The SSRIC is composed of representatives from each of the CSU campuses. Its overall objective is to support faculty, staff, and student research and teaching in all social science disciplines. It does this by:
- working with the CSU Chancellor’s Office to ensure continued system-wide access to social science databases;
- developing instructional materials and making them available on the Council’s website (www.ssric.org);
- initiating and conducting workshops on how to access and use quantitative data from the aforementioned sources;
- supporting faculty research by providing access to the ICPSR Summer Program and the Field Faculty Fellowship program;
- providing a forum for sharing information about using data in research and teaching;
- sponsoring an annual student research conference.
Student Research Conference
The Conference has been held annually since 1976. The 2013 Conference was held on May 2 at San Francisco State. There were about 30 presenters from about 8 campuses. The keynote speaker was Mark DiCamillo, Director of The Field Poll and Senior Vice President of the Field Research Corporation. He spoke on “The Growing Political Might of Ethnic Voters in California and Its Political Ramifications.”
Since early in the history of the Conference, awards have been given for the best undergraduate paper, the best graduate paper, and the best quantitative paper. (Initially, this last category was limited to papers using data from the CSU subscription databases. The category was later broadened to include quantitatively-oriented papers regardless of the data source.)
- The award for best undergraduate paper is named after Dr. Charles McCall (Political Science, Bakersfield). Charles was one of the SSRIC founders. He was SSRIC Council Chair (AY 1974-75), served on the Council of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, and was ICPSR Council chair. He died on April 10, 2013.
- The best graduate paper award is named after another of the Council’s founders, Dr. Betty Nesvold (Political Science, San Diego). Betty was the very first SSRIC chair (AY 1972-73). Like Charles, she also served on the Council of the ICPSR, and was ICPSR Council Chair. She died in 1992.
- The award for the best quantitative paper is named after Gloria Rummels (Staff, State University Data Center [SUDC]). Until the early 1990s, SUDC served as the "hub" for the data bases, and the late Gloria Rummels was one of several staff members who provided fantastic support for data users. Following her death on October 14, 1985, and until SUDC was disbanded, Gloria's SUDC colleagues funded this prize out of their own pockets
Best paper winners at the 2013 Conference were:
- The Charles McCall Award: Karl Nicholas, San Francisco State, Effect of Poverty on Attorney Representation in San Francisco Family Court
- The Betty Nesvold Award: Kathryn Gruszecki, Cal Poly Pomona, Japanese Incumbency: A Focus on Confucian Values and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
- The Gloria Rummels Award: Marc Joffe, San Francisco State, Drivers of Municipal Bond Defaults During the Great Depression
The CSU subscribes to the following social science data bases:
- The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan is the closest we have to a national social science data archive in the United States. It is a consortium of over 700 member institutions, which include virtually every major university and college in the United States and Canada and many universities throughout the world. The ICPSR data holdings serve a broad spectrum of disciplines including political science, sociology, history, economics, geography, demography, gerontology, public health, criminal justice, education, international relations, business, and education. Currently the ICPSR’s archive includes over 7,625 studies with more than 65,000 data sets including the General Social Survey, the American National Election Studies, U.S. Census data from 1790 to the present, the World Values Survey, Current Population Surveys, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, U.S. election returns from 1788 to the present, the Monitoring the Future surveys, the National Survey of Black Americans, the National Crime Victimization surveys, the Household Survey on Drug Abuse, and the National Health Interview surveys. More information about the ICPSR is available on its web site at http://www.icpsr.org.
- The Field Institute in San Francisco conducts the Field Poll, which is one of the major state polls in California. Membership in the Field Research Corporation provides access to all current Field Polls and to the archive of past Field Polls, which date back to the 1950’s, and provides the opportunity for CSU faculty to include their research questions in the Field Poll. The combination of the Field archival holdings and the current Field Polls provides historical data and current information on important social and policy issues in California that are not available through the ICSPR. More information is available on the Field web site at http://www.field.com.
- The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut is one of the leading archives of public opinion data and includes a large collection of international data. It is a vital supplement to ICPSR data, which does not include many state-based public opinion surveys. The Roper Center’s iPOLL is a searchable data base of over 600,000 survey questions from as far back as 1935. It provides you with the exact wording of the question and information about the survey and frequency distributions for the results. More information is available on the Roper web site at http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu.
The consolidation of membership in these organizations, facilitated by the SSRIC, represents a considerable savings (about 40%) to faculty and campuses that would otherwise have to subscribe individually. Students, faculty and staff are able to download data, codebooks, and other material directly to their computers as a result of this access.
Instructional Materials and Workshops
The SSRIC makes available instructional material via its website. These include two online textbooks, instructional modules and exercises, and instructional handouts. Continuing this year, SSRIC representatives have been working with Andrew Roderick (SFSU Academic Computing) to continue to update the site and improve its accessibility.
The Council also offers free workshops at any campus where faculty have expressed an interest in learning how to access and analyze quantitative data from ICPSR, Roper, and Field, and using SDA. Workshops are also provided on the use of SPSS for data analysis.
The Council provides limited support for faculty and graduate students to attend the ICPSR Summer Program. Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo) serves as liaison with this program. There were three applications submitted this year: two by faculty and one by a grad student. At the recommendation of Greg (Summer Program Coordinator), the Council selected a faculty member who had not attended in the past and who planned to attend a workshop at Ann Arbor. The other faculty applicant attended the 2012 program and was proposing to attend a workshop in Berkeley.
Each year the Field Poll provides SSRIC with the opportunity to award CSU faculty with a fellowship that includes credit for a limited number of items to be included on an upcoming Field poll. Applicants submit RFPs and, on the recommendation of a committee chaired by Ed Nelson (at large), the Council selects a nominee, pending final approval by the Field Research Corporation. For the 2013-14 academic year, the fellowship was awarded to Carl Stemple (East Bay) for work on attitudes toward Proposition 13 and property taxes.
The Council met three times in the 2013-2014 academic year. The February 8, 2013 Winter meeting was conducted online using Blackboard/Collaborate. The Fall meeting (hosted at CSU Fullerton September 28, 2012) and the Spring meeting (at San Francisco State May 29, 2012) were "hybrid" meetings. Those who could do so attended the meetings in person, while others participated online. Seven members were in attendance in person at the Fall meeting, while 10 attended via the Internet. No minutes are available for the Winter meeting, so the number of participants is not known. At the Spring meeting, nine members were there in person, and another 8 attended virtually. (Note: these numbers include a non-voting at-large member, and some campuses had participation by more than one campus representative.)
2012-13 Chair: Rhonda Dugan (Bekersfield)
2013-14 Chair: John Korey (at large)
Executive Committee: Rhonda Dugan (Bakersfield), Ali Modarres (Los Angeles), Ed Nelson (Fresno), Lori Weber (Chico), Josh Meisel (Humboldt)
Field Fellowship: Ed Nelson (Fresno)
ICPSR Summer Program Coordinator: Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo)
Web Liaison: John Korey (at large), Greg Bohr (San Luis Obispo)
Student Research Conference: Francis Neely (San Francisco)
Submitted by John Korey, October 12, 2015. The Annual Report is normally prepared as soon as possible after the end of the academic year. Since the report for AY 2012-13 was not submitted on time, it has been compiled from available records, including minutes (http://www.ssric.org/minutes_archive), newsletters (http://www.ssric.org/newsletters), and materials from the Student Research Conference.