Karen Miksch

Associate Professor
Miksch

Contact:

Postsecondary Teaching & Learning
331 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Dr S E
T: (612) 625-3398
miksc001@umn.edu

Office Hours:

Please note that as of August 18, 2014 I will have a NEW OFFICE:
310 J Wulling Hall (86 Pleasant Street, SE).

Fall 2014 office hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 2:00 -- 4:00 pm and by appointment.

Credentials:

Juris Doctor, University of California (1989).

My research focuses on the law of higher education and the transition to college. Specifically, I am interested in access to higher education from a legal and policy perspective. I utilize legal research and qualitative case studies in my work on the transition to college and the legal gatekeepers that make access and persistence difficult for students who traditionally have not had access. Prior to joining the faculty, I was a civil rights attorney and lectured nationally on access policy. 

RESEARCH

There is a crisis in the U.S. education system. Over 1/3 of all high school seniors will not graduate this year and for Native Americans, African Americans and Latinos, 50 percent or more will not graduate. In addition, although access to college for immigrant, first generation, low income, and historically underrepresented students of color has increased in the past 30 years, levels of graduation from college have not. Race conscious admissions and other types of diversity initiatives are under attack, yet, empirical research shows we need more programs for underrepresented students, not less. Why isn’t this empirical research part of the legal and policy debate? 

My over-arching research question is what are key issues regarding access to higher education and how can education scholars impact those policy decisions? My current case study project attempts to understand how decisions are made to halt (or retain) race-conscious and diversity initiatives post-Michigan. The project includes two sub-projects: (1) A case study of university attorneys to discover their role in affirmative action decision-making; and (2) a content analysis of various news sources to look at how affirmative action, the DREAM Act, and other access issues are reported. I am using qualitative case study methodology and am utilizing the politics of fear as my theoretical lens (media used to promote decision-making based on fear).

TEACHING

I teach courses in OLPD's Higher Education Program including US Higher Education (OLPD 5701) and the Law and Postsecondary Institutions (OLPD 5732). I also teach school law and courses related to access and the transition to college.

SERVICE

I am Legal Counsel and a member of the Board of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). I am also active in the Law and Education SIG in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and review monographs for AERA and ASHE.

 

Selected Presentations

  1. Miksch, K., & Pedelty, M. (2012, April). The Politics of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, BC.

  2. Hutchens, N., Miksch, K., & Sun, J.C. (2011, November). Meeting the challenges of a technology enhanced future: State open records act requests, email, and text messages. Symposium presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Public Policy Forum, Charlotte, NC.

  3. Miksch, K., & Pedelty, M. (2010, April). Affirmative Action and the Politics of Fear: A Content Analysis of News Coverage of U.S. Supreme Court Cases. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, CO.

  4. Miksch, K., & Sun, J. (2009, Nov.). Academic freedom, faculty governance, and the courts. Symposium presented at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Public Policy Forum, Vancouver, BC.

  5. Miksch, K. (2008, April). Academic freedom and ethnic diversity: Lessons learned from Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New York, NY.

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