Colleges & Universities 2000

About the Project

The Colleges and Universities 2000 (C&U 2000) study was funded in 2000 by the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the study is to investigate patterns of continuity and change in American four-year colleges and universities over the period 1970 to 2010. 

Since the project began, the research team, led by Professor Steven Brint, has constructed two databases and produced more than a dozen papers, many of which have been published in leading education and higher education journals.

Among the key research questions our research team has been investigating are the following: 


1. The scope and primary locations of the shift away from arts and sciences and toward occupational-professional majors
2. The scope and primary locations of new interdisciplinary, degree-granting programs
3. The scope and primary locations of emerging academic departments
4. The evaluation of field-level measures of stratification and segmentation for their capacity to predict organizational behavior

5. The impact of presidential backgrounds, attitudes, and decision-making structures on university outcomes

The Colleges and Universities 2000 project is based at the University of California, Riverside.

The original funding by the National Science Foundation was augmented through 2007 by grants from the Spencer Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the National Science Foundation, and the University of California Academic Senate Faculty Research Fund.

Colleges & Universities 2000: Databases

The Colleges and Universities 2000 Study consists of the following databases:

The Institutional Data Archive (IDA)

The Institutional Data Archive consists of longitudinal and cross-sectional data on 384 institutions drawn from 24 separate data sets.  IDA includes more than 2500 variables on each institution.

In alphabetical order, the data sets represented in IDA are: (1) Association of American Universities (AAU) membership; (2) American Council of Education (ACE) president's surveys; (3) The American Research Libraries (ARL) rankings; (4) the American Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) annual surveys of technology transfer activities; (5) Barron's Selectivity Index; (6) Carnegie Classifications; (7) College Blue Book data on institutional characteristics and campus life; (8) COFHE membership; (9-10) C&U 2000 surveys of Presidents and Provosts; (11) Graham and Diamond rankings of research universities; (12-15) HEGIS/IPEDS data on institutional characteristics, enrollments and earned degrees, faculty salaries, finances, graduation rates, and SAT scores; (16) Higher Education Directory institutional data; (17) the Huron Institutional File data (including early prestige rankings and historical characteristics of institutions); (18) Land-grant universities; (19) Morgan curricular cluster categories; (20) National Research Council academic quality rankings of departments and institutions; (21) U.S. Census data on changes in neighborhoods surrounding universities, 1990 and 2000; (22) U.S. News and World Report rankings; (23) Zemsky market segments..

The data is organized in a panel design covering the period 1970-2010 with entries every five years. The panel years included in IDA are: 1975-76, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1990-91, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2005-06, and 2010-11. 

The sample was drawn using stratified random sampling on four tiers. Tier 1 includes all highly selective liberal arts colleges and doctoral-granting universities. Tier 2 includes other selective liberal arts colleges and doctoral-granting universities. Tier 3 includes comprehensive (pr master's granting) institutions. Tier 4 includes all other baccalaureate-granting institutions. Tier 1 consists of 71 institutions.  Tiers 2-4 consists of just over 100 institutions each. 

The database can be downloaded in SAS, SPSS, or Stata. The accompanying user's guide provides information on the approximately 2800 variables in IDA and includes information on weighting the data.
The College Catalog Study (CCS)

The College Catalog Study consists of data on changes in major academic units (schools and colleges), departments in arts and sciences, departments in professional schools, interdisciplinary programs, and general education requirements for 293 institutions. Changes include additions, eliminations, consolidations, name changes, splits, and restorations.

CCS institutions are a subsample of IDA institutions and include all IDA institutions for which complete catalog sets could be located.  Catalogs were obtained from CollegeSource, Inc. 

As in IDA, the data is organized in a panel design covering the period 1975-2010 with entries every five years  The panel years included in CCS are: 1975-76, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1990-91, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2005-06, 2010-11. 

CCS can be downloaded in SAS, SPSS, or Stata, and can be merged with IDA using the project ID variable


C&U 2000 Surveys of Presidents and Provosts

In 2000-01, the Colleges and Universities 2000 staff sent surveys to presidents and provosts of 350 participating institutions. Topics: (1) institutional self-image and self-identified reference institutions; (2) qualities of strong and weak departments; (3) current and future program priorities; (4) decision-making structures; and (5) attitudes concerning key issues facing their own institutions and higher education generally.  Response rates were 95 percent for provosts and 85 percent for presidents.

The surveys can be accessed separately or as part of the Institutional Data Archive. Copies of the questionnaires are available on the website (see Databases). Presidential backgrounds can be included in analyses using the ACE Presidents data in IDA.  

"Creating the Future" Interview Archive

During summer, 2003, Dr. Steven Brint interviewed chief academic and research officers at 90 universities.  The completed interviews include responses from 144 provosts and vice-presidents of research.  The interviews focus on assessments of current comparative advantages, evaluation of investment decisions, mechanisms used to encourage programmatic change, interdisciplinary activities and their significance, and descriptions of university priorities.