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Research News

by William Walker

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more mainstream, so too do challenges with thinking, teaching, and learning with AI. For example, in a recent essay published in The Chronicle of Higher Education ("AI detection is a business. But should it be a faculty business?”), José Antonio Bowen and McBee Institute fellow, C. Edward Watson, discuss the lack of accuracy that is associated with certain online AI detection tools.

From press release:

Over the past two decades, numerous colleges have added football teams in a quest to add students, particularly male students, and to use the popularity of athletics to build their brands. However, new research from UGA’s Carmical Sports Media Institute and the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education finds that adding a football team does not give a college enrollment or tuition advantages over its peers. 

Insights from Rachel Burns (McBee PhD), a senior policy analyst at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, are featured heavily in a article on financial solvency at US private colleges.

Two research teams with McBee faculty mentors presented at the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) symposium on Monday, April 8. The annual CURO symposium celebrates the work of teams across campus, including projects led by Dr. Erik Ness and Dr. Krystal L. Williams. As a highlight and culmination of months of work, undergraduate students make short oral presentations or prepare poster sessions to showcase their research.

As doctoral candidates at the McBee Institute, Collin Case and Alex Monday co-authored a multiple case study investigation into the perceptions of test-optional policies among admissions officers at two less-selective public institutions in the same state.

“Balancing Access and Success: Admissions Officers’ Sensemaking of Test-Optional Policies at Less-Selective Public Institutions” appears in The Journal of Higher Education.

Rebecca Perdomo (PhD 2019) co-authored a research report on student financial outcomes among Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) with Robert Nathenson, Marybeth Gasman, Marvin Johnson, Doug Franklin, and Pearl Lo. The report, “Generational Jumps? How HSIs Promote Upward Mobility” was produced by the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

McBee faculty and students participated in a research showcase for prospective PhD students on Friday, March 1. Four research teams shared ongoing projects, delving into the design, methodology, and even some preliminary research findings.

Tracking in Colleges and Universities

By Mary Harrison

Kelly Rosinger (McBee PhD), Robert Kelchen, Mitchell Lingo, Dominique J. Baker, Justin Ortagus, and Jiayao Wu collaborated on a ground-breaking research study entitled, “A Typology and Landscape of State Funding for Public Colleges and Universities from 2004 to 2021” published in the Review of Higher Education.

by Mary Harrison

Marybeth Gasman and Rebecca Perdomo (PhD, 2019) authored a report, Achieving Equity: A Toolkit for Racially Inclusive Faculty Hiring, aimed at improving hiring processes within higher education institutions.

by Mary Harrison

Rebecca Perdomo (PhD, 2019) and Rodrigo Guajardo (PhD student) released a report titled, "Caring or Capitalizing: How HSIs Leverage Title V Funds" through the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

by Jewel Caruso

An article by Hee Jung Gong (PhD 2021) and Robert Toutkoushian, McBee associate director, appears in the Educational Policy January 2024 issue. Their article, titled "High School Students' Expectations and College Aspirations: Causes and Consequences," explores the factors that influence high school students' educational aspirations and expectations and the impact on student enrollment in postsecondary institutions. 

James C. Hearn, professor of higher education and interim director of the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, received the Howard R. Bowen Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

The Bowen Award is given in recognition of a professional life “devoted to the study of higher education and a career that advanced the field through scholarship, leadership, and service,” according to the association’s website.

Former students returned for the announcement of the endowment to support the James C. Hearn Lectureship during the Institute's annual awards and recognition luncheon.

The foundational gift was made in honor of the interim director’s commitment to excellence in research by his partner, Dean of the College of Public Health Marsha Davis.

by Jewel Caruso

McBee professor Timothy Cain was recently mentioned in The Chronicle article “A Messy Divorce: The Dissolution of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Poses a Novel Risk to Tenure” (Sept. 12, 2023) by Lee Gardner. In the article, Cain expresses his caution about changes to university tenure and the voice of faculty in these decisions.

by Jewel Caruso

Research by Michael Tidwell, first-year PhD student, and Ellis S. Logan recently appeared in their article, "Differences in support within the social science graduate admissions pipeline," published in Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education.

Professor Timothy R. Cain considers the role of labor unions in higher education in a book chapter published in the Research Handbook on the Transformation of Higher Education (Edward Elgar, 2023). Grounded in the concept of union voice, Cain argues that academic unions can both promote positive change in higher education organizations and can challenge the widespread attacks on workers’ rights and higher education more broadly.

Krystal L. Williams, assistant professor at the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award of over $600,000 to examine undergraduate academic and career-related outcomes among Black women pursuing computing degrees.

by Suzanne R. Graham

Timothy R. Cain and Gregory C. Wolniak achieved rank of full professor, effective August 1, 2023.

Professor Cain started at the University of Georgia in 2013. His research interests are in campus activism, unionization, and academic freedom. He leads courses in the history of U.S. higher education and the American professoriate. In 2017-18, he was a UGA Special Collections Libraries Faculty Teaching Fellow, and he continues to incorporate historical research into his courses.

by Jewel Caruso

Associate professor, Amy Stich, and McBee Institute graduate Andrew Crain joined forces to publish new research on social class and students’ college-going and future aspirations. The article, “Structuring middle-class aspirations: the role of place-based habitus and higher education,” appears in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

AIR Forum, May 29-June 2, 2023

View conference program

Several current students and graduates joined Professor Karen Webber, AIR President, at the recent AIR Forum in Cleveland, Ohio. Members of the McBee Institute community presented or presided over more than 15 sessions during the four-day conference.

Tuesday, May 30


by Jewel Caruso

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) recently released the book, Volatility in State Spending for Higher Education edited by Jennifer A. Delaney.

Two McBee faculty members, James C. Hearn and Erik Ness, collaborated with two alumni, Denisa Gándara and Paul Rubin, to write a chapter in this new book, titled “Political Volatility in State Commitment to College Completion Efforts.” This project was a product of the William T. Grant Foundation grant.

by Jewel Caruso

Research by three McBee Institute PhD graduates and a former postdoctoral associate is published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. The article, titled "'One of the Weakest Budget Players in the State': State Funding of Higher Education at the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic" is a qualitative study of higher education appropriation decisions in two states.

by Jewel Caruso

Krystal L. Williams, assistant professor at the McBee Institute, co-published an article in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering with Leonard D. Taylor, associate professor at Auburn University.

by Jewel Caruso

Ijaz Ahmad, current doctoral student, has a received short-term research grant from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS) for $3,000.

This grant will help fund Ahmad's research related to Pakistan's higher education, titled "Seeing Beyond Control: Assessing the Impact of the 18th Amendment on Pakistan's Higher Education."

Ahmad strives to explores how the quality and relevance of higher education in different provinces of Pakistan are affected by the constitutional amendment that reshaped the Pakistani governance.

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