CSEQ and CSXQ Survey Operations Closed in 2014; Consider NSSE and BCSSE

After 35 continuous years of operation (since 1979), CSEQ and CSXQ survey operation were closed after the spring 2014 administration. New orders are no longer being accepted. However, institutions and independent researchers may apply to license items from the CSEQ and CSXQ for local assessment or research purposes. Contact us at 812-856-5825 or cseq@indiana.edu for details. Thank you for your participation and support!

If you have not participated in NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) or BCSSE (Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement), now is a good time to give them a look. In 2013, NSSE was updated with new items, scales, and reporting, while continuing to offer a high degree of customization for comparison groups, topical modules, major field reporting, and more. BCSSE was updated to match in 2014. To learn more about how NSSE and BCSSE can help address your assessment issues, contact us at nsse@indiana.edu.

Thank you for your participation and support!

More details ....

Bob Pace in retirement.
Arcata Marsh, California


Few have contributed more to the shaping of higher education assessment, institutional research, and our understanding of student learning as did Bob Pace. During Bob’s career that spanned nearly 70 years, many of us had the benefit of knowing and working with him personally, while others who never met him are still aware of his tremendous impact on our field. Please take a moment to share a personal memory or experience with Bob Pace, and/or comment on the meaning of Pace’s legacy in your own words.

Bob was a real pioneer in the assessment of college climates. Most people probably don't know much about this early work, but together with George Stern he developed a set of measures that were designed to operationalize Henry Murray's "need-press" theory, which during the early post-World War II years attracted a lot of attention. George developed the "Activities Index" (AI), a personality test designed to assess Murray's needs, and Bob developed the "College Characteristics Index" (CCI), which assessed parallel environmental "presses" corresponding to each personal need. (I think they both developed these two instruments jointly, but they soon became associated with one or the other.) Pace and Stern each went their separate ways, and Bob built the CCI into a thriving enterprise that was administered on many campuses. When critics began to complain that The CCI had too many items and too many scales (I think it was 30), Bob obliged by factor analyzing the CCI and boiled it down into a shorter instrument with fewer scales called the CUES (College and University Environmental Scales). This instrument became even more popular, and Bob continued to work with it until he developed the CSEQ. All through these years, of course, Bob was concerned with developing more and more useful ways of describing college environments, and his various instruments were used on several hundred campuses. Before Bob came along, no one had even thought of developing a scale to measure the college "climate."

There's a lot more I could recall about this early work, but for the time being feel free to share this little bit of history with others.

Best wishes

Alexander W. Astin
Allan M. Cartter Professor Emeritus & Founding Director
Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles

Bob was a very special man and I am so fortunate to have had him in my life. I remember spending many a day with him at the AIR and ASHE conferences, but my fondest memories were when I first met him and his visits to Bloomington, IN. I used Bob's research to craft my dissertation model. A year later, I was at a conference in Seattle and noticed he was presenting at the same time as my presentation. I happened to see him walking around and introduced myself to him. He was so gracious and said he would have liked to attend my presentation too. He asked me for my paper, which of course I obliged. A few weeks later I received a hand-written letter from him, which to this day I have. In fact I have the second one he sent as a PS.

The two Bloomington memories are when he came to meet with the NSSE folks. I had him over for dinner and he, Buddy (my 9 year old golden retriever) and I walked the neighborhood and then I cooked dinner. We were quite the sight strolling the streets. Buddy died shortly afterwards. A few months later, I got a puppy, Miles. Bob was back to Bloomington and I had him over for dinner, again. This time I had Miles in the car and the whole way to and from the hotel, Miles licked his ear. I can still hear his chuckle.

Bob touched many people and was a wonderful man. I am so fortunate to have had him in my life and to be able to call him a friend. In my mind I imagine him with Buddy and Miles (he died in September) together having a wonderful time.

Judy Ouimet
Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Indiana University Bloomington

I consider myself fortunate to have done a bit of work with Bob toward the end of his career. (Come to think of it, he was already 87 when I first met him!) Now, as we go about tinkering and updating our surveys I often hear myself saying things like, "You know, Bob Pace might have done it like this, ..." I shamelessly get more traction for my ideas that way. :)

I still refer back to the genius of the CSEQ and some of Pace's earlier work, appreciating his clear eye and perfect-pitch ear for good survey questions.

In gratitude for his contributions to our field.

Bob Gonyea
Associate Director
Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research
Bloomington, IN

I had, of course, first read Bob's stuff when I got serious about assessment (though we didn't call it that then) in the early 1980s. Then I began seeing him at conferences and became a Pace groupie like many of the rest of you. But I only really got to know him when he visited Boulder for the best part of a week so we could work together on some additional scales for the CSEQ structured around the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Learning that were all the rage then. I would run SPSS to test the scale reliability as he called out the items to include and discard. But just before I clicked submit each time, he would predict the Alpha value for what he just had done...bang on every time! I had never seen anything like this before. Then we went back to my house for dinner and a few drinks and Bob got stuck in our very overstuffed couch. Jennifer and I needed to get on each side of him to hoist him back out to get him back to the hotel!

More seriously, over the years, I turned to him frequently to provide analytical advice about various matters and always got something sound and useful. I remember particularly his succinct advice on the use of weights on survey data..."don't do it: just compounds the problem."

Yes, "giant" is indeed the word. He continues to inspire us all and we will miss him.

Peter Ewell
Vice President
Boulder, CO

For decades, Bob Pace was always such a delightful person to have in your session at the annual meeting of AIR whether you were a presenter, a convener, a panelist, or an audience member. He had such a wonderful gentle way of bringing knowledge to the discussion. He made every session a learning microcosm. He has set a standard to which we should all aspire.

Gerry McLaughlin
AVP, Enrollment Management and Marketing
DePaul University
Chicago, IL

I first came to know Bob when I was his Graduate Assistant at UCLA, where I conducted the factor analyses that resulted in CUES. I was at that time unaware of his earlier distinguished contributions, but came to see how original and prescient they were. He was a pioneer in many areas that are part of standard practice and thinking today, including surveying alumni, evaluating the outcomes of higher education, assessing college climates, defining quality in terms of colleges' effects on students, and assessing the contribution that students' efforts or involvement made to their progress in college. After graduating, I looked forward to talking to Bob at professional meetings because, in addition to being a delightful person, he would have been thinking about some topic in higher education in a new way. He seemed incapable of thinking in cliches. His personal and intellectual vitality was luminous. Others have described his contributions and stature in the field. I would like to add that he was, for me, an inspiration, a model of a thinker and a doer that I can only hope to follow in my own career. I, like many others, will miss him.

Leonard Baird
Ohio State University

I first heard about Bob Pace in 1971 when visiting southern California for a relative’s wedding. During that trip, I met for a few hours with a former colleague from the Luther College admissions office, Glenn Nyre, who was in the UCLA higher education doctoral program. Some of that time was spent hanging out in Bob’s office, although Bob was not present. That he would make his office available to current students and staff as a place to relax struck me at the time as a very kind, even generous, thing to do. Little did I know at that time just how kind and generous Bob would be to me and many others.

A decade later, out of the blue, I received an invitation from Bob to talk about my 1981 Indices of Quality ASHE-ERIC monograph at the Higher Education Colloquium during the 1982 ACE meeting in Minneapolis. It was the beginning of a professional friendship that had a profound impact on my career.

Subsequently, I found occasion to contact him for permission to use scales from his new survey instrument – the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ). He visited the Bloomington campus once to talk with our graduate students. And he convinced me during the course of a multi-campus qualitative study described in Involving Colleges to administer the CSEQ at the schools we were studying. That was one of my first forays into mixed methods research. I vividly recall the lunch conversation at an ASHE conference where Bob pitched the idea. He invited me for a bite so he could “sell” me on the idea of using the CSEQ. But I ended up paying because he didn’t have his wallet! Or so he said.

A few years later, he asked me to move the CSEQ to Indiana, which seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It was an elegant tool with good psychometrics, by far the best of its kind in the marketplace. My thinking was that if nothing else, having the CSEQ data set would allow IU grad students to get the experience of analyzing tens of thousands of cases. Because the CSEQ was Bob’s “baby,” we were in regular communication with him about revising the tool, developing a version to measure student expectations for college – the CSXQ (he was initially dubious) --, and advising us on other applications of the quality of effort concept. As many in higher education know, it was this idea along with that of others that morphed into what today we call student engagement and provided much of the foundation for the NSSE enterprise.

Bob Pace was one of a kind -- a scholar of the first order, a pioneer in discovering, measuring, and teaching about what really matters to learning in college, and a kind, generous, magnificent human being. He had the all-too-rare knack of getting right to the point, an ability to break down and make understandable complex data analyses and distill the key findings in a few words. And you could always count on Bob to let you know when your thinking could be improved! For that and so much more, we are in his debt.

George Kuh
Chancellor's Professor Emeritus
Indiana University
Bloomington IN

I remember fondly the first time I had the chance to meet Bob in person at the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Conference in May of 2006. I had been working with the CSEQ Assessment Program for a few years at this point and had recently been named Project Manager. I had heard many stories of how Bob had created the CSEQ (along with countless other) instruments and I knew that he had an uncanny understanding of the CSEQ data properties including the ability to predict how they would change with even small adjustments to the scales. And, of course, I had heard some of the most highly regarded professionals in the field speak of Bob as though they were somewhat in awe of him and could tell many of them clearly saw him in a class by himself (which indeed he was).

Needless to say I was a bit nervous before our first meeting. I was managing many of the day-to- day operations of a research program that, for decades, had been his “baby”. Would I pass the test? However, within just a few minutes I realized that beyond being a truly amazing researcher, Bob Pace was also a sincerely warm and kind person. I was soon at ease, but still in awe of him. Even after all these years Bob remained passionately interested in the work we were doing in the Center and was curious to hear of the different approaches younger researchers were taking with the instruments…and of course to offer a few ideas of his own.

It is hard to put into words what a remarkable person Bob was…he will be greatly missed.

Julie Williams
CSEQ Project Manager
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN

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