Alexander “Sandy” Astin, professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies whose research interests included diversity, equity, and education law and policy, died May 18. He was 89.

Astin was the founder of the Higher Education Research Institute and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at UCLA. The two institutes oversee “The American Freshman,” an annual survey of college freshmen across the nation created by Astin in 1966, while he was director of research at the American Council on Education. He continued the survey at UCLA when he joined the faculty in 1973.

“The higher education world mourns the passing of one of its most important scholars, Sandy Astin,” said Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA School of Education & Information Studies. “An intellectual giant, Sandy understood the importance of teaching and mentoring, of bringing compassion and kindness to those with whom he worked and taught.”  

Astin also researched affirmative action, assessment, diversity, educational psychology, leadership and testing. He authored 23 books and more than 300 other publications in the field of higher education.

Read the full obituary for Alexander Astin.