Clark Kerr Memoirs

Clark Kerr (1911-2003), the late president emeritus of the University of California, published his account of his long involvement with the University of California from 2001 to 2003. The Center was pleased to participate in the preparation of those memoirs.

Kerr was assisted throughout the preparation of his memoirs by his long-time associate, Marian L. Gade, a CSHE research associate, and by Maureen Kawaoka at the Institute of Industrial Relations.

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

The memoir, published by the University of California Press, recounts, from Kerr’s personal point of view, the story of the growth and development of the university during the years he served as the first chancellor of the Berkeley Campus (1952-1958) and subsequently as president of the entire university (1958-1967). Chapters outline the struggle to define what a "chancellor" was, tell the story of the development of the Master Plan for Higher Education and California, and discuss the transition from a Berkeley-centered institution to a highy acclaimed nine-campus, state-wide university.


The first volume, published in October 2001, focuses on the "academic triumphs" of the university during those years, especially of the Berkeley campus, which by 1964 was rated as the "best balanced distinguished university" in the United States. Several chapters are devoted to academic change on other campuses: UCLA took "its place in the sun"; Santa Cruz, Irvine, and San Diego were newly established with distinctive academic and physical plans; San Francisco was changed from a regional medical college to an outstanding research center; and Davis, Riverside, and Santa Barbara expanded into general campuses in the overall effort to serve the Tidal Wave of students that inundated American higher education in the 1960s. The administrative decentralization and academic innovations that underlay these "triumphs" are outlined.


The second volume of the The Gold and the Blue, published in February 2003, covers the same years but deals with the turbulent external and highly politicized environment within which the university then existed, including continued attacks on the university by the State Un-American Activities Committee, the Free Speech Movement, and finally the dismissal of Kerr as president shortly after the gubernatorial election of November 1966. The dilemma posed by Kerr is, How could the university grow and thrive as an academic institution in the midst of such virulent attacks from both the political Right and Left?

Companion Publications

President Kerr also prepared a comprehensive collection of documentary supplements to the memoir. In addition, a number of former UC faculty and administrators have chronicled the activities or events during those years in which they were personally involved. Essays in this series are published by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies; they include:

  • Clark Kerr (ed.), Documentary Supplements to "The Gold and the Blue" (2003)
  • Angus E. Taylor, The Academic Senate of the University of California: Its Role in the Shared Governance and Operation of the University of California (1998)
  • Loren M. Furtado, Budget Reform and Administrative Decentralization in the University of California (2002)
  • Verne A. Stadtman, Lincoln Constance, John R. Whinnery, Travis Bogard, Betty Connors, Jacquelynn Baas, Robert W. Cole, and David Littlejohn, Berkeley at Mid-Century: Elements of a Golden Age (2002)
  • William H. Allaway, The Global Campus: Education Abroad and the University of California (2003)
  • Peter S. Van Houten and Edward L. Barrett, Jr., Berkeley and Its Students: Days of Conflict, Years of Change, 1945-1970 (2003)
  • Carlos G. Noreña, The Rise and Demise of the UCSC Colleges (2004)
  • Ray Colvig, Turning Points and Ironies: Issues and Events - Berkeley, 1959-1967(2004)