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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hedgehogs and Foxes at the Crossroads: Leadership and Diversity at the University of California

  • Author(s): González, Cristina
  • et al.

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Following Clark Kerr’s distinction between hedgehogs, or visionary leaders who know “one big thing,” and foxes, or shrewd leaders who know “many things,” this paper studies Kerr, an archetypical hedgehog, and David Gardner, a quintessential fox, as models for these two types of leaders. The paper also analyzes the hedgehog concept of systemic excellence, which was articulated during Kerr’s presidency and underpins the California Master Plan for Higher Education, and the rise of fox culture, with its focus on the pursuit of resources, which coincided with Gardner’s tenure as president. In addition, the paper examines diversity as an element that never became incorporated into the University of California’s (U.C.) hedgehog concept of systemic excellence, but rather has been dealt with in an ad-hoc, fox-like manner. The paper calls for a new hedgehog concept of systemic excellence for the University of California as the premier multicultural and international institution of higher learning in the 21st century.

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