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Santa Cruz: Historical Overview

Campus Planning
The need for another general campus of the University in northern California was first indicated publicly in 1957. The "South Central Coast" counties were designated as the appropriate region and were approved by the Regents in October, 1957. In March, 1961, the 2,000-acre Cowell Ranch site overlooking Monterey Bay was chosen. The following July, Dean E. McHenry was appointed chancellor and the campus received a general allocation of functions in the University-wide academic plan.

In February, 1962, a physical master planning design team, headed by John Carl Warnecke, architect, and Thomas D. Church, landscape architect, was selected. The resulting long range development plan was accepted by the Regents in September, 1963.

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Academic Planning
During 1961-62, substantial agreement was reached between University-wide and campus administrations on several major academic features, including the following emphases: (1) The "college" as the basic unit of planning and of student and faculty identification; (2) initial concentration on undergraduate liberal arts education; (3) the residential nature of the campus; (4) early distinction in the arts and sciences: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; (5) a restricted curriculum, designed mainly to serve students' needs rather than reflect faculty interests; (6) stress on tutorials, seminars, and independent study; (7) a sports program on an intramural basis.

In July, 1962, offices for the chancellor, University librarian, and planning cadre were opened in Santa Cruz. During 1963-64, the provost of Cowell College and the business and finance officer were appointed, detailed curricular plans were proposed, and substantial progress was made toward assembling the initial faculty. By mid-1964, construction was underway or about to be on buildings sufficient for instruction of the first class in fall, 1965. In June, 1964, the Regents amended their standing orders to establish the Graduate Division at Santa Cruz, with M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, and Cowell College, with B.S. and A.B. degrees.

Chief architect of the Santa Cruz concept for a "collegiate" university was Chancellor McHenry. McHenry's concept for Santa Cruz was a synthesis of the best of a small college and the best of a large university--all within the framework and strength of a great state university system.

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The Colleges
With the acceptance of the first class of 654 students in the fall, 1965, Santa Cruz consisted of a single liberal arts coeducational college, Cowell College. Administrators in the mid-1960's expected that by 1995, Santa Cruz would grow into a collegiate university of 25,000 or more. It was expected to grow as a cluster of small colleges on a single campus, adding one college almost every year until there were 20, averaging about 600 members each. Each would be a liberal arts college, but each would approach a liberal arts education from a different perspective. Cowell emphasized the humanities. Adlai E. Stevenson College (1966) would emphasize the modern social sciences. Crown College (1967; named for the Crown Zellerbach Foundation) would be centered in the natural sciences and mathematics. Subsequent colleges would emphasize languages and literatures, the arts, and so on.

Each would be headed by a provost. Campus-wide guidelines would specify broad fields to be covered for the A.B. degree, but each college would determine how best to implement them in keeping with its identity and personality.

Early concentration was on high quality undergraduate education. In the fall of 1966, Santa Cruz planned to begin to launch the additional enterprises of a general university: graduate instruction, professional schools, and research institutions. Early professional schools were planned to be engineering (1967), natural resources (1968), business (1970), and landscape architecture (1972). The Lick Observatory, transferred to Santa Cruz administration in 1965, offered graduate instruction and astronomical research.

Within the University at Santa Cruz, each college would be a relatively self-contained, semi-autonomous educational entity, with its own residence halls, classrooms, dining hall large enough to accommodate all-college gatherings, a student center, a library-reading lounge, and faculty studies. Each college would provide quarters within the college compound for its provost and his family, apartments for 12 or so of its faculty fellows and preceptors, and guest suites for visiting scholars, lecturers, and distinguished visitors. Social and athletic events also would center in the colleges.

Thus, each individual college would try to meet its students' needs for identity and sense of belonging. Teaching and intellectual stimulation would be major faculty concerns, implemented by small classes, close instruction, and continuing student-faculty dialogue over the dinner table and elsewhere.

In these respects, Santa Cruz would retain and strengthen the best features of the small liberal arts college, but with an important difference--these small residential colleges would be clustered within the leavening and broadening influence of a large university. Interchange between the colleges, great scholars, excellent libraries and laboratories, and superior cultural events would provide a cosmopolitan setting to counterbalance the parochialism which tends to develop in small communities.

College membership assignments were expected to be made by a faculty committee representing all colleges. The choice of college would not preselect the major or field of specialization. Any student in any college would be able major in any discipline he wished. To encourage the stimulation that results from exchanging different points of view, not more than half the membership would major in the area of emphasis of their own college. Students in each college would have access to the offerings in every other and in the central campus for those subjects requiring facilities not available in a college--a laboratory course in biology, for example. Each college would have its own student government.

A faculty member would come to Santa Cruz with the understanding that at least 50 per cent of their time would be devoted to teaching. Their appointment would be joint--within a discipline and as a fellow of a particular college. Their salary would come in part from the budget of his college. They would responsible to his provost as well as to the dean of his division.

Financing UC Santa Cruz
For each college, the basic essentials of classroom, dormitory, and dining facilities came from state appropriations and either federal loans or revenue bond issues. Together they covered about 80 per cent of the construction cost of a college. State funds and other current income provided staffing and the operating and maintenance costs.

The additional 20 per cent that came from private sources covered those augmenting facilities, such as quarters for the provost, for faculty fellows and preceptors, a conference and common room, and a library-reading room with a starting cllection of books. The augmenting facilities for Cowell College were provided by the generosity of the H. S. Cowell Foundation, which furnished $925,000 toward the total construction cost of the college.


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