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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Regional History Project has been documenting the history of the Central Coast of California and the institutional history of UC Santa Cruz since 1963, through oral history, a method of conducting historical research through recorded interviews between a narrator with personal experience of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with the goal of adding to the historical record.

Cover page of Elizabeth Spedding Calciano: Founding Director of the Regional History Project, UCSC Library

Elizabeth Spedding Calciano: Founding Director of the Regional History Project, UCSC Library


This set of interviews with Elizabeth Spedding Calciano make up the rare project that is not just a life history, but an oral history of and about oral history itself. While Calciano has thrived in multiple professions and jobs, including a forty-plus year career as a lawyer, this volume focuses on her years as the founding head of the Regional History Project at UC Santa Cruz from 1963 to 1974. this volume is both a life narrative and a meta oral history, telling the story and perspective of someone who arrived to UC Santa Cruz and the oral history field at emergent historical moments.

Cover page of For a More Humane World: A Family Oral History of Professor Jasper Rose

For a More Humane World: A Family Oral History of Professor Jasper Rose


For many people, Jasper Rose embodied the spirit and dream of the young University of California, Santa Cruz campus. UCSC first opened its doors in 1965, and Jasper Rose was one of its founding faculty members and a senior preceptor at Cowell College. For Jasper, it meant the inauguration of a powerful shared venture, a space and a time where, as he put it, “it was as though we were a complete society.” He was passionate about that society and his place in it as an educator; animated by a reformer’s vision for change in education, he saw Santa Cruz as a place where something new and remarkable could be realized. In these pages, Jasper Rose recounts his own life journey to that place and to that vision, and shares his convictions and critiques about what has happened in the decades since at UCSC. While this oral history is Jasper’s story, it is also fundamentally a shared effort by the Rose family. Three different family members—his wife Jean Rose and sons Inigo and William Rose—joined our sessions in at various times to support him in telling his life history.

Jasper Rose was born in London in 1930 to family of scholars and thinkers. His family was also “adequately Jewish,” as he put it, and the rising tide of anti-Semitism during World War II left an acute impression on Jasper as a child. His parents took in a string of Jewish refugees fleeing fascism, including leading intellectuals like Stefan Zweig, and his father worked as a prominent German language expert in the British war effort. In our interview more than seventy years after the end of the war, Jasper felt that a part of his vision for UCSC had come from his hope for “a humane postwar world”; in Santa Cruz, it mattered deeply to him that young people would have the opportunity to learn in a beautiful, peaceful, and creative environment.

After the war Jasper ultimately attended King’s College, Cambridge, where he met his soon-to-be wife Jean, also a gifted artist, and studied history. He studied under some of the great minds there, such as Christopher Morris and Noel Annan, and moved in a social set that included luminaries like E.M. Forster. He went on to become a fellow at Cambridge, and wrote a celebrated study of Oxford and Cambridge, Camford Observed: An Investigation of the Ancient English Universities in the Modern World. It was at once a caring and irreverent text. Jasper was already then a passionate advocate for undergraduate education and institutional reform—the very word “Camford” was a playful inversion of the more conventional “Oxbridge”—who believed in the residential college as a dynamic learning environment.

            This oral history goes on to document how Jasper took these convictions with him to the United States, where the growing family moved after he secured a job at Rice University in Texas. Soon thereafter he was brought on as founding faculty at UCSC, where campus originators like Page Smith were impressed by Camford Observed and his approach to education. Jasper recounts how he threw himself wholeheartedly into the UCSC experiment. The new campus, which had a collegiate system, narrative evaluations instead of letter grades, an enthusiasm for reinventing curriculum, and which prized undergraduate education, was an ideal setting for Jasper. He left an indelible and outsize mark as a teacher, administrator, and artist. He believed in students and their ideas, and he encouraged them; he also believed in the power of education to transform outlooks and lives. Simply put, UCSC was a special place—a kind of California pastoral—where a “new vision” was possible.

This oral history goes on to document what happened when UCSC then began to change. Jasper, always known for the intensity of his convictions, became an increasingly fierce critic as the more radical 60s receded into the 70s and then 80s. In these pages, he assails what he saw as an increasing “narrowness of curiosity about what education meant” as UCSC moved away from its original collegiate model towards a more mainstream research university model. Eventually Jasper, feeling like he was fighting a rearguard action, moved from Cowell to Porter College to focus on the arts from there. He retired from UCSC in 1986, when he was still in his mid-50s. This oral history concludes with a reflection on change and continuity at UCSC, and on Jasper’s life as of the time of these interviews in 2019.

Cover page of Framing the Moment: An Oral History with Santa Cruz Photojournalist Shmuel Thaler

Framing the Moment: An Oral History with Santa Cruz Photojournalist Shmuel Thaler


For over thirty years, Santa Cruz County residents have opened up their copy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel each morning and seen their lives reflected in Shmuel Thaler’s photographs. From triathlons to earthquakes, from clam chowder cook-offs to murder trials, from burning brush to breaching humpback whales—Thaler’s images record the dynamic nature of this unique Central California coastal community that we call home. His photographs fuse a recognizable artistic, graphical aesthetic with a driving documentary impulse. This oral history photobook based on interviews conducted by the Regional History Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz Library captures the trajectory and philosophy of Shmuel Thaler’s photographic career. See the supplemental material link here for the unedited transcript of this oral history.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
Cover page of Picture to Picture: An Oral History with Photographer-Teacher Norman Locks

Picture to Picture: An Oral History with Photographer-Teacher Norman Locks


161 pages, 2018

Photographer Norman Locks was born in San Jose, California in 1947, but grew up primarily in San Francisco. His father, Seymour Locks, was a well-known abstract painter and assemblage sculptor who taught at San Francisco State University for thirty-seven years. The San Francisco art scene [Beatnik, Abstract Expressionism, and Bay Area Figurative] shaped Norman’s early life. These synchronicities of history placed Norman Locks in the Bay Area just as the West Coast Photography scene was blossoming. As a teenager, he took summer session courses at San Francisco State from Jack Welpott, who was drawn to California by the work of Edward Weston. When he was eighteen years old, he met Monterey photographer Wynn Bullock at a lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute. Bullock invited Norman to visit his home in Monterey and show him his photographs. During those years, Locks’ parents also took him camping in the Sierra Nevada and to other favorite locations in the coastal ranges of California, awakening in Norman a deep and lifelong love for the landscapes of his home state. 

Norman studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he earned a BFA in photography, and then attended graduate school at San Francisco State, where he earned his MA. His career as a photography teacher began early, as he taught art classes for the De Young Museum as a teenager, and then summer session courses and then graduate courses at San Francisco State together with Jack Welpott. After graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute, Locks was hired to direct the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite Valley and Carmel, California. There he coordinated eleven to fifteen workshops a year, bringing in luminary photographers such as Imogen Cunningham, Robert Heinecken, Judy Dater, Minor White, and Linda Connor, as well as then-emerging photographers such as Jerry Uelsmann and Lewis Baltz.

In 1978, Locks came to UC Santa Cruz at a time when there were only four FTE’s in photography in the entire University of California system. He was hired by College Five Provost Pavel Machotka to teach six photography courses a year for aesthetic studies, an innovative interdisciplinary major affiliated with College Five [now Porter College] that wove together the study of the psychology of creativity, art history, art criticism, philosophy and the hands-on mastery of the art of creative writing, film, photography, sculpture, and other modalities.  Locks also managed the darkroom for aesthetic studies.

In 1980, aesthetic studies was disbanded as part of Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer’s reorganization of the college system, which eliminated most of UC Santa Cruz’s college-based majors. At that point, Locks was hired as a lecturer in the art department. He struggled with the marginal position of a lecturer until 1990, when he was promoted to a tenure-track position in the art department. Locks chaired UC Santa Cruz’s art department twice. The final section of this oral history focuses on key developments in the art department’s history over the past several decades, covering hirings, the expansion of physical facilities, and the founding of new academic pathways within the curriculum, such as the digital arts and media program.



Cover page of Student Interviews Fifty Years Later: An Oral History

Student Interviews Fifty Years Later: An Oral History


The Regional History Project at UC Santa Cruz has rich collections of interviews with generations of narrators, ranging across the administration, faculty, and staff. In the early years of the campus, founding director Elizabeth Spedding Calciano conducted two rounds of interviews focused on the student experience at what was then the newest campus of the University of California. Those interviews, conducted in 1967 and 1969 as the campus was still adding a new college every year, give a window into the original UCSC experiment, and into a time of sociocultural transformation as students responded to the Vietnam War and other social justice issues of the time. While the Project’s archive includes various individual interviews with students conducted in the intervening years, in 2016 a decision was made by director Irene Reti to launch a follow-up endeavor focused specifically on the student perspective at UCSC today.

            The ensuing project, Student Interviews: 50 Years Later, consists of fourteen interviews conducted in April and October 2017 in a conference room the McHenry Library. In many ways, it was a very different endeavor from the original Student Interviews. At the beginning of 1967, there were only two colleges at UCSC; in 2017, there were ten, and the student population had boomed exponentially from less than 1,000 to more than 18,000. UCSC has grown into a major research university, offering more than sixty undergraduate majors and dozens of graduate programs across the divisions. In selecting students, there were new challenges of scale, and the challenge of finding a scope of voices that could speak to meaningfully different and diverse experiences on campus became a project in itself.

            However, while many things have changed at UCSC, this was a venture of continuities as well. Like the original Student Interviews, we accepted from the beginning that it was neither possible nor desirable to strive for a group that could fully represent the student story at UCSC. In addition to that story being far too plural and varied, we know that surprise and singularity are as much an element in oral history work as trends and commonalities. This is a gathering of unique and powerful life histories. That said, we did seek a group that could illustrate distinct points along the range of student experience here. Taking our cue from the ’67 and ‘69 interviews, we contacted the provost of each college for recommendations, compiling a long list that we narrowed down to our final candidates. We also reached out to the directors of the resource centers, EOP, the graduate division, and selected student organizations. As a result, all ten colleges are represented here, as are many resource centers. While the group is mostly undergraduates, we do have graduate students as well. We also made certain that we had majors from all divisions, and strove for an intersectionally diverse and dynamic group, exploring relationships to place and space through the lens of racial and ethnic identity, sexuality, gender, class, and other markers of social difference. For 50 Years Later, this task was baked into our larger exploration of our narrators’ academic and extracurricular work at UCSC, as well as their life histories, inspirations, struggles, and aspirations.

One notable bias of our selection process is that, since we largely relied on faculty and staff recommendations, we tended to locate students that were exceptionally involved in their residential or academic communities, and were therefore especially visible to their recommenders. There are, of course, many other students who choose different spheres of involvement, or who, especially in the context of a growing research university, may simply not find the same recognition. For those who are struck by the thoughtfulness, eloquence, and importance of the stories included in this compendium, it is our hope that this reading can be the beginning of a greater curiosity and connection with the breadth of the student experience at UCSC. These are voices that need to be heard more widely and more clearly when it comes to the present and future of this campus.

            An unexpected parallel between the ’67 and ‘69 student interviews and this new ’17 project came through the rise of political awareness, activism, and debate at UCSC in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump. The Sixties interviews took place in the Johnson and Nixon presidencies, a time when many students here were asking pointed questions about the priorities of their school, the Vietnam War, the nature of their education, and the future of justice in their society. These themes return in our 2017 interviews, as students share their life journeys of coming to this campus, their work finding a place here—more than one narrator describes our campus as a “PWI [predominantly white institution]”—and their hopes for how their UCSC education can shape their opportunities and outlook going forward. While some of their stories are particular to certain colleges or majors, many shine a light on deeper issues about this campus, including who is welcome here, how students adapt and make their way in their education, and what debates, dialogues, and differences mark the institution today. These are stories of community, stories of creativity, and stories of critique alike.



Cover page of Teaching is New Every Day: An Oral History of Science Illustration Teacher-Administrators Jenny Keller and Ann Caudle

Teaching is New Every Day: An Oral History of Science Illustration Teacher-Administrators Jenny Keller and Ann Caudle


The Science Illustration Certificate Program is internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious training platforms of its kind, this postgraduate curriculum prepares students with backgrounds in art and/or science to be professional visual communicators about scientific subjects.

The year-long program involves a rigorous curriculum of classroom and studio work, guest presentations and field trips, followed by ten or more weeks of internship. Graduates work as freelance and staff illustrators for hundreds of organizations, including zoos, aquaria, museums and botanical gardens, public and private research institutes and public agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and publications such as Scientific American and National Geographic.

UC Santa Cruz alumnae Jenny Keller and Ann Caudle have built, administered and taught in the Science Illustration Certificate Program since helping to establish it in the 1980s under the auspices of UCSC’s Graduate Program in Science Communication. They presided over the illustration program’s eventual migration from campus to UCSC Extension’s classroom facility in downtown Santa Cruz, and later to their current institutional home: the College of Science at California State University, Monterey Bay.  In this oral history, Keller and Caudle describe the creation and evolution of the certificate program as well as their approaches to science communication, art and illustration, teaching and administration.

Cover page of A Different Model for the UCSC Colleges: Colleges Nine and Ten, An Oral History with Deana Slater and Wendy Baxter

A Different Model for the UCSC Colleges: Colleges Nine and Ten, An Oral History with Deana Slater and Wendy Baxter


The genesis of the vision for UC Santa Cruz’s newest colleges, College Nine and College Ten, dates back to the 1988 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) which responded both to faculty members who argued that the Social Sciences Division needed academic space in the campus core, and the demographic studies that demonstrated that UCSC would be experiencing rising student enrollments and would need to house more students on campus. The 1988 LRDP thus called for planning two new colleges that would integrate academic and residential facilities.

Fast forward to May of 1999, when under the chancellorship of MRC Greenwood and the vice chancellorship of Francisco Hernandez, The Colleges Nine and Ten Planning Advisory Committee issued a report entitled “Opening College IX and X.” Among its recommendations were for these two colleges to “continue the tradition of the current UCSC colleges concentrating upon community life and student affairs,” while also “being centers of interdisciplinary curricula and courses, intellectual stimulation, research, conferences, and student projects.” The proposal was also for these colleges to be affiliated with the Social Sciences Division, as per the 1988 LRDP.

The authors of this report also stated, “...we have come to believe that the opening of Colleges IX and X represents a major new opportunity for UC Santa Cruz [which would build] upon the successes and learning from the failures of the past...” Embedded in this allusion to the past lies a complex, and often contentious history of UCSC’s relationship to its residential college system. In the early 1960s, the colleges were the vision and invention of founding chancellor Dean McHenry and then-University of California President Clark Kerr and were intended to make UCSC “seem small” as it grew because students would live and study in the intimate environment of their themed college. The idea was to combine the advantages of small liberal arts college (such as Swarthmore) with the resources of a major research university. Some of the inspiration also came from Oxford University and other British universities.

Faculty were appointed half time in their college and half time in their board of studies, which had less institutional power and resources than a conventional department. Each faculty member was expected to teach both for the college and the board. While college teaching and service yielded a rich plethora of innovative classes and interdisciplinary collaborations that still benefits UCSC today, it was not given much weight by the traditional University of California in tenure decisions. As the relatively affluent and fiscally expansive era of the 1960s faded into the inflation, austerity, and more conservative 1970s that was less open to innovative public education and more interested in job training, UCSC entered a crisis marked by declining enrollment and financial pressures.

Dean McHenry had also originally promised the Regents that the UCSC college system would not result in higher costs, but this was not proving to be the case. In addition, after UCSC opened, the funding formula allocated to the UC campuses per student was altered to allocate more money per graduate student than to undergraduates. This had a significant impact on UCSC, which had been founded with a focus on undergraduate education and had very few graduate programs. (The campus has yet to catch up in this area.) By 1974, Dean McHenry retired and was replaced by a chancellor who lacked leadership experience and left after eighteen months. Angus Taylor stepped in as acting chancellor and the search for a new chancellor began.

Enter Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer, who arrived from Caltech in 1977 to a campus ringing with rumors that UCSC, which once held the distinction of being one of the most prestigious and attractive campuses in the United States, might be closed for budgetary reasons. Sinsheimer’s response (he was educated at MIT to be a problem solver) was to develop and implement Reorganization, a plan which proposed a new vision for the UCSC colleges and ultimately was approved by the Academic  Senate.

This plan excised most of the academic role of the colleges (with the exception of a freshman core course) and assigned the academic mission of UCSC mostly to the academic divisions. (The exceptions to this plan were Oakes College and College Eight, which retained more of the original model.) The central mission of the colleges became residential life. Faculty members were relieved of curricular obligations to the colleges.

Reorganization eliminated the McHenry-Kerr model for the colleges. It was and still is criticized as part of one might call a “narrative of decline” at UCSC, the loss of a unique creative, interdisciplinary vision, a brave new model for undergraduate education in a public university. Even now, forty years later, the pros and cons of Sinsheimer’s Reorganization remain a heated topic in many of the oral histories conducted by the Regional History Project with longtime staff and faculty.  In an oral history conducted in 2004, Chancellor Greenwood quipped, “Some people call it the third rail of politics at Santa Cruz. If you touch the colleges, you’re dead.”[3]

The writers of the report “Opening Colleges IX and X” acknowledged this sentiment when they wrote, “While we can learn from some parts of the McHenry model, we cannot return to it. It has been rejected by the campus.” Instead they call for a third model of how colleges could work at UC Santa Cruz, which they call the Greenwood Model. This model builds on the post-Reorganization college focus on community life and student affairs and “engages faculty members and students in a way that the current colleges do not.” The writers were astute not to imply that the existing eight UCSC colleges should adopt this Greenwood Model, arguing instead that the two models could exist side by side.

The vision for these two new colleges was soon realized, with the exception of the endowment for the colleges, which the writers of the report emphasized would be important to its success. To this date, these colleges are awaiting endowment. College Nine opened its doors in fall quarter of 2000 and College Ten in fall of 2002. College Nine’s webpage articulates its philosophy: “College Nine has worked hard to successfully develop a strong community, build meaningful traditions, and emphasize our theme through co-curricular programming. College Nine’s theme of International and Global Perspectives recognizes the importance of cultural competency in the 21st century. The College Nine community offers students a range of opportunities to explore these issues and to develop skills as dynamic leaders. College Ten’s website states, “Consistent with UCSC’s founding vision, College Ten creates an integrated living-and-learning environment through engaging academic and extracurricular programs focusing on the theme of Social Justice and Community.” The two colleges retain a separate identity, but work closely together and share many staff members.

This volume documents some of the history of College Nine and College Ten through two oral history interviews: the first with Deana Slater, who has served as college administrative officer for both colleges since their founding and was part of planning the colleges even before they opened; and second with Wendy Baxter, director of academic and co-curricular programs for both colleges, also since before they officially opened. By focusing on the efforts of these two longtime dedicated staff members in founding and building these new UCSC endeavors, we also pay tribute to the sometimes invisible contributions of staff to this enterprise of higher education.

In this oral history Slater and Baxter discuss some of the key elements of the structure, philosophy, and programs at Colleges Nine and Ten, including the Co-Curricular Center (The CoCo), the Leadership Certificate Program, the Practical Activism Conference, the International Living Center, Alternative Spring Break and other service learning programs; The Garden Project, and the relationship with the Social Sciences Division.


[1] Long Range Development Plan, 1988. Available in the UCSC Library’s Special Collections Department.

[2] A digital copy of this May 1999 report, “Opening Colleges IX and X” is in the College Nine and Ten University Archives at Special Collections at the UCSC Library.                                   

[3] See Randall Jarrell and Irene Reti, From Complex Organisms to A Complex Organization: An Oral History with UCSC Chancellor MRC Greenwood, 1996-2004. (Regional History Project, UCSC Library, 2014). See p. 52 for a discussion of College Nine and College Ten. Available in full text at

Cover page of Congressmember Sam Farr: Five Decades of Public Service

Congressmember Sam Farr: Five Decades of Public Service


Congressmember Sam Farr (born July 4, 1941) represented California’s Central Coast in the United States House of Representatives for twenty-three years until his retirement from office in 2016.  Farr also served six years as a member of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and twelve years in the California State Assembly. This oral history, a transcript of twenty-five hours of interviews conducted by Irene Reti, director of the UCSC Library’s Regional History Project, during the period immediately before and after Farr’s retirement from Congress, covers Farr’s political career and much of his personal history.


Sam Farr was born into a family that extends back five generations in California. His father’s grandfather was the brother of Senator William Sharon, who arrived in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. On his mother’s (Janet Haskins) side, Farr also has deep California roots; his mother’s father, Sam Haskins, was a regent for the University of California and a prominent liberal lawyer in Los Angeles. Sam’s father, Fred Farr, was an attorney and served as a California state senator from Carmel from 1955 to 1966. He was the first Democrat in forty-three years elected to represent the Central Coast. Senator Fred Farr was a pioneer in both social justice and environmental protection and well-known on the national political scene.


While Farr was inspired by both of his parents, he had no early aspirations for a career in legislative politics like his father. He was mostly raised in Carmel, California (after the family spent some time on the East Coast and in Puerto Rico) before it became an expensive tourist town. The young Sam Farr discovered a love for the natural environment while roaming through the hills and along the beaches of the Monterey Peninsula and Carmel Valley. His mother gave him a love for the outdoors and for gardening. At Carmel High School, he found a mentor in his biology teacher, Enid Larson. His life plan at that time was to study biology in college and return to Carmel to teach high school. Farr struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia during his youth and later became a passionate advocate for people with this then-unrecognized disability. He graduated from Carmel High School in 1959 and journeyed north to earn his BA in biology at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.


After graduation, Farr served in the Peace Corps in Medellín, Colombia in 1964, where he honed community development skills, in an experience that was to be one of the most formative of his life. But it was also while he was in the Peace Corps that Farr’s life was forever altered by two terrible tragedies that afflicted his family. The first was the unexpected death of his mother from cancer; the second was a horrendous horseback riding accident that killed his sister, Nancy, while the family was visiting Sam in Colombia. In this oral history, Farr speaks with candor and remarkable emotional courage about the effect these two events had on his trajectory. This was the point where he had an epiphany and decided to dedicate himself to fighting the war on poverty through a career in public service, a path that eventually led him to a career as a U.S. congressmember.


After a brief stint in law school at Santa Clara University, Farr worked as professional staff in the California Assembly for the next decade. He served under the longtime legislative analyst Alan Post, helping write cost-effectiveness studies of categorical education programs. Later he became staff to the Constitutional Revision Commission. While he was a staffer, in 1972 Farr helped organize a groundbreaking and now legendary coastal bike ride from San Francisco to San Diego, to raise awareness and support for Proposition 20, the Coastal Zone Conservation Act, which resulted in the California Coastal Commission.


Farr was developing valuable experience as a staffer in the California State Legislature, but he yearned to return to Carmel and serve in local politics. That opportunity presented itself in 1975, when there was a sudden vacancy on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors which needed to be filled by an appointment from then-governor Jerry Brown. With humor and love, Sam tells the story of how he ended up (successfully) vying with his father for that appointment. The next year (1976) he ran for official election to secure that office. Farr served as a Monterey County Supervisor, representing District 5 from 1975 to 1980. As a supervisor, he helped accomplished many things, including writing the Master Plan for Big Sur; developing the Carmel Highlands Master Plan; the Pebble Beach Master Plan; and the Master Plan for the Carmel Valley. Farr also chaired the Monterey Bay regional planning body, LAFCO [Local Agency Formation Commission] and spearheaded the creation of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, leading a historic breakthrough in the regionalization of water management in California. During this period, Farr formed a powerful organizational alliance across the bay with Santa Cruz activists, including Santa Cruz County Supervisor Gary Patton, to stop oil drilling on the Central Coast. This alliance later blossomed into the groundbreaking effort to create the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.


In 1980, another chapter began when Farr was elected to the California State Assembly, representing the 27th Assembly District. While in the assembly, Farr authored the 1990 California Organic Standards Act (COFA), which established standards for organic food production and sales in California. This groundbreaking legislation became one of the models for the National Organic Program’s federal organic standards and is one of the reasons why the international organic farming movement considers Sam Farr one of its heroes. While in the assembly, Farr also wrote one of the country’s strictest oil spill liability laws and the California Ocean Resources Management Act (CORMA).


Both the Humane Society and PETA have honored Farr for his lifelong work on behalf of animal rights; while in the assembly he worked on a bill banning certain types of steel-jawed animal traps; a bill increasing state regulations on the transportation of horses to slaughterhouses; and a bill banning the purchase of dogs in California from puppy mills. During Farr’s period in the California State Assembly he also worked on issues such as banning corporal punishment in public schools; requiring the labeling of all agricultural products sold in California by their country of origin; and authorizing the installation of ignition interlock (“Breathalyzer”) devices in automobiles operated by drivers with DUI convictions. In this section of the oral history, Farr also reflects on changes during that period of California electoral politics and shares his firsthand impressions of Governors Jerry Brown, Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian, and Pete Wilson, as well as Speaker of the House Willie Brown.


An unexpected opportunity arose in 1993 when Congressmember Leon Panetta, who was representing Farr’s district in the U.S. House of Representatives, was tapped by the incoming Clinton administration to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. After days of deliberation, Farr decided to run in the special election. As state assemblymember, Farr was already deeply involved in the Fort Ord Resuse Authority (FORA), which had been targeted for closure by the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) Commission in 1991. Part of Farr’s motivation for running for Congress was that he believed that as a U.S. congressmember he would be better able to help secure a university on the site of Fort Ord. Farr would indeed be successful in this endeavor; in 1994 California State University, Monterey Bay opened on the site, an institution that is near and dear to him today.  He had other visions for Fort Ord as well, some of which were realized and some of which were not, and discusses Fort Ord extensively in this narrative.


This oral history provides a colorful, up-close, and sometimes painful view of the myriad of complex issues Congress engaged with during the twelve terms Farr served, including (but certainly not restricted to) the North American Free Trade Agreement, gay marriage, the terrorist acts of 9/11; the war in Iraq, the passage of Obamacare, immigration rights, organic farming standards, the U.S. relationship with Cuba, ongoing controversies over gun control, and ocean and land conservation.


One of Farr’s most lasting legacies will be his leadership in the area of ocean conservation. He authored many bills on behalf of ocean health, including the Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act (“OCEANS 21”) which recommended having a national policy on the oceans similar to the national policies set forth in the Clean Air Act. He shares his fond recollections of the groundbreaking White House Conference on the Oceans which took place in Monterey, California on the steps of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Farr authored the Southern Sea Otter Recovery and Research Act, to establish a program of research and other activities to aid the recovery of the southern sea otter. Through his sponsorship of the Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012, Farr created a NOAA program that uses innovative solutions to protect marine ecosystems and coastal communities from the hazards of marine debris. He introduced the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act of 2015, to establish an Ocean Acidification Advisory Board of diverse experts to analyze and help guide policy on this important ocean issue. Farr was also a founding member and chair of the House Oceans Caucus. Both the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center have honored Farr’s lifelong contributions to ocean conservation.


On shore, Farr leaves quite an extensive legacy of parks he helped establish on the Central Coast, including Pinnacles National Park, created from the former Pinnacles National Monument by legislation introduced by Farr into Congress in 2012, and signed into law by President Barack Obama in January of 2013. Someone once asked Farr what he wanted to be remembered for and he replied, “I guess, if you look at all the parks I created as a supervisor, parks I created as a state legislator, and parks I created, including a national park, as a congressman—I’m the parks guy. The John Muir of the Central Coast.”


  • 1 supplemental audio file
Cover page of Teaching Writing and Rewriting Reality: An Oral History with Scholar-Activist Yolanda Venegas

Teaching Writing and Rewriting Reality: An Oral History with Scholar-Activist Yolanda Venegas


UCSC now serves one of the largest populations of undocumented students at any college in the United States. This commitment dates back at least ten years, to the activist efforts of a group of undocumented students calling themselves Students Informing Now [SIN], who through their activism first made their challenges known to the campus community and beyond.[1] There are many staff and faculty at UCSC who were inspired by SIN and have carried on SIN’s legacy. Dr. Yolanda Venegas, lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, is one of those people.

Dr. Yolanda Venegas was born and raised in the wetlands of Tijuana, Mexico, on the U.S.-Mexico border. She earned her B.A. in Third World Studies from UC San Diego in 1992 and a PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley in 2004. After earning her PhD, Yvenegas realized that her true passion was teaching writing; hence she returned to college to earn an MA from San Francisco in Teaching Composition in 2013 and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from San Francisco State in 2012.

From 2006 to 2009, Venegas taught writing for UC Santa Cruz’s Educational Opportunity Program [EOP’s] Faculty Mentor Program. In 2010, she became EOP’s Faculty Mentor Program Director, Pre-graduate Programs Coordinator and AB540 Student Campus Resource. In that position, she developed pre-graduate programs aimed at increasing diversity in higher education. She designed, developed, and implemented an EOP Scholarship Class; the AB540 Resource Guide, the AB540 Slug website, and AB540 training agenda and presentations to educate UCSC staff and the campuswide community. Venegas has also taught and continues to teach for UCSC’s Writing Program and the Merrill College core course. The themes of her courses focus on immigration, undocumented students, Chicano/a identity, and feminism. She has also taught at UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Santa Clara University, and San Francisco State, where she developed her course Redefining America: Undocumented Students in Higher Education.


Cover page of An Act of Love: Serving Undocumented Students at UC Santa Cruz--An Oral History with EOP Director Pablo Reguerin

An Act of Love: Serving Undocumented Students at UC Santa Cruz--An Oral History with EOP Director Pablo Reguerin


Pablo Guillermo Reguerín currently serves as the Executive Director for Retention Services and Educational Opportunity Programs at UC Santa Cruz, providing leadership and oversight to a cluster of student services offices charged with retaining and graduating students with a focus on educational equity.

Since September 2009, Mr. Reguerín has led efforts to integrate student services to develop student care teams, increased case-management of vulnerable student populations and data-driven intervention programs. These efforts have resulted in Individual Success Plans for cohorts of EOP students, intensive advising services for immigrant and undocumented/AB540 students, a newly launched Textbook Lending Library for students facing financial hardship and a Laptop pilot program for students that arrive to campus without a laptop or computer. In collaboration with faculty partners and the Office of Institutional Research, Pablo has launched an evidence-based evaluation process of the retention services units through the use of logic models to further deepen the utilization of research based practices and continuous improvement.

Mr. Reguerín has worked at UCSC for over fifteen years, previously serving as the Deputy Director of the Educational Partnership Center and as a Senior Admissions Counselor with the Office of Admissions. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Cruz in Latino and Latin American Studies and his Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Educational Leadership and Administration.

UCSC now serves one of the largest populations of undocumented students at any college in the United States. This commitment dates back at least ten years, to the activist efforts of a group of undocumented students calling themselves Students Informing Now, who through their activism first made their challenges known to the campus community and beyond.[1]

EOP’s continued services are key to the retention and success of this community of students. This oral history goes to press shortly after the election of the Trump administration. It is important to note that UCSC’s dedication to serving undocumented/AB 540 students remains steadfast. Reguerín wrote the following statement which appeared on EOP’s website in November 2016:

The EOP community stands with undocumented students and marginalized communities that have been targeted and dehumanized in the political rhetoric of this election, the republican candidate and his supporters. The election outcome does not reduce our commitment or responsibility to serve undocumented students, in fact, we recommit ourselves to educational equity and social justice for all of our students and community members.

The Undocumented Student Services team and initiatives have been developed with love, compassion, expertise in student success research and student initiated projects. The outcome of the election does not impact our funding, current services, and our creativity in partnering with students to overcome the injustices they face in pursuing higher education. 


Opportunity and equity programs like EOP are born out of the struggle for social change--we stand on the shoulders of all those that struggled in the civil rights movement. We embrace our roots as we continue our service and support to the undocumented student community. Please join us in supporting our students and standing in solidarity with undocumented students.