Post-1960 Studies: 1960-1987

There have been four major post-1960 reviews of the Master Plan. Each have resulted in modifications to California's higher education system. Yet there are have been few major structural changes with the exception of the establishment in 1968 of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the creation in 1974 of the California Postsecondary Education Commission to replace the Coordinating Council for Higher Education.

The Master Plan Five Years Later (Coordinating Council for Higher Education, 1966) [HTML]

The Coordinating Council for Higher Education, itself created by the 1960 Master Plan, undertook the first "review" of the Master Plan in 1965-66. This report lists each recommendation in the 1960 plan, the status of its implementation, and staff comments on those recommendations not yet implemented. While not a comprehensive review, this report is very useful because it succinctly describes which elements were considered essential and which elements were modified at this early stage in the life of the Master Plan for Higher Education.

-- TJG

The California Master Plan for Higher Education in the Seventies and Beyond, 1972 [HTML]

Report of the Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education, 1973 [HTML or PDF]

Between 1966 and 1970, there were a number of proposals for review of the Master Plan. The Coordinating Council for Higher Education carried out a number of topical studies that were to become the basis for a comprehensive review of the Master Plan. This comprehensive review wound up being two simultaneous reviews - one by a Select Committee appointed by the Coordinating Council on Higher Education and another by the Legislature's Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education. The 17-member Select Committee, chaired by Joseph B. Platt, undertook a study beginning in June 1971 and completed its report in November 1972. The Joint Committee, chaired by Assemblyman John Vasconcellos and co-chaired by Senator Howard Way, did its work beginning in March 1971 and transmitted its report to the Legislature in September 1973. Patrick Callan was the lead consultant to the Joint Committee.

These two reports have numerous recommendations. The Joint Committee report includes four separate dissenting opinions by committee members. The major changes to the Master Plan that were implemented in the wake of these reports were (1) the reconstitution of the Coordinating Council on Higher Education as a new California Postsecondary Education Commission, with a majority of publicly appointed members and strengthened authority for planning (2) changes in the composition and length of terms of the members of the governing boards. In addition, these reports focused heavily on issues of ethnic, gender and economic diversity. The reports sought to ensure access for all eligible students but also to expand the use of "non-traditional" criteria for admitting larger proportions of the student body. The Joint Committee report set as a goal that each higher education segment to "strive to approximate by 1980 the general ethnic, sexual and economic composition of the recent California high school graduates."

-- TJG

By the mid-1980s, the Legislature decided it should adhere to its recommendation in the 1973 Joint Committee report that it conduct a review of the Master Plan for Higher Education every 10 years. The Legislature created a dual-track review process, establishing both a "blue-ribbon" lay commission with staff to prepare background papers and make recommendations and a Joint Legislative Committee that would then consider the work of the commission and make its own recommendations. It directed the commission to focus on an assessment of the community colleges as its first priority.

The Challenge of Change: A Reassessment of the California Community Colleges (Commission for the Review of the Master Plan), March 1986. [HTML]

This first report of the commission included 68 recommendations for community college improvement including recommendations relating to mission and governance. It sought to (1) ensure that student success be strengthened in the open access community colleges by requiring a mandatory set of "assessment, counseling, and placement activities" for each student matriculating into the community colleges (2) strengthen the Board of Governors and the transfer function, and (3) move the community colleges toward a higher education model of financing.

-- TJG

The Master Plan Renewed: Unity, Equity, Quality, and Efficiency in California Postsecondary Education, 1987 [HTML or PDF]

California Faces . . . California's Future: Education for Citizenship in a Multicultural Democracy (Joint Committee for Review of The Master Plan for Higher Education, 1989) [HTML]

Consistent with the focus of the review on the community colleges, the Commission's 1987 report and the Joint Committee's 1989 report emphasized transfer from the community colleges to the four-year segments. All the segments as well as the Governor and Legislature were to recognize the transfer as a "central institutional priority" of the segments. These reports also explicitly called for students who had obtained eligibility as either a freshman or a transfer student to be guaranteed a place within either UC or CSU. This concept was dubbed "dual entitlement." There was also emphasis on ensuring that UC return to the Master Plan ratio of 40 percent lower division and 60 percent upper division to ensure adequate spaces for community college transfer students-by taking more transfer students rather than turning away or redirecting freshmen applicants. However, there was much discussion about how to provide incentives for students to undertake their first two years in the community colleges. This Master Plan review also formally recognized the California Education Round Table, a voluntary body of the segmental leaders, as a mechanism for improving collaboration among the segment and between K-12 and higher education.

Both reports emphasized the need to take additional steps to ensure "educational equity"-primarily defined as ensuring greater representation for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in both the student bodies and the faculties of the higher education institutions. Both reports were lengthy (33 and 57 recommendations, respectively) and contained numerous recommendations on issues such as access for part-time and older students, adequacy and distribution of funding, financial aid, and quality of undergraduate education.

-- TJG

Master Plan in Higher Education in Focus, "Draft Report" (Assembly Committee on Higher Education, April 1993) [HTML]

Legislative action seeking to implement aspects of the 1989 Joint Committee report continued through the end of 1991. However, the onset of a severe recession in the early 1990s led to serious budget cuts for higher education and there was concern that the Master Plan for Higher Education was at risk. Assembly Member Marguerite Archie-Hudson, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, called in January 1993 for a reassessment of the Master Plan in light of the state's fiscal crisis. The Senate did not participate and the Assembly Committee on Higher Education rather than a joint committee conducted this "reassessment." The committee held a concentrated series of hearings and committee consultant Christopher Cabaldon produced this "draft report" entitled The Master Plan for Higher Education in Focus in April 1993. The committee held a hearing with the "founders" of the Master Plan (Clark Kerr, Charles Young, Dean McHenry, Dorothy Knoell, John Smart). At that hearing, Kerr proposed that the committee suspend its process until the segments themselves could organize a study of higher education. A final report was never adopted.\

That led to the study of higher education in California conducted by the RAND Corporation on behalf of the California Education Round Table. At the same time, the California Citizens Commission on Higher Education was created to pursue a similar study. Both of those studies can be found at:

-- TJG

The California Master Plan for Education (California State Senate Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education, 2002) [HTML]