Bob Pace and his wife, Rosella, at Pace's 90th birthday party in 2002
C. Robert Pace
C. Robert Pace, professor emeritus of higher education at UCLA and a pioneer in developing methods of institutional research, died peacefully of natural causes February 5, 2011, at home in Arcata, California, surrounded by his family. He was 98 years old.
Dr. Pace was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1912, and spent his childhood in Duluth, on the shore of Lake Superior. He graduated from DePauw University in 1933, and received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1937, where he began his lifelong interest in measuring and evaluating college student experiences before, during, and after college.
“Early on,” he wrote, “ the most important lesson I learned was an attitude or philosophy about how education is improved.” From his post-graduate work at Minnesota and Columbia University, and throughout his career, he explored and developed attitude measurements, alumni surveys, testing programs, college environment studies and self-studies, student learning measurements, and evaluations of the organization, administration and curriculum of higher education.
He was a research associate for the American Council on Education and a research psychologist for the Bureau of Navy Personnel during World War II for which he received a citation for meritorious civilian service. He joined the faculty at Syracuse University in 1947, where he directed the evaluation service center, was assistant to the chancellor, and department chairman for the newly formed psychology department which within five years became fully accredited and rated as one of the top 20 psychology departments in the country. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1959. His professorship at UCLA, from 1961 to his retirement in 1982 and beyond, included directing the UCLA Center for the Study of Evaluation, and creating the College Student Experiences Questionnaire, a systematic measurement of the quality of student effort.
He received many awards for his work, including a Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education, and the Sidney Suslow Award for Outstanding Research from the Association for Institutional Research.
He is the author of dozens of publications, from 1936 to 2000, including books, articles, chapters, extensive reports, lectures and addresses at symposia. The College Student Experiences Questionnaire is currently being administered from Indiana University in Bloomington IN, and has been used by over 500 colleges and universities nationwide.
During his long career he was a consultant, researcher and advisor for the American Council on Education, The College Entrance Examination Board, the Social Science Research Council, the U.S. Office of Education, the Fund for the Advancement of Education of the Ford Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation, as well as dozens of colleges and universities.
In his remarks for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators awards luncheon, in 1993, Pace said, “Now we face new conditions – new students, new technologies, and new values….Suppose that the quality of higher education and its contribution to our future does not lie primarily in preparing people to compete successfully in a global economy, but rather in preparing people to live responsibly in a global community. Maybe then our most important national indicators of quality are not standardized measures of outcomes, but the quality of our educational processes. What are the processes that enable students to have the experience of problem-solving? The experience of discovery? The experience of creation? The experience of collaboration?”
C. Robert Pace is the son of Charles Nelson Pace, born in Keosauqua, Iowa in 1877, and Lenore Lee, also born in Iowa. “Charlie” Pace was minister of the First Methodist Church in Duluth and President of Hamline University in St. Paul. A sister, Merna Pace Terbell, died in 1963. He is survived by his devoted wife of 73 years, Rosella Gaarder Pace; his daughters Rosalind of Truro, Massachusetts, and Jenifer of Arcata (pictured above), California; his grandsons Erik Paul Pearson and his wife Sonya Hunter of Oakland, California, and their adopted daughter Tiara, and Timothy Pace Pearson and his wife Alexa Elam of NYC; a niece Susan Terbell Hersey and her family; and a nephew Joseph B. Terbell, Jr., and his family.
Bob Pace was known as a true scholar, not only for his significant contributions to higher education, but also for his generosity, kindness, and legendary mentorship and guidance throughout the wide network of his friends and colleagues. He touched so many lives in important professional and personal ways.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hospice of Humboldt County, or to the non-profit organization of your choice.