Fiat Lux Redux: Ansel Adams and Clark Kerr

His “Final Examination”: The Regents Dismiss President Kerr

Prepared for the San Francisco Chronicle of December 2, 1966; note on the reverse indicates it was never published.

 

In his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, Ronald Reagan’s platform included a vow to “clean up the mess in Berkeley,” a promise he fulfilled by leading the Regents to dismiss Kerr soon after the governor’s inauguration. Reagan prepared for the showdown by requesting FBI intelligence on Kerr, the regents, and protesters at the university.  The FBI assured Reagan that communist “subversives” had been involved with the Free Speech Movement and its aftermath.

“One for the Gipper!”

“One for the Gipper!”

From Kerr’s memoirs: 

 

The chairman announced, ‘Clark Kerr has been dismissed as president of the university effective immediately.’ …. What surprised me was the word ‘immediately.’ This was like a whip across my face…. I though I was to be given until the end of the meeting to complete the agenda and to say a short goodbye.”

 

The Gold and the Blue by Clark Kerr

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003 (v.2)

Regents Meeting of January 20, 1967

Regents Meeting of January 20, 1967