Each individual who goes into academia usually has the opportunity to establish affiliations with multiple universities. First, one must receive the Bachelor's degree, then a Ph.D. (sometimes with a Master's along the way, with the Master's and Ph.D. usually from the same university, but not always). Many new Ph.D.'s then take on a post-doctoral fellowship to gain additional training and research publications. Next, after the Ph.D. or post doc, often comes a faculty position at a university (although many Ph.D.'s also end up at research institutes, outside of a university system). Finally, over the course of a career, one may teach at multiple universities.
I received my Bachelor's degree in psychology at UCLA in 1984, then went on to Michigan for my Master's (1985) and Ph.D. (1989) in social psychology.
Either toward the end of my time at UCLA or early in my Michigan days, it became clear that a large number of social psychologists had affiliations with both Michigan and UCLA in some combination. The late Hal Gerard, for one, was one of my advisors at UCLA and had received his Ph.D. at Michigan. The Michigan-UCLA connection is the theme of today's entry. [In a June 11 e-mail, Wayne Osgood has now coined the term "Bru-verines," a combination of UCLA Bruins and Michigan Wolverines.]
In preparing this entry, I gleaned some very useful information from Bert Raven, via an exchange of e-mails. Bert was one of the first social psychologists to establish ties to Michigan and UCLA. Bert received his Ph.D. in 1953 from Michigan. According to Bert's faculty webpage, "He has been a member of the faculty of the Psychology Department at UCLA since 1956, where he is currently a Professor Emeritus, recalled and still active in research and instruction."
After I publicized my "Michigan 80s" website on the Society for Personality and Social Psychology e-mail discussion list, I heard from a number of UM alums, including Bert. After I mentioned my idea of one day doing an entry on the Michigan-UCLA connection, Bert e-mailed the following comments:
"It would be interesting to see your article on the Michigan/UCLA connection, which began first with migration of UM people to UCLA, and later with more movement in the opposite direction. To my knowledge, the first UM PhD to come to UCLA was Zan Sperber. I came shortly thereafter."
Below, I have compiled a list of everyone I can think of in social psychology (or related fields) who has passed through both Michigan and UCLA (please notify me with any additions). I do not know if Michigan-UCLA is the most common two-school combination among people in social psychology, but it would certainly have to be up there.
In thinking about why such a pervasive Michigan-UCLA connection would exist, the first reason that comes to my mind is that both social psychology programs are very large. UCLA currently has roughly 15 faculty in social psychology. Michigan's social psych faculty is probably about the same size, although on the current directory, fewer than 15 faculty are pictured, yet many more than 15 are listed in the roster (which includes people in related fields).
Having a large faculty would also be correlated with large enrollments at both the graduate and undergraduate level. This creates opportunities for an undergraduate at one of the schools to go to graduate school at the other, or a Ph.D. recipient at one to get a post doc or faculty position at the other.
In fact, Michigan and UCLA probably are among the nation's most active universities in providing post-doctoral training. UCLA's health psychology post-doctoral program alone has hosted at least two people with earlier degrees from Michigan. Various post-doctoral programs at UM's Institute for Social Research and in other units have hosted a number of young scholars over the years.
Other possible reasons for the connection? Other than the weather in winter, I think Michigan and UCLA have a lot of the same feel, both being cosmopolitan, large, state universities, with prominent athletic programs, and lots of other cultural activities going on. And, oh yes, both schools' colors are similar, maize and blue for Michigan, and blue and gold for UCLA!
The list of Michigan-UCLA scholars [including June 10 and 11 updates] follows (with web links where available):
UCLA undergraduate-UM graduate student
Bonnie Barber (developmental psych)
UCLA undergraduate-UM post doc/research scientist
UCLA undergraduate-UM faculty member
UM undergraduate-UCLA graduate student
UM undergraduate-UCLA post doc/research scientist
UCLA graduate student-UM post doc/research scientist
Grant Marshall (clinical/personality/health)
UCLA graduate student-UM faculty member
Jacquelynne Eccles (developmental psych)
Vincent Hutchings (political science)
Donald Kinder (social psych Ph.D., political science faculty)
Nicholas Valentino (political science and communication studies)
Monique Ward (developmental psych)
UM graduate student-UCLA post doc/research scientist
UM graduate student-UCLA faculty member
Elizabeth Bjork (cognitive psych)
Lawrence Bobo (sociology, now at Harvard)
Karin Elliott Brown (social work, now at Cal State L.A.)
Patricia Cheng (cognitive psych)
Andrew Fuligni (developmental psych)
Hal Gerard (deceased)
Oscar Grusky (sociology)
Julia Henly (social work/public policy, now at University of Chicago)
Tim Ketelaar (now at New Mexico State)
John Liebeskind (physiological psych, deceased)
Jerome Rabow (sociology)
Faculty at both UCLA and UM
Robert Bjork (cognitive psych)
Keith Holyoak (cognitive psych)
Neil Malamuth (communication studies)
Some readers might be thinking that subfields of psychology outside of social psych may be worth mentioning, as individuals in the other subfields would at least be colleagues in the same departments with social psychologists. The listing of sociologists and political scientists may strike some as a little far afield. However, as Bert Raven noted in a follow-up e-mail to my initial posting of the Michigan-UCLA list:
"As you may know, the [Michigan] social psychology PhD program accepted both psychology and sociology undergraduates as graduate students, then tried to make us into hybrids who could fit equally in departments of sociology and psychology."
Also, David Sears e-mailed me, noting the "very active political psychology group at UCLA, [that] has contributed to some connections with Michigan."
Thanks to the following individuals for providing additional names beyond the ones I initially listed: Kathy Carnelley, Matthew Hogben, Keith Holyoak, Bert Raven, and David Sears.