2005-2006 Annual Report

The California State University
Social Sciences Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC)
34rd Annual Report
Mike Reibel (Pomona), Chair, 2005-06

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 the CSU’s on-going relationship with the Field Institute (San Francisco), one of the two major polling organizations in California and with the Roper Center for Public Opinion (University of Connecticut);
  • 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 making available to students and faculty a wide variety of social science data bases.
  • 2005-06 Structure and Governance Issues

    This year (2005-2006) represented the last stage 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 transition culminated in 2004-05 under Rich Taketa, when the Social Science Data Base Archive (SSDBA) at CSU Los Angeles closed due to 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 social science database access, as well as the development of a budget to support the data bases and to support SSRIC activities that had formerly been provided through SSDBA.

    On of the consequences of this change during 2005-06 was that a new sort of distinction was necessary between the SSRIC as a governing and advisory body of faculty representatives, and the instructional and research support and development programs overseen by the SSRIC. The solution was the designation of a “virtual” specialty center (virtual in that it has no dedicated staff, office space or fixed address) called the Social Science Specialty Center (SSSC). The programs of the SSSC include access to the sponsored data sets (subscription required), as well as services to campuses irrespective of subscription. At present, these latter include training workshops by volunteer faculty as well as eligibility for programmatic funding and research opportunities such as travel grants to SSRIC, ICPSR and (possibly) other relevant meetings and events; eligibility for research, survey and training opportunities made available by data providers, etc. Campus representation on the SSRIC does not require a subscription to the SSSC, so as to encourage and facilitate integration and eventual subscription on less active campuses.

    Also beginning in 2005-06, this change was reflected in the creation of a separate annual Usage and Service Report as an aid to the summer (2005) subscription drive for the new academic year. That report, covering programmatic services provided during 2004-05, was prepared by the incoming Chair (Mike Reibel), while the corresponding SSRIC report for 2004-05 on Council policies, structures and governance decisions was prepared by the outgoing Chair (Rich Taketa). Beginning in the summer of 2006, the 2005-06 Usage and Service Report on the previous year’s programmatic activities will be renamed the Social Science Specialty Center (SSSC) annual report. The Council is maintaining the practice that this programmatic report (the SSSC report) will be written by the incoming Chair (Ed Nelson in summer 2006), who will preside over the upcoming subscription drive, while the SSRIC report is prepared by the outgoing Chair (Mike Reibel), who presided over the governance decisions and changes described therein.
    During 2005-06, the SSRIC adapted administratively to the absence of clerical and budget support from the now-defunct SSDBA and our reliance on the Chancellor’s Office (CO) to coordinate revenue and expenditures. While the SSRIC and the Chancellor’s Office cooperated successfully on the campus subscription process, questions cropped up regarding both the wisdom of, and procedures for, granting discounts to campuses as an incentive to subscribe. These questions were not definitively resolved. Likewise, while expenditures and reimbursements were handled smoothly by the Chancellor’s Office, it was difficult for the Council to get current account information regarding remaining budget balances, etc.

    Finally, the SSRIC discovered midyear that the commitment toward our budget from the Chancellor’s Office was not a revenue line item, i.e. not a fixed dollar amount, but rather a ceiling up to which the CO would make up any shortfall from subscriptions. Since the subscription drive was relatively successful, the CO reduced their contribution to the SSRIC accordingly, and there was no surplus to fund proposed technical, educational or professional development programs. In response to this, the SSRIC drafted a 2006-07 budget request that for the first time included specific programmatic line items for data and software acquisitions, training, etc

    SSRIC Leadership

    At the Winter 2006 meeting, Ed Nelson (Fresno) was elected SSRIC Chair for 2006-07. Beginning in the spring of 2004, the Council has selected an Executive Committee to assist the incoming chair. Edward Nelson (Fresno), John Korey (Pomona) and outgoing Chair Rich Taketa (San Jose) were appointed to the 2005-06 Executive Committee at the spring 2005 meeting in Fresno to assist 2005-06 Chair Mike Reibel. Members of the Executive Committee assist the Chair and consult with her/him on decisions and policy issues between Council meetings. They also have e-mail and editing privileges on the SSRIC website. At the spring 2006 Council meeting, Lori Weber (Chico), John Korey (Pomona) and outgoing Chair Mike Reibel (Pomona) were elected to assist 2006-07 Chair-elect Ed Nelson (Fresno).

    2005-06 Meetings

  • Fall September 23-24 Fullerton
  • Winter February 10-11 Tenaya Lodge
  • Spring May 4-5 Northridge (Student Research Conference
  • Student Research Conference

    The Thirtieth Annual SSRIC Student Research Conference was held at CSU Northridge on May 4, 2006. 36 students from 13 campuses presented papers. The Charles McCall Award for the best undergraduate paper went to Kristofer J. Petersen-Overton (San Diego State University), the Betty Nesvold Award for the best graduate paper went to Alejandro Gonzalez (Cal Poly, Pomona), and the Gloria Rummels Award for the best use of quantitative data went to Elizabeth M. Olsen (CSU, Fullerton). Our keynote speaker was Dr. Dowell Myers of the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development. He gave an innovative and sobering presentation on demographic change and its implications for public finance in California, given existing revenue constraints.

    Training Workshops

    Volunteer faculty led a record ten SSSC training workshops during academic 2005-06. In addition to the orientation workshop for access to the SSSC databases, volunteer faculty also developed and offered new workshops on use of the SPSS statistical computer package. See the table below for details of 2005-06 SSSC training workshops:

    ICPSR and Field Programs

    SSRIC campus reps are ex-officio their campus’s Official Representative (OR) to the ICPSR. Of the seven SSRIC members who the attended the 2005 ICPSR Official Representatives’ Conference, John Korey and Ed Nelson received complete travel expenses from the ICPSR as program participant and committee member, respectively. Jae Emenhiser (Humboldt), Carol Kennedy (San Diego), David McCuan (Sonoma), Lori Weber (Chico), and Steve Stambough (Fullerton) received complete travel expenses from the SSSC.

    The Council recommended Francis Neely (San Francisco) for the Field Faculty Fellowship, and Lori Weber to receive the question credits (based on the recommendation of the Field Committee).

    In 2005 Ed Nelson (Fresno) was awarded 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. Congratulations, Ed!

    SSRIC Web Site

    Under the leadership of John Korey, the SSRIC website was significantly upgraded and permanently installed at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at San Francisco State University. The website is operated by the College’s information technology staff under an agreement with the SSRIC. The site integrates the SSRIC site with the Teaching Resources Depository, provides e-mail list serve resources, and houses an ever growing library of technical support information for potential data users. It will also provide access to an archive of Roper and other miscellaneous data sets acquired by the CSU/SSDBA/SSRIC over the years.

    Council Membership

    The 2005-06 academic year also saw major changes in representation on the SSRIC. We have new representatives from SLO (Greg Bohr), Channel Islands (Stephen Stratton), and Long Beach (Jose Moreno), continuing the transition to a new generation of CSU faculty on the Council.

    Council Organization as of July 1, 2006

    Chair: Ed Nelson

    Executive Committee: Ed Nelson, Mike Reibel, Lori Weber, John Korey

    TRD Committee: Gene Turner (chair), Lori Weber, John Korey, Steve Stambough

    Field Committee: Ed Nelson (chair), Steve Stambough, Dick Shafer, Lori Weber (alternate)

    Web Liaison: John Korey, Carole Kennedy (alternate)

    Workshop and Outreach Committee: Ed Nelson, Mike Reibel, Rich Taketa, John Korey

    2006-07 SSRIC Meetings

  • Fall: October 6-7 Humboldt
  • Winter: February 9-10 San Diego
  • Spring: Late April or Early May, East Bay (SSSC Student Research Conference, to be coordinated with CSU Student Research Conference)