Social Research Laboratory (SRL-closed 2013) College of Social Sciences
California State University, Fresno

Founding Director:

Dr. Ed Nelson

The Social Research Laboratory closed at the end of spring 2013 semester due to the retirement of its founding director.  We want to thank the College of Social Sciences and Dean Luz Gonzalez for their support of the Social Research Laboratory since its beginning in 1980.  Under the leadership of founding director, Professor Ed Nelson, the Social Research Laboratory has completed over 150 projects during that time and employed over 100 individuals. We appreciate the opportunity to have participated in so many important projects.

The Social Research Laboratory (SRL) had two primary goals—to support faculty and students engaged in social research and to meet the research needs of the faculty, university, government and regional agencies, non profits and other organizations. The SRL historically focused on survey research and primarily on telephone interviewing. We had an eight-station cati (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) laboratory which allowed us to do eight simultaneous interviews on one or more projects.   Our software managed scheduling of the interviews, maintained the database, and provided for editing and coding before exporting the data to a file that can be read by a statistical package such as SPSS.

We also developed other areas of research support. Under the direction of Dr. Xuanning Fu, we worked with school districts to assist them in the analysis of children’s test data to help them meet the requirements of the “No Child Left Behind” program.

Another area was evaluation research. We were the evaluators over a four-year period for the Modesto Weed and Seed Program which was a federally-funded program to reduce crime and increase social services in a neighborhood in Modesto. We also completed a project for the Relational Culture Institute to analyze interviews with community leaders in Visalia and Bakersfield and to prepare a report on their perception of community issues.  Additionally, we prepared an evaluation report for the Fresno AmeriCorps program.

During the academic year 2012-2013, the SRL completed three projects..

  1. Survey of residents of Riverdale for the Riverdale Public Utilities District.
  2. Survey of faculty for Technology Services at Fresno State.
  3. Survey data processing and analysis for Professional Women’s Resources.  

The SRL employed 10 individuals during 2012-13. Some of these employees are students at Fresno State. Many are former students that have graduated. These employees gained experience in survey research as well as a part-time job. Our supervisor worked for the lab for over eight years providing important continuity.