UCOP > A Brief History of the University of California > The University Builders >

President Wheeler

The Faculty Revolution

Growth of the Campuses

The Modern University

President Sproul

The Loyalty Oath

Progress and Problems

The Chancellorship

The Multiversity

Achievements of the 1960s


Chapter 18: Achievements of the 1960s

By 1960, the nation's foremost example of the multiversity included seven campuses and research stations up and down the state—the "thousand-mile university" as it was sometimes called. The whole enterprise cost $360 million a year to run, and the cost—like enrollment and everything else—was skyrocketing. As a complement to sheer size, however, the University now offered an enviable diversity of academic and cultural fare and opportunities for scientific and scholarly activity that could be matched by few other institutions.

In 1961 the Regents adopted a University Academic Plan outlining the needs of the future and emphasizing the theme of unity with diversity. There would be established in the next few years a new law school at Davis, engineering programs at Davis and Santa Barbara, medical schools at San Diego, Irvine, and Davis, a school of architecture at Los Angeles, and expanded health-sciences enrollments at both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

New general campuses at San Diego, Irvine, and Santa Cruz offered University planners a rare opportunity for innovation and experiment. As the first campuses to be designed from the start with a view to eventual high enrollments, they were encouraged to evolve along lines that would foster individuality yet at the same time meet the University's traditional standards of excellence.

Both San Diego and Santa Cruz adopted "cluster college" plans, a concept that would help reduce the feeling of institutional bigness while making the undergraduate educational experience more meaningful. Irvine, located in the most rapidly growing county in California, would emphasize the relation of campus to environment by offering strong programs in urban planning and environmental design.

In the first half-dozen years of President Kerr's administration, the knowledge explosion and society's efforts to keep abreast of it demanded more kinds of classes at higher instructional levels and a constantly growing range of research.

Ten new schools or colleges were created, along with eighty new programs leading to master's degrees and sixty-eight to the doctorate. Many of these advanced programs were established at Davis, Riverside, and Santa Barbara, and several were instituted at San Diego.

The Regents approved an important long-range plan guaranteeing access to outstanding research libraries for the new and smaller campuses. Berkeley and Los Angeles continued to develop their collections as primary research sources, while their card catalogs were given universitywide distribution.

This plan encouraged the smaller campuses, in addition to building up their basic libraries, to acquire collections unique within the University. Substantial economies were achieved by having the San Diego campus buy and catalog books, not only for its own new undergraduate library but, simultaneously, for those of Santa Cruz and Irvine.

Between 1958 and 1964, the University's instructional staff increased from 4,125 to 5,963; by 1970, it was 10,000. Every campus now claimed its share of luminaries. Both faculty and students were reflecting credit on their institution with a growing roster of honors.

The faculty included 15 Nobel Laureates, 121 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 150 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, UC faculty members received a record 618 Guggenheim Fellowships between 1964 and 1970. Students ranked high in Woodrow Wilson and National Science Foundation Fellowships and in Fulbright Awards for study abroad.

Meanwhile, scholars were finding new opportunities for the development of special interests in the humanities. A universitywide Institute of Creative Arts was established, enabling a number of faculty members to devote substantial periods of time to creative activity.

Students were taking advantage of an opportunity rare in public higher education provided by an Education Abroad Program. The first overseas center was set up at the University of Bordeaux in 1962 and included 80 students. Today 3,600 UC students study at 141 institutions in 35 countries under the auspices of the program. Another estimated 2,300 UC students study abroad through other programs every year.

In the early 1960s, the Regents created a special scholarship program for outstanding students needing financial aid, and made available a number of tuition scholarships for exceptional students from other countries, thus supplementing programs that had been supported for many years by alumni and the state. The Regents also provided funds for the Educational Opportunity Program, established in 1964, to encourage enrollment of low-income and ethnic minority students—one of the earliest efforts of its kind in the nation.

During this period, the University accelerated and broadened its services to the people and government of California. Special institutes of governmental and public affairs at Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Davis were conducting research on metropolitan, state, and regional problems. University scientists continued to work toward solutions to such problems as smog control, water conservation and the desalinization of sea water, traffic and airport safety, sewage disposal, forestry conservation, and the assurance of adequate food for a growing population.

The demand for "lifelong learning" was reflected in the expansion of offerings by University Extension. A high proportion of the state's lawyers, dentists, and doctors were availing themselves of programs offered by Continuing Education of the Bar and Continuing Education in Medicine and the Health Sciences. Engineers, scientists, teachers, and business people—the majority holding at least one degree, and many with a master's or a doctorate—were returning to the classroom at intervals throughout their careers. Today University Extension serves 500,000 students a year.

Few California homes, professions, industries, farms, or human lives were not in some way served by the University. Though an institution still less than a century old, its impact upon society had become immense.



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The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 09/29/05.