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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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.

Academic Quality
Achievement versus Aptitude
Education
Race and Diversity
The Atkinson Presidency
The Research University
The University and the Economy
University Admissions
University of California

Cover page of Opportunity in a Democratic Society: Race and Economic Status in Higher Education

Opportunity in a Democratic Society: Race and Economic Status in Higher Education

(2006)

In July 1995, the University of California s Board of Regents voted to ban consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions and employment—a ban that was extended to all state agencies when the voters of California approved Proposition 209 in November 1996. This paper discusses the national controversy over affirmative action and analyzes the experience of the University of California as a case study in how an elite public university responded to the end of nearly three decades of affirmative action. It concludes that profound social and demographic change in American society since the 1960s, especially the growth of income inequality, requires a rethinking of affirmative action, and of how the goal of diversity can be achieved in elite public universities.

Cover page of The California Crucible: Demography, Excellence, and Access at the University of California

The California Crucible: Demography, Excellence, and Access at the University of California

(2001)

Keynote address at the 2001 International Assembly of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, San Francisco, July 2, 2001.

Cover page of Admission to the University of California

Admission to the University of California

(1998)

Opinion piece about the challenges of expanding opportunities for students without regard to race and ethnicity, published in the San Francisco Chronicle, April 1, 1998. Reprinted in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Santa Barbara News-Press, and the Oakland Tribune.

Cover page of Perspective on Diversity: UC Is Unwaveringly Committed

Perspective on Diversity: UC Is Unwaveringly Committed

(1995)

Opinion piece on UC’s efforts to achieve diversity without the use of race and ethnicity as factors in admissions.