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Faculty Research - 2012

In 2012, Sheila Slaughter, was honored by being named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The purpose of the Fellows Program is to honor education researchers with substantial research accomplishments, to convey the Association’s commitment to excellence in research, and to enable the next generation of emerging scholars to appreciate the value of sustained achievements in research and the breadth of scholarship worthy of recognition. The program is intended to recognize excellence in research and be inclusive of the scholarship that constitutes and enriches education research as an interdisciplinary field. Fellows are nominated by their peers, selected and recommended by the Fellows Committee, and approved by the AERA Council, the association’s elected governing group. Slaughter was active in international research in 2012. Her article, co-authored with Brendan Cantwell, “Transatlantic Moves to the Market: Academic Capitalism in the U.S. & EU,” appeared in Higher Education (63, 5: 583-606), and she spoke on the topic in Finland, giving a keynote at the Nordic Conference on Higher Education and Research in Helsinki, and a lecture at the University of Jyväskylä. Slaughter also wrote and submitted an article, entitled “Forms of capitalism and creating world class universities” for an edited book with Jennifer Olson, another former Fulbrighter and graduate student who did her work in Germany. On the home front, Slaughter has been working on research universities, generally, and trustees of American Association of Universities, specifically. Her article, supported by an NSF research grant and co-authored with Larry Leslie, Barrett Taylor, and Liang Zhang, “How do Revenue Variations Affect Research Expenditures Within U.S. Research Universities?” appeared in Research in Higher Education (53, 6: 614-639). Work on her NIH grant, “University trustees and conflict of interest,” is coming to fruition. She and Charles Mathies have an R&R with Research Policy, “University trustees as channels between academe and industry: Toward an understanding of the executive science network,” and, with Scott L. Thomas, David R. Johnson, and Sondra N. Barringer, she submitted “Institutional Conflict of Interest: The Role of interlocking directorates in the scientific relationships between universities and the corporate sector,” to the Journal of Higher Education. All of these articles are available on her home page at the IHE, as well as a number of others.

Jim Hearn pursued research on several fronts in 2011-12. His chapter on “Governance Research: From Adolescence toward Maturity,” written with Michael McLendon, was published in Michael Bastedo’s new edited book, The Organization of Higher Education: Managing Colleges for a New Era. With McLendon and recent IHE graduate Austin Lacy, he continued work on a book for Johns Hopkins Press to be titled Institutions, Interests, and Innovation: The Rise and Spread of State Policy Reforms in Higher Education. With James Morrison, another recent IHE graduate, Hearn produced a chapter titled “Operations Research/Management Science in Higher Education,” for S.I. Gass and M. Fu’s edited volume, The Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science.  With support from the TIAA-CREF Institute, Hearn continued work on a project titled Emerging Developments in Faculty Career Contexts. The project has examined changes in the contexts of faculty work in U.S. higher education institutions. Hearn and several graduate-student co-authors reported some findings of the project at the annual meeting of AERA in Vancouver, in a research paper titled “The Contingency Movement: A Longitudinal Analysis of Changing Hiring Patterns in U.S. Higher Education.” Hearn also presented a second paper at the AERA meeting with Kelly Ochs Rosinger, an IHE graduate student. That paper, titled “Selective Private Colleges as Factors in the Reproduction of Inequality: A Longitudinal Analysis,” investigated elite colleges’ openness to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Hearn continued work on an NSF-funded project titled “State Science Policies: Modeling their Origins, Nature, Fit, and Effects on Local Universities.” For that project, he worked with Institute graduate students Troy Smith and Jarrett Warshaw in case-study investigations of science policies in Missouri, Texas, and Georgia. Hearn and Warshaw will present some findings from the case-study work at the November 2012 meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). For the same project, Hearn has been working with recent Institute graduate Austin Lacy on quantitative analyses of the factors driving the emergence across the fifty states of science policies influencing higher education. Hearn continued to work in editorial roles for the field, serving as an associate editor for Educational Researcher and as a consulting editor for Research in Higher Education. Hearn also continued his service as the Institute’s associate director.

Rob Toutkoushian is working on a number of research projects. He recently completed a study (with Professor William Becker, Indiana University) on how economists conceptualize markets in higher education. The study is scheduled to be published in the 2013 edition of Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.  In a second study, Dr. Toutkoushian has collaborated with Professor Najeeb Shafiq (University of Pittsburgh) and IHE graduate student Michael Trivette to design an alternative approach to measuring the financial return to students from attending college. A significant amount of his time this upcoming year will be devoted to working on a $500,000 research project that was funded by the Spencer Foundation to examine how Indiana’s state financial aid program (Twenty-first Century Scholars) affects the postsecondary plans and outcomes for low-income students in the state. The research project involves collaborations with colleagues at both Indiana University and the University of Michigan. Dr. Toutkoushian is also working with several graduate students at the Institute on collaborative research projects. In one project, he and Kelly Ochs Rosinger will examine how state merit-aid programs affect the admissions processes at public institutions. He is collaborating with Jennifer Rippner on a study to examine how average faculty salaries are influenced by state, institutional, and personal characteristics of faculty. In another study, he and graduate student Jarrett Warshaw will determine whether graduate program characteristics affect the earnings of faculty members. Finally, he and James Byars are teaming up to examine how the excess demand/supply of college students in states affects the pricing decisions of public institutions.

Erik Ness continues his work analyzing the use of research evidence in the policymaking process. In 2011, he completed work on a comparative case study project funded by a UGA Faculty Research Grant that investigates research utilization in higher education finance policy in Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Ness and IHE graduate student Mary Milan presented a paper based on this project’s findings at the 2012 AERA annual meeting. Ness also presented a paper titled, “State Adoption of Merit Aid Programs: The Research-Policy Connection,” at the 2011 ASHE annual conference, which examined the use of information and the role of intermediary organizations. In current and forthcoming projects related to research utilization, Ness is analyzing the impact of state-, regional-, and national-level policy agencies, especially that of state-level ideological think tanks. Ness, in collaboration with David Tandberg, also completed a study titled, “The Determinants of State Capital Expenditures for Higher Education: How Capital Project Funding Differs from General Fund Appropriations,” that they presented at the 2011 ASHE annual conference and is forthcoming in the Journal of Higher Education. Ness also presented two other papers at 2011 ASHE conference: “The Effects of a Technology Transfer Office: Toward Causal Inference with Coarsened Exact Matching” (with Barrett Taylor and Matt Weinstein), and “State Adoption of Merit Scholarship Programs: The Impact of Lotteries on Policy Diffusion” (with Austin Lacy). Also in 2011-12, Ness began serving as graduate coordinator for IHE graduate programs and was major professor for seven doctoral students who graduated this year. He also continued his roles as an executive committee member of the ASHE Council for Public Policy and Higher Education, as a mentor in the William L. Boyd National Educational Politics Workshop, sponsored by the Politics of Education Association at the 2011 AERA annual meeting, and as a consulting editor for Research in Higher Education.

In the 2011-2012 year Karen Webber continues her work on faculty productivity, institutional research, and undergraduate research. Of the five peer-reviewed articles she published in 2012, one published in Higher Education focused on workload and productivity of U.S.-born vs foreign-born faculty. Two articles were related to faculty use of learner-centered assessment practices; one was published in Research in Higher Education, and one (with recent graduate Kyle Tschepikow) on the role of learner-centered assessment in institutional change. Two scholars, M. Li & Y. Zhao, are preparing a book (Springer Press) on faculty and instructional practices. Karen has submitted a chapter for this book on faculty use of assessment. Karen also published an article in Research in Higher Education on the role of institutional research on the assessment of an undergraduate research program. Also related to undergraduate research (UR), Karen (with UGA colleagues Marcus Fechheimer, and Pam Kleiber) published two essays on the growth of UR and the importance of UR definition when examining participation rates over time. Along with Angel Calderon (RMIT University, Australia), Karen is co-editing an NDIR volume on “Global Perspectives on Institutional Research: Relevant Issues for Today and Considerations for the Future.” In this volume she is also coauthoring a chapter on “IR in Light of Internationalization, Growth, and Competition” with Barrett J. Taylor (PhD, 2011) and Professor Gerrie J. Jacobs (University of Johannesburg). Karen presented two scholarly papers at the AIR Forum. One was on faculty and student participation in undergraduate research (with co-presenters Tom Nelson Laird and Allison BrckaLorenz) and a second on graduate student debt with IHE students Michael Trivette and Andrew Belasco. In July 2012, Karen began work on an AIR/NCES/NSF research grant. She has four IHE colleagues who will assist with the project: Drs. Manuel Gonzáles Canché and Lijing Yang and doctoral students Drew Pearl and Sharon Johnson. In this grant project entitled “Doctorate Degree Recipients: Equal Benefits for all?” Karen and her team are examining the primary research question of how do human-capital benefits differ for degree earners over a ten-year period. In addition, the team anticipates examining other research questions such as how does completion of postdoctoral study benefit job acquisition and salary, how do wage trajectories differ across employment sectors, and how does the presence of children affect faculty member employment in tenure vs. tenure-track positions.

Manuel S. González Canché continued working as a methodological consultant on a multisite and longitudinal Bill & Melinda Gates grant. The purpose of this three-year study is to analyze whether virtual networks can positively influence the probabilities of success of community college students. Manuel’s participation in this project has translated into several research reports, four conference presentations currently accepted, and at least four papers in preparation to be submitted to peer-reviewed journals. In June of 2012 Manuel taught the advanced session of a workshop in Social Networks Theory and Analysis at the International Centre for Higher Education Research at the University of Kassel, Germany. The main goal of the advanced session was to show how researchers can link social network analysis and theory with GIS and with text-mining techniques. Regarding the latter point Manuel is currently collaborating with Dr. Hugo Horta from the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research IN+ at the Technical University of Portugal with the purpose of understanding scientific productivity and scientific network formation and information exchange dynamics. Continuing with his focus on the study of community colleges, Manuel is co-researcher in a grant called “The College-Career Alignment and Career Capital of Community College Students” that is sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The general purpose of this research is to understand how and if alignment between students’ experiences and their career directions is associated with better academic and career-related outcomes.

Lijing Yang is a postdoctoral research associate in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She came from China originally and received a Ph.D. in higher education from University of Michigan. Her research interests include higher education finance, economics of education, faculty issues, organizational studies, and international and comparative higher education. In the last academic year, she collaborated with IHE faculty in co-teaching and guest-teaching in a number of doctoral courses, such as quantitative methods, college finance, and higher education research. At present, she conducts research projects, collaboratively and independently, to examine how higher education finance policy has influenced college access across countries, how institutional financial factors affect faculty employment and college enrollment, and how doctoral and postdoctoral experiences contribute to future career success.

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