Richard C. Atkinson served as the University of California's seventeenth
president from 1995 to 2003. The Atkinson years were a time of dramatic expansion and
landmark issues for UC. Enrollments, research programs, and funding all grew rapidly to
new highs. The University faced the imperative of pursuing diversity in the
post-affirmative action age, created new paradigms for industry-university cooperative
research, and challenged the validity of the SAT I, the nation's most widely used
college entrance examination.
The speeches, lectures, and other papers gathered here document these and a variety of other issues. The principal theme of this collection is the University of California
itself, and the role it plays as a public research university in a diverse, dynamic, and
knowledge-based society. We hope you will enjoy this introduction to the events and
challenges of the Atkinson presidency.