University of California: Universitywide and Affiliated
Hastings College of
Humanities Research Institute
College of Law
Hastings College of the Law, created in affiliation with the University
of California and as the law department thereof, but controlled
by an independent board of directors, has been called a "highly
anomalous institution" in respect to its organization. Founded
in the tenth year of the University's existence by Serranus Clinton
Hastings, California's first chief justice, it is the oldest law
school in the west.
Provision for the establishment of a law college had been made
in the University's ORGANIC ACT, but more pressing needs and shortage
of funds delayed such action until Judge Hastings proposed to make
a gift to the state for that purpose if appropriate terms for the
donation could be met. In accordance with this proposal, an act
providing for establishment of Hastings College of the Law was passed
on condition that Judge Hastings pay $100,000 into the state treasury,
on which amount the state should appropriate the sum of seven per
cent per annum, to be paid to the college directors semiannually.
This legislation, approved March 26, 1878, provided that the college
should "affiliate with the University of the State, upon such
terms as shall be for the welfare of the College and University,
and shall be the Law Department of the University."
By the terms of the act, all business of the college should be
managed by a self-perpetuating board of directors, presided over
by the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. The dean of
the college should be an ex officio member of the University faculty,
and that faculty should grant diplomas, signed and issued by the
University President, to qualified students of the college.
Judge Hastings proceeded to found and establish the college in
accordance with the provisions of the statute, and the affiliation
was formally announced at the University Commencement, June 5, 1878.
Although its founder clearly intended that the principal home of
the college would ultimately be established at Berkeley, with auxiliary
classes conducted in San Francisco, the college has never been other
than a wholly San Francisco-located institution.
Classes in the college commenced in San Francisco's Pioneer Hall,
August 12, 1878, with an enrollment of 66 students. Judge Hastings
had been appointed first dean, and John Norton Pomeroy, then preparing
his great work, Equity Jurisprudence, had accepted the position
of professor of municipal law. A three-year course of instruction
was instituted, with Pomeroy carrying the principal burden of teaching
during the college's early years.
It was soon determined by court litigation that females had equal
right to enroll in the college in accordance with University practice.
The legality of the college's foundation in affiliation with the
University was also confirmed in two subsequent decisions. The first
of these held unconstitutional legislation attempting to transfer
control of the college to the University Regents; the second rejected
a collateral attack made on the validity of the University of California
degree awarded to Hastings' graduates.
In 1879, the college moved to the Academy of Sciences, beginning
what has been called the "Odyssey of Hastings." For by
1953, when the college moved into its own modern plant at Hyde and
McAllister Streets in San Francisco, it had changed locations 15
times without acquiring a permanent home.
From its earliest years the college has been favored with capable
administrators. After a period of transition following Judge Hastings'
resignation as dean and Pomeroy's death, the Honorable Elisha W.
McKinistry, who resigned from the California Supreme Court to accept
the appointment, assumed the principal professorship. Robert P.
Hastings, son of the founder, served as dean, and upon his death
in 1891, C. F. Dio Hastings, another son of Judge Hastings, was
appointed dean and served until 1894.
From 1894 until 1899, Judge Charles W. Slack, a member of the second
graduating class, acted as professor of municipal law and dean.
Following his retirement in 1899, Edward Robeson Taylor became professor
of law and dean and served in this capacity for 20 years, seeing
the college through the earthquake and fire of 1906 and nine changes
in location. He was succeeded by Maurice E. Harrison, who served
until 1925. William M. Simmons became dean in 1925, and served until
his death in 1940, when David E. Snodgrass was appointed to the
office. Under Dean Snodgrass' administration the now-famed "Sixty-Five
Club" came into existence. Outstanding legal scholars, having
reached the age of compulsory retirement from other law school faculties,
have been invited to continue their work at Hastings College of
the Law. This innovation in legal education has enabled the college
to maintain its strong law faculty.
Hastings recently completed a renovation of the main classroom
building. It now rests in the heart of San Francisco, a modern,
metropolitan campus with state-of-the-art teaching and research
The University of California Humanities Initiative (UCHI) came into
the university system in 1987 through a decision by President David
Gardner. The initiative, funded entirely by the university, was
able to support the Humanities Research Institute on the Irvine
campus, the President's Research Fellowships in the Humanities for
faculty research, graduate student fellowships, and Centers for
the Humanities at each UC campus.
The initiative's support of humanities in the UC system was vital.
In times of reduced federal funding, the UCHI allowed humanities
research to maintain a high level of excellence. 33 graduate programs
in the humanities even received ranks of 20 or higher in their particular
disciplines from the National Research Council. 17 of these programs
ranked within the top ten of their categories. source
University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) is
a Multicampus Research Unit (MRU) for the University of California
that coordinates research in the humanities. It began in 1988, and
over the course of six years, saw 45 project teams and 500 scholars
representing over 60 disciplines.
The UCHRI is headquartered on the UC Irvine campus. UCHRI hosts
conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, colloquia, and joint
projects with other institutions in addition to housing residential
research groups and fellowships. source