California Issues

FROM CHAOS TO ORDER AND BACK?A Revisionist Reflection on the California Master Plan for Higher Education@50 and Thoughts About its Future

John Aubrey Douglass

In 1960, California developed a "master plan" for its already famed public higher education system. It was and continues to be arguably the single most influential effort to plan the future of a system of higher education in the annals of American higher education. Despite popular belief, however, the California Master Plan for Higher Education is more important for what it preserved than what it created. There is much confusion regarding exactly how the Master Plan came about, what it said and did not say, and what portions of it are still relevant today. This essay provides a brief...


John Aubrey Douglass

2010 marks the 50th anniversary of California’s famed Master Plan for Higher Education, arguably the single most influential effort to plan the future of a system of higher education in the annals of American higher education. This essay builds on the analysis offered in a previous CSHE research paper (“From Chaos to Order and Back”) by discussing the major challenges facing California’s higher education system, and offering a possibly pathway to reforms and institution-building essential for bolstering socioeconomic mobility and greater economic competitiveness. Most critics and...

A GLOBAL TALENT MAGNET: How a San Francisco/Bay Area Higher Education Hub Could Advance California's Comparative Advantage In Attracting International Talent and Further Build US Economic Competitiveness

John Aubrey Douglass
Richard Edelstein
Cécile Hoareau

During the 2009-10 academic year international students generated more than $18.8 billion in net income into the US economy. California alone had nearly 100,000 international students with an economic impact of nearly $3.0 billion. In this paper, we outline a strategy for the San Francisco/Bay Area to double the number of international students enrolled in local colleges and universities in ten years or less, generating a total direct economic impact of an additional $1 billion a year into the regional economy. The US retains a huge market advantage for attracting foreign students....

Revisiting California Higher Education Coordination, by David E. Leveille

David E. Leveille

Accountability in postsecondary education across the nation has matured for the most part over the past five years. The same cannot be said for California. In California, the limited attention to accountability is inconsistent to the heightened focus on accountability at the national level. As a result of widespread and increasing concern about the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of California postsecondary education, its governance and the management of public postsecondary education institutions, this paper has three objectives: a)To briefly describe the state of governance...

California's Fiscal Returns on Investments in Higher Education by Jon Stiles, Michael Hout, and Henry Brady

Jon Stiles
Michael Hout
Henry Brady

The ongoing budget crisis in California raises many questions about the most effective ways to allocate resources in ways which sustain future investments. In this paper, we consider two questions: What are the benefits to the state for investing in higher education? And, how do current educational investments create an environment which supports future needs? Drawing on current and historic data on returns to education for individuals, income tax regimes, state investments in higher education, progress and completion patterns, and mechanisms which translate individual impacts into...

Doing Much More with Less: Implementing Operational Excellence at UC Berkeley by Andrew J. Szeri, Richard Lyons, Peggy Huston, and John Wilton

Andrew J. Szeri
Richard Lyons
Peggy Huston
John Wilton

Universities are undergoing historic change, from the sharp downward shift in government funding to widespread demands to document performance. At the University of California Berkeley, this led to an operational change effort unlike any the university had ever attempted, dubbed Operational Excellence. The authors describe their experiences designing and leading this change effort, with emphasis on practical advice for similar efforts at other universities.

The Management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley: Turning Points and Consequences, by John Cummins and Kirsten Hextrum

John Cummins
Kirsten Hextrum

This white paper is based on a larger project being conducted with the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library. The purpose of the research is to explore the history of the management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley from the 1960s to the present. The project began in 2009 and will include, when completed, approximately 70 oral history interviews of individuals who played key roles in the management of intercollegiate athletics over that period of time – Chancellors, Athletic Directors, senior administrators, Faculty Athletic Representatives, other key faculty...

UC Berkeley's Adaptations to the Crisis of Public Higher Education in the US: Privatization? Commercialization? Or Hybridization? by George W. Breslauer

George W. Breslauer

The University of California at Berkeley now delivers more to the public of California than it ever has, and it does this on the basis of proportionally less funding by the State government than it has ever received. This claim may come as a surprise, since it is often said that Berkeley is in the process of privatizing, becoming less of a public university and more in the service of private interests. To the contrary, as the State’s commitment to higher education and social-welfare programs has declined, UC Berkeley has struggled to preserve and even expand its public role, while...

Berkeley's New Approach to Global Engagement: Early and Current Efforts to Become More International, by Nicholas B. Dirks and Nils Gilman

Nicholas B. Dirks
Nils Gilman

This essay discusses past and current thinking about the globalization of higher education (from a U.S. point of view in particular) and a new model we are attempting to develop at the University of California, Berkeley. This essay begins with a brief narrative of the historical evolution of efforts to internationalize education, from the seventeenth century to the present day, before providing a schematic outline of efforts to create new models for the global university. From its earliest beginnings in the U.S. and elsewhere, higher education embodied important global dimensions....

Small Liberal Arts Colleges and Enrollment Capacity at Public Universities: Imagining a Consortium Approach by Carol T. Christ

Carol Christ

Many small private liberal arts colleges struggle to make their enrollment targets, while many public universities cannot meet enrollment demand. Thinking creatively about collaboration between these kinds of institutions might increase the capacity of our higher education system. This essay explores models by which we might do so.