ROPS 2021

SCIENCE AND SECURITY: Strengthening US-China Research Networks Through University Leadership by Brad Farnsworth CSHE 11.21 (September 2021)

Brad Farnsworh
2021

This paper describes the current criticisms of academic research collaboration between the US and China and proposes a university-led initiative to address those concerns. The article begins with the assertion that bilateral research collaboration has historically benefitted both countries, citing cooperation in virology as an example. The paper continues with a discussion of the criticisms leveled by several US government agencies against the Chinese government, especially with regard to the Thousand Talents Program (TTP). A close examination of publicly available appointment letters...

Two City-States in the Long Shadow of China: The Future of Universities in Hong Kong and Singapore by Bryan Penprase and John Aubrey Douglass CSHE 10.21 (September 2021)

Bryan Penprase
John Aubrey Douglass
2021

Hong Kong and Singapore are island city-states that exude the complicated tensions of postcolonial nationalism. Both are influenced directly or indirectly by the long shadow of China’s rising nationalism and geopolitical power and, in the case of Hong Kong, subject to Beijing’s edicts under the terms of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both have productive economies dependent on global trade, and each has similar rates of population density--Hong Kong’s population is 7.4 million and Singapore is home to 5.8 million people. It remains to be seen whether Hong Kong’s peripheral...

Raising Graduation Rates While Maintaining Racial-Ethnic Equity in Graduation: The UC Riverside Recipe by Steven Brint CSHE 9.21 (September 2021)

Steven Brint
2021

The University of California, Riverside has raised its four- and six-year graduation rates significantly over the last decade while maintaining near-equity in graduation rates among the four major racial-ethnic groups and across socio-economic strata. The paper discusses campus policies and practices that have helped to produce these results. The campus has contributed to nearly equal graduation outcomes by maintaining strong network ties with parents in minority communities, by offering high levels of academic support and research opportunities to students from under-represented groups,...

Conceptualizing the Modern American Public University: Early Debates Over Utilitarianism, Autonomy, and Admissions by John Aubrey Douglass, CSHE 8.21 (July 2021)

John Aubrey Douglass
2021

In the discourse that swirled in the mid-1800s around the creation of new American public universities, three major and interrelated tensions became evident: the first related to the continued debate regarding the proper curricular balance between practical education and classical studies; the second focused on the appropriate autonomy of institutions intended to serve the public interest in a society often racked by sectarian and class conflict; and the third centered on the degree to which these public institutions should be selective in their admissions and representative of the state’s...

Universities and the Future of Work: The Promise of Labor Studies, by Tobias Schulze-Cleven CSHE 7.21 (June 2021)

Tobias Schulze-Cleven
2021

There continues to be widespread anxiety about the future of work. I recently proposed a labor studies perspective on how to understand and meet undeniable challenges. This follow-up paper explores the implications of my analysis for the contemporary American academy, reflecting on how labor studies can help enlist public research universities in support of building a human-centered world of work. American universities have long been intricate bundles of contradictions, but recent trends have left them at a crossroads: Will they be able to reform and connect with a progressive reading of...

Federally Funded Research, the Bayh-Dole Act, and the COVID Vaccine Race, by John Aubrey Douglass, CSHE 3.21 (February 2021)

John Aubrey Douglass
2021

This essay discusses the world of federally funded intellectual property (IP) before and after the Bayh-Dole Act and its impact on the world of science and commerce, before then exploring the complicated debates over ownership of the science behind the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines that will bring normalcy back to the world. Before 1980, federally funded science in the U.S. was largely focused on meeting the Cold War national defense needs of a nation in a science and technology race with the Soviet Union. The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act initiated in earnest the recognition that the advancement of...

Intimidation, Silencing, Fear, and Academic Freedom, by Steve Brint, CSHE 4.21 (March 2021)

Steven Brint
2021

The argument of this paper is set against the backdrop of a climate of intimidation, silencing, and fear that surrounds the discussion of several hot-button issues in academe, nowadays mainly having to do with race. An important and painful feature of this situation is that people on both sides of the issue feel vulnerable. The contribution of this paper is to help all involved to understand what academic freedom means and how it supports or fails to support the expression of controversial views. I show that a climate hostile to academic freedom is not an academic freedom issue per se. It...

Facilitating Academic Curriculum in Learning, In Teaching, and Threaded Evidence by Joseph Martin Stevenson and Karen Wilson Stevenson, CSHE 2.21 (February 2021)

2021

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are often the center of discussion among faculty in higher education during discourse about curriculum conceptualization, design, planning development, and implementation. This commentary offers a functionally-centered framework that places faculty feasibility, fluidity, freedom, and flexibility around a core conceptualization of SLOs in the context of overall alignment within the college curriculum. The framework could be useful to readers failing to have shared governance over the curriculum, readers facing accreditation adherence, as well as readers...

Top Percent Policies and the Return to Postsecondary Selectivity, by Zachary Bleemer, CSHE 1.21 (January 2021)

Zachary Bleemer
2021

I study the efficacy of test-based meritocracy in college admissions by evaluating the impact of a grade-based “top percent'' policy implemented by the University of California. Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) provided large admission advantages to the top four percent of 2001-2011 graduates from each California high school. I construct a novel longitudinal dataset linking the ELC era’s 1.8 million UC applicants to educational and labor market outcomes. I first employ a regression discontinuity design to show that ELC led over 10 percent of barely-eligible applicants from low-...