Since 2014, the Center has had three short term Directors: from 2015-2016, Carol T. Christ (English—past Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of UC Berkeley, former President of Smith College, current Chancellor of UC Berkeley); from 2016-2017, Michael Nacht (Public Policy); and from 2017-2019, Henry Brady (Public Policy; past Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy). Under Carol Christ’s directorship, the Center found a new home in the Goldman School.
Since 2019, George Blumenthal (Astronomy and Astrophysics; former Chancellor, UC Santa Cruz) has served as Center Director. The Center Manager is Helena Byrkarz with Gemma Givens serving as Events and Communications Specialist from 2019 to 2023.
UC ClioMetric History Project
In 2017, John Douglass and Zach Bleemer initiated the UC ClioMetric History Project with funding from the Center for Studies in Higher Education and the UC Office of the President. The Project has digitized thousands of volumes of historical university records and catalogs and extracted millions of administrative records covering all 1890-1950 UC students as well as 1900-2012 Berkeley, UCLA, and Davis faculty. This massive data repository includes interactive displays visualizing 150 years of UC’s students, faculty, courses, and budgets, along with comparative data for private California universities; and both topic briefs and academic studies analyzing higher education in California. These records – most of which are publicly-available on the Project website – have been used to generate new statistics documenting the history of the University of California. The project has also collected hundreds of thousands of post-1950 student records as part of an internal database of privacy-protected student records that have been used to produce research on contemporary UC student outcomes, including prominent studies of UC admissions policies and longitudinal dashboards of lifetime employment outcomes.
The David P. Gardner Seminar
Each year, CSHE sponsors the David P. Gardner Seminar for doctoral students who are conducting research related to higher education. Named after UC President Emeritus David P. Gardner, the seminar was expanded in 2020 beyond UC Berkeley to engage students across the University of California system and has furthered collaboration among early career higher education researchers.
150 Years of Women at Berkeley
The most recent project has been Anne MacLachlan’s collaboration with the co-chairs of the 150 Years of Women at Berkeley project. Both MacLachlan and Bleemer have collaborated with the Project’s History Advisory Committee. A large (and still growing) multi-faceted on-line collection of historical essays, biographies, departmental histories, illustrations, and other materials, the project includes many research papers suitable for inclusion in a special collection on the Center’s eScholarship site, where it will reach an expanded higher education audience. As part of the project, MacLachlan has written a history of women who have filled key Center roles.
Executive Leadership Academy India and Breakfast with George
Two leadership initiatives have been launched in the early 2020’s. First, the Executive Leadership Academy has offered an inaugural international Academy in India and continues to explore expanded venues for its programs. Second, Center Director George Blumenthal has initiated an advanced executive training program which includes some one-on-one mentoring. The program is entitled Breakfast with George.
Livestreaming Center Seminars
The Center’s seminar program has also expanded its reach. Beginning in 2020, use of Livestreaming during the Covid19 pandemic and continuing to the present has greatly expanded the national and international participation in Center seminars. Seminar planning is currently coordinated by Margaret Heisel and focuses on higher education policy issues of national and worldwide concern.