The Civil Rights Project / Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA, (civilrightsproject.ucla.edu) a national research center on issues of civil rights and equal opportunity in American society, has been actively researching issues of college access since it was founded at Harvard University 14 years ago, producing five books and many reports on college access issues. We have had considerable success in generating high quality interdisciplinary research that becomes part of public discussion. In response to a request from the California State University Faculty Association we have agreed to convene a panel of national experts and commission new independent research on issues of access and opportunity at the CSU’s, and the impact of the financial cutbacks growing out of the national and state financial crises and budget decisions. We recognize that the CSU system is absolutely critical for training the coming generations of college graduates in our state and plays a role of considerable national importance in shaping the diversity of the nation’s college graduates. We believe that although there has been a great deal of writing about the role of elite universities and community colleges on Underrepresented Minority students, there has bee too little on the crucial role of relatively open BA granting public institutions.
This work will be led by CRP Co-directors Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield, professors of education at UCLA. All commissioned work will be intensely discussed in an academic roundtable and peer reviewed before publication. Our goal is to produce the best possible scholarly assessments of these critical issues with a limited budget and a tight time frame. We will provide editorial support in revising the papers and in helping present the findings in ways that will be accessible to a broad public and policy makers. Though we plan to publish working papers from successful studies, authors will retain rights to publish later more technical versions in academic journals or books.
We request interested scholars to submit proposals not to exceed five pages on any of the topics listed below, or others that they believe could contribute to analyses of the impact of budget cuts, and attendant policy shifts, as they affect underrepresented students and their communities in the California State University System. Proposals will be due by April 20. Draft papers will be due by July 1 and will be discussed in an academic roundtable at UCLA on July 9. Authors will have until August 25th to revise their papers in light of suggestions and questions coming out of the roundtable and peer review. We would plan to release edited studies in September.
Proposals should outline the research question, the data or methods to be used, and the relevant qualifications and access to data sources of the investigators. Vitas of the principal investigators should be attached as well copies of related studies already performed. Faculty, experts in related fields or advanced graduate students may apply.
Proposals from institutional researchers are welcome. Proposals can deal with the
entire system, a set of campuses, or a single campus. Each selected author will receive a total payment of $2500, with payment of $1250 for the first draft and $1250 at the acceptance of a revised version. Travel costs for attendance at the Roundtable will also be covered by the CRP for one author per paper. As is true for most civil rights research, the money is very modest but the quality of the scholarly interaction and the importance of the resulting products are very high. These papers will be expected to meet strong scholarly standards of peer review but will also be aimed at a more general audience of policy makers, community groups, and interested public, so technical information and complex calculations can be placed in an appendix. We will invest in editing that will
make the selected papers more accessible. We believe that this process makes both for more informed policy discussion and better scholarship.
The faculty survey (see below in suggested topics) will have a substantially higher but still modest budget.
Please submit proposals to: Laurie Russman, Coordinator, Civil Rights Project, GSEIS,
3323 Moore Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095 or email Russman@gseis.ucla.edu
Deadline for proposal submissions: April 20, 2010
Historic and contemporary role of CSU in providing college access and success
For URM (black, Latino and American Indian) students
Faculty survey exploring—
Impact of cutbacks on ability to teach students effectively
Impact on course offerings
What students tell them about difficulty of completion and
Faculty members’ view of their jobs and the institutions and
Impact on long-term commitment
Role in preparation of diverse teachers for California public schools where
more than 70% of statewide enrollment is nonwhite
Role in providing mobility for first generation college students and
the importance of affordability to these students
Studies of student enrollment data to explore changes in
enrollment and success and time to graduation for students as
costs rise and course offerings decline
Studies of students who have changed from full time to part time
enrollment or transferred back to community colleges
Survey of counselors and/or financial aid officers about impact of changes
Impact on services CSU campuses can provide disadvantaged communities
in their regions
Analysis of budget cut impacts on outreach activities
Summary and evaluation of research literature on the impact of
changes in sticker price and impact of loan burdens on
decisions of URM students and families
Studies of key decisions of campus and system leaders in coping with
the cutbacks and the degree to which they reflected a commitment
to issues related to diversity
Systematic case studies of impacts on students’ lives of denial of admissions or
transfer or required courses to qualified students.
The racial and social class impact of cutting off admissions earlier in the year (based on
data on when different groups of students apply).
Impact of tuition increases on AB540 students.
How the cutbacks have affected the transfer function from community colleges.
How assessment instruments and changing campus admissions standards are
allocating access on increasingly competitive campuses and the consequences for
URM access. What is the impact of the Early Assessment Program?
How budgetary decisions cutting remediation affect access for URM students.
Projected impact of cutbacks to CSU on decline in graduates and earnings overall and among students of color and the economic impact on the state and on economic development of communities of color.
Costs of delaying enrollment and graduation through admissions and course cutbacks
on communities of color in terms of foregone income, increased indebtedness, and
To what extent are today’s problems not a reflection of the crisis but of a
more general failure to provide adequate BA access for California’s growing
Are differential rates of completion for URM students at CSU’s compared to more
selective colleges largely a result of the lack of institutional resources, not
student characteristics. (e.g., See new study from NBER from Lovenheim, Bound,
and Turner on completion). In what ways have cutbacks affected these
Have some or all of the campuses that are designated as Hispanic Serving Institutions
made differential long-term or crisis time investments that would tend to better
preserve access and success by Latino students?
Has the CSU system or individual campuses adopted evaluation standards prompted by
the budget cuts that would tend to improve apparent “success” when exclusion of
lower scoring disadvantaged students raises average scores or completion
Studies of the impacts of policy decisions related to cutbacks on ELL students or students
from ELL backgrounds.
Have the cutbacks lead to the cutback of courses, programs or research centers that are
particularly important in attracting and keeping URM students on campus?
Pleas submit 5 page research proposals together with the vitas of the investigators.
If you have done related work, you can attach a copy or a URL.
Work will be commissioned promptly after proposals are evaluated by a team of scholars in the field.
The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies