Campus: CSU Long Beach -- May 6, 2005
Cal State Long Beach Political Science Professor Selected for
Fulbright Scholars Program Research Chair in Canada
Ron Schmidt, a political science professor at California State University,
Long Beach, has been selected to hold a 2005-06 Fulbright Scholars Program Research
Chair at the University of Montreal in Canada, beginning in the fall.
"This recognition is one of the proudest moments in my career," said Schmidt, who
has been a faculty member at CSULB for more than 30 years. "I feel very honored
to have been selected. An international recognition like this is near the top.
I never dreamed of receiving anything like this when I first joined the university
The position is part of a new series of research chairs set up in cooperation with
the Fulbright Program and the Canadian government.
"Fulbright grants usually involve teaching assignments, but I was invited to apply
a year ago for this inaugural year of research chairs in Canada. I will be
expected to lecture several times and attend colloquia, in addition to doing my
research," Schmidt pointed out. "This will be my first participation in the
Fulbright program, and only my second research visit to Canada."
The Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship program in international
educational exchange, was proposed to Congress in 1945 by then freshman Senator J.
William Fulbright of Arkansas. In the aftermath of World War II, Fulbright viewed
the proposed program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting "mutual understanding
between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the
world." Congress approved, and the program was signed into law by President
Truman in 1946.
Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a
variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced
research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. Since
the program's inception, more than 250,000 participants -- chosen for their
leader-ship potential -- have had the opportunity to observe each other's political,
economic and cultural institutions.
In his proposal to the Fulbright Program, Schmidt developed an analytic framework
to do a comparative study of immigrant settlement policies between Canada and the
United States. What kinds of policies does Canada use to help immigrants get
settled in their new country, and what kinds of policies does the United States
use? Does the United States even have such a policy?
"It involves trying to assess different orientations toward the incorporation of
immigrants," explained Schmidt, who believes the Canadians have a more proactive
approach toward immigrant settlement than does the United States.
His Canadian research will include interviewing immigration officials face to face
on both the provincial and federal levels. "I'll talk to government officials and
interest-group leaders from immigrant communities as well as various scholars," he
said. He also will take a break to visit Washington D.C. in the fall to attend
the annual conference of the American Political Science Association.
At the conclusion of his fall semester at the University of Montreal's Center for
International Studies, Schmidt will continue a year-long sabbatical from the CSULB
Political Science Department to complete a co-authored new book, already in
progress, on the impact of recent immigration on U.S. racial politics.
"We are examining the impact of newcomers on the efforts of Blacks, Latinos and
Asian Americans to increase their political clout in the United States," he said.
"We think the new immigrants are bringing about major changes in U.S. racial
Schmidt earned his B.A. in 1965 and his M.A. in 1966 from UC Berkeley, and his
Ph.D. came from UC Riverside in 1971, all in political science. He received
CSULB's Outstanding Professor Award in 1998, and he's currently president of the
Western Political Science Association.