaffer (San Luis Obispo) and continued during 2003-04 under Randall MacIntosh (Sacramento). The closing of the Social Science Data Base Archive (SSDBA) at CSU Los Angeles resulted from changes in technology that made most of the services offered by SSDBA redundant. Access to social science data bases (ICPSR, Field, and Roper) was transferred to more direct access via the World Wide Web. This also meant a change in the role of the SSRIC from primarily advisory into a partner in the planning, development, and management of the social science database access.

At its Spring 2004 business meeting, the Council created an executive committee to assist the incoming chair, Richard Taketa, in managing this transition and meeting the schedule for the SpecialtyCenter subscription announcement. Edward Nelson (Fresno) and John Korey (Pomona) were appointed to the executive committee. The Council granted the committee the authority to make decisions regarding the formation of a new subscription program to provide access to social science data bases (that eventually became the Social Science Data Bases program). The executive committee addressed these needs, and was given approval by the Council to continue to function throughout the academic year.

2004-05 Meetings

  • Fall October 29-30 San Jose
  • Winter February 4-5 San Luis Obispo
  • Spring April 28-29 Fresno (Student Research Conference)

Social Science Data Bases

SSRIC worked directly with Glenda Morgan and Gerry Hanley at the Chancellor’s Office to develop the new Social Science Data Bases (SSDB) subscription program. This involved developing a budget to support the data bases and to support SSRIC activities that had formerly been provided through SSDBA. Glenda worked closely with us to maximize the number of subscribing campuses. This effort resulted in having 17 campuses subscribe to the new SSDB, up from the 15 who had subscribed to SSDBA in its last two years.

As part of the SSDB program, SSRIC worked with the Chancellor’s Office in developing an agreement with UCData at UC Berkeley to host the Field Poll data sets. UCData already provides this service to University of California campuses, and 2003-04 SSRIC chair Randy MacIntosh negotiated with UCData to extend that service to the CSU. The agreement was finalized in time for the 2004-05 academic year.

SSRIC has been instrumental in assisting CSU campuses in transitioning to ICPSR Direct. Faculty, staff, and students may now directly search and download data from the ICPSR archives using their campus workstations and, for those with appropriate proxy servers, using their home computers.

Edward Nelson at CSU Fresno is temporarily handling requests for data sets from the RoperCenter at the University of Connecticut. We have plans to put our Roper Data sets on line through the SSRIC Web site, and we understand that the RoperCenter is planning to introduce a Web-based archive similar to ICPSR Direct sometime in the next year.

In support of the new database access mechanisms, the SSRIC executive committee developed a workshop on the use of the social science databases. Workshops were given at six CSU campuses in 2004-05 (San Jose, Bakersfield, Pomona, Stanislaus, MontereyBay, and Northridge), attended by 57 faculty, staff, and students.

ICPSR and Field

The Council allocated $1250 to Professor Dingkun Ge (San Francisco) to travel to an ICPSR workshop on social network analysis. We also allocated $437.50 each to the following students: Matthew Goodlaw and Shanda Pemberton (MontereyBay), John Ayers (Bakersfield), and Lisa Wallace (San Diego).

The Council selected Professor Charles Gossett (Pomona) as the Faculty Fellow and Professor Stephen Kroll (Sacramento) for the six question credits based on the recommendation of the Field Committee.

Student Research Conference

The Twenty-Ninth Annual SSRIC Student Research Conference was held at CSU Fresno on April 28. 30 students from 15 campuses presented papers. The Charles McCall Award for the best undergraduate paper went to Miho Iwata (San Bernardino), the Betty Nesvold Award for the best graduate paper went to Danny Osborne (Bakersfield), and the Gloria Rummels Award for the best use of quantitative data went to Monica Felix (Fresno). Our keynote speaker was Dr. Jeri Echeverria, Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at CSU Fresno. She gave a fascinating and colorful presentation of the history of Basques in the United States, particularly the role of boarding houses in their migration.

SSRIC Web Site

With the closing of the SSDBA, where the SSRIC Web site had been hosted, the site was temporarily moved to Cal Poly Pomona and supported by John Korey.

A committee headed by John Korey worked out an agreement with the information technology staff at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at San FranciscoStateUniversity to become the future host for the SSRIC Web site. The site will integrate the SSRIC site with the Teaching Resources Depository, currently hosted at CSU Bakersfield. It will also provide access to an archive of Roper and other miscellaneous data sets acquired by the CSU/SSDBA/SSRIC over the years.

The committee is reviewing alternate site designs with the goal of having the site up for the 2005-06 academic year.

Council Membership

The 2004-05 academic year also saw major changes in representation on the SSRIC. We have new representatives from Chico, Fullerton, San Marcos, MontereyBay, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, and Stanislaus, bringing a new generation of CSU faculty to the Council.

The Council also nominated Ed Nelson (Fresno) for the ICPSR William H. Flanigan Award for Distinguished Service as an Official Representative. The award is intended to acknowledge the contributions of individuals representing ICPSR member institutions, and Ed, through his service to the CSU through his SSRIC and ICPSR activities clearly deserves such an award.

2005-06 Plans

The Chair for 2005-06 will be Professor Michael Reibel from CalPoly Pomona.

The Council is planning additional SSDB workshops for the 2005-06 academic year. Campuses who have already expressed interest include Sacramento (Fall), Fullerton (Fall), and San Francisco (Spring).

2005-06 SSRIC Meetings

  • Fall TBD Fullerton
  • Winter February 10-11 Fresno
  • Student May 5-6 Northridge (Student Research Conference)

ICPSR Biennial Meeting

The biennial ICPSR meeting is scheduled for October, 2005. Ed Nelson (CSU Fresno) will be attending as a member of the Instructional Materials and Information Subcommittee (IMIS), and John Korey will be among the presenters at one of the instructional panels. We are planning to send five council members to attend, including Chair Mike Reibel.