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Chapter 11: Growth of the Campuses
In 1923 the University of California, with 14,061 full-time students, led the universities of the United States and the world in enrollment. By the end of the 1920s it had conferred more than 40,000 degrees. Its alumni included four Governors of California and several United States senators and congressmen. Other graduates were occupying positions of responsibility in all avenues of life and in many parts of the world.
Westward migration was swelling the population of California and the University was hard-pressed to grow quickly enough. Primarily because of rapid development of the Southern Branch, Professor David Prescott Barrows of the Department of Political Science, who succeeded President Wheeler, signaled his induction into office by presenting the University with its First red-ink budget—red ink to the extent of half a million dollars.
The reaction from the Regents was, "It doesn't seem to be enough." Thereupon, President Barrows increased the deficit to $670,000 and received the Board's approval. An initiative measure that would have provided an income from the state of more than four million dollars was submitted to the voters in 1920. Although failing to pass by a narrow margin, it paved the way for financial subsidy by legislative act a few months later.
The geographic size and shape of the state and the growth pattern of its cities created a need not only for a large campus at Los Angeles, but also for smaller ones to serve other regions. For these new campuses, there would not be the protracted growing pains that had accompanied the development of Berkeley. The need was better established in the public mind. Legislatures were generous in their support; alumni and other citizens gave liberally of the extras that made the difference between the merely adequate and the exceptional.
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Last updated 09/29/05.