Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The University of California: Creating, Nurturing, and Maintaining Academic Quality in a Public University Setting

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

At 150 years following its founding in 1868, the University of California is regarded by many as the most successful and highly respected public research university in the world. Particularly impressive are the very high standings of its campuses in national and international rankings, the size of the ten-campus university, the high quality of the education it provides, the access and the route of upward mobility that it affords for students in the state, the success that it has had in developing new campuses that have achieved strong reputations in surprisingly short times, the attractiveness of the university to students and their families, and the substantial role that the university has played in the unparalleled technological innovation climate of California.

The purpose of this book is to identify and analyze the essential ways in which that success has come about. The book is not a history of the University of California, per se. Instead, it is an analysis of the structural, policy, operational, and environmental matters that have contributed to the success of the University of California and a discussion of what makes UC tick and the approaches that have made it tick best. In that sense it is a selective, topical history and analysis for those subjects. The format is such that the book can also serve as a reference work, and for that reason many cross-references among chapters have been included, along with a substantial index and many citations in footnotes. Most chapters have summary conclusions, distilling the most important points.

The book is written from the point of view of one who has been concerned for many years with making the University of California work well academically. Although many books have been written by ex-presidents of universities, many fewer have been written by ex-provosts. Yet because of the large extramural roles of presidents, it is probably the provosts who best know the inner academic operations of modern American universities, as they are totally immersed in them.

The intended audience for this book is the global higher-education community, as well as others interested in the University of California and the development and functioning of universities, and particularly public universities, in the United States. The book should be useful to those in governments who are concerned with public universities, as well as those in other states and other countries who would like to understand the University of California and assess what about it could be useful in connection with the development of their own systems and institutions of higher education.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View