ROPS 2008

Two Cultures: Undergraduate Academic Engagement

Steven Brint
Allison M. Cantwell
Robert A. Hannerman

Using data on upper-division students in the University of California system, we show that two distinct cultures of engagement exist on campus. The culture of engagement in the arts, humanities and social sciences focuses on interaction, participation, and interest in ideas. The culture of engagement in the natural sciences and engineering focuses on improvement of quantitative skills through collaborative study with an eye to rewards in the labor market. The two cultures of engagement are strongly associated with post-graduate degree plans.

Does Diversity Matter in the Education Process? An Exploration of Student Interactions by Wealth, Religion, Politics, Race, Ethnicity and Immigrant Status at the University of California

Steve Chatman

This exploration into student interactions that improve understanding, student attachment, and demographic characteristics of students attending the University of California in the spring of 2006 finds the University to be a diverse and healthy environment. Interactions among students with demographic differences are frequent and are rarely associated with decreased sense of belonging. The research offers quantitative measures for legal concepts like critical mass and compelling state interest.

Origins of the Principles for Review of Executive Compensation 1992-93

Patricia A. Pelfrey

This paper looks at the 1992-3 compensation controversy at the University of California in light of the factors that shaped the board’s policy response to the controversy, the Principles for Review of Executive Compensation. It discusses the events of 1992-3 in the context of the public and political debate over the appropriate model for executive compensation in elite public universities and the special difficulties these universities face in setting, explaining, and defending executive compensation policies and practices.

Back to the Basics: In Defense of Achievement (and Achievement Tests) in College Admissions

Saul Geiser

Summarizing a decade of research at the University of California, this paper concludes that admissions criteria that tap student mastery of curriculum content, such as high-school grades and performance on achievement tests, are stronger predictors of success in college and are fairer to poor and minority applicants than tests of general reasoning such as the SAT.

Undergraduate Research Participation at the University of California, Berkeley

Elizabeth Berkes

Although the University of California, Berkeley has increased efforts to involve undergraduates in scientific research, little data exists regarding the number of undergraduate researchers. The University of California Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) presents an opportunity to investigate the extent of undergraduate research involvement at the UC Berkeley. The data (N=5,347) show that the frequency of student participation in research under the direction of a faculty mentor varies significantly based on whether students are receiving course credit, pay, or working as a volunteer.

The Big Curve: Trends in University Fees and Financing in the EU and US

John Aubrey Douglass
Ruth Keeling

Globally, fees and tuition are growing as an important source of income for most universities, with potentially significant influence on the market for students and the behavior of institutions. Thus far, however, there is no single source on the fee rates of comparative research universities, nor information on how these funds are being used by institutions. Furthermore, research on tuition pricing has also focused largely on bachelor’s degree programs, and not on the rapid changes in tuition and fees for professional degrees.

Not So Fast! A Second Opinion on a University of California Proposal to Endorse the New SAT

Saul Geiser

A University of California faculty committee, the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS), has recommended eliminating achievement tests and requiring only the “New SAT” for admission to the UC system. The proposal to endorse the New SAT has thus far drawn relatively little notice, as it is part of a broader and more controversial set of proposed changes in how UC identifies the top 12.5 percent of California high school graduates who are eligible for admission.