University of California History

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Since its creation by the 1868 Organic Act, the ten-campus University of California system has been a potent force in California’s emergence as one of the most diverse and dynamic societies in the world.   CSHE research on the University’s rich history has produced a definitive account of the origins of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education; analyses of the growth of the UC system and its place in American higher education; and studies of presidential administrations, defining policy issues, and the birth of the first new research university of the twenty-first century, UC Merced.   Current projects include a book-length study of the role of the University in the founding of the Sierra Club and the National Park Service and research on the organizational foundations of the UC system.

UC History Publications by CSHE Researchers and Affiliates

Clark Kerr’s World of Higher Education Reaches the Twenty-first Century: Chapters in a Special History

Entrepreneurial President: Richard Atkinson and the University of California, 1995-2003

Clark Kerr’s University of California: Leadership, Diversity and Planning in Higher Education

Reflections on the University of California: From the Free Speech Movement to the Global University

From Rangeland to the Research University: The Birth of the University of California, Merced

The Conditions for Admission: Access, Equity, and the Social Contract of Public Universities

The Pursuit of Knowledge: Speeches and Papers of Richard C. Atkinson

A Brief History of the University of California

Clark Kerr Memoirs: "The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967"

The California Idea and American Higher Education, 1850 to the 1960 Master Plan.

Chronicle of the University of California