ROPS 2005

Report: Civic and Academic Engagement in the Multiversity: Institutional Trends and Initiatives at the University of California, Proceedings of University of California Symposium held June 10, 2005

Proceedings of University of California Symposium held June 10, 2005

Civic engagement is moving to the forefront of higher education discussions as universities seek ways not only to intensify students’ learning experiences but also to forge stronger links with the communities they are meant to serve. Within the University of California system, there are already multiple examples of service-learning, university-community partnerships, and volunteer initiatives.

In June 2005, faculty, academic staff, and student representatives from across the University of California system gathered at a symposium held on the Berkeley campus to discuss and analyze...

What Do We Know About Students' Learning and How Do We Know It? By K. Patricia Cross

K. Patricia Cross

The instruction that we provide, the intellectual climate that we create, and the policy decisions that we make should all start with the question, "But will it improve students' learning?" Basic to any answer is the state of our knowledge about learning. A spate of recent research has resulted in comprehensive and lengthy reviews of surveys of research on student learning; the current model for coping with this information explosion is ever-tighter syntheses and distillations. These "principles" could in turn be summarized as a grand meta-principle that might say something like this: “...

The Dynamics of Variable Fees: Exploring Institutional and Public Policy Responses, by David Ward and John Aubrey Douglass

David Ward
John Aubrey Douglass

Variable fees at the graduate and undergraduate levels are a topic of discussion in the US and in the EU as part of a larger movement towards increasing the role of fees in the funding of public universities. This essay describes this relatively new shift and its causes, outlines various funding models related to fee levels, and discusses the possible policy implications of variable fee structures. Here we argue that much of the movement toward increased fees in places such as the US and the UK is being pursued incrementally, without an adequate discussion of the long-term...

How Best to Coordinate California Higher Education: Comments on the Governor's Proposed Reforms, by Warren H. Fox

Warren H. Fox

California government is now considering major reforms in the organization of higher education, specifically dismantling the state’s independent planning and coordinating agency, the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC), and placing it and the Student Aid Commission under a new position in the governor’s office, possibly a Secretary of Higher Education. This recommendation is the result of Governor Schwarzenegger’s establishment of the California Performance Review Commission, in February of 2004, to investigate possible reorganization and other reforms for reducing...

Californians Redefine Academic Freedom, by Martin Trow

Martin Trow

This position paper discusses the changes to the UC Academic Senate’s regulations on academic freedom and on policies for teaching potentially contentious or political issues, arguing that the new regulation has not been adequately considered in light of its detrimental effect on academic standards. Whereas previously the university’s policy had stated that faculty were not to use their teaching to "convert" students, the new regulation relies on individual instructors’ "competence" and allows for their politically committed viewpoints instead of establishing any guidelines for...

All Globalization Is Local: Countervailing Forces and the Influence on Higher Education Markets

John Aubrey Douglass

Globalization trends and innovations in the instructional technologies are widely believed to be creating new markets and forcing a revolution in higher education. Much of the rhetoric of "globalists" has presented a simplistic analysis of a paradigm shift in higher education markets and the way nations and institutions deliver educational services. This essay provides an analytical framework for understanding global influences on national higher education systems. It then identifies and discusses the "countervailing forces" to globalization that help to illuminate the complexities...

The Educational Benefits of Sustaining Cross-Racial Interaction Among Undergraduates

Mitchell J. Chang
Nida Denson
Victor Saenz
Kimberly Misa

This study examined whether or not students who either had higher levels of cross-racial interaction during college or had same-institution peers with higher average levels of this type of interaction tend to report significantly larger developmental gains than their counterparts. Unlike previous quantitative studies that tested cross-racial interaction using single-level linear models, this study more accurately models the structure of multilevel data by applying Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). The general pattern of findings suggests that higher individual levels of cross-...

The Merits of the National Merit Scholars Program: Questions and Concerns

Patrick Hayashi

After passage of Proposition 209, the University of California began searching for race-neutral admissions criteria that would allow it to minimize drops in enrollment of underrepresented minorities. Concern for underrepresented minorities led to several changes in admissions policies, most notably the introduction of comprehensive or holistic review for freshmen admission at all UC campuses. These efforts to identify criteria that would support UC’s efforts to maintain a racially and ethnically diverse student body have led to another unexpected development. The Board of Admissions and...

An Emerging View on Accountability in American Higher Education

David E. Leveille

Higher education has become the focus of increased public debate. Stewardship of public resources, student achievement or the lack thereof, relationships and “partnerships” with business and industry in the area of research, substantial increases in tuition and fees, public perception of wrong-doing in the quality of programs, and allegations of wrongdoing in financial and programmatic areas have all led to calls for greater transparency, accountability, and impartiality. At root, these issues all concern trust. This paper discusses accountability in higher education as well as the...

Virtualpolitik: Obstacles to Building Virtual Communities in Traditional Institutions of Knowledge

Elizabeth Losh

Digital collaborations are often stymied because institutions of higher education are increasingly divided between two cultures: the culture of knowledge and the culture of information. Campuses primarily remain institutions of knowledge, although practices of information acquisition can no longer be ignored, especially since the advent of networked computing and study with digital texts. Yet the traditional division of labor and the ownership of intellectual property within the academy are threatened by digital collaborations; and the claims of information theory, which is...