ROPS 2017

STUDENT EXPOSURE TO SOCIAL ISSUES AND CORRELATIONS WITH VOTING: Gauging the Impact on Economically Disadvantaged Students at Major Public American Universities by V. Porterfield CSHE 5.17 (April 2017)

V. Porterfield

Higher levels of civic and community engagement in higher education are positively associated with students’ academic performance and they also build upon citizenship skills such as informed voting. Yet, while these are worthy and important outcomes of higher education, students from disadvantaged backgrounds can have more difficulty navigating civic engagement.


Irina Shcheglova
Gregg Thomson
Martha​ ​C.​ ​Merrill

American research universities have recently joined the march for internationalization and now are putting explicit efforts into finding ways to create an international focus. Within a short number of years, missions have been transformed, incorporating elements of globalization. Universities now declare the importance of preparing students to live and work in a multicultural and global world.

DOES IT PAY TO BE A STEM GRADUATE? Evidence from the Polish Graduate Tracking System by Tomasz Zając, Mikołaj Jasiński, and Marek Bożykowski, University of Warsaw CSHE 13.17 (November 2017)

Tomasz Zajac
Mikołaj Jasiński
Marek Bożykowski

Returns to education have received much attention from scholars as well as policy makers and the media. It is a well-established fact that educational attainment improves employability and wages and that university graduates better than their less educated counterparts. However, the educational expansion rises the importance of the horizontal dimension in explaining social stratification. The field of study has proved to be an important factor for graduates’ labor market performance in many countries.

NORM-REFERENCED TESTS AND RACE-BLIND ADMISSIONS: The Case for Eliminating the SAT and ACT at the University of California by Saul Geiser, UC Berkeley CSHE 15.17 (December 2017)

Saul Geiser

Of all college admission criteria, scores on nationally normed tests like the SAT and ACT are most affected by the socioeconomic background of the student. The effect of socioeconomic background on test scores has grown substantially at University of California over the past two decades, and tests have become more of a barrier to admission of disadvantaged students. In 1994, socioeconomic background factors—family income, parents’ education, and race/ethnicity—accounted for 25 percent of the variation in test scores among California high school graduates who applied to UC.

AMERICAN​ ​UNIVERSITIES​ ​IN​ ​TRUMPLAND​ ​-​ ​Financial​ ​Ruin​ ​Averted? by John​ ​Aubrey​ ​Douglass, UC Berkeley CSHE 11.17 (October 2017)

John Aubrey Douglass

The Trump administration has no significant plan or strategy related to higher education. The only major policy declarations -- to eliminate federal regulations on for-profit colleges and revisit federal guidelines on sexual assault on college campuses – both unravel policies developed under the Obama administration. Where the fate of higher education lies is in the innumerable initiatives bent on pleasing Trump’s base and in the search for some sort of major legislative victory.

CHANGING MISSIONS AMONG PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES IN CALIFORNIA AND NEW YORK: Application of a Concentration Equality Index by Satoshi P. Watanabe & Yasumi Abe, Hiroshima University CSHE 14.17 (November 2017)

Satoshi P. Watanabe
Yasumi Abe

Capitalizing on the findings in our preceding study of a purely theoretical model, this paper aims to empirically examine whether and to what extent public universities’ institutional missions have transformed in recent years in the States of California and New York by quantifying a degree of functional diversification of universities. We focus on research funding and productivity, and public service activities, and have developed a Concentration Equality Index (CEI) to help in this analysis.


David P. Ericson

A singular vision has propelled higher education and ministries of education in Asia since the new millennium. It is a vision launched
by the once rising tide of a globalized world order that spilled into higher education: in order to be competitive on the world scene,
each Asian country had to build “World Class Universities,” which could be compared and rank-ordered with the pre-eminent
research universities of America, Britain and elsewhere. And if the pre-eminent American and British research universities could

PRESERVATION OF EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY IN DOCTORAL EDUCATION: Tacit Knowledge, Implicit Bias and University Faculty by Anne J. MacLachlan, UC Berkeley CSHE 1.17 (January 2017)

Anne MacLachlan

Making doctoral education accessible and successful for students from low income, first generation families as well as members of immigrant or specific ethnic groups is a world- wide problem. In the US the traditional explanation for the low numbers of Ph.D. recipients from these groups are lack of preparation, lack of interest and a “leaky pipeline.” These alone are not enough to explain disparities. This article argues that the most powerful vehicles of exclusion are tacit knowledge and the implicit bias of faculty and is related to doctoral/faculty socialization.

AFFORDING THE DREAM: Student Debt and State Need-Based Grant Aid for Public University Students by C. Eaton, S. Kulkarni, R. Birgeneau, H. Brady, and M. Hout, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, New York University CSHE 4.17 (February 2017)

C. Eaton
S. Kulkarni
Robert Birgeneau
Henry Brady
Michael Hout

Public research universities are a key vehicle for educational mobility. Yet rising student debt for undergraduate students has created new risks, particularly for lower income students at lower ranked universities. We find that student loan default rates reached 35 percent for low-income students at public universities with low research rankings during the Great Recession. Given these troubling loan default rates, we find encouraging evidence that a few U.S. states have adopted robust need-based grant aid programs to make college more affordable for low-income students.