Public Higher Education in California

Public Higher Education in California

Public Higher Education in California

Public Higher Education in California

Excerpt

This book is the first published product of the Western Center of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Its subject -- public higher education in California -- is singularly appropriate as an inaugural of the publications of the Western Center. It is often said that new tendencies in American culture -- indeed in advanced industrial culture -- have a way of first breaking the surface in California. Public higher education reached its fullest development in the California of the early 1960s, and in the years that followed went into dramatic disarray in ways that were soon repeated all over the United States and in Western Europe. Thus this book has both a regional and a general import. It contains analyses of problems of public higher education in California which have implications for both public and private higher education in the United States and in other advanced industrial societies. The papers do not deal in any direct sense with the "great disturbances" of 1964 to 1969. But the undertaking as a whole is related to these events. Crises often reveal cleavages, weak points in the structure of authority, value conflicts, and ambiguities. The pride, enthusiasm, and perhaps complacency that accompanied the adoption of the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960 have given way to the more sober analysis and evaluation reflected in these papers. Some of the weaknesses in the system were brought to light in the confrontations and riots of 1964 to 1969. The Smelser monograph helps explain the kinds of grievances and alienations which had developed and their location among the various institutions and strata of the California system of higher education -- grievances which weakened institutional solidarity and legitimacy and fueled the fires of antiwar and ethnic protest.

The central thesis of Smelser's monograph is that rapid . . .

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