2005-04-28: Spring 2005

Minutes for Spring 2005 SSRIC Meeting

Friday, April 29 at CSU Fresno

Members present: Jim Ross (Bakersfield—for student conference only), Lori Weber (Chico), Nan Chico (East Bay), Ed Nelson (Fresno), Steve Stambough (Fullerton), Jae Emenhiser (Humboldt), Gene Turner (Northridge), Jennifer Dyer-Seymour (Monterey Bay), John Korey (Pomona), Ted Lascher (Sacramento & scribe), Kathy Naff (San Francisco), Rich Taketa (San Jose), Dick Shaffer (Cal Poly SLO)

Also attending: Andrew Roderick, San Francisco; Glenda Morgan , Chancellor’s Office

Chair Rich Taketa called the meeting to order at about 9:15 a.m.

1.      Winter 2005 Minutes. John Korey recommended a small change to the draft minutes of the prior meeting to clarify the wording of prior Council action to change the by-laws. That action was aimed at removing the ambiguity about what constitutes a “majority.” John’s language read as follows: “Where the terms ‘majority of the council members’ or ‘majority of the members’ appear in the by-laws, it shall be interpreted to mean a majority of campuses that have appointed representatives to the council.” The council accepted this language and subsequently approved the minutes with the change.

2.      Ed Nelson Nominated for Award. Rich indicated that Gene Turner, John Korey, and he had nominated Ed Nelson for the “Flanagan Award” for service to the ICPSR. The council expressed its strong support for Ed’s nomination.

3.      Student Research Conference. Many on the council indicated that they were very pleased by the number and quality of presentations at the prior day’s student research conference at CSU Fresno. The number of presentation was up sharply over what it had been at some recent conferences. There were 31 papers accepted for presentation and 30 actual presentations. Ed indicated that the idea of linking the SSRIC Conference to the system’s student research conference seemed to have worked well: six people were scheduled to present papers at the system’s conference in Sacramento on Friday and Saturday. There was consensus that next year we should again try to make it easy for students to present papers at both conferences. There was also consensus in support of a number of suggestions to further improve the conferences in the future, including the following: a) including presenters e-mail addresses on the program; b) allowing papers to be posted on a Web site, if possible; and c) being more clear that the awards are based on the written product rather than the oral presentation.

4.      2005-06 Council Meeting Dates and Locations. The fall 2005 meeting will be at Fullerton in October. The exact date is pending while Steve discusses the specifics with others at his campus. The winter 2006 meeting will be at “Fresno East” (i.e., Tenaya Lodge near Yosemite) on February 10-11. Consistent with the point about linking the two student research conferences, the group decided to hold the spring 2005 meeting at Northridge on May 4 and 5, since the system’s student research conference is already set for May 5 and 6 at nearby Channel Islands.

5.      ICPSR Official Representatives Meeting. Rich reviewed the eligibility list for supporting attendance at the ICPSR Official Representatives meeting at Ann Arbor on October 20-23. It appears that we will be able to support sending five of our representatives to the meeting.

6.      ICPSR Summer Program. One CSU faculty member, Dingkun Ge of the College of Business Administration at SFSU, and two Monterey Bay students applied for support for the ICPSR summer program in Ann Arbor. The group discussed priorities for allocating the funds, and reaffirmed the position that faculty should be given priority since their enhanced training is more likely to bring long-term benefits to the system. The council took action to fund Professor Ge and provide any remaining funds to the two students.

7.      SIMI. Ed indicated that SIMI is likely to continue in its present form. Additionally, he indicated that ICPSR is holding a contest for the best instructional module. The winner receives a fee trip to Ann Arbor for the OR meeting, a $500 stipend, a reduction of $500 for ICPSR membership fees at the winner’s institution, and the opportunity to present the module at the OR meeting on Saturday morning. Send submissions to Dieter Burrell, ICPSR, P.O. Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, (734)647-5000, dburrell@icpsr.mich.edu.

8.      ICPSR Fee Increases. Rich indicated that ICPSR had approved a new fee structure for member institutions. The new structure will result in short run fee increases for federations such as ours. Rich indicated that the first year hit would be about $8,000, but that in the longer run fees would not be much higher than they are currently. An effort is underway to have ICPSR reduce the short-term impact of the sharp fee increase.

9.      Workshops. This past year SSRIC members have held workshops on accessing the data bases and other topics at Stanislaus, San Jose, Bakersfield, Pomona, and Monterey Bay. A workshops at Northridge will be coming soon. The workshops are quite cheap since the participants seem to be willing to hitchhike, sleep at the side of the road, and eat gruel (well, maybe not the latter). Ted committed to helping to arrange for a workshop in Sacramento in the fall. Lori indicated that she also would likely attend and would try to bring Chico colleagues as well to the Sacramento meeting. Fullerton also wants to be included in the fall and San Francisco wants to be added in the spring.

10.  Campuses without SSRIC Representatives. There was some general discussion of the need to redouble our efforts to have campuses without representatives (notably, Long Beach) appoint them.

11.  Proposed SSRIC-SSDB Budget. Rich presented tables summarizing trends in data base subscriptions, trends in revenues and expenses, and estimated revenues and expenses for the coming fiscal year. The tables indicated that we should end the fiscal year with about a $15,000 surplus. After much discussion of alternatives for dealing with the surplus, the council approved John Korey’s motion to provide a discount on 2005-06 fees to those campuses who subscribed in 2004-05. The group also expressed support for John’s suggestion that the council reconsider the fee structure during the next academic year, since the present four-tiered system may lead to inequities.

12.  Non-Subscribing Campuses. Concern was expressed about the fact that some campuses were still not paying SSDB subscription fees. Much of the concern related to the potential for other campuses to “opt out” if they realized that they could gain access to ICPSR direct and other services without paying for them. The council unanimously approved a motion to recommend that data base access be terminated for non-subscribing campuses at the end of the fiscal year, pending another reminder that such an action would be forthcoming. The council also agreed that Rich, as SSRIC chair, should contact OR’s, deans, and perhaps provosts at non-subscribing campuses emphasizing the benefits of membership while warning of the potential for loss of access.

13.  California Social Survey. Ted indicated that the participants in a working group to develop a CSS proposal had made some progress toward a draft, but had been unable to complete it. Because he does not have time to continue to be involved in the project, Lori will take over the lead role early in the summer, with the goal of presenting a draft to the council in the fall. There was strong agreement that the working group should include someone with experience administering a large survey research effort.

14.  SSRIC Web Site at SFSU. Andrew gave an update on the work he and his colleagues had been doing on the new SSRIC Web site, and presented mock-up Web pages. He summarized what the Web designers were trying to emphasize with the pages. He also indicated that the council would be solicited for more specific feedback in the near future.

15.  SPSS and SAS. Glenda indicated that the Chancellor’s Office would be renewing contracts for campus access to both the SPSS and SAS statistical packages for the coming fiscal year. The costs for the programs were due to rise by about 10%, with the increases to be passed on to the campuses. The CO will also be renewing the contract for Mini-Tab.

16.  Meetings with Deans. After a discussion of meetings held this past year, support was expressed for trying to get on the agenda for a CSU system deans meeting to discuss the work of the SSRIC, access to the data bases, etc. Andrew and Glenda indicated that they would help to get us on the deans’ agenda.

17.  Thanks for the Great Work! By acclamation, the council thanked Rich for his leadership during a challenging, transition year as the council moved away from the old SSDBA system. Rich also thanked John and Ed for their work on the executive committee.

The meeting was adjourned at about 1:30 p.m.

Recorded by Ted Lascher