UC SANTA CRUZ: THE ANOMALOUS CAMPUS
The University of California at Santa Cruz was conceived as an alternative to the UC mold, the Berkeley model. Unfortunately, no one was willing to pay for it.
And in the critical moments of its early years, it was triply betrayed, initially by the critically flawed logic of its founders and subsequently by the university administration that had created it and the community that had solicited and welcomed it. Both latter betrayals reflected the cold-blooded consequence of political change in public institutions in which officials assume no responsibility for the pledges and plans of their predecessors.
Within the UC system of campuses, Berkeley and UCLA had been the paradigms. Large—with thirty thousand students each—impersonal, emphasizing professional schools and research institutes, and boasting intense semiprofessional athletic programs, they were by their own standards highly successful. But for many undergraduates these campuses engendered feelings of alienation, a loss of individuality, a sense that they were ignored in favor of more advanced training and research.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, under the aegis of the California master plan for higher education, the University of California initiated the development of three new campuses, two in the southern part of the state (now UC Irvine and UC San Diego) and one near the San Francisco Bay area (now UC Santa Cruz), the last intended in part to relieve enrollment pressure on Berkeley. In what Peter Hall in his 1982
book Great Planning Disasters calls a "near disaster," these campuses were launched under the assumption that UC enrollment would increase by 135 percent between 1960 and 1975 and continue to rise thereafter. However, demography failed. The birth rate fell markedly throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Net migration into California in the early 1970s was one tenth the rate of the 1960s. Projected forward, these statistics predicted a decline in university enrollments in the 1980s.
At the same time, in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, the university experienced grievous fiscal problems. Costs continued to rise, but the student radicalism of the period, particularly at Berkeley, destroyed the university's prestige and alienated legislative and public support. Governor Reagan, after his election in 1966, immediately led the board of regents to fire President Clark Kerr and, subsequently, repeatedly reduced the university budget. His successor, Jerry Brown, who seemed to have a personal vendetta against the university, was little better. To quote Peter Hall: "Thus from 1969 onwards, campus planning was dominated by extreme caution. The main reason for this was the hard facts of demography, but undoubtedly the bleak story of finance came into it, and reinforcing that the loss of the University administrators' self-confidence."
In this climate, the newly launched campuses suffered, and UCSC the most grievously. UC Irvine consciously set out to become another Berkeley. UC San Diego set out to become a powerful research and graduate-oriented institution, focused especially on the natural sciences, as much like Caltech as possible in a public university. But Santa Cruz was set on a different path.
Clark Kerr had been a student at Swarthmore in the early years of Frank Aydelotte's presidency there and acquired a high regard for the worth of the education that can be provided by a small liberal arts college. He was also aware of the limitations of such institutions, particularly with respect to the scholarly facilities available in the large universities—the libraries, science laboratories, arts studios, concert halls, computers, and so on. Kerr and Dean McHenry, a former graduate school classmate at UCLA who became the founding chancellor at UC Santa Cruz, were also concerned by the increasing emphasis on departmental structure and prestige at the large campuses. This led to the fragmentation of knowledge, the inability to fashion a coherent curriculum, and an increase in professionalism and focus on research (as contrasted to teaching) within each department In addition, Kerr recog-
nized that large, impersonal campuses such as Berkeley engendered in many undergraduates a dislike for what they came to perceive as a repressive administrative bureaucracy rather than a partner in learning.
To counter these tendencies, Kerr and McHenry conceived of a different UC campus. In its design, they borrowed from a number of more-or-less distinctive ideas floating about in U.S. higher education as well as from some of the aura of Cambridge and Oxford. They conceived of the campus as a cluster of small (about 750 students) undergraduate, residential liberal arts colleges. Since the ultimate enrollment was to be 27,500 students, one plan called for twenty-three such colleges, together with graduate and professional schools. As the concept envisioned mostly small classes, most classrooms were to be located within the colleges. To ensure close faculty interaction with the students, most faculty offices (save for the science faculty) would be in the colleges as well. Indeed, it was hoped that some junior faculty would live in each college, as well as the college head, the provost. As a public university, students could not be required to live in a college, but it was expected that the great majority would choose to do so.
It is not clear that Clark Kerr's vision extended beyond a literal conglomerate of Swarthmores (as he remembered it) sharing such common facilities as a library, athletic fields, and financial record keeping. It was not even clear initially whether the shared facilities were to extend to science laboratories or art studios, although inevitably for fiscal reasons these were centralized. It seems odd that Kerr did not recognize the salient and critical distinctions between a Swarthmore and a UC campus. Swarthmore provided a student/faculty ratio of 9/1; for a UC campus today the ratio is closer to 20/1. Also, the systemwide standards and criteria for selection and advancement of faculty at a research university such as UC are necessarily quite different from those appropriate to a Swarthmore.
When Dean McHenry approached Kenneth Thimann—a distinguished botanist at Harvard who had been quite active in the Harvard residential house system—to help launch the science program at UCSC and to become the founding provost of the third college, McHenry suggested that the science faculty should exclusively teach during the academic year and only undertake research during the summer! Thimann (and others, notably Francis Clauser) pointed out that this was a completely impractical way to do research and that the campus could never attract good scientists with such a program. Then McHenry wanted to begin the campus without any graduate students, at least for
some years. Again, Thimann and others had to explain that science faculty expected to work with graduate students in their laboratories and that recruitment of good faculty would be impossible without provision for these. It is remarkable that McHenry, a senior university administrator, could have been so näive about the needs of scientists.
Even more curious, Kerr seems to have overlooked the obvious fact that the more he emphasized undergraduate education at Santa Cruz, the more he would blur the critical distinction of the California master plan for higher education, which reserved doctorate and professional education to UC and made UC the research arm of the state, while expecting the California State University system to provide the bulk of four-year undergraduate education. Even worse, in accord with the master plan and deeply embedded in the UC psyche is the notion that the CSU colleges have an interior role in the educational hierarchy. For a UC campus to emulate that role inevitably gave that campus an inferior status within the UC system, long dominated by Berkeley and UCLA alumni. And legislators would look askance at a UC campus performing a function similar to that of a CSU campus but at much higher cost per student.
All of these inherent contradictions came to pass and together with the grim external pressures enmeshed the campus in a strangling coil.
The choice of a site for the new campus reflected the romantic—or as Dean Tschirgl of Berkeley called it, the "nostalgic"—vision embodied in its plan. After extensive review, two sites were in contention: one in the Almaden Valley just south of San Jose, the other on the Cowell Ranch in the redwoods just outside of Santa Cruz, overlooking Monterey Bay. Both communities eagerly sought the new campus. After a visit to both sites on a warm summer day, the regents, taken by its beauty and perhaps its romantic ivory-tower isolation, chose Santa Cruz.
It is of interest that Governor "Pat" Brown favored Almaden. He believed it important that a university be in an urban center for student access, for campus access to external sources of support, and for access to cooperative endeavors in the sciences and the arts. Additionally, in this age of two-career families, an urban locale provided much greater opportunity to satisfy both career needs and thereby facilitated faculty recruitment. The governor was correct.
In fairness, I should note that the Cowell Ranch property could be purchased in one transaction at a favorable price from the Cowell Foundation, a frequent donor to UC, while the Almaden property would
have involved some seventy parcels and required complex negotiations. Also, early concepts of the Santa Cruz campus envisioned a significant community developing around it and along the adjacent coast. This vision did not anticipate the rise of the local "no-growth" movement.
UCSC opened with one college (Cowell) in 1965 and added a college a year for the next six years. In the mid-1960s, the collegiate concept proved very popular with potential UC students. In addition, the disturbances at Berkeley led many parents to steer their children elsewhere. Santa Cruz was still "in the neighborhood." And so for a few years, entering Santa Cruz freshman had the highest SAT scores of those at any UC campus.
Starting such a new and different campus is a heady, once-in-a-lifetime venture and the first faculty and administrators poured their energies into its establishment—at the cost, sometimes unrecognized, of their scholarship. Because faculty had to be recruited before the students could be admitted, the campus started off with a student/faculty ratio of 10/1. With this richness and intense faculty involvement, the vision of small classes and close student/faculty interaction could be realized—for a time.
Without much UC precedent, the organization of the colleges had to be invented by "doing," by trial and error. It is significant that three of the leading figures during the establishment of the early colleges had had experience at Oxford or Cambridge and used these as models, without much thought of the difficulty, of transplanting five-hundred-year-old British traditions to the effervescent environment of California. The English concept of faculty living and eating in close attachment with their colleges soon faded before the more American attachment to family, especially in a small-town environment. Moreover, with the establishment of collegiate organizations and the accompanying staff to provide students with personal attention and services such as housing coordinators, activities directors, psychological counselors, and so on, it became apparent that these liberal arts niceties were costly. And whereas at Oxford and Cambridge the colleges had their own substantial endowments, at Santa Cruz they did not The funds had to come from the campus's educational allotment from the central UC administration. Essentially formulaic, this took no account of the special requirements inherent in the Santa Cruz design.
As the campus grew, the student/faculty ratio steadily rose toward the UC norm, which in turn, given the hard fiscal times, was also steadily rising.
As soon as there was more than one college, some structure was needed to coordinate the curricular offerings within the various disciplines. Antipathetic to departmental structures and disciplinary boundaries, Dean McHenry named the disciplinary units "boards of study," not "departments." Since the campus was planned to grow to 27,500 students, with fifteen hundred or more faculty members, no need was felt to concentrate faculty in certain disciplines or subdisciplines to create centers of strength. To the contrary, some twenty-three boards of study were established, all thinly staffed and each diverse. Because no thought was given to the possibility of arrested growth, the faculty was stretched very thinly.
Conceptually, the boards of study were to be merely coordinating bodies. But, inevitably, the demands of disciplinary education and the need for provision of an appropriate range and depth of courses within each field began to be felt. Although a faculty member nominally held a 50 percent appointment in a board and a 50 percent appointment in a college, educational control gradually but inexorably shifted to the boards. Disciplinary pressures increased within the boards and courses given by faculty within the colleges became for the most part increasingly peripheral and "Mickey Mouse," and their requirement increasingly resented by many faculty members. And, inevitably, since the boards and colleges competed for the same always inadequate pool of funds, the tension between these two organizational sets, with their nearly orthogonal missions, increased.
In theory, the campus was a matrix or two-dimensional structure. Such organizations can work well in large hierarchical enterprises with an externally imposed mission. Thus, in the Radiation Laboratory at MIT, the operational divisions of land, sea, and airborne radar could call on the expertise of the component divisions that designed transmitters, receivers, antennas, display units, and so on. Similarly, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Caltech, the mission-oriented groups (e.g., Mariner, Voyager) could call on the technique-focused groups for design and operational help. It is not at all evident, however, that such a matrix organization can generate its own missions, particularly within the democratic ethos of academia.
The college-board structure was supposed to produce "creative tension"; instead it produced deadlock. This became particularly manifest in the recruitment and promotion of faculty.
Each college sought to have a broad "theme" to make it distinctive from the others, but one that could encompass a wide spectrum of
faculty and be compatible with a "liberal arts" orientation. Cowell, the first, chose humanities and Western civilization; Stevenson, the second (named for Adlai Stevenson), chose the social sciences, with a focus of political science. Crown, under Kenneth Thimann, then chose the natural sciences. After these, choices were harder. Merrill vacillated between international affairs and Third World problems. Porter, the fifth, became the fine arts college.
Kresge, the sixth, began as the physical sciences college, then switched to ecology. Its first provost, Robert Edgar, a distinguished geneticist from Caltech, became enamored of the burgeoning "sensitivity" movement of the time and sought to build a college based on the principles of "sensitivity training" and "T groups." The idea seemed to be that if all of the participants in the college could be sensitized to each other's needs, backgrounds, and aspirations, then, being of good will, they could evolve programs and curricula to help each other learn and grow. As might have been expected, the implementation of such a concept involved endless discussions and wrangling, and failure to achieve consensus in the end produced paralysis. Kresge College became notorious for its feeble academics and rather libertine lifestyle and its sorry reputation pulled down that of the entire campus. Edgar resigned leaving the college in a state of stagnation.
The seventh college, Oakes, was dominated by Herman Blake, a charismatic black sociologist who sought to make it a port of entry for minority students into higher education. By providing special tutoring services, funded with external grants, for minority freshmen and sophomores, who often came with inferior high school backgrounds, he sought to "bring them up to speed" so that they would be ready for the regular academic program in the junior year. This program was imaginative and, in good degree, successful, but it had the unfortunate effect of creating a minority "ghetto" at Oakes to which most of the minority students then gravitated, even if they were initially assigned to other colleges.
College Eight, as it was called, although established in 1973, had no buildings until 1989 and was thus a commuter college. Its theme was environmental studies.
With their "themes," the colleges had their own recruitment agendas. But each faculty appointment had to be in a board as well, which had its recruitment agenda. Frequently, these requirements were in conflict, for which there were three possible solutions. In times of rapid growth, two appointments could be made available, one to satisfy each
agenda. As growth slowed, this option became unavailable. Or sometimes the board's first choice and the college's first choice could be bypassed in favor of a second-choice candidate, probably inferior to either first choice but more broadly acceptable. Peace was preserved, but at a price. Or, finally, the issue could be passed up to the central campus administration for resolution, which left one side happy and the other bitter.
Faculty promotions and particularly tenure reviews brought these conflicts to a head. The boards and the colleges simply had different missions and correspondingly different criteria. The board valued scholarship, research, and professional teaching and was generally in accord with the systemwide UC standards. The college valued service in the college, counseling and working with students, teaching in interdisciplinary college courses, and participation in "college building" (especially in the early years). The college functioned more like a club. Junior faculty, who often had been encouraged to devote their energies to collegiate affairs at the expense of their research and scholarship, now found themselves caught.
Tenure decisions for a member of the faculty were made in both one's board and one's college. Understandably, these frequently diverged. Indeed, individual senior faculty, members of both the board and the particular college, were known to vote oppositely in the two circumstances using different criteria. The divergent votes would then be reviewed by the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel, a six-person body and, depending on their inclinations preferentially to value board or college service, they would frequently produce a split vote. Which left the decision to the central campus administration—that is, the chancellor.
Most often, the chancellor tended to uphold the disciplinary or board standard as most consistent with broad UC standards, from which Santa Cruz had never been excepted. Then, as such negative tenure decisions most often resulted in the departure of an often well-liked member of a college, faculty and students in the college were outraged. Thus, "creative tension" became a constant irritant, a boil on the campus ambience. Page Smith, the founding provost of Cowell College, resigned in a fury over a negative tenure decision for one of his protégés.
In addition to its primary "theme," the faculty of each college was supposed to be able to provide a liberal arts education within each college. While students were free to take courses in any college or board,
it was expected that they would take most of their courses within their home colleges. However, since the faculty offices, save for the scientists, were in the colleges, this policy resulted in the dispersion of the faculty of any one discipline over several colleges. The natural result was a loss of intellectual vitality. in the disciplines. An economist, who might be the only one in his or her college, had limited interaction with his or her fellow economists and, if a junior faculty member, had limited opportunities for mentoring and introduction to the profession. Several younger faculty members were professionally destroyed by this unintended but unfortunate side effect of the initial college concept.
Starting in 1971, with the return of calm to Berkeley and some disillusion with the development of the campus, freshman applications to Santa Cruz began to decline, as did the academic ability of applicants. Other factors hastened the decline. As one of his idiosyncrasies, Page Smith was resolutely opposed to academic judgments. In the first year, he had pushed through a "narrative evaluation" proposal to replace letter grades, in addition to a Pass/No Record plan, which meant that no failures were ever recorded. In principle, the narrative evaluation provided, instead of a categorical letter grade (A, B, C, D), a written paragraph or two describing and evaluating the student's performance in the class. In theory, it provided the possibility of a more multidimensional evaluation than a single averaged grade. Also, it reduced competition among students simply for grades. In small classes, where the instructor can get to know each student and has lighter teaching duties, the narrative evaluation can work well. However, unfortunately, as the student/faculty ratio rose, the possibility of meaningful evaluation diminished. Many faculty, resorted to various assortments of stock phrases, even computerized ones.
In addition, applicants to graduate or professional schools were penalized. Admissions committees at the better schools, often deluged with applications, were simply not willing to read through pages of text to evaluate a few Santa Cruz students. While personal intervention in the form of communications from Santa Cruz faculty to colleagues at other schools could often bypass this block, at the professional schools of medicine or law the net effect was to place much greater emphasis on the MCAT or LSAT test scores for Santa Cruz students.
Also, to the general public, the narrative evaluation—or "no-grade" scoring, as it was popularly perceived—was seen as an indication of academic laxity and low standards, and this deterred many prospective students.
The student unrest of the 1960s did not bypass Santa Cruz. It lacked the critical mass of students necessary to produce riots such as those at Berkeley, but other radical elements of the time, such as politics and drugs, swept the campus. As a new campus, Santa Cruz lacked the traditions and customs that helped most older campuses to avoid extremes and maintain a reasonably orderly structure. Santa Cruz bent sharply with the winds. When Clark Kerr went to address the first four-year graduating class at commencement in 1969, he was forced to sit through an hour of diatribe and then was never allowed to speak. At the regents meeting at Santa Cruz in 1968, the students surrounded and blockaded the bus containing Governor Reagan and the regents after the meeting, creating a tense situation. One outcome was the cessation of regents' meetings on campuses for more than a decade.
This "radical" image combined with the soft "no-grade" image to create a vision of Santa Cruz as a far-out, laid-back campus where one went to flake out and smoke pot under the redwoods, not a serious academic locale. While doubtless attractive to some, this image further deterred many more prospective students.
And then, in the early 1970s, the Santa Cruz community was the scene of several shocking murders, two involving a campus employee. Santa Cruz became known as the "murder capital," and enrollment applications plummeted. Originally, there had been a surplus of applications from freshmen and transfer students. By accepting more transfer applicants, a decline in enrollment could be avoided for a time, but these too soon declined. Enrollment leveled off in the mid-1970s and was predictably about to decline.
From the beginning, it was evident that the Santa Cruz vision of college education would cost more than the Berkeley pattern. Economy was, in fact, a primary reason for the large campus model. This question was raised repeatedly by various regents in early discussions of the Santa Cruz concept. How could personalized attention and guidance in the colleges, education in small classes, and all of the other attributes of small liberal arts college ambience be conducted at the same cost per student as the large impersonal lecture classes of a Berkeley or UCLA? Kerr and McHenry repeatedly waived aside such concerns with bland pronouncements that all could be worked out. But in the final approval given by the regents to the Santa Cruz Long Range Development Plan was included the proviso that the plan was "subject to the condition that State-funded capital and operating costs shall not exceed the comparable costs per student on other campuses."
For a time, the enthusiasm and dedication of the newly recruited
faculty on the new campus could carry the extra burden. And initially, the surplus of faculty accompanying a build-up phase helped. But as enrollment growth slowed, this surplus vanished. And faculty either "burned out" or, by inclination or necessity (to maintain their status or to achieve tenure), returned to their more professional and scholarly pursuits.
The systemwide UC administration was not helpful. After Kerr's dismissal, it seems clear that much of the central administration looked askance at this strange organism in their midst. Most of the administrators were products of Berkeley or UCLA—the UC system is highly inbred. The Santa Cruz concept implicitly suggested flaws in the education they had received. They expected, perhaps even hoped, this aberration would fail. So where was the required extra funding to come from? Conceivably, as at Cambridge, from college endowments. Most of the colleges were in fact endowed in exchange for the name, but the endowment funds were mostly spent for college facilities that the state would never fund, such as a provost's residence, a college library, commons rooms, and so on. Very. little was left to provide endowment for ongoing expenses.
I estimated, much later, that a 25 percent augmentation of the Santa Cruz budget above that provided by UC formulas would have provided the funding required for a minimally satisfactory collegiate operation. In the first decade, this sum would have been less than 1 percent of the UC state budget. It is possible that Kerr thought he could manage such a small diversion out of the UC budget.
But the new president, Charles Hitch, provided no special funding. His inclination was clearly shown as he gave UC San Diego—building at the graduate level and emphasizing science and the professions—a disproportionate share of the new higher-level academic positions available, while providing Santa Cruz almost exclusively junior-level positions.
The unkindest cut was soon to fall.
The emphasis on building a new college every year consumed the energies of the campus. While it was recognized in the initial plan that Santa Cruz as a UC campus would in time have significant graduate programs and professional schools (engineering, business, forestry, and landscape architecture were mentioned), these were, with few exceptions, postponed. In part, this postponement reflected indecision as to how graduate and professional education could be well integrated with the undergraduate liberal arts programs of the colleges.
Graduate programs were, however, begun primarily in the natural
sciences where the faculty, needed graduate students to assist in their research. And engineering was initiated. Francis Clauser, a distinguished aeronautical engineer and Caltech Ph.D., was brought to be the first dean of engineering. Projections were made that by 1975, UCSC would graduate sixty B.S., fifty M.S., and sixty Ph.D. degrees in engineering per year.
At this time, the California Coordinating Council for Higher Education commissioned Frederick Terman, then dean of engineering at Stanford, to perform a study of engineering education in California that was completed in the spring of 1968. Terman performed a thorough engineering analysis of the situation, which led him quickly to conclude that low (or reasonable) cost and high quality of engineering education were linked to adequate sizes of undergraduate and graduate instructional programs: "When the degree output is small, the instruction cost index [direct instruction cost per student credit hour] increases very substantially."
From this observation, he concluded the following:
Programs producing more than 200 B.S. degrees per year are more attractive and of higher quality. . . . In California more undergraduate engineering programs than are really needed are competing for a pool of undergraduate students that is now too small to go around This situation will continue for at least a decade. . . . No California institution is currently overloaded by more M.S. students than it wishes to handle. In fact, only four of the sixteen institutions that awarded M.S. degrees in 1966–67 have M.S. programs that achieve the minimum desirable size. . . . Many California institutions would have stronger engineering programs if they gave up some of the fields of engineering in which their enrollments are now very small.
Terman was particularly critical of the UC plans to establish engineering programs at all eight general campuses:
Because underpopulated engineering programs are expensive to operate and tend to be simultaneously of poorer quality than programs of more nearly optimal size, new engineering programs should have been established only as fast as already existing programs were becoming filled up. . . . The soundness of the new graduate engineering programs being established at various University campuses will to a considerable degree be tied to the success of the associated undergraduate engineering programs As an undergraduate program builds up to 200–300 bachelor's degrees per year, the associated graduate program has the potential for being good enough, large enough, and sufficiently diverse to be simultaneously economic in operation and attractive to students.
As a result, at least two or three of the . . . new engineering programs on University campuses can for many years be expected to lag conspicuously behind
in the competition for undergraduate students. . . . The University would be serving the State best if it would concentrate all resources available for full-time-on-campus graduate education in engineering at four or at most five campuses.
In consequence of this report, the coordinating council recommended to the university that the two most recent engineering programs at Santa Cruz and Riverside be terminated. The engineering council of the university vigorously rebutted this conclusion, arguing for the academic value of engineering programs as well as their service to the economy of the state. UC President Hitch, in the spring of 1968, resolved the issue by abruptly cancelling the two engineering programs. He did so, apparently, primarily for fiscal reasons. Confronted with restricted state budgets under Governor Reagan, he concluded that these new engineering programs would be quite costly during their developmental phases, and they could be eliminated.
It was an accountant's decision, but it took no account of its effect on the morale of the young campus, the subsequent composition of the faculty and the student body, the attractiveness of UCSC to prospective students, and its status in the UC system. It took no account of its effect on the ability of the campus to establish meaningful ties to the logical nearby source of external support, Silicon Valley. It left the campus unbalanced and highly vulnerable to the periodic swings of student interests. The decision was woefully short-sighted and a disaster for the three-year-old campus.
As the budgetary crunch of the Reagan years took hold, no effort was made to shelter the vulnerable newer campuses. Indeed, small and lacking economies of scale, they suffered the more. But no reallocation, even partial, of the systemwide resources could be considered. The two large campuses, Berkeley and UCLA, which had for historical reasons the great bulk of the resources, were the "flagships" of the system. Their eminence and prestige were to be maintained regardless of the cost to the rest of the system. "Every tub on its own bottom" became the maxim. It could be argued that maintaining the prestige of Berkeley and UCLA encouraged the state to be more generous to the UC system than would otherwise have been the case. The validity of this, as with other "trickle-down" theories, is difficult to verify.
The Santa Cruz community that had eagerly solicited the presence of UC in the late 1950s and early 1960s was a somewhat drowsy seaside town; its population in 1960 was 25,596. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it had been a lively source of lumber, limestone, and tannin, much of which had come from the ten-thousand-acre Cowell
Ranch. But, as this industry faded, it had become on the one hand a retirement community and on the other a summertime seaside resort for the San Francisco Bay Area, with a beach amusement park and allied businesses. The owners of the summer rental units saw an influx of students as potential wintertime tenants. The business owners, of course, saw enhanced business and the possibility of the university as a catalyst to bring about the development of the city and adjacent coastal areas.
But three major changes in population and a strong shift in public sentiment changed all of this. For one, as the 1960s tide of hippies and flower children ebbed in the Bay Area, it left its debris on the beach at Santa Cruz. Late into the 1970s and early 1980s, parts of Santa Cruz could be described as "museums of the hippies." Some of the townsfolk blamed this influx on the university, but there was little obvious cause and effect. Second, the explosive growth of Silicon Valley and San Jose drove many people, dismayed by the sudden urbanization of a formerly semirural area, over the ridge to Santa Cruz, where they were determined that the same growth should not recur. With them also came a flock of Silicon Valley employees, who used Santa Cruz as a quiet bedroom community from which they could commute "over the hill."
And third, of course, was the influx of the university population. Previously unanticipated, a California Supreme Court decision in 1971 gave students the right to vote in their campus communities. The judges who made that decision probably never considered its impact in small university towns. The introduction of the university population, predominantly students, into Santa Cruz fractured and fragmented the community. In many ways, it is no longer a community. Students form the largest and therefore the decisive voting block, but they have no lasting stake in the community. Local politicians have pandered to student predilections toward predictable short-term ends.
The students at Santa Cruz come mostly from urban and suburban areas to the relatively open space of Santa Cruz where, oblivious to the developments that made possible their presence there, they are easily persuaded that not another tree should be cut nor a field built on. Indeed, after the first two colleges were built, the students have repeatedly protested the building of each new college, sometimes violently. The inherent contradiction between their beliefs in universal education (especially for minorities), their admiration for the Santa Cruz college system, and their resistance to expansion of the campus to pro-
vide facilities for more students like themselves is lost on them. Environmentalism is often a cover for self-interest.
The principal issues in the local elections of the early 1970s were proposals to build a sizable community of about ten thousand people on the coastal lands north of Santa Cruz and to build a hotel adjacent to a popular coastal area, Lighthouse Point, in Santa Cruz itself. Mobilizing the student vote against that of the business community and the old establishment, the no-growth politicians carried the day. Building on this, they subsequently defeated proposals by the Department of Highways to build a freeway over the hill from San Jose, which was to have tied into a six-lane road, promised by the county, to the campus. This would have provided excellent access to the campus, which today can be reached only by two-lane roads passing through residential areas. (The access commitments pledged by city., and country have since been conveniently forgotten and burked.) Buoyed by their success, the local politicians sought to curb the growth of the campus, initially envisioned to have 27,500 students on its two thousand acres, to its then five thousand students.
By the mid-1970s, then, the campus lay stagnant, its enrollment about to decline, its initial energies exhausted, its academic structure unworkable, its educational reputation in tatters. A sorry tale of inept planning and administrative neglect.
In June 1973, Dean McHenry went to the regents to request that the campus plan be scaled back, for at least a decade, to a maximum of seventy-five hundred students. He recognized that such a decision meant that no significant graduate nor any professional programs could be developed over that time. The campus would limp along in its unfinished, truncated state, but such a decision would bring peace with the community—and perhaps foreclose some of the ceaseless debate on campus. Four months later, McHenry announced his intention to retire.
Academic reformers, thirsty for the opportunity of innovation, hailed the advent of Santa Cruz, almost willfully overlooking its inherent contradictions. Even as the campus paid the price and patently floundered, they could not acknowledge their wishful thinking and oversights. Thus in 1978, Gerald Grant and David Riesman could write in The Perpetual Dream:
When it was aborning, few campuses seemed to offer as much promise or to draw as much praise as the University of California at Santa Cruz. Yet a decade
later, it was demoralized. . . . Enrollment at what was once the most favored campus in the California system was falling off sharply. A once-buoyant faculty was feeling middle-aged, and some feared that the great white whale of the counterculture was rotting high on the beach at Santa Cruz. . . .
Yet we hope to show in this account that such a portrait, while true enough in outline, overstates the gloom. Despite its recent reverses, Santa Cruz was, and in most ways continues to be, one of the most genuine successes of the last decade. One learns this not from its dispirited faculty but from the students who have been drawn to the stunningly beautiful campus.
Thus, UC Santa Cruz began its existence burdened with an incoherent academic plan and an insolvent fiscal budget and set in an isolated, insular community. But of most of this I was blissfully unaware.
The Education of a Chancellor
"President Saxon, Governor Brown is on the phone."
The nine chancellors of the UC campuses form the council of chancellors. We met at least once a month (and, frequently, more often) with the president and vice-presidents of the university, to discuss subjects of common interest such as budgetary matters, affirmative action, legal concerns, and policies affecting faculty, staff, or students. As my "spring training," I was invited to attend the council of chancellors meeting in June 1977 prior to my actually assuming the chancellorial position at Santa Cruz.
I was surprised and disconcerted by this meeting. The discussion was very much "nuts and bolts"—concerned with quite specific details of management rather than with broad issues of educational or administrative policies. (I had thought chancellors were to be concerned with educational policy.) And here was the president of the university engaged in an hour's discussion with the governor of the state over (as I learned) specifics of the university budget, which was then on the governor's desk. I had thought the UC was insulated from the political scene through the mediation of the board of regents; I quickly learned that this was seldom true. This meeting was a foretaste of the direct vulnerability of the university to the fiscal conditions, political personalities, and shifting policies of the state that I would later encounter in abundance.
The bright sunlight slanted through the tops of the surrounding redwoods into the old quarry, now converted into a natural amphitheater.
"I, David Saxon, president of the University of California, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the regents of the university, do hereby inaugurate you, Robert L. Sinsheimer, as chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz."
The assembled crowd of students, faculty, staff, other chancellors, and university officials burst into applause. It was a moment to savor—and to ponder. How had a boy raised in a lower-middle-class family in Chicago, whose forebears had never attended college, become the chancellor of the newest, most beautiful campus of the University of California? And how would he—this scientist and scholar, this somewhat reclusive academic—succeed as a chancellor?
"And, what college are you from?"
"Cowell College, but I live in town."
"I thought all freshmen lived in the college."
"They do, but I'm a senior."
"If you are a senior, why are you at the freshman reception?"
"Oh, I like to come every year to meet the new chancellor."
At Santa Cruz, the chancellor holds a reception each fall at University House for the new freshmen students. This was my first such occasion. It was a warm, clear evening and the students had spread out on the lawn before University House, munching on snacks, sipping soft drinks, chatting, and enjoying the moonlight reflected off Monterey Bay. I was drifting from group to group, making acquaintance and noting the enthusiasm and high spirits among the new students as they began a great adventure. (How quickly this wears off after classes begin and as the older students begin to transfer their cynicism and disillusion.)
The upperclassman—actually she was a fifth-year student (not many finish in four years at public universities)—set me back for a moment. She was nearly correct. In the fall of 1973, she would have met Dean McHenry, the founding chancellor, who resigned the next year. In 1974, it would have been Mark Christiansen, who resigned after eighteen months. In 1976, she would have met Angus Taylor, who served as interim chancellor. And here was I. Her remark brought home the administrative turmoil the campus had experienced in recent years and the powerful need for a period of stability. Yet the basic problems underlying the turmoil had to be resolved.
Soon after the fall quarter began, I became aware of a student rally that was being held in a small court near my office. The "cause," it soon appeared, was the denial of tenure, late the previous spring, to a popular assistant professor who was gay. The protestors were convinced that the denial was the consequence of his sexual orientation. This was a foretaste of how issue after issue would be soured and distorted by the claim of discrimination. The protestors presented me with a "demand" to reverse this decision. Although the case had been decided definitively by the previous chancellor, I agreed to review the file to assure myself the issue had been handled fairly. I did so and in the end fully agreed with the prior decision.
This announcement provoked another outburst, which ended with a sit-in of protestors in the chancellor's office. How should I deal with sit-ins, of which this would surely be only the first? Legally speaking, after 5 P.M. when the office closed, they were trespassing and I could have them arrested. Such action, however, elicited sympathy among other, less-involved students, hardened anti-administration feelings, and was practically ineffective. The previous chancellor had had several hundred students arrested the previous spring for a sit-in (against "institutional racism") over Memorial Day weekend. However, the local district attorney declined to prosecute any of them. The students had the right to demand individual trials. The community regarded the whole matter as student high jinks and was not about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on such trials, which would tie up the local courts for months. As I was repeatedly to learn, chancellors have little real power.
This sit-in was clearly a test of the new chancellor. I decided to wait the students out. As long as they did not actually interfere with the work of the office, they could symbolically sit in for as long as they pleased. I expected they would become bored, once the first enthusiasm waned; besides, Christmas vacation was coming. After I brought in some leftover goodies from our Christmas staff party at University House, the sit-in dissolved. Actually, they were nice kids just acting out.
I followed this policy of waiting out sit-ins throughout my tenure as chancellor. Although on one or two occasions it became quite tedious, ultimately it always worked and left better feelings and mutual respect. The important principle, it seemed to me, was the ability to carry on the work of the university, even if subject to minor inconvenience. On only one occasion did I ever have students arrested, when they block-aded the road entrance to the university. I had reformed the group that
I could not allow them to bar other students, faculty, staff, or visitors from the campus. But they wanted to be arrested, and were. And, as could be expected, they were not prosecuted.
I had weekly meetings of the chancellor's immediate staff—vice-chancellors, personal assistants, a secretary, and other staff invited to discuss specific problems. At such a meeting, soon after I assumed office, the assistant chancellor for planning brought up a "very important" matter. What enrollment should we project for UC Santa Cruz for the fall of 1978? Having just begun the fall quarter of 1977, the topic seemed surprising. However, I learned that the president's office needed this number to prepare the proposed university budget for 1978–79, which would go to the board of regents in November for its approval. After that, it went to the governor's office and, one hoped, would be included without too much change in the budget he presented to the legislature in January, 1978.
The "problem" was that any honest projection indicated that the expected enrollment in the fall of 1978 would be less than it was in the fall of 1977. It was then that I was acquainted with the deplorable slide in freshman applications to Santa Cruz that had begun in 1971 and continued each year since. By the use of varied tactics and alternatives, the campus enrollment had, however, actually been increased each year, until now. The "bag of tricks" was now empty. How much lower would the enrollment be in the fall of 1978? About one hundred students less than the current enrollment of fifty-seven hundred.
At Caltech, which had always rigidly limited its freshman class size, enrollment had never been an issue. Although I was strongly advised to the contrary, I found it hard to believe that an enrollment decline of less than 2 percent at Santa Cruz would be perceived as a serious problem. I was quite wrong. Indeed, this "problem" foreshadowed conceptual clashes between the tolerant flexibility of academia and the intolerant rigidities of the state accountants.
I opted for an honest estimate, which was included in the president's operating budget. The capital portion of the budget included some construction at Santa Cruz that had been put over from previous years and that was needed to adequately accommodate our present enrollment. Normally, on receipt of the proposed university capital budget, the governor's office and the office of the legislative analyst send a joint team to each campus to assess the need for the proposed construction and its scope relative to the need. These visits are usually rather challenging, and the campus is required to justify the request in detail. This
year, however, the usual visit was abruptly cancelled. Clearly, they said, there was no need for new construction at a campus that was declining in enrollment. Period. The Santa Cruz construction was simply omitted from the governor's proposed state budget.
I had not been aware that the turmoil at the campus, combined with the marked fall-off from its early popularity, had given rise to rumors that the campus might well be closed by UC. Without the growth that had been predicted in the older demographic projections, the UC system did not really need eight general campuses at this time. The anticipated decline in enrollment for 1978 now revived these rumors in full force.
As might be expected, such an atmosphere made raising funds for the campus difficult. Indeed, such rumors have all the attributes of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who wants to donate to a campus that might cease to exist? A specific consequence soon developed. The National Science Foundation wanted to establish an ongoing institute for the study of theoretical physics and was soliciting proposals from universities that would like to host this institute. The physicists at Santa Cruz were eager for this opportunity and the campus submitted a proposal. We identified space to house the proposed institute and agreed to provide some financial support and an academic position for the director. We talked with some distinguished physicists about their possible interest in becoming director should the institute come to Santa Cruz.
We were then disconcerted to learn that while many features of our proposal were favorably regarded at NSF, they had heard the rumors and were naturally concerned. They would not want to locate such an institute at a campus about to be closed. I contacted President Saxon, who reassured me that there was no substance to these rumors and agreed to write a letter to NSF to that effect. He did so, but we learned that NSF was not fully convinced. In the end, the institute went to a rival proposal from UC Santa Barbara. Other factors surely entered into this decision, but the taint our proposal suffered from this circumstance was undoubtedly fatal.
All of this convinced me that the enrollment problem had to be addressed promptly, and that to address it would require a major change in the image of the campus throughout the state. To improve the image, I had also to improve the substance. This required the cooperation of the faculty and even, in many cases, a reorientation of their personal goals.
The faculty hold a remarkable degree of authority in the UC system.
Control over the curriculum and educational policy and over admissions criteria are delegated by the board of regents to the faculty. While the administration—the chancellor—retains fiscal authority and ultimate promotion approval, it is accountable to the faculty for specific decisions. If there is not a meeting of minds, an agreement on a common set of values, the stage is set for continuing rancor and academic stalemate. In this pattern of "shared governance" the chancellor can propose but, except in rare instances, cannot implement without the active consent of the faculty.
While the chancellor has very limited real or immediate power, he does have a platform from which to advocate policies and standards. At the right moment, this can provide a critical leverage. And on the administrative side, he can over time, by well-chosen structural and personnel changes, strengthen and improve the implementation of his policies and standards to benefit the entire campus.
The interminable and continuing college-board conflict had not only sapped the energies of the faculty but, by confounding the criteria for performance, had pulled down the standards for faculty advancement and promotion. The most important advancement step is the award of tenure; once awarded, it can only be revoked by the board of regents for exceptional cause. Tenure had never been revoked in the 120-odd-year history of UC. (This is not to say that, in extreme cases, faculty members had not been persuaded to resign.) In the UC system, tenure must be awarded after eight years of service or reappointment denied, though it can be awarded earlier if merited. Since nonrenewal of appointment requires a year's prior notice, a decision as to tenure must be made before the end of the seventh year. This judgment requires an extensive review process, accompanied by a complex system of procedural safeguards to ensure fairness, absence of discrimination, opportunity for rebuttal, and so on.
As chancellor, I personally reviewed all tenure cases as they came up from the board of study (and, initially, also the college), and through the screen of the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP). With frequently conflicting board and college recommendations and divided CAP recommendations, many cases required careful analysis to sort out the bases for each view. Most often, of course, tenure decisions had to be made in fields in which I had no particular expertise. I had available to me the file containing the candidate's record and work, external and internal evaluations, and the recommendations of the various levels of review. Starting with all of this background, I would
still seek to form an independent opinion—especially if confronted with divided recommendations—by perusing the candidate's work directly.
My background as a scientist and especially as an editor served me well. In most cases, I felt that I could analyze the logic—or the gaps and flaws therein—of the arguments presented in the candidate's work, evaluate the cogency and organization of the presentation, and ascertain if the candidate sought to relate his or her contribution to the precedents and larger issues in the field. (Of course, in some fields such as advanced mathematics and artistic creation, I was largely reduced to secondary judgments of the strengths and weaknesses reflected in the evaluations of others.) While clearly the Caltech criterion of national distinction would not be appropriate here, I felt that some clear evidence of competent scholarly performance with indication of continuing achievement—and not just "promise" or expectation—was a minimal requirement. This might be relaxed in the case of a truly exceptional teacher, but such cases could be expected to be rare.
This standard, which seemed reasonable if not generous to me and essential to the future of the campus, was clearly higher than that to which the campus had been accustomed. In my first year I overrode, negatively, four tenure recommendations from CAP and several other advancements. In each case, I documented my reasoning. These actions produced some consternation and grumbling, but they had the desired effect. In subsequent years, the standards of the CAP improved and the number of conflicting judgments diminished to almost nil.
I inherited a cadre of administrators—vice-chancellors, assistant chancellors, provosts of colleges, registrar—of varying ability and (worse) varying philosophy as to the mission of the campus. The college-board conflict even permeated the staff.
Because UC is such a large and distinctive system, it breeds its own form of professionalism. The administrative personnel at various levels, from the several campuses, periodically get together to discuss their common problems. Thus, the academic vice-chancellors meet, the financial planning vice-chancellors meet, the vice-chancellors for student affairs meet, the registrars meet, the student health directors meet, the financial aid officers meet, the affirmative action officers meet, and so on. While the exchange of information, ideas, and procedures is often valuable, these meetings tend to consolidate a sense of professional identity. I had to repeatedly point out to the administrative cadre that the business of the university was education and research, not administration, and that the administration was there to further the primary
goals and not vice versa. This principle sounds so obvious, but to enforce it requires continuous attention.
My inherited staff was most helpful in initiating me in the often baroque ways of the UC system, but in some cases unfortunate individual divergences of working pattern and style became evident. A few could simply not alter the specific working patterns they had developed under my predecessors. Alternative positions were found for some; others chose to resign.
The vice-chancellor for academic affairs (AVC) is the second most important administrative position on the campus. The several deans report to the AVC and he or she must adjudicate among their many and varying requests in the allocation of always limited resources. The AVC also interacts closely with various senate committees. The AVC I inherited was a fine person and scholar but was uncomfortable with the difficult decisions the office entailed. I needed to find a replacement. This led to a painful situation.
The choice of AVC is made by the chancellor because the two must work closely together. The complexity and distinctive character of UC personnel and budgetary processes almost necessitated that the AVC have had prior UC experience. As I became acquainted with various campus personalities, I kept the AVC position in mind. By early spring, I had decided that the chair of the academic senate, Professor Paul N., would be a good fit. He was a straightforward, thoughtful person and a social scientist (I did not want both top officers to be natural scientists). By virtue of his position as chair of the senate, he was acquainted with almost all of the campus issues. I informally offered Paul the position and he accepted.
To my astonishment, a furor erupted. I was visited by several delegations of faculty. It developed that Paul's scholarship was poorly regarded on the campus. And, above all, it was felt that the AVC had to have high personal standards of scholarship. But Paul had been elected chair of the senate, I said. Oh well, they countered, the senate is unimportant. The AVC position is.
It became clear that Paul's appointment would provoke a violent and derogatory discussion in the senate, and that, lacking the respect of a major contingent of the faculty, he could never adequately fill the position. I had to ask him to withdraw his candidacy. It was a lesson to me of the need to consult more broadly and, as well, of the (lack of) repute of the academic senate.
Fortunately, Professor John Marcum, another candidate whom I had
considered favorably, but who had told me he was unavailable because of other commitments, became available. His appointment was widely accepted.
Having steadily increased the student-to-faculty ratio from its initial low value to the systemwide value, the campus could no longer afford the dissipation of faculty effort in soft, "Mickey Mouse" types of courses taught only to fulfill a college commitment. Provision of these courses of varied merit was vitiating the disciplinary curricula. The basic problem—foreseen by some, but blandly ignored by others—of the greater cost of a true collegiate system was weighing more and more heavily on the campus. I took my first year to become fully acquainted with the dimensions of this dilemma and to explore, conceptually, various options. I had about resolved to "cut the Gordian knot" when external events at the end of that year forced the issue.
In June 1978, the voters of California passed Proposition 13, which abruptly more than halved the revenue available to city and county governments from property taxes. The state government then had immediately to provide the difference, lest all governmental agencies collapse. While the state government had been running a mild surplus, this was quite inadequate; the budgets for all the normal state functions, including higher education, had to be cut immediately to make up the funding.
This episode was a dramatic lesson for me of the ways in which the fortunes and plans of those in a public university are grossly affected by events wholly beyond their control—by the ephemeral passions of the voters, by the state of the economy, by the inclinations of the governor or the legislature. There truly are "windows of opportunity" when all of the conditions are propitious and the signals are "go," but there are also times when the windows are firmly closed. One must make plans and be ready to implement them during the periods of opportunity. And one must be prudent, alert for a sudden change in wind.
But now the windows were closed, and were to remain so for four years. Adaptation of the state budget to Proposition 13 required several years. Governor Jerry Brown was basically unsympathetic to the university. And the state's economy fell into a serious recession in 1981–82. The budgetary, crisis of 1978–79 and the demoralizing decline in enrollment in the fall of 1978 forced me to propose in that fall the "campus reorganization" that I had conceived the previous spring.
Academic standards are the sine qua non of a major university. To maintain and improve the standards of the disciplines was a primary step
in the recovery of the image of Santa Cruz. To accomplish this, the diversion of resources into second-rate college courses had to be stopped. The influence of the colleges had to be removed from personnel decisions so that the faculty had a clear set of academic goals. The vitiation of the intellectual life of the disciplines caused by the dispersion of faculty among all eight colleges had to be ended by establishing intellectually coherent groups of faculty in each discipline in at most two or three colleges.
At the same time, I wished to maintain the colleges as intellectual and cultural centers in the liberal arts tradition, as well as residence facilities. There would be several diverse groups of faculty in each college and a mix of students with varied interests. Each college would be required to provide a freshman "core" course on some broad topic of interest to its faculty—funds would be provided for this purpose. As available, funds might also be provided for other college-based endeavors that fell outside the scope of any discipline.
While I knew that this drastic proposal would provoke diehard resistance from those who would regard it as a betrayal of the Santa Cruz vision, the "dream," I believed that the majority of the faculty would welcome it. The proposal would provide a clear sense of direction and, finally, an end to the college-board wrangle. I hoped it would "jump start" the campus and release the energies of the faculty from its sterile internal strife. I checked that this would meet with the approval of the systemwide administration and then presented the proposal at a senate meeting just prior to my official inauguration in October 1978.
I had to have the senate's agreement. The debate continued through much of the academic year. I had appointed a faculty committee to work out the many details involved of faculty transfers between colleges, of course changes and curricular realignments, and so on. However, I found that I had to repeatedly take the initiative and propose solutions for seemingly thorny issues. In negotiating this thicket, plunging through inertia and sniping resistance, I had a psychological trump. My ego was not invested in the chancellorship. I was always prepared to resign and return to science if I could not lead the campus in a desirable direction. This sense of independence sustained me on several difficult occasions. In the end, when the academic senate voted in the spring, over 80 percent were in favor.
There was really no alternative. But it was, in many ways, the most trying and exhausting period I have known. It was a period of crisis for the institution, which required leadership, determination, a clear vision,
and at least the appearance of patience. I succeeded, but there was a small residue of faculty who were never reconciled. Despite the evidence, they could not accept that they had devoted years of effort to an impractical vision. That summer we moved the offices of more than half of the faculty in the colleges. By fall we were on the new path.
This tale illustrates the critical importance of a sound beginning, especially in academia, where experimentation is foreign to much of the faculty and the diffusion of authority defies change. In this light, the casual failure to have thought through the basic initial conception of Santa Cruz is all the more deplorable.
The retrenchments required by the budgetary stringency over the next several years were painful, but their effects were not all bad. They provided immediate justification for organizational changes that achieved greater efficiency and economy, and their pervasive nature brought administration and faculty into closer consultation than had been the custom, a practice that was subsequently continued.
The enrollment problem had to be addressed and soon. I recall dreary afternoons that fall spent in discussions of which dormitories we might have to close the next spring. And campus images in academia are not changed abruptly. While "recruiting" of students by UC campuses is officially frowned on, "outreach programs" to provide prospective students with information about the opportunities available on a campus are sanctioned and practiced. Regrettably, because Santa Cruz had been so popular in its early days, the campus had not bothered to develop an effective outreach staff and program. And during the years of decline in the early and mid-1970s, the campus had been too preoccupied with its internal crises.
I needed an outstanding dean of admissions and happily found Richard Moll. A Yale alumnus, Dick had been dean of admissions at Bowdoin where he reversed their enrollment decline. Then he managed the admissions program at Vassar during their complex transition from women's college to coeducational college. Dick was a vibrant, gregarious person fond of playing the piano and warbling old favorites. One of the most skilled and adroit admissions directors in the country, he was looking for a new challenge. Having worked only in private colleges, the problems of a distinctive, relatively small public university—a "public Ivy," as he called it—intrigued him.
Moll immediately invigorated our outreach program. With tasteful brochures and a comprehensive program of visits to likely high schools, public and private, throughout the state, through involvement of
alumni, he spread the word about the potential and quality of the campus with its new directions. To change a public image takes time and requires some real accomplishments, but over the next three to five years, Dick's efforts paid off. By 1983, enrollment applications were rising and have accelerated ever since.
In part, these increases reflected the growing high school population in California. But when Santa Cruz applications exceeded those at Davis, we knew that Dick Moll's efforts had succeeded. Moll also mentored Joe Allen and groomed him to be his successor. His primary job done, Dick went on, but his legacy remained.
A Chinese blessing says, "May you live in interesting times." These were certainly "interesting" times and full of action, but often they were also times for introspection. The chancellor, I had soon realized, is the one person who is charged with the welfare of the entire campus. Everyone else has a more parochial interest. And at Santa Cruz, I had soon relearned the old lesson that in human affairs logic is not enough. Simple logic does not overcome passion, prejudice, or fear. One can use logic to divert passion, to play fear against fear, or even invert prejudice—in short, to play politics—but this is devious logic that does not come naturally to a scientist.
In contrast to the intellectually exciting but academically serene ambience of Caltech, I suddenly found myself in a world of student protests, enrollment and fiscal crises, and system politics. I was now at the head of a demoralized campus founded (and foundering) on an ill-conceived plan, woefully maladapted to the ethos of the larger university. My original academic goals were stymied behind an array of immediate problems, and especially lack of resources and lack of true educational authoriy.
I felt confident that I could redirect and revive this campus and restore its inherent potential, but it would be a task of many years and great effort with steadfast purpose. My MIT education, my scientist training, would be my resource. To be a problem solver requires an objectivity, a skepticism of preconceived ideological answers, and a committed integrity that eschews self-deception that clearly recognizes failure as well as success, that invents or improvises, bends or tacks, but always knows the goal.
I kept at it. Why? Was it stubbornness, an inability to admit a career error? I think not. Scientists understand failed experiments. Was it an altruistic impulse to use my talents to somehow save this campus? Was
it a recognition of my being fifty-seven years old and wanting to make the best use of the next ten years? Was it simply the challenge to beat the odds, to do the nearly impossible, to leave an enduring achievement, to create something different and special? Possibly all of these and more. In some deep sense, what I was doing, while not always enjoyable, was right—for myself and for Santa Cruz.
The Club of Nine
The chancellors of the nine UC campuses are a diverse and uncommon lot. An exclusive club, all male in my time, they are bonded by their common problems and by a common concern (genuine but not disinterested) for the welfare of the university. Yet they are necessarily separated by their inherent loyalties and obligations to their individual, competing institutions. All able, selected with care, they have diverse talents, personalities, and experiences. With many tasks in common, they also face dissimilar circumstances and opportunities, with varied degrees of success. Collectively, they illuminate the virtues and flaws of the finest system of public higher education in the nation.
The two oldest and largest campuses, Berkeley and Los Angeles, dominate the system. Together, for most of my tenure as chancellor, they comprised roughly half of the UC system and well over half of its resources. Their chancellors tended to dominate our meetings. It soon became evident that, while they could not always obtain what they wanted, nothing could be adopted over their opposition. While, of course, nominally subordinate to the president, the chancellors of Berkeley and Los Angeles had their own constituencies—large alumni bodies, large faculties, major sources of gift funds, direct relations with the many regents in the Bay Area and Los Angeles respectively. The president, while definitely not their captive, would not readily or often pursue actions directly counter to the desires of the Berkeley or Los Angeles chancellors.
When I became chancellor at Santa Cruz, Albert Bowker, a statisti-
cian, was the chancellor at Berkeley. Earlier, he had been dean of graduate studies at Stanford and then chancellor at the City College of New York. A quiet, bulky man, he often sat Buddha-like at chancellors' meetings "playing his cards close to his chest," presenting quietly but firmly his opinion after most of the others had spoken. He defended the Berkeley interests well. Berkeley had for many years been the University of California and it still retains that self-perception.
In 1980, Bowker resigned to become assistant secretary for post-secondary education in the Department of Education in Washington. He was succeeded by Ira Michael Heyman, a law professor who had been provost under Bowker. The search for Bowker's successor had been flawed by failures of confidentiality and it was well known that the leading candidate had withdrawn at the last minute because of "leaks." Michael thus came into office with this slight handicap, but it did not hold him back. A tall, sturdy man of liberal persuasions, Heyman was well acquainted with the problems of Berkeley and set about to remedy them. Perceiving biology as the field in which Berkeley should establish its preeminence in the succeeding decades, as it had in physics in the mid-twentieth century, he undertook a complete campus reorganization of the fractured biology program and diverted resources in that direction.
As the most popular of the UC campuses, Berkeley was overwhelmed with freshman applicants. At the same time, because of attrition in the freshman and sophomore years, it had excess capacity at the junior and senior levels. In the years of underenrollment at Santa Cruz, I made an arrangement, with Heyman that Berkeley would refer a number of freshman applicants, who were eligible for admission but whom Berkeley could not accept, to Santa Cruz with the commitment that if they did well at Santa Cruz for two years they could then transfer to Berkeley with automatic acceptance. For five years, this program sent about two hundred freshmen to Santa Cruz. Interestingly, after the two years at Santa Cruz, about half chose to remain.
Chuck Young, the perennial chancellor at Los Angeles (in his twenty-fifth year at this writing) is also quite tall and vigorous, a former football player at Riverside. Never a real scholar, Chuck is gregarious, a superb fund-raiser with the community and alumni, an enthusiastic promoter of athletics, and a good manager. Wisely, he has appointed able vice-chancellors who have handled most of the academic affairs. Tapping the immense resources of Los Angeles and especially the wealth of adjacent communities such as Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Brentwood, UCLA has
grown mightily under Young's stewardship. Ever resentful of Berkeley's primacy and scholarly eminence in the UC system, UCLA has made little secret of its desire for relative independence from the strictures of the system. If it could somehow be given its state funding unfettered, UCLA would like simply to go its own way—and it could.
By virtue of the stature of their campuses and their own physical stature, Heyman and Young invariably played major roles at the meetings of the council of chancellors.
The other chancellors each had distinctive personalities. Chancellors tend to emphasize one or a few facets of their multifaceted task. Academic leadership and planning, campus management, fund-raising, UC system (and campus) policy determination and politics, community and alumni relations, participation in the national scene within academia or within their professions—all are appropriate and necessary functions. Priorities may vary in relation to the maturity of the campus and the opportunities and importunities of the time, and each chancellor is inclined to favor one or another depending on his or her particular interests and talents.
In one important respect, scientists may not make good chancellors. They can be objective and they have the integrity essential to cope with an unfeeling nature. But as problem solvers they tend naturally to focus on the substance of an issue, to devise and analyze various options for dealing with it, and to decide on the most effective. However, substance is often not the heart of the issue. The issue may be primarily symbolic or, to the participants, procedure may be more important than outcome. Both concepts are foreign to the scientist, who deals with concrete, not symbolic problems, and for whom niceties of procedure are unimportant—"whatever works!" In this realm the skills of the lawyer and the politician are often the most relevant. Scientists can, of course, learn to think in political and symbolic terms; once properly formulated, the skills of problem solving are quite applicable in these domains. But scientists may well find such arenas and tactics uncongenial.
Jim Meyer, the chancellor at Davis, exemplified emphasis on one facet—management. With limited interest in academic questions, he delighted in the details of management structure and function, seeking economy and effectiveness. In an organization as large and bureaucratic as UC, such talents were valuable, but they did not arouse great enthusiasm on his campus.
Francis Sooy and his successor Julius Krevans were the chancellors at UC San Francisco during my tenure. UC San Francisco is a special-
ized campus focusing on medicine and associated fields. Both Sooy and Krevans were distinguished physician-researchers skilled in the politics within the medical profession. Both had high standards and should be given much credit for the development of that campus into a research and teaching institution at the very top level of U.S. medicine.
Bob Huttenback, the chancellor at Santa Barbara, was a longtime colleague. An historian, he also had been a division chairman (of humanities and social science) at Caltech and went to Santa Barbara shortly after I went to Santa Cruz. Huttenback was bright, overconfident, and fond of good food, with a strong personality and a streak of vanity. He had high standards, and at Santa Barbara he had to implement some difficult renewals. A former teachers' college that had earlier been converted into a UC campus, Santa Barbara had had areas of difficulty in its emergence from its less distinguished origins. Bob attacked these problems forcefully, bruising egos in the process. He set about to improve particularly the physical sciences and engineering and boosted these into national stature. However, he also tended toward grandiose projects of marginal academic importance such as a joint ecological project with the city government of Venice, Italy, and a projected Food and Wine Institute on the campus.
The wives of chancellors can play an important if unheralded role in their success or failure. Huttenback's wife, Freda, played a minimal role on campus. At her insistence, the Huttenbacks moved out of the university-provided chancellor's residence on campus to a private house in an elegant part of Santa Barbara. This latter proved to be Huttenback's undoing. Over the years, over two hundred thousand dollars of university funds (above and beyond a housing allowance) were spent to renovate, maintain, and adorn the Huttenbacks' private residence. When this became known, his enemies, who had been awaiting an opportunity, struck. He was obliged to resign, brought to trial for "embezzlement" of public funds, and convicted.
This was a tragedy of folly. I am convinced Huttenback had no criminal intent and had someone pointed out that this use of funds could be construed as "embezzlement," he would have been stunned. Folly, yes; criminality, no. And a sad outcome, for in truth he did many good deeds for UC Santa Barbara and surely improved its status and prestige.
The chancellorship is a very public position I came to realize this early on from casual comments about my personal actions. And the chancellor, as the one who makes the really difficult decisions, is bound to create unhappiness, even enmity. For this reason I consistently
"leaned over backward" to avoid any interpretation of impropriety. The chancellor's role inevitably engenders ambiguities and gray areas of proper allocation, but if a question arose as to whether an expenditure was personal or institutional, I simply accepted the former. To do otherwise would have been pointless folly.
Dan Aldrich at Irvine, an agricultural scientist, was the paragon of a product of the UC system. After service as researcher, professor, and administrator at Riverside, Davis, and Berkeley, he became the founding chancellor at UC Irvine, which he led for twenty-two years. Tall, genial, and politically shrewd, very experienced yet not especially imaginative, he had the simplistic if grand ambition to make Irvine a clone of Berkeley. A physical fitness buff, he competed successfully in senior track and field contests into his seventies.
After his retirement in 1985, he became the UC "designated hitter," serving as acting chancellor for a year at Riverside and then again for a year at Santa Barbara. Both interim terms were successful. His technique for handling student protest in that time was simple and ingenious. "I agree with you and I will recommend so to the next chancellor!" Aldrich was succeeded at Irvine by Jack Peltason, a political scientist and experienced academic administrator, formerly chancellor at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois and then president of the American Council on Education. Peltason particularly and successfully cultivated the wealthy community near Irvine in Orange County and raised large sums for the campus. Subsequently, in 1992, Peltason, experienced and noncontroversial, was selected to succeed David Gardner as president of the university.
Bill McElroy, a large, bluff, hearty, quick-tempered Irishman and skilled biochemist, was chancellor at San Diego. With its emphasis on science and technology, San Diego has frequently had chancellors with scientific backgrounds. Early in my chancellorial tenure, I served on a small committee, appointed by President Saxon, with McElroy as chair. Our mission was to review the "organized research" programs of the UC system and make recommendations for their improvement. This proved to be a lesson in UC politics.
UC is the "research arm" of California and the state provides funding to support various research programs. While the base level of this funding has not been increased in many years, it has been augmented annually to compensate for inflation and currently exceeds one hundred million dollars per year. About half of this sum goes to agricultural research at Davis and Riverside, while the other half goes to a diverse
set of "organized research" projects. Nominally, these projects are established to operate multidisciplinary research programs that extend beyond the appropriate purview of a single department or that involve extensive off-campus facilities or interactions. A marine laboratory, a high-energy physics program, and the multicampus UC astronomy program are viable examples. The state funding is intended to provide stable core support while the bulk of the research is supported by external grants.
Because most of the original funding for such organized research units (ORUs) became available in the 1950s and 1960s, they were concentrated at Berkeley and Los Angeles. Once established, unlike programs supported by external grants, they had no termination dates, no requirements for review, and no pattern of periodic competition for these funds. Our committee found that many of the programs, which had initially flourished, had become stagnant or outdated and of low productivity. We recommended that ORU grants should be for an initial five-year period. After review, they could be renewed for a second five years, but only rarely longer. We recommended that funds made available by termination of an ORU—or alternatively by a small annual decrement in the funding to all ongoing ORUs—be used for a competitive grant program throughout the UC system. We believed that such actions would markedly improve the quality of research supported with these funds.
Of course, the net effect of our proposal could only be to withdraw and redistribute some funding from Berkeley and Los Angeles to other campuses on the basis of competition. As a result, the chancellors of Berkeley and Los Angeles were opposed and the proposal died quietly. It was a lesson learned but never fully accepted.
McElroy's personality clashed repeatedly with that of President Saxon, who was far more cautious and temperate. McElroy's somewhat heavy-handed style created enemies at San Diego even within his own administration, and when he tried to increase direct campus administrative control over the UC San Diego Medical School, its opposition led to a vote of no-confidence. When Saxon did not support him, Bill had no choice but to resign. He was succeeded by Dick Atkinson, a psychologist who had been director of the National Science Foundation. Much more tactful than McElroy, Atkinson has maintained harmony on the campus while continuing to play a national role, serving a term as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in the National Academy of Sciences. Good at fund-
raising, he has also been remarkably successful at using the growing population of the San Diego region and the presence of a regent from San Diego to achieve major resource and capital allocations to his campus.
The Riverside campus has long been the least popular in the system. It was initially established in the 1950s as a unique four-year campus within the UC system, grafted onto an agricultural experiment station. Later, it recognized its foreign character within the UC system and opted to become a full-scale university. But, located inland in a region with heavy smog, it was largely shunned by students. Ivan Hinderaker, a political scientist and another longtime UC staff member, was its chancellor until his retirement in 1983. He was succeeded by Tomas Rivera, a literature scholar and poet, who was the first person of ethnic minority ever appointed to a UC chancellorship. As Riverside is in a region of rapidly growing Hispanic population, his choice seemed felicitous. He was just taking hold of the campus when, tragically, a sudden heart attack took his life.
And what of the chancellor at Santa Cruz in this all-male group of mostly experienced administrators? Intellectually, I could easily hold my own, but this was not an arena in which intellect was always the primary asset. I had much to learn, and fast. Unfamiliar with the idiosyncrasies and bureaucratic complexity of the UC system, coming from a small, private, specialized institution into this vast public enterprise, I was initially taken aback by its unfamiliarity and, as well, by the depth of the inherited problems at the Santa Cruz campus. As a molecular biologist, I was able to bring a dispassionate objectivity to this task, which became recognized as integrity or "fairness." Trained from childhood to be wary of anger, to suppress it and allow it to drain away, I never learned to use anger as is sometimes appropriate.
I was never fully comfortable with fund-raising, even for fully deserving causes, and did it reluctantly. While recognizing the sometimes overriding importance of political maneuver, I found it uncongenial and engaged in such tactics sparingly. Preferring to make my case with logic, I sometimes failed to achieve all that I might have for my campus.
Perceiving the need, I concerned myself greatly with the academic programs and standards of the campus and there made my major mark. After a life spent in the orderly, single-valued world of basic science, I found the more complex worlds and motivations of the other academic divisions—the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts—both interesting and odd. The several academic divisions had varied perspec-
tives and values, even differing concepts of "truth." The significance of time varied greatly across the campus. The rapid progress of the sciences necessitated frequent changes of course material, curricula, and research emphases. Many of the social scientists similarly needed to at least keep pace with the tempo of societal change. But in the areas of philosophy, political science, and parts of literature, scholars are still grappling with the same basic problems that troubled Plato and Socrates. And artists, too, although sometimes with new media, conjure with ancient issues of form and expression.
As scientist-chancellor, I tried to meet and accept all of these diverse universes on their own terms but often found it hard to abandon my scientist's faith in a single objective truth, capable of withstanding challenge, each nugget of understanding in itself an increment of human knowledge.
The plight of the campus demanded my full energies. I found it impossible to seriously pursue my science. I gradually and reluctantly withdrew from activities on the national scene, which did not seem of much benefit to my campus and, instead, seemed to distract my attention and effort. The campus, so badly fractured, sorely needed a steady and guiding presence. In dark hours, when the target of the perennial revolt of youth against authority or the object of unhappy regard by this or that disappointed segment of the faculty, I wondered at the wisdom of my choice. But my commitment had been given and to withdraw it could only be deeply demoralizing to this already betrayed campus. And I learned early not to take the attacks personally, for most often it was the chancellorship itself, and not the holder of the office, that really was the target.
The chancellors who personally thrive and most enjoy the role, who find it most rewarding on a day-to-day basis, are those who like to persuade, to match wits with and best their adversaries, to manipulate others, to use the adroit assessment of personality and choice of incentives or discouragements to achieve a desired end. In short, they are those with the inclinations, natural or learned, of the salesman or the politician. Those whose minds and energies are seized more by the issues, whether abstract or substantive, find the role often drearily frustrating and eventually wearing.
"The problem with you scientists is that you do not realize that the answer is not necessarily the solution." How true and how astute. I was in a conversation with David Gardner, the president of the University of California. In the "real world," the world in which he must function, the answer, the most efficient outcome of an analysis, might well not be the solution because it is simply politically infeasible. The solution must be an answer that is attainable, and Gardner is a master at finding such solutions.
And, I think, his "you scientists" included his predecessor, David Saxon, a physicist.
I served under two presidents of the UC system—both highly intelligent, dedicated, complex persons with very different backgrounds, experiences, styles, and modes of thought. The presidency of the UC system is a task of extraordinary complexity. Located at the nexus of the often conflicting expectations of the regents, the faculty, the students, the alumni, the staff, the governor, the legislature, and the general public (including many special interest groups), the president is also the "manager" of a ten billion dollar per year enterprise. The president is the one person whose mandate is the welfare of the university as a whole, beyond the aggregate of its components.
Presidents have their individual predilections and values. They may have a warm spot in their heart for one or another of the campuses. They may value some aspects of the university's intellectual endeavors more than others. They may feel more obligation to administrators,
such as chancellors, whom they have chosen, than to those they have inherited. But the extreme diversity of the constituencies to which they are responsible constrains much deviation from accustomed patterns, and thereby limits innovation.
I was appointed by David Saxon. As has been mentioned, Saxon was a classmate at MIT. After graduation, he went on to receive his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT. In 1947, he joined the faculty at UCLA. Although never a distinguished physicist, he authored several successful textbooks, including a Physics for Liberal Arts Students . Over the years, he displayed a talent for administration, becoming successively department chairman, dean of physical sciences, executive vice-chancellor at UCLA, and then provost of the university for the entire system. In 1975, he was chosen by the board of regents to become the fourteenth president of the University of California.
Saxon brought a scientific and academic perspective to the presidency. This was a distinct change from the style of the previous president, Charles Hitch, an economist deeply involved with fiscal concerns, cost-benefit analysis, and so on. As a scientist like myself, Saxon's attention focused first on the substance of an issue. While he recognized that the protagonists for a position might not hold very deep (much less reasoned) convictions, he was not likely to seek a mollifying symbolic or public-relations resolution. Instead, he often saw a current issue as a symptom, a manifestation, of a deeper problem than the one at hand and attempted to address that. Unfortunately, this more basic approach often did not satisfy the activists, who felt bypassed and ignored. Such reactions understandably left Saxon frustrated. While cognizant of political considerations, he did not weigh them heavily in his analysis, preferring to believe that logic would carry the day. He was not afraid to enter the political arena, however—on a logical platform, of course.
In 1980, following the success of the Proposition 13 initiative of 1978, the same political forces, seeking to contract the role of government, put forth an initiative to halve the state income tax. The effect on the state budget—and hence the university—already staggering under the impact of Proposition 13, would have been devastating. While many groups around the state could foresee and deplore the potential impact of this initiative, the overwhelming vote in 1978 for Proposition 13 seemingly paralyzed all potential opposition to the new proposal. Saxon took the initiative to organize a coalition to oppose this measure. He rounded up support from the business community, the labor forces,
the various groups of state, county, and city employees, and other good government advocates and mounted a vigorous educational campaign that, in the end, defeated the proposal. His leadership, coming from an unlikely source, was crucial in this effort.
As a scientist, Saxon could immediately grasp the significance of a basic research program such as the project to build a ten-meter telescope (see chap. 29). He was enthused by the idea and saw its accomplishment as a major achievement of his administration. He supported this endeavor through its early stages, even though the university budget was in a grievous state. He believed it was always important to invest in the future and cited the example of UC President Robert Gordon Sproul, who in the midst of the great depression of the 1930s found one million dollars to support the construction of E. O. Lawrence's early cyclotron. This investment secured the preeminence of the Berkeley physics program for three decades.
It was Saxon's misfortune to be president during the governorship of Jerry. Brown. A pure political opportunist with a vaguely utopian philosophy born in the 1960s, Brown maintained few consistent positions, one of which was an antipathy to the university, which he regarded as stodgy, elitist, and arrogant. He pinched the university budget even while the state was running a considerable budget surplus and after Proposition 13 seriously eroded university funding.
Brown also changed the composition of the board of regents, appointing several members of much more politically liberal tendencies. He also, in the guise of diversifying the board, made several highly idiosyncratic appointments, including an iconoclastic, retired UC philosophy professor, the widow of a distinguished UC anthropologist, and the director of a popular music recording company. The new appointees differed, often markedly, in ideology and personality from the older, more "establishment-type" regents, resulting in frequent clashes over policy and even procedure. As president of the university, Saxon was both a regent and the prime employee of the regents. In his unique position, he was expected to mediate the regents' internal conflicts and find effective compromise positions. This unsolicited task at times exceeded his political skills. The result eroded regental confidence in him and their own self-esteem. At the same time, the serious consequences of the budget cuts exacerbated internal competitions and rivalries within the university, leading to dissension and wrangling.
Feeling increasingly besieged and unappreciated in an increasingly
charged political atmosphere, Saxon elected to resign in 1983. He went on to a far more congenial role as chairman of the corporation at MIT, which he filled quite successfully for seven years.
An academic, Saxon never fully recognized the need for the leading university official to maintain a presidential style and ambience among leaders of the business, banking, and allied communities. In a fiscal sense, he "wore a hairshirt," which he rationalized by the poor fiscal condition of the university. He kept his own salary low and thereby—since he was the president—those of administrators throughout the university. However idealistic such an attitude may be, it sooner or later will trip over market forces. Thus, Saxon's successor had to be offered a salary nearly twice that of Saxon merely to match what he had been receiving at his previous post. This "extraordinary increase," of course, elicited many disparaging comments and was an initial and quite unwarranted embarrassment for the new president.
Saxon's successor was a very different type. David Gardner is a master political strategist. While a thoughtful person with strong and clear convictions as to the importance of the university and its particular and special role in society, his approach to issues involves the political component from the beginning and weighs it heavily. Gardner's career has been in academic administration. He has a Ph.D. in education from Berkeley. Over the years, he rose rapidly from director of the Berkeley alumni foundation to assistant chancellor at UC Santa Barbara, to vice-chancellor at UC Santa Barbara, to vice-president of the UC system, to president of the University of Utah. He chaired the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which produced its famous report America at Risk in 1983, and in the same year was chosen to succeed Saxon.
Both presidents solicited advice from their staff and from the chancellors before coming to a policy decision. However, as an academic Saxon understood if a chancellor disagreed and maintained an independent position so long as it was not one of overt opposition. Gardner, to the contrary, expected that once a policy decision was made, all chancellors would support it.
Perhaps because he had been at UCLA during its early years of growth, Saxon felt a major responsibility to support and assist the smaller campuses of the system, to the extent that he could, even at some political hazard. Gardner, ever more attentive to the political cost, was less inclined to do so. Within the system, he recognized the political
clout of Berkeley and Los Angeles and, to an increasing degree, San Diego. The other campuses are not neglected but neither do they merit special resource, especially political resource.
As an academic, and particularly a scientist, Saxon could more readily recognize and correct a "mistake." After all, not all experiments succeed. As a professional administrator, Gardner had great difficulty acknowledging a possible error.
By personal contact and cultivation, Gardner calmed the feuds and angers within the board of regents. He developed good contacts with the legislature. A Mormon, he showed a remarkable ability to maintain his equanimity when Willie Brown, the African American speaker of the state assembly, sought to provoke him with stinging remarks about the attitudes of the Mormon church toward African Americans.
The political balancing act at which Gardner excels requires a carefully crafted script on important occasions. Consequently, he does not like "surprises," new results, or unforeseen objections that might snarl his scenario, especially surprises from his own "team." As part of his "script," Gardner has an exceptional ability to summarize, in a fair and coherent manner, the essential points of what may have been a lengthy and tendentious discussion. He then presents his position, taking into account the salient arguments on both sides. This bravura performance leaves each side satisfied that, at least, its position has been heard and understood, even if it loses the subsequent vote.
It was Gardner's good fortune to become president as a new governor, George Deukmejian, entered office. The two established a special rapport. Deukmejian, the son of Armenian immigrants, had always appreciated the opportunity he had had for higher education and strongly backed the university. Gardner persuaded him of the sore need to redress the damage Brown had done and to set a goal of leaving a strong university as a significant part of his gubernatorial legacy. Gardner plays political chess to achieve his aims. He husbands his political capital, using it sparingly and wisely. When an external issue of significance to the university arises, such as the legislatively mandated review of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, or the attempt by the California State University system to share with UC the prerogative of awarding doctoral degrees, Gardner carefully thinks through a political campaign—positions, ploys, tactics, personalities—to ensure the maintenance of the university's status.
For many years, the UC central administration was headquartered across Oxford Street from the Berkeley campus. This propinquity made
the president's office a handy target for student protests over varied issues. The sympathy, if not outright support, of the Berkeley courts for student protestors made "defense" of the president's office difficult, even defense from physical assault. Also, the juxtaposition of the president's office and the Berkeley campus gave rise to confusion and problems of protocol when greeting distinguished visitors, especially from abroad. Was the French president François-Maurice Mitterand visiting the University of California or UC Berkeley? Should the president or the chancellor be responsible for his itinerary and entertainment?
Saxon had simply endured these problems. Gardner, determined to emphasize the primacy of the UC system, moved his headquarters to nearby Oakland.
Of course, even Gardner's skills could not resolve all issues. The problem of the disproportionate representation of minorities in higher education is most acute in California. The rapidly growing Hispanic and Asian American populations together with the African Americans will make the combined "minorities" the majority in California within a decade or two. This will be true of graduating high school students even sooner. As a public university, UC should reasonably reflect the population of the state. Yet "Anglos" are still the clear majority (54 percent) of the student body and even more so of the faculty (85 percent), although women and minorities now comprise 51 percent of the junior faculty, so their proportions will continue to increase.
Under the master plan for higher education in California, the university is expected to set its admissions criteria so that one eighth (12.5 percent) of the state's high school graduates will be eligible to attend. A formula combining SAT scores and high school grade point averages has been devised that, historically, has limited eligibility to about 13 to 14 percent of the high school graduates. But while approximately 14 percent of "Anglo" graduates are eligible, some 32 percent of Asian American graduates are eligible as compared with only 5 to 6 percent of Hispanic American graduates and 3 to 4 percent of African American graduates. To partially compensate for such disparities, the university has relaxed its requirements to admit graduates who fail to meet the standard requirements up to a maximum of 6 percent of the freshman class. While this exception was originally introduced to permit entry of athletes, it is now used primarily for minority students.
At heavily over-subscribed campuses such as Berkeley and Los Angeles, a strictly meritocratic. admissions policy would exclude almost all Hispanic and African American students. To avert this politically disas-
trous outcome and in order to provide a diversity in the student body, de facto quotas have been established for these groups. These "quotas" have been the target of ceaseless protest, directed especially at Gardner, by the Asian American community. Appreciable numbers of Asian American students in the Bay Area with outstanding academic records have been unable to attend Berkeley. The Asians claim, with justification, that they are being discriminated against to remedy past discrimination against African and Hispanic Americans in which they had no part.
While the university has "ducked and dodged" this issue, the fact is that it has for political reasons deviated significantly from purely meritocratic policies. Whatever the justification, in the end someone bears the burden of such discrimination. And someone, namely the university president, feels the heat.
More heuristically, the university, beginning under Saxon and continuing ever more actively under Gardner, has mounted a series of programs designed to increase the proportion of minorities, especially Hispanic and African Americans, in the university and ultimately on the faculty. "Early Outreach" programs, sponsored by the university, provide counseling and guidance beginning in junior high schools with predominantly minority enrollment. Manifestly, if students fail to take the appropriate courses in high school, they will not be eligible to attend the university. Special summer "bridge" programs help to acclimate minority high school graduates to the university practices and milieu. Special counseling and tutorial programs, primarily for minority students, are available on every campus. Special financial aid programs exist for minority students.
Recognizing that unless minority students attend graduate school there will be no pool of future minority faculty, the university has provided for special financial support for minority graduate students and even a unique program of postdoctoral fellowships for able minority and women Ph.D.'s. And the university has a well-conceived and implemented, although necessarily officious, affirmative action program to ensure that minority and women candidates are considered for all faculty and staff positions.
Nonetheless, with the long training period and the slow turnover, many years will inevitably be required for the representation of minorities and women on the faculty to reflect their proportions in the student body and the general population. In the meantime, the corresponding
interest groups will direct their unhappiness toward the university administration and especially the president.
In contrasting these two presidents, there can be little question that, objectively, Gardner was the more successful. In that position, political skills are more significant than sophisticated analytical intelligence. And Gardner, the experienced professional administrator, was clearly more comfortable in the position, more self-confident and at ease, than the academic Saxon, who was more self-critical, more burdened by consciousness of the merit of opposing views. But how would Gardner have fared with Jerry Brown as governor? It would have been interesting.
In 1992, sorely grieving the sudden and tragically early death of his wife Libby, David Gardner resigned as president of the University of California. His departure was unhappily tarnished by the revelation of a generous retirement "package" provided to him by the regents, but awkwardly coincident with major recession-induced crises for the state and the university. In the short term, in a time of salary freezes, student fee increases, layoffs, and so on, this "golden parachute," however well merited, overshadowed his remarkable accomplishments throughout his nine-year tenure and sullied the image of the UC administration in the eyes of the legislature and the citizenry in general.
It was a dramatic confrontation. Governor George Deukmejian, a candidate for reelection, sat as an ex officio member with the board of regents, next to the chairman. His election opponent, Tom Bradley, the African American mayor of Los Angeles whom he had narrowly defeated four years previous, stood before the board as a petitioner.
The issue was divestment. The question of continuing investment of university funds—endowment and retirement accumulations—in companies doing business in South Africa had bedeviled the board of regents for years. Student protests against such investment had erupted spasmodically, reaching a crescendo the past spring when several thousand had surrounded the regents' meeting at the Lawrence Exploratorium at UC Berkeley, requiring a protective police cordon and, after the meeting, surreptitious exit by a devious route.
The investment committee of the board, dominated by senior, conservative regents from the worlds of banking and commerce, had been loath to divest. Mindful of its "fiduciary" responsibility to manage these funds wisely and prudently, the committee was unsure that alternative investments of comparable quality could be found. It questioned whether the exodus of U.S. corporations from South Africa would benefit or harm the native population there. It also hesitated to open what some saw as a Pandora's box; once one began to discriminate among investments on the basis of perceived "social value," where did the process stop? What about companies that did business with the Soviet Union? Liquor companies? Tobacco companies?
President Gardner had supported this position and divestment had repeatedly been discussed, debated, and defeated. The regents had "compromised" by agreeing to urge all companies in which they held equity to subscribe to the Sullivan Principles, which encouraged American companies in South Africa to hire, train, pay equal wages to, and advance native workers as rapidly as possible. Personally, I favored divestment. But under Gardner's concept of chancellorial responsibility, I could only indicate my view quietly, eschewing public statement.
Mayor Bradley, promoting his election campaign, was now "demanding" that the regents divest. The governor, however, was ready with a preemptive strike. He had a day earlier announced that he intended to introduce a motion for gradual divestiture allowing corporations a period of grace to withdraw from South African enterprise before UC would be required to sell its equities. And this time the governor called in his political chips—all regents appointed by Deukmejian voted for the motion and it passed.
The board of regents is supposed to insulate the university from political conflict, but it is not always able to do so. It was fitting that this regental action, which evoked student joy, occurred at the first regents' meeting at Santa Cruz in eighteen years. After a near riot by students furious with Governor Reagan following a regents' meeting at Santa Cruz in 1968, the regents had ceased to meet on campuses for sixteen years. They had now somewhat gingerly resumed that practice for a few meetings each year and were once again at Santa Cruz.
The eminence of the University of California owes much to the wise traditions and relative political independence of its board of regents. By provision of the state constitution, the governance of the university is delegated specifically to the board of regents. Therefore, UC is administratively independent of the whims and passions of the state legislature. This is not true of the California State University system nor the community college system, both of which are creations of the legislature. The independence of UC, of course, has its limits. The legislature has the power of the purse through its appropriations and could therefore exert considerable pressure to achieve certain objectives. Fortunately, however, over the decades, a modus vivendi has evolved in which the legislature does not attempt to enforce specific directives on the university but is content to prescribe broad policies or to give broad hints of its special concerns, as through requests for reports on particular topics.
With certain exceptions, the regents are appointed by the governor.
Originally lasting sixteen years, the term was shortened to twelve years in the 1970s. Such lengthy terms ensure that no one governor will appoint the entire board. Service on the board is considered prestigious and is seldom declined. Nominally, the state senate is required to confirm the gubernatorial appointments. In practice, only one such appointment has ever been rejected. Leland Stanford, the railroad tycoon, who later endowed Stanford University, was so disliked in California that his nomination was rejected. In addition to the eighteen appointed regents, there are five ex officio regents—the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the assembly, the state superintendent of instruction, and the president of UC. There are also three regents who serve one-year terms, two UC alumni elected by the alumni, and one student chosen by the regents from student applicants.
The regents meet in the middle of each month nine times per year (omitting April, August, and December), usually for a day and a half. Most of the work of the board is conducted in its several committees—buildings and grounds, educational policy, hospitals, investments, laboratory oversight—which meet on the first day. By law, these meetings are open to the public except when specific legal, investment, or personnel decisions are discussed. The press is present, as are university. personnel, parties interested in particular decisions, and, on occasion, hundreds (if room is available) of student activists agitated about one or another issue. As a consequence of this audience, the meetings at times take on aspects of amateur theater. Board members with definite political constituencies may use their positions to clearly play to factions in attendance.
At times, I, as a scientist, found it difficult to take these proceedings seriously. One of the burdens of the chancellorial. position is that one is expected to consider thoughtfully on various occasions sincere but shallow experiential certainties of regents, the blatantly hypocritical certainties of local politicians, convoluted and näive certainties of faculty, or self-absorbed certainties of callow students. To a scientist familiar with the structures of proof, these claims were often risible. But I was expected to respond to arrant nonsense with sober logic, in a dignified manner, never losing my "cool" or concern. Only later within a small discreet group could I smile, laugh, or even, resignedly, mock.
Chancellors are expected to attend regents' meetings so that they are acquainted with university policies and the reasons for their adoption. Chancellors do not sit with the board, but their absence is definitely noted. They may be called on to address the board on issues
relating specifically to their campuses. A chancellor can request to speak informally to the board if he feels he has special insight concerning the issue under discussion. At most meetings, though, a chancellor plays a purely passive role. The real value of the meeting for me came in the opportunity for informal discussion with regents in the corridors during breaks, at lunch, or at the regents' dinner, to which the chancellors (and often their spouses) are invited. On these occasions, a distinct effort is made to create a sense of fellowship in service to the university, as well as a sense of pride in its history and accomplishments. The regents' meetings also afford an opportunity to talk informally with the higher officials of the central university administration, who are always in attendance as well.
Each meeting is presaged by the arrival of several pounds of proposed motions, position papers, reports, the minutes of the previous meeting, and the forthcoming agenda. Individuals or representatives of organizations may request permission to address the board on a particular topic when it is discussed. Such requests must be made in advance in a defined manner and, if approved, are for a specific duration, usually five minutes.
Regents, regents, you can't hide.
You believe in genocide.
Most of the business of the board is routine: approval of the annual budget; approval of building design and construction contracts; receipt of periodic reports on enrollment, student performance, affirmative action statistics, gifts, investment performance, hospital finances, and so on; discussion of new academic programs; changes in programs of faculty or staff benefits. But some issues were not routine and required special, often intense consideration. And some issues, ones in which students challenged board policy, arose repeatedly, giving rise to near-riotous conditions. Thousands of chanting students, their mob behavior belying their academic credentials, would create an atmosphere akin to siege. When students in the audience created unceasing disruption, the meeting had to be adjourned either to another room or, if none was available, until the original room could be cleared. The meeting then resumed with a restricted audience.
Divestment, until the resolution described above, was such an issue. Another has been the university management of the "weapons laboratories" at Los Alamos and Livermore. These laboratories are responsible for the design and testing of all nuclear weapons. The
University of California is responsible for their "management" under a contract with the Department of Energy. This arrangement began during World War II when the Los Alamos laboratory was established to develop the first atomic bomb under the aegis of E. O. Lawrence and headed by Robert Oppenheimer, both faculty members of UC Berkeley. Since this was to be a civilian laboratory, it was natural then for the University of California to be asked to provide its management. After the war, the arrangement simply continued, with the Livermore laboratory subsequently added. The contract has been renewed at five-year intervals.
"Management" of these laboratories, however, has been primarily housekeeping The university provides the administrative services, the bookkeeping, the retirement program, and so on. Determination of the programs of the laboratories, the budget allocations, and questions of classification of research are governmental decisions. The university has a voice in the selection of the laboratory directors but not much else.
During the Vietnam War period, questions arose as to the propriety of this university role. The "Zinner committee," composed of faculty, after a review of the university oversight of the laboratories, recommended that UC should have a significantly larger role in their programmatic direction or should not continue its contract. The report had little effect. A new scientific advisory committee to the UC president was established, to be concerned specifically with scientific and technical competence of the laboratories' research, not with program or policy. The federal government was not about to relinquish nor share the selection of programs or allocation of funds.
This issue came to my attention at contract renewal time in 1978. Again, there were major student protests against this university involvement. I agreed with the students. It seemed to me to be inappropriate for a university dedicated to freedom of inquiry and the value of reason in human affairs to continue to "manage"—that is, do the housekeeping for—secret laboratories dedicated to the design of weapons of mass destruction. I did not question that the United States at that time needed these laboratories but rather felt that other agencies could serve this role as well as the university, which had only an historical connection. For the university, this role was so contrary to its professed principles as to breed a deep cynicism and distrust among its students.
The regents scheduled a session at which anyone could have five minutes to comment on the issue. I requested five minutes and, to the
regents' evident surprise, spoke against renewal of the contract. Clearly, some regents had concerns about a chancellor—an administrative employee—taking such a public position on an issue that was assuredly their prerogative to decide. Others, however, opposed to contract renewal, were pleased to hear my statement. Saxon, perhaps because of his background in physics, favored continuation of the management role. However, he defended the right of a chancellor to hold a different view, particularly one based on a concern for the welfare of the university. Initially, I was the only chancellor who favored dissociation from the laboratories, but over the years several other chancellors came to favor my position.
A majority of regents, however, favored renewal, partly because of the historical connection, partly because they perceived it as bringing prestige to the university. (at least within a certain sector of society), and partly because they perceived that the willingness of the university to fulfill this role engendered a favorable disposition toward UC in Washington, the major source of research funds. Indeed, some have viewed the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, a major bulwark of research at Berkeley, supported by DOE funds and doing no classified work, as the quid pro quo for the weapons laboratories management.
This issue recurs every five years. At the next cycle, Governor Brown indicated that he was opposed to this role of UC and would vote against it as a regent. As usual, he did not follow through. Had he exerted pressure on his regental appointments, he could have mustered the votes to defeat renewal over Saxon's advocacy. However, Brown did not do so and it was renewed by a narrow margin.
President Gardner, neither a strong advocate nor a strong opponent, seemingly has been content to let the board decide this issue. Gardner has, however, expressed concern about the amount of administrative time and attention required for this one matter, which is really rather peripheral to the primary functions of the university. In 1989, a UC faculty senate committee, the Jendresen committee, issued yet another report advocating nonrenewal of the contract. Faculty votes relative to this recommendation were subsequently taken on all UC campuses. On every campus, these resulted in majorities in favor of nonrenewal. Despite this expression of faculty opinion, President Gardner, after again making some cosmetic changes of advisory committees, recommended renewal and the board concurred. It seems likely that the regents will continue to favor renewal of the relationship unless it should be opened to competitive applications from other organizations.
Regents come to the board with varied backgrounds and interests. Many begin their terms as "single-interest" regents determined to influence the position of the board with respect to some issue of great personal concern and paying little attention to its other responsibilities. Thus, minority or women regents may initially focus on matters of affirmative action, an architect on buildings and grounds, a financier on investments, and a lawyer on legal problems. Some may have particular educational axes to grind. However, for most, though not all, regents a socialization process occurs. As they become aware of the complexity and diversity of the intrinsic concerns of the university and the forces impinging on it, they realize the interactions, the trade-offs, the compromises that must be made, continually reviewed, and revised in the light of changing circumstances. They also come to realize the value of precedent in conferring stability on this vast enterprise. In this regard, long-term regents such as Edward Carter, who was a regent for more than thirty years, serve as an invaluable institutional memory. Of course, precedent can also be used as an excuse for stagnation.
In addition to the president, two other major officers report directly to the board of regents: the treasurer and the general counsel. The treasurer in effect operates a small but professional investing team under the direct guidance and policy direction of the investment committee. The regents have been exceptionally successful in their investments and Treasurer Herbert Gordon, a quiet, conservative fellow, is highly skilled. That the general counsel reports directly to the regents and not to the president of the university is an anomaly. The president, who frequently needs legal advice, has no lawyer but must make use of the regents' lawyer. This arrangement works as long as they interact well. However, while most often the interests of the regents and the welfare of the university coincide, this is not always true. The general counsel's primary obligation is to defend the interests—the purse, the prerogatives, and the reputation—of the regents. He must accede to their directives even if against his own judgment.
I have known two general counsels. Both were able lawyers but were afflicted with institutional timidity. Since the university is always the object of any suit, campuses must use the office of the general counsel for any legal involvement. Consequently, the office has a large legal staff of varied competence, with some lawyers specializing in particular fields (e.g., real estate), and others assigned to handle the legal affairs of a particular campus or two. During my chancellorship, the general counsel's office, as perhaps befits the defender of the regents, was highly
conservative in its approach to legal questions and had limited concern for what seemed to me to be matters of important academic principle. They much preferred settlement to trial, even in suits that seemed to me to have little merit. They did not want to trust the issue to a judge or jury. And, to be fair, they had to consider the probable cost of the litigation if the matter went to trial. However, I had to be concerned about the cumulative effect of these decisions, as it became known that essentially frivolous suits could achieve a rewarding settlement.
Nor was the general counsel willing to entertain any aggressive suit by the university to discourage baseless claims or even to seek to enforce contractual arrangements with public bodies such as the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.
Here, the scientist's concern for substance—in this case, justice—conflicted with the lawyer's pragmatic understanding of legal practice and possibility. In a deeper sense, it was a conflict between two systems of truth—the scientist's "truth" based on reproducible fact and the lawyer's "truth," the evidence a jury will or will not believe—and even a question of whether it would be worth the effort to reveal that "truth." In frustration, I often wished I could hire Melvin Belli for the Santa Cruz campus.
In its rigid conservatism, the office of the general counsel turned simple legal documents into tortured tomes. For instance, in the course of negotiation with the University of Hawaii to locate the ten-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, we needed a land lease for the site. The University of Hawaii submitted a three-page lease. This was sent to the office of the general counsel and was eventually returned as a twenty-four-page document. When it was sent back to Hawaii, their lawyers joined the game and the eventual lease exceeded forty pages.
A more amusing episode concerned the reaction of the board of regents to legislation requiring them, and all university administrators, to file annual financial statements, presumably to allow detection of possible conflicts of interest. The regents were highly indignant at this invasion of privacy and breach of dignity and mandated that the general counsel sue for their exemption from the legislation on some grounds of constitutional immunity. The general counsel demurred, saying that he did not think such action had much chance of success, but the regents insisted. He filed suit and lost, then appealed—again at the regents insistence—and lost. The regents, their honor satisfied, acquiesced and the issue vanished from sight.
The university, with five medical schools, operates five teaching
hospitals. Their problems, and especially their financial difficulties and potential liabilities, occupy considerable regental attention. A major contretemps erupted at the UC Davis medical school in 1982, when the cardiology faculty accused the surgical group, doing heart transplants, of incompetence. The university was already under suit for malpractice by relatives of patients who had perished in such operations. The transplant group then sued the cardiology group for defamation. This internal melee made defense against the malpractice claims very difficult, to say the least. In addition, at this time the hospital was threatened with loss of accreditation by the state. The regents were sorely vexed, but eventually all of the legal complications were resolved by expensive settlement, including a major compensation to a transplant surgeon who agreed to move elsewhere.
A remarkable instance pitted the board of regents against the Board of Supervisors of Orange County. The UC medical school and hospital at Irvine had an agreement with the county to accept and treat local medically indigent patients. In return, the county would reimburse the hospital for its costs. If the county thought the reimbursement claimed for a case was too large, it could challenge the bill; the issue would then be resolved by an arbitrator. After a few years, the county balked at the ever-increasing total reimbursement claim, and county officials simply decided to challenge every claim UC filed. The arbitration process was completely overwhelmed. Within a year, thousands of unpaid claims had accumulated and were continuing to accumulate. Meanwhile, the university had already incurred the costs and had to pay its bills.
Letters from the board of regents to the county and meetings of a subcommittee of the board with county officials were to no avail. The board of supervisors was adamant and, in effect, thumbed its collective nose at the board of regents. This stalemate continued until the election of a new Orange County supervisor with whom President Saxon was personally acquainted. Remarkably, the two of them were able, with mutual trust and quiet diplomacy, to resolve quickly this rancorous dispute. The episode well illustrates how the prestige of the regents is not accompanied by comparable political power.
Relations between the university and the agricultural sector of the state were multifaceted. Research at the Agricultural Experiment Station at Davis and the Citrus Experiment Station at Riverside has made major contributions to California agriculture, developing new varieties of crops, techniques to improve plant yields, better pest control
procedures, improved animal nutrition, and improved and novel farm machinery. The last, however, became a source of major controversy.
New harvesting machinery, in particular a tomato harvester—which required the parallel development of hardier tomatoes—displaced thousands of migrant farm workers. The new machinery also hurt small farms because it was particularly beneficial to large farms (agribusinesses) that could both afford and make fuller use of it. The United Farm Workers' Union and the California Rural Assistance League and their legislative allies belabored the university over this issue. In response, the regents held extensive and clamorous hearings on the matter but did not change university policy. Dissatisfied with this outcome, the California Rural Assistance League brought suit against the university, charging it was misusing federal agricultural research funds to benefit a few large agribusinesses. The suit was fought in the courts for many years and was finally settled after the judge had given a partial ruling in favor of the university.
This issue exemplified clearly the profound sociological effects that can accompany technological innovation. In this instance, some provision should have been made, by some agency, to provide retraining for the thousands of farm workers displaced by the new machines. Similar, even more pervasive consequences may be anticipated in the future from the development of biotechnology.
UC Santa Cruz had no direct involvement in this matter, although I was indirectly caught in the commotion and furor at regents' meetings. However, Santa Cruz did have an experimental "farm"—a portion of the campus that was used by students in the late 1960s and early 1970s to grow crops as part of the "back to the Earth" movement of the times. (It was likely also used to grow certain illegal crops.)
By the late 1970s the farm, no longer fashionable, was near extinction. I was persuaded by our environmental studies program that it could be used as a model farm to study the possibility of "sustainable agriculture"—that is, agriculture that combining certain crops, farm animals, and even fish ponds could operate with a minimum of external fertilizer and also, by appropriate combinations of plants, minimize the need for herbicides and pesticides. I was favorably disposed to this proposal but insisted that it not be an ideological toy but a true research enterprise with planned experiments and carefully measured and recorded results. We were fortunate to obtain Stephen Gliessman to join the faculty to lead this agroecology project. One result of the
tempest over the small-farm issue was a much more favorable attitude within the UC toward such "radical" agricultural experiments and on campuses other than Davis or Riverside.
While in general regents show each other mutual respect and tolerance, on occasion relations can become intensely acrimonious. The most extreme outburst I witnessed occurred near the end of Regent Campbell's first year as chairman of the board.
The chairman of the board chairs the meetings, calls on speakers, and, with the gavel, has significant influence on the conduct and even the outcome of discussions. The chairman is elected by the board and traditionally serves for a two-year term. Campbell, a conservative regent, then director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford and an advisor to President Reagan (who as governor had appointed him to the board), became chairman in July 1982. By this time, Governor Brown had appointed a considerable number of liberal-minded regents. In their view, Campbell chaired the board in a blatantly partisan manner, skewing the agenda, cutting off discussion, and repeatedly favoring those who shared his political persuasion.
A revolt brewed. The liberals also realized that, with the end of Brown's term approaching, their numbers might be at a peak. They declined to support Campbell for reelection for the customary second year. To soften the blow and, they hoped, to reduce the likelihood of future incessant internal conflict, they did not propose a staunch liberal but rather a well-liked middle-of-the-road regent, Yuri Wada, to replace Campbell. The older, conservative regents, however, were infuriated. The ensuing violent debate involved personal denigration, aspersions on the abilities of Wada, and language almost never heard in an open regents' meeting. In the end, the liberals had the votes and Campbell was replaced. He was so enraged that he did not appear at regents' meetings for the following year.
With Governor Brown's replacement by Deukmejian, the pattern of appointment of conservative-oriented regents resumed and the board returned to its more traditional style of conscientious but sober and genteel public service.
At the conclusion of a chancellor's service, he is given the opportunity to address some appropriate remarks to the regents. At my farewell meeting, I gave them "three wishes." I wished them good luck in their unending quest for resources for the university—a strong
economy, a favorable governor, a well-disposed legislature. I also wished that, in the fullness of time, they would find a graceful path to extricate themselves from the management of the nuclear weapons laboratories. And finally, I wished them the wisdom to come to see the campuses as members of a family rather than as divisions of a corporation. I think they understood.
In his wise and delightful book, The Academic Tribes, Hazard Adams set forth six principles of faculty-administration policy:
1. The Diffusion of Academic Authority. . . . No one has the complete power to do any given thing.
2. The Deterioration of Academic Power. . . . Real academic power deteriorates from the moment of an administrator's first act. . . . All administrators play a zero-sum game.
3. The Diminishment of Organizational Allegiance. . . . The fundamental allegiance of the faculty member is to the smallest unit to which he belongs.
4. The Third Law of Academic Motion. . . . To every administrative action there is an equal and opposite reaction. . . . Faculties are after all composed largely of people who like problems, perhaps even more than solutions, and even to the point of actively seeking them where they have not been recognized.
5. The Protective Coloration of Eccentricity. . . . Eccentricity is not only to be tolerated in academic life; it is often a positive virtue.
6. The Necessity of Symbolism. . . . Faculties demand the proper maintenance of the symbols of their institution. . . . The president [must] . . . seem to exercise authority. . . . The president must therefore be a role player, a supreme actor.
In a deep sense, the faculty members are the university—and they know it. Their quality and dedication determine its quality and its vi-
tality. Only they can provide the intellectual capital and the spirit of intellectual adventure for which students come and thereby create the university. The buildings, the resources, the administration are needed primarily to foster the work of the faculty. They are necessary but in no way sufficient. Their lack or misuse can inhibit the faculty, but buildings, resources, and administration can never substitute for its essential creativity. In today's university, many forces act to channel that creativity. into highly specialized pursuits. No overarching intellectual synthesis unites the faculty; only procedural dogmas such as "academic freedom" claim broad allegiance.
The chancellor's relations with his or her faculty are crucial. The chancellor can provide a broad vision, but only the faculty can implement it, so he or she must work with the faculty to encourage its ideas, foster its elan, and earn its respect through fairness, integrity, and good judgment. If the chancellor and the faculty can work together, much can be accomplished. If they work against each other, wheels can only spin.
Unfortunately, a chancellor, especially one who comes to the campus from outside, can never really make close friends within the faculty, even with those members with similar professional interests. For, ultimately, he or she is their judge, the arbiter of their advancements and promotions, and the evaluator of their requests for resources. Conceivably, if a chancellor had been in an earlier time a close colleague of a faculty member, such a relationship might persist, although then he or she would need beware of the appearance of cronyism. As a result, the chancellor's position on campus is inevitably somewhat aloof from the faculty—and lonely.
For the Santa Cruz faculty, the university was still much the "ivory tower." Lacking professional schools (and excluding the small cadre that dabbled in local politics), it had limited contact with the "real world" of industry, commerce, and agriculture, of politics, crime, and wars. The faculty had largely been recruited during the late 1960s and early 1970s during the period of rapid growth of the campus. As a result, and because most had come as junior faculty, it was relatively homogeneous in age and slanted toward the relatively radical ideologies of that period. Among these was a strong dislike for authority. Some said the Santa Cruz faculty had a "talent for regicide." The failure to recruit a faculty with a more balanced age distribution and the resultant dearth of seasoned faculty with more knowledge of university traditions was another of the founders' early mistakes. Unless there could be renewed
growth in the coming years, since there would be few retirements, Santa Cruz would have an aging cadre of faculty that would not be renewed by the steady influx of younger members.
Individually, each faculty member is an expert in a necessarily narrow field of knowledge and is often correspondingly ignorant of other, even closely related disciplines. Astronomers usually have scant knowledge of biology and vice versa, as do economists of anthropology, philosophers of linguistics, and Shakespearean literary scholars of Shakespearean acting. But disciplines can be clustered into broad groups with more-or-less common values and attitudes toward knowledge and perspectives on reality.
At Iowa State, I had been a relatively junior faculty member, largely immersed within my department and related fields and with very limited contact with faculty beyond science. At Caltech, a small institution, I had made contacts broadly across the institute—but the Caltech faculty has a restricted breadth of interests, encompassing primarily science and engineering, with only a small contingent of humanists and social scientists to provide a limited representation of those fields of knowledge. Now as chancellor I had the opportunity—and necessity—to interact intellectually with faculty across the broad spectrum of scholarship. This was an interesting challenge.
The scientists' values and perspectives were familiar to me. Scientists search for the single truth they believe to be present in nature. They are in essence problem solvers driven by curiosity.
A meaningful insight into an academic discipline can be obtained from the pattern of mutual evaluations within that field. Because the natural sciences have an external standard of reality, evaluations of an individual's ability to reveal that reality tend to distribute closely about a single value.
I found that social scientists, who are concerned with a more ephemeral and less tangible reality, with little opportunity to observe much less perform reproducible experiments, are often not sure there is a single accessible "truth." Frequently, they are motivated by a desire to remedy what they personally perceive as societal ills. This can unfortunately, and not infrequently, lead them to positions of advocacy and even proselytizing in the classroom, practices that are contrary to the purely educational aims of the university. (They will respond that there are no "nonpolitical" aims.) Correspondingly, evaluations in the social sciences tend to be more diverse and reflective of differing perceptions
of the validity of their insights, although still centered on a single estimate.
The humanists, still grappling with the age-old and extensively analyzed issues of philosophy and literature, tend to exalt grace of expression and insight into the evolving "human condition" in these swiftly changing times. However, often they personally find a kind of refuge from these unresolvable problems in the narrow exegesis of a particular author, poet, or historical figure. During my chancellorship, valuations in the humanities were often bimodal, reflecting different schools of interpretation, with the implicit conclusion by members of one school that all members of the other were dolts.
And the artists, while admiring execution and grace of result, value above all raw creativity—the act of creation and its novelty. As a consequence, in the arts (except for music) almost "anything goes." The artists at Santa Cruz seemed quite unwilling even to formulate any rankings of other artists and evaluations were almost randomly distributed.
It is hardly surprising that such a diverse collection of intellects will find great difficulty in framing common educational goals. For the most part not broadly educated themselves, they can neither conceive nor achieve a curricular synthesis. As a result, each department can develop a curriculum for its majors, and each division can provide for the basic courses common to two or more of its departments. However, the lip service paid to the virtues of liberal education, as providing intellectual synthesis, is fulfilled only by provision of a cafeteria of "general education" courses, offered at a low level by the departments, from which each student may select any one of numerous combinations.
The colleges at Santa Cruz, each composed of a variety of faculty member cutting across departmental and divisional lines, were proposed to provide broad courses bridging disciplines and forging intellectual synthesis. While many of the original faculty who came to Santa Cruz were attracted by this abstract concept, the vision was soon attenuated by the powerful pull of disciplinary incentives, the complete lack of the additional resources needed to mount such programs, and the strong inclination of many faculty toward intellectual concentration. As well, for a faculty member with professional ambitions, development of a reputation within a discipline was a portable asset. Development of specialized, interdisciplinary courses adapted to Santa Cruz would bring only local and nontransferable acclaim.
As I have indicated, by the mid-1970s the debilitating internal con-
flict had eliminated most attempts at interdisciplinary courses and had left stagnation. Breaking away from the old vision released the energies of the faculty anew and actually stimulated a revival of the broad collegiate "core" courses. The collegiate structure, costly and built into the foundations of Santa Cruz, remained (and remains) as an ever-present, often tantalizing reminder of the unfilled need in higher education for intellectual synthesis, and was thus a continuing, usually low-level source of tension and occasional bickering on the campus. The faculty attracted by the initial concept were strongly committed to the importance of undergraduate education, while recognizing (in most cases) the value of graduate and professional education, which must be integral to any UC campus. And this quality has persisted as a significant criterion in the selection of new Santa Cruz faculty, much to the benefit of undergraduate teaching on the campus.
The junior faculty with which Santa Cruz began were promising but untried. Then the tenure reviews after seven years were plagued by the ambivalence of the conflicting board-college criteria. As a result, the quality of the Santa Cruz faculty when I arrived was spotty. There were some centers of real strength in astronomy, physics, social psychology, the history of ideas (called "history of consciousness" at Santa Cruz), literature, and theater arts. And there were very talented individuals in many disciplines. But it was after the "reorganization" that the criteria became much clearer and the standards for hiring and tenure rose. During my term of office, excellent groups of faculty were assembled in seismology, molecular biology, anthropology, economics, education, and linguistics. The establishment of our first program in engineering, computer engineering, proved very successful and set a standard for future programs.
We also made mistakes, even with more senior appointments. This was particularly true with deans and directors whom we brought in from outside. Academic administrators should come from the faculty, so that they will have a true understanding of academic values and faculty problems. But, unlike industry, academia has almost no systematic programs to groom and train its future administrators. Faculty in general look on university administration as an unpleasant chore that they will perform for a few years before happily escaping back to the scholarly activities they enjoy. Too long a period of administrative service makes return to studies difficult, and only a few find that they have a talent for administration or like it. As a result, when one is seeking vice-chancellors,
deans, or directors, frequently there is no one on the campus qualified or willing. Then one looks elsewhere.
The idiosyncracies of Santa Cruz militate against a successful administrative transplant. Worse, as I learned by painful experience, other universities have no conscience about "unloading" ineffective administrators and will grossly inflate their abilities and minimize their defects. This is especially problematic because once someone comes on board as an administrator and proves inadequate, he or she is not likely by that time to prove a good faculty member.
Most faculty are hard-working professionals, devoted to their teaching and their scholarly activities. As a collegiate enterprise, the faculty should play a major role in the governance of all academic matters through the academic senate and its numerous committees. This requires time and effort. Some give this service reluctantly as a duty, but others see the senate as an arena for their political urges.
Faculty politics is one of the less felicitous aspects of university life. Largely eschewed by the scientists and artists who are more concerned with advancing their research or creating their works, the senate is usually the province of the social scientists and humanists. Many social scientists—sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists, economists—are committed to an ideological agenda such as socialism, feminism, or environmentalism. These seek especially to use the university, with its access (from a position of authority) to students in their formative years, to create attitudes that will implement their agendas in the future. They also seek to create within the sheltering cocoon of the university a model of society as "caring," "free of discrimination," and "egalitarian," the fulfillment of all the slogans that they would like to see adopted in the world at large. Some social scientists also view the university as a laboratory within which they can test their political stratagems and means to implement change. For this purpose, they may enlist the support of likeminded students to exert greater pressure on the administration.
The humanists, believing strongly in the power of the word, see the university as the place to exemplify such power. Believing that they are the true bearers of culture, but recognizing their relatively minor role in the larger society (at least in America), they tend to regard the university as their "turf," although they recognize that quantitatively they must now share it with those less cultured newcomers, the scientists.
The floor of the academic senate tends thus to become the play-
ground for a small number of activist social scientists and humanists to exercise their particular talents. The diversity of faculty interests ensures that little of consequence is passed. If proposed legislation of major importance is likely to be successful, the scientists stir from their laboratories and the artists from their studios to participate. Thus, issues of curriculum or grading policies may be debated endlessly, with little action. Intervention by the chancellor—which I attempted on behalf of more specific campuswide general education requirements—is of limited influence. The cycle of the academic year imposes further limitations. Unless a motion can be brought up, analyzed, debated, and acted on within nine months, the summer interval, like the river Styx, erases memory and one must start largely anew with new committee members the next fall. The pace of academia is best described as "glacial."
Self-satisfying and resounding speeches aside, the work of the senate is performed in its several smaller committees. The chancellor or appropriate vice-chancellor meets periodically with these committees to discuss issues of common concern, to resolve disputes, and, more generally, to keep each other informed as to larger issues that may be affecting the campus and their thoughts for future actions. The university is properly a collegiate enterprise. Its operation thereby requires extensive consultation with mutual regard, good humor, and steadfast determination if any change is to be effected.
While faculty members often make their presence and positions very. evident, they can also on occasion virtually disappear. The faculty members at Santa Cruz took their mentoring role seriously. As a consequence, they were most reluctant to take any position that might alienate their students or reduce their rapport. In fact, some seemed almost intimidated by the students.
While individual students might complain about a particular faculty member, generalized student protests—whether over a tenure decision, a land-use decision, a regental policy, or perceived inadequacies of affirmative action, student aid, or concern for undergraduate education—were directed overtly at the chancellor and not the faculty. Behind the scenes, nearly everyone of these protests had some clandestine encouragement by at least a few faculty members. But the faculty members in general stood aloof, admitting no complicity, accepting no responsibility, and allowing the chancellor "to take the heat" regardless of their personal feelings on the issue, which they might convey to me privately but never publicly. Hazard Adams forgot to mention that chancellors are also expected to serve as "lightning rods."
The burden of regulation and litigation grew continually during my tenure. I doubt that fiscal scandals were more frequent than earlier, but each ratcheted upward the financial controls and auditing requirements considered necessary for "accountability." The waves from the civil rights movement of the 1960s produced ever-expanded zones of "nondiscrimination"—to the classical categories of race and gender were added ethnicity, religion, physical disability, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation. Coupled with the obligation to ensure that no discrimination on these bases ever occurred were complex restrictions on the right of the institution even to require into an individual's inclusion in one or another of these categories.
Beyond nondiscrimination, there soon evolved an institutional obligation for "affirmative action"—positive actions to foster the enrollment and education of students from "underrepresented minorities" and to employ and advance minority and women staff and faculty members. Appropriate mechanisms had to be developed to promote these goals and to continually monitor their achievement. While the objectives of these programs were clearly desirable, to continue to uphold the overriding criterion of merit while negotiating these procedural thickets required skill and vigilance.
Affirmative action was and remains controversial. A priori, it is a violation of the principle of merit, a basic belief of the university. Further, since it is a violation of the constitutional principle of equal treatment, it is legally justified through tortured artifice such as the desirability of diversity on the campus and in the workplace. Some regard it as the displacement of "equality of opportunity" by "equality of result." However, I believe affirmative action for student admissions is justified by a closer examination of the meaning of equality of opportunity. Minority groups have historically been disadvantaged, even enslaved. Few can doubt that inheritance—cultural as well as monetary—plays an important role in American society. Compensation for past injustice, injustice still reflected in the early life of today's youth, is a valid social strategy. And affirmative action for staff and faculty—a determined search for qualified minority men and women to serve as role models for minority students—is similarly justified.
For how long? To what extent? These are tactical questions, but I believe the principle is sound. It is also, in a public university, a pragmatic necessity. A university supported by the taxes of all of the people of the state must make a serious effort to serve all of the people of the state. To the degree that the university is the door to economic and
cultural opportunity and leadership, it should be open as far as possible without excessive dilution of its basic functions.
However, I do not believe that all histories are of equal value, that all cultures are equally advanced. Four years of university education is a limited span and a curriculum must of necessity be highly selective. I have never been convinced that programs in African American studies, Chicano studies, Native American studies, women's studies, gay studies, and so on should displace the study of the cultural landmarks that underlie our Western civilization. Rather, the perspectives of African Americans, Chicanos, women, homosexuals, and others should be incorporated into the broad basic courses of literature, history, and sociology. This avoids cultural fragmentation. By permitting comparison of the contributions of these subcultures with the more standard works of excellence, recognition of their distinctive features is actually enhanced. And in an increasingly multicultural society, it is important that all students acquire an understanding of the varied cultural backgrounds of the diverse ethnic groups, but not at the expense of learning the moral, legal, and philosophical bases of the American history and culture.
Happily, the faculty largely shared my views with respect to these aspects of the curriculum. They were, collectively, not as enthused about the need for faculty diversification. Affirmative action required them to go well beyond their usual networks of colleagues and established universities in their recruitment processes. Indeed, quite aside from the requirements for affirmative action, faculties often needed motivation to become more intellectually diversified. In departments such as economics and sociology, faculties tended to recruit additional faculty of like ideological persuasion. While this practice can develop strength and cohesion at the graduate level, as with the "Chicago school" of economics, it is not appropriate for undergraduates, who should be exposed to all of the principal interpretations. But apart from offering suggestions, it is difficult for a chancellor to influence a department's recruiting practices.
I soon learned that mere exhortation was not adequate. Faculty respond much more positively to rewards than to penalties. So, in addition to establishing an intensive set of monitored procedures that had to be followed in recruitment, I established a "target of opportunity" program. Each year, a certain number of new faculty positions was set aside without respect to program for targets of opportunity. These could be especially distinguished persons who, opportunely, became "available,"
but it was generally understood that these positions were primarily for minority and women candidates who met UC criteria without regard to programmatic considerations. These "carrots" for departments proved most effective; suddenly fine candidates were brought forward. This type of program can only be employed when the university is growing and increased numbers of faculty positions are available. However, the contacts and networks established during such recruitment remain in place and function thereafter.
On the whole, faculty behave with honor, honest, and dignity. Regrettably, there are always exceptions, and these leave scars on the campus and on the chancellor.
Added to the roster of new rights during my term was the fight to be free of sexual harassment. This freedom, essentially from abuse of power, raised particularly difficult issues as regarded its definition and the resolution of alleged instances. All of these rights have been obtained in an increasingly litigious environment that not only permits but encourages legal action by anyone who feels they have not been treated justly. With lawyers willing to undertake cases on a contingency basis and judges increasingly loath to dismiss cases as frivolous, the burden of litigation against the university has increased steadily. Today, it is virtually routine for any professor denied tenure to bring suit to challenge the decision. They have nothing to lose. The mere threat of suit by students, staff, or faculty has forced a codification and baroque elaboration of university procedures of review and discipline to a nearly stifling degree of complexity.
Some of the most distressing episodes of my chancellorship involved charges of sexual harassment brought against faculty members by students. The evidence was almost all circumstantial in these cases, with one person's word against the other's. Such charges were initially investigated by a special committee composed of faculty and staff. If in their judgment the evidence warranted a hearing, one would be held. The procedures involved were necessarily complex; confidentiality was essential as even the allegation, if public, could be very damaging. If, after the hearing, the committee believed there was substance to the allegations, the matter came to me as the final "judge" and dispenser of sanctions. It was an uncomfortable role.
In one case, a student claimed that a professor had discriminated against her academically because she had declined his proposition. The allegation was completely denied. The evidence for discrimination was, to my mind, unclear. As a chancellor should be hesitant to intervene in
a professor's evaluation of a student, I found the evidence far from conclusive and, so stating, declined to take any action. Feminists on the campus were outraged However, I believed the student could certainly have had other motivations and could have been abetted by some of the feminists, who disliked this particular professor for his rather outspoken male chauvinist views.
Another case involved a charge of actual physical assault, although not to the point of rape I was at first incredulous because the professor had always been, to my knowledge, a likable, mild-mannered man. However, as the investigation proceeded, other allegations came forward and buried in a file was found an admonition to this same professor after a similar allegation, well prior to my arrival on the campus. In this case, then, the circumstantial evidence was cumulative and I was forced to conclude that the assault had occurred. The professor was suspended for one year without stipend.
Faculty members, of course, are human. In the two instances cited, both faculty were born in foreign cultures in which the status of women is clearly inferior, which perhaps influenced their attitudes. But the whole issue of sexual harassment is a poison to the academic scene, inhibiting what could be worthwhile mentor-student relationships. As a professor today, I will only counsel a female student in my office with the door open.
Individually, most faculty members are idealistic, generous, well-meaning (according to their own lights), and even on occasion self-sacrificing, but collectively they can blindly close ranks to repel whatever is regarded as an infringement, even a minor one, on their "rights."
During the 1980s, the issue of university-industry relations drew considerable attention. It was not a new issue, but it assumed a new importance as universities sought new sources of research funds when federal funding tightened, as the problem of international industrial competitiveness grew and with it the need for swifter technology transfer of new discoveries from university to industry, and as the potential problem area was extended to a new dimension in biology when "genetic engineering" became a reality of commercial value. In this period, the ownership of "intellectual property" such as computer programs, genetic sequences, and other "know-how" became quite valuable. Potential developed for conflicts of interest when a faculty member also became an independent entrepreneur. He might become privy to "proprietary" information that he could not share with his colleagues or his students, even if potentially useful to them. Research in his uni-
versity laboratory, often funded by federal grants, might be directed toward problems of interest to his business. More broadly, whole academic research programs might be swayed by industrial liaisons.
I served for eighteen months on a UC systemwide committee to examine particularly the questions of intellectual property ownership and of potential conflicts of interest. We had discussions with faculty members who had direct entrepreneurial connections, we reviewed the policies of other universities, and we examined the relevant legal issues. Individual faculty varied markedly in their perception of the problem. Some saw it as a clear conflict of interest and took care to ensure that no research in their university laboratory was directly relevant to their commercial connection. Others were much more casual, even cavalier, about blending their academic and business activities.
These issues were clearly not simple. Faculty, students, the university, and society all had legitimate interests that merited protection, but in a manner that would further the overall goals of the research endeavor. Personally, I had some qualms about "ownership" of a basic fact of nature such as the sequence of the gene for, say, human hemoglobin. And it was evident to me that the entire development of biotechnology rested on a knowledge base developed with government funding. At the same time, I recognized the need for individual and corporate incentives, the imperatives of "venture capital," and so on.
While some universities had attempted to develop rigid guidelines (e.g., a faculty member could not also be a "line officer" in a business), we concluded that the circumstances and potential for conflict of interest were too varied to be met by a specific code. As an alternative, we proposed that all faculty regularly provide detailed reports to the appropriate dean of time spent, manner of involvement, and compensation received with regard to nonuniversity professional activity. Broad guidelines would be provided and if in the dean's judgment a potential problem existed, he or she would discuss this with the faculty member. If the issue could not thus be resolved, the dean would refer it to the chancellor, who would be empowered to take necessary action.
To our committee this seemed a reasonable, relatively innocuous way to cope with a potentially serious problem on a basis of mutual respect that assumed that all parties concerned would place the welfare of the university first in consideration. Our report was sent to the president, who referred it to the systemwide academic senate—where it quietly died. A few faculty members saw the proposal as an infringement of their "rights"; others, often remote from the areas of risk and seeing
no immediate harm, respected their concerns. I fear that one day this failure to act will be a cause of great regret.
In a public university, almost all documents are matters of public record except for some aspects of personnel decisions. Faculty advancements and promotions necessarily involve judgments by colleagues. In a collegial environment, faculty members have to live and work with each other over many years, yet candor and objectivity are essential to the maintenance of academic standards. For this reason, some aspects of faculty reviews are considered "confidential" and made available only to those faculty committees and administrators directly involved in the decision process. To ensure fairness, summaries of these reviews—reworded to prevent identification of the sources of particular comments—are made available to the candidate for advancement, who is entitled to provide a rebuttal if he or she desires.
Unfortunately, on a small campus such as Santa Cruz, this confidentiality is not perfect. In particular, for tenure decisions an ad hoc committee of at least three faculty is selected by the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP) together with the academic vice-chancellor to review the entire file and provide a detailed recommendation. The names of the members of this committee are considered highly confidential to avoid pressure by candidates and their friends and foes.
In one egregious instance, the names of the committee members were "leaked" by a staff person in the academic senate office to a senior member of the faculty. This person, a close friend of the candidate, proceeded to seek to influence one of the members of the ad hoc committee. This transgression was not reported and only came to light much later, in a casual conversation. Much after the fact, with the candidate having successfully achieved tenure (a likely outcome in any case), all I could do was place a strong reprimand in the transgressor's file. But I was left with the lingering concern that this instance was "only the tip of the iceberg."
The ad hoc committees play a critical role in the tenure review process and, as might be expected, do so with varying effectiveness. Some produce thoughtful and insightful analysis of each candidate's performance; others provide perfunctory reviews. In a few rare instances, the ad hoc committee report was so poor that I felt it necessary to ask the CAP to empanel a second committee. In doing so, I documented my reasons, citing the issues that the ad hoc committee had failed to address or consider.
Such an instance produced the most disillusioning episode and the most serious conflict with the academic senate of my chancellorship. The candidate, Professor S., was a female faculty member in sociology. With strong feminist views, she was quite popular with certain segments of the campus and in the local community. However, her scholarship—largely anecdotal surveys or health services available to women in the community and in prisons—seemed marginal in quantity and hardly of the quality to be expected of a UC professor. As I wrote subsequently, it seemed to me that her publications could have readily been done by "any skilled investigative reporter." In this case, the ad hoc committee report was very superficial to my mind and failed to address any of the concerns that had been raised elsewhere in the file about her work. I therefore requested a second ad hoc committee, which produced a much more detailed analysis Subsequently, I denied her tenure This produced an outcry and a student sit-in. Billboards appeared in town saying "Call Chancellor Sinsheimer at —— and protest the S. decision." Professor S. appealed to the Academic Senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure.
The academic senate guards its rights zealously, and the committee on privilege and tenure is regarded as the bastion of faculty prerogative. While strictly speaking its function is only advisory to the chancellor, a chancellor moves counter to its recommendations only at his or her peril. The membership of the committee is elected by the senate and varies from year to year and, while ever mindful of its mandate to protect faculty from arbitrary administrative judgments (and sometimes from each other), its interpretation of the propriety of various actions varies from year to year.
This year, the committee was chaired by a strong-minded professor of philosophy who had actually been trained in law. Popular among the faculty, he was to my mind a sophist, continually setting up straw men in his lectures whom he then demolished in defense of his quite liberal philosophy. On appeal from a faculty member, the privilege and tenure committee first decides if there are grounds for an issue. If they so decide, as they did in this case, a hearing is held.
After a quite lengthy hearing, the committee decided that the faculty member's rights had been violated—not on the issue of my judgment of her work, which they could not appropriately question, but on the procedural issue that I had convened a second ad hoc committee, which they concluded I had done in order to obtain the recommendation I wanted for "political reasons." As this procedural question had not even
arisen during the hearing, I had had no opportunity to rebut this conclusion, to point out that second ad hoc committees had been used before in special circumstances both at Santa Cruz and at other UC campuses. I was outraged at this gratuitous conclusion, which was to my mind completely high-handed and a direct assault on my integrity. I wrote a stinging letter to the chair of the academic senate asking for an investigation of the actions of the committee on privilege and tenure.
Tactically, this was a mistake. Because of the confidentiality involved, the facts of the case could not be openly discussed, and many faculty simply automatically rushed to the defense of the privilege and tenure committee, which they understandably regarded as the protector of their fundamental rights. While the privilege and tenure decision was, in fact, only advisory to me, as it was a direct challenge to my personal honesty as chancellor, I decided I should refer the final decision to a higher authority, the office of the president. This was announced at a rancorous senate meeting. After considerable delay, the office of the president issued its ruling, which supported my position that second ad hoc committees were allowable under the University of California policies when such action was seemed desirable.
This concluded the matter as far as the university was concerned. By then, the composition of the committee on privilege and tenure had changed and in the interest of campus harmony I took no further action. Professor S., however, went to court claiming discrimination. After some legal maneuvering, she obtained a hearing date. The general counsel was quite tentative about this case. He thought that the privilege and tenure decision, though it had been overruled by the president, would taint the case and cause us trouble in court. I was more confident, thinking we had a strong case that no university policy had been violated, as decided by the president of the university himself. The general counsel was right and I was näive.
The hearing was most disillusioning to me. After hearing preliminary arguments from both sides, the judge made clear that—although it was obvious he had not read the briefs and was quite unfamiliar with many of the details—since there was the contrary privilege and tenure conclusion, he would rule in favor of Professor S. unless the university and Professor S. came to a settlement. I was outraged again. I wanted to proceed to trial and, if we lost the case, to appeal. It seemed to me important to defend the right of the president of the university, rather than the courts, to interpret university policy. The general counsel, however, clearly did not feel that this was a strong case for the university
to appeal. The matter was quite out of my hands and, indeed, quite out of academic hands. The general counsel agreed to a settlement in which the tenure decision would be reopened and again reviewed by a committee of academic vice-chancellors from three other campuses. Their decision would be final. And, at the insistence of Professor S., the report of the second ad hoc committee would not be part of the file to be reviewed. Once again, where was Melvin Belli when I needed him?
Professor S. received tenure. I learned that: (a) the committee on privilege and tenure can have its way even when it is wrong; (b) the campus can live with one marginally competent faculty member to keep the general counsel at ease; and (c) the courts administer ideology as often as "justice."
With exceptions, a typical chancellorship in these times may cover at most a decade, whereas the tenure of a faculty member may be thirty or forty years. Thus, from the perspective of the faculty, chancellors come and go. If a faculty member does not like your policies, he or she can wait you out and hope for better. Especially in your latter years, if you are approaching a mandatory retirement age, your influence must wane on into the last "lame duck" year. And so my final year was "the calm after the storm" with the campus on a steady if noninnovative course, awaiting the naming of my successor.
Banana slugs or sea lions?
Santa Cruz has always had a low-key approach to athletics and I was quite satisfied to continue in a similar vein. I did not want to become involved in the corrupting programs of big-time athletics with recruiting, athletic scholarships, under-the-table bribes, and the exploitation of "student athletes" with inadequate academic preparation. I believed in strictly amateur athletics for those students who played simply because they enjoyed sport. I brought the campus into the NCAA Class III Division to play other schools of like mind.
This approach to athletics had several consequences. For one, it alienated one sector of the local community, which had hoped the university would provide them with athletic spectacles. And it is true that the provision of sports events can provide a bond between university and town, as I have observed elsewhere, and which we thus lacked at Santa Cruz. Also, because of its limited program, Santa Cruz tended to attract students who had little interest in or experience with athletics, and thus had never learned the lessons of sports, the concepts of fair play, the value of team play, the ideas that "you win some, you lose some" and "nobody bats a thousand."
The low-key attitude toward sport also gave rise to an amusing episode. When we joined the NCAA, we needed a team mascot. Some of
the athletic "clubs" that preceded the NCAA teams had used the banana slug—a yellow, rather sickly looking gastropod found among the redwoods on the campus—to symbolize the campus's low regard for competitive athletics. The members of the teams, however, did not want to compete with such a mascot. A competition for mascot was held and a straw vote among the athletes selected the sea lion, a sizable mammal indigenous to the nearby California coast.
When the student body learned of this, it was indignant. They scheduled a referendum on the issue of the mascot. In defense of the sea lion, I wrote that it had "more spirit and vigor," whereas the banana slug was "spineless (ipso facto), yellow (cowardly), sluggish (slow of foot [?]), and slimy (enough said)." Of course, the banana slug won the referendum by a five-to-one margin. Acknowledging the inevitable, I accepted the outcome of the referendum: "The students are entitled to a mascot they desire and with which they can empathize. Therefore I designate the banana slug as the official mascot until such occasion as the students might wish to hold another election. I also suggest that it would be most desirable for our biological scientists to begin a program of genetic engineering research on the slug to improve the breed. The potential seems endless. Viva le (and/or la) slug." This last remark was a nod to the fact that the slug is an hermaphrodite. And so at Santa Cruz athletic events there ring out stirring cries of "Go Slugs!"
A fitting conclusion came from Chancellor Peltason at UC Irvine, who sent me a note saying, "Thank you for making our mascot [the anteater] respectable"!
The students of Santa Cruz are distinctive. During my tenure, they were largely drawn from white, upper middle class, urban California families and had had in their lives almost no direct experience of economic privation or even climatic harshness. They were a spectrum of young people, of course, and yet they were remarkably homogeneous in their political views—liberal, pro-environment, anti-authority, pro-feminist, "pro" all minorities of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation—to the degree that there was very little political debate on the campus. Mostly, they lacked any sense of gratitude to the former generations who provided this educational opportunity; they were absent any sense of the privilege of their education as compared with the privations of most of the youth of the planet; they were antibusiness, antimilitary, at best dubious about the benefits of technology, and content to defer their entry into the "real world" for four or five more years unfettered by responsibility.
The university should be a place for study and learning, for intellectual debate and research. However, these are not the motives of many of the undergraduates. Indeed, those who pursue such paths may be labeled "apathetic." Various ideological forces (including faculty) seek to capture and exploit the idealism of youth and by inculcation to channel it toward their particular social goals. In so doing, they have politicized many campuses. By creating political tempests, they distract students from their common primary purposes and often destroy the calm reflective atmosphere essential to intellectual achievement.
I have puzzled about the sources of student attitudes and the reasons for their susceptibility to political manipulation. Affluence, of course, is one. The newness and lack of tradition in California are another. But there is, I believe, another factor as well in the late twentieth century. I grew up in a real world with real people and real necessities. During the twentieth century, we have come to live increasingly in an unreal world of music on records and life in movies and TV, all divorced from their sources, with selected fragments of sound, scene, and people in quite artificial situations. Increasingly, this unreal world has become the substance of discussion, reference, and even analysis, and young people growing up in this time expect to live in this world of boundless freedom for self-expression and scant encounter with necessity. Yet these students are also bright and questioning; many are quite talented, sure to become among tomorrow's leaders. To keep the campus on a reasonably calm course, to permit education to take place amidst the foment, actual or threatened, was my continuing challenge.
The students at Santa Cruz also have a cross to bear. Why are they not at Berkeley? Berkeley is widely regarded as the premier campus of the UC system, it receives the most student applications, and it is only seventy-five miles away. They cannot argue geography as at other UC campuses, the desire to be near home, nor are there special educational opportunities such as agriculture at Davis or oceanography at San Diego. The students at Santa Cruz, therefore, make great virtues of those features that differentiate Santa Cruz from Berkeley: the smaller scale, the collegiate structure, the beautiful setting, the low-key athletic program, the "narrative evaluation" system of grading, the greater attention to undergraduates. Reciprocally, they denigrate Berkeley as a "heartless machine" with hordes of poorly taught undergraduates, which gives its primary attention to graduate and professional education.
As a consequence, the Santa Cruz students fight any change that
they perceive might make Santa Cruz more like to Berkeley. They oppose growth of the student body. Even when there were only two colleges, the students opposed construction of the third and fourth. And similarly for each addition. (In this opposition, they made common cause with the community politicians, who opposed any growth in the area.) The students oppose any policies that they feel would diminish the authority or responsibilities of the colleges versus the disciplines. They oppose any construction that they feel would disturb the natural beauty of the setting. Since cutting down trees would alter the forest and building in the meadows would damage the views, all construction, even extension of roads, is vigorously condemned. It is idle to argue that the land had been purchased to provide a campus, not a park. To minimize disruptions, we have literally resorted to such subterfuge as cutting trees in the summer when the students are away.
Expansion of research programs was resisted as withdrawing faculty attention from teaching. That Berkeley, with its faults, might nevertheless do some things well, that it might have some virtues, is an idea alien to the student culture. That beautiful surroundings and narrative evaluations are marginal features not really integral to their education is an unacceptable concept. That growth would provide educational opportunity for more students, that new facilities, more faculty research, and better cross-campus curricular integration might enhance their own educational programs are difficult arguments for them to grasp because they begin with such an animus toward "Berkeley-style" education.
I was at first taken aback by the persistence and strength of these student attitudes. Recalling the accepting nature of the students of my day—our attitude that it was a privilege to attend MIT and learn from such distinguished faculty—I was astonished at seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds who literally came out of high school convinced that they already knew precisely how a university should be designed and operated, who were determined that they would make changes, and who could not conceive of compromise.
Such students had long since seized control of the student newspaper, which—as each editorial group selected the next—had become a self-perpetuating clique. It was not really a "newspaper" but a weekly polemic devoted to fanning whatever flames could be found, and in whose pages the administration could do no right. As I came to see it, it was a steady drip of poison into the campus atmosphere. (My predecessor, Angus Taylor, had told me that he had ceased to read it, as he found it too aggravating.) Most distressing was the quality of the "jour-
nalism." I would give an interview to a student reporter only to find selective quotations taken out of context with sentences from widely disparate portions of the interview placed in direct juxtaposition to distort grossly what I had said. It was an alarming lesson in the power of the media to skew the news.
And yet, curiously, the animus of the paper toward the administration was quite impersonal. I had an annual dinner for the editorial staff that was always a cordial, even jovial affair. Individually, they were pleasant and bright kids; many of them recognized already that their attitudes would change after college. But for now they were playing out a role they felt expected of them as appropriate to their college years.
Students, of course, live within a foreshortened time frame. Any change they desire must be completed within the four or five years they are on campus or it is meaningless to them. This accounts for the often feverish character of their protests in the face of the generally glacial pace of change in academia. Minority students who want more minority faculty members now do not want to hear about the years it takes to augment the pipeline of minority graduate students and Ph.D.'s and faculty retirements before any large numbers of minority faculty will be available and in place. Ethnically, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara are the least diverse campuses, although both are growing in proportions of nonwhite students. Located in nonurban areas, both have no large pools of nearby minority applicants. Indeed, there is simply no sizable black community in Santa Cruz and only a small Asian enclave. Their absence is a serious lack for Santa Cruz students in these groups.
Among the UC campuses, Santa Cruz students customarily rank second to Berkeley in average SAT scores of verbal ability and fourth or fifth in mathematical ability. The lack of an engineering school doubtless affects the latter score. The campus today attracts academically able students who are articulate and who hope to be able to take advantage of its less structured curriculum and greater concern for undergraduates. And many do. A higher proportion of students go on the year-long Education Abroad program from Santa Cruz than from any other UC campus. At the same time, however, the less structured programs allow less motivated students to "slide by."
The narrative evaluation method of grading is clearly favored by the students. There can be no doubt that it reduces competition between students and the incentives to cheat or even to sabotage other students' work. With well-motivated students, the absence of grades can foster
the concept of a learning partnership between student and instructor. Regrettably, not all students are well motivated. Indeed, for some, the grade is the reward.
Outside the campus, the "lack of grades" is widely perceived as evidence of educational laxity. And many graduate and professional schools, overwhelmed with applicants, simply will not take the time to read a string of paragraphs. For these reasons, I urged the faculty to allow optional grades in all upper division courses for those students who wanted to have them on their records in addition to the narrative evaluations. Much to the students' initial displeasure, the faculty concurred. After a few years, this is now the accepted pattern. Only about 25 percent of the students eligible to receive grades request them.
When I arrived at Santa Cruz in 1977, the hippie tide was belatedly ebbing. Long hair, unkempt beards, and scruffy attire were still common, but year by year this appearance dwindled. By the mid-1980s, hair was of moderate length and (mostly) combed, clothes were clean, and beards had vanished. Some girls returned to pretty dresses and used makeup. Student interests changed in parallel. Biology, curiously, has long been the most popular major at Santa Cruz. But whereas psychology and environmental studies had been the next most popular, they were replaced at least for a time by computer and information science and by economics with a business track.
As a symbol of the campus, the chancellor is in the popular mind accountable for the appearance and actions of his students. The severe restrictions on his actual authority are not generally recognized. The university surrendered the in loco parentis role in the 1960s, when society in general ceded more responsibility to youth as in the eighteen-year-old vote and the "sexual revolution." Right to privacy legislation has even placed student dormitory rooms beyond the reach of institutional access except in case of emergency. The use of drugs, or alcohol by minors, is illegal but cannot be policed. Because of court interventions, suspension or expulsion of a student is now difficult and must follow elaborate rules of due process and quasi-legal procedures.
The legal situation of the university and the student newspaper is particularly anomalous. The university is legally the publisher of the paper and is responsible for any potentially libelous statement therein. Yet the courts have ruled that the university has no right, under the First Amendment, to censor the paper. Thus, as chancellor I was responsible for a publication over which I had no effective control. In
fact, the university was twice threatened with libel suits by off-campus persons over articles in the student paper. Fortunately, in both cases the suit was ultimately dropped after tempers had cooled.
Every week, I held open office hours for students, normally on Tuesday afternoons. Any student could come in to see me without an appointment. A few students were curious about the chancellor: What was he, the reputed ogre, really like? But I soon found that most students either had a complaint or wanted special financial support for a project or journey. In coping with complaints, I quickly learned that I must work through the system. In principle, as chancellor I had the authority to reach into the system and fix what might appear to be an evident malfunction or injustice. But if I directly bypassed the chain of responsibility, I would create confusion and resentment in those whose job I momentarily usurped. The malfunction or injustice could be corrected only by passage of an instruction through the chain of authority to the proper locale of action.
In time, response to these common reasons for visits to the chancellor was institutionalized. A position of ombudsman was created to mediate student or staff complaints and to straighten out inconsistencies or contradictions in policies. And a committee was established to periodically review student requests for special funds for projects—plays, dance performances, visits to research centers or archeological digs, and so on.
To encourage and recognize exceptional student performance, I established the Chancellor's Prizes—annual monetary awards in a variety of categories, such as best student research project, outstanding service to the community, best student dramatic performance, and so on. These awards were announced at graduation.
It may seem that most of my interactions with students were confrontational. Unfortunately, this was true, but not by my choice. Each year a fresh crop of student activists felt the urge to launch into its new profession. Apart from tenure cases, it was difficult to forecast which would become the salient "issue of the year." I sought, when I could, to look on the student protests as another educational opportunity. Although the discussion might engage much of the student body, the numbers directly involved seldom exceeded a hundred. Most students were typically going about their normal studies. Sometimes students sought to educate each other in blunt fashion. One amusing (?) incident occurred when left-wing students sitting-in at the chancellor's office to protest a tenure decision called the campus police late one night because
they were being harassed by a small group of right-wing students. Calling on the authorities to protect their own illegal activity reflected an almost touching innocence.
But once an issue was raised, the fragmentation of the student body among the several colleges made it difficult to ascertain, much less influence, student opinion. (For reasons already given, the student newspaper was not an accurate barometer.)
Who spoke for the students? Each college had a student council. To attempt to meet with eight student councils on every issue was a considerable task. And not infrequently, the several student councils would disagree among themselves. During the period of protests concerning divestment from South Africa, a group of students objected vigorously to the presence on campus of an automated bank teller from Wells Fargo Bank, which did business with South Africa. We had merely made space available on campus for this teller as a convenience to students and staff. No one was obliged to use the teller, but some nine hundred students were regular customers. Should their prerogatives be abridged to mollify the protestors? Some of the collegial student councils took positions on this matter and were not of one mind. I declined to order the teller removed but arranged with a local credit union for a second teller to be installed so that students could have a choice.
A similar situation arose with regard to the "cyanide pills" controversy. In 1984, students at Brown University voted that cyanide pills be stored on campus to permit mass suicide should a nuclear war begin. In copycat fashion, a similar proposal was soon made at Santa Cruz. (Modern communications make possible systemwide, nationwide, even international coordination among student groups.) I made clear that in no event would I permit such capsules to be stored on campus, but the debate raged among the students until the proposal was finally narrowly defeated in a referendum.
For this and other reasons, I favored the establishment of a campuswide student union, but this idea had to originate with the student body. Because of opposition by some of the college councils, earlier attempts to establish such a union had failed, as did an effort early in my tenure. However, a second attempt toward the end of my term succeeded and a campuswide student government, albeit with strictly limited powers, now exists. Among other functions, it provides a home for campuswide organizations such as minority student alliances and, I hope, will provide a forum in which student-administration issues can be more rationally and productively discussed.
Students graduate and become alumni. As a young campus, the alumni of Santa Cruz were all young with recent memories. When I became chancellor, the alumni were dominated by the students of the late 1960s who cherished their memories of the early heady and euphoric years of the campus, now recollected in tranquillity. Unacquainted with more recent troubles, they were reluctant to see the need for any changes in its structure. I worked with them and sought to aid and strengthen the fledgling alumni organization and to involve alumni in campus programs such as student recruitment. The loyalty of alumni is important for the prestige of a campus as well as the potential for its future financial support. It is my hope that future chancellors will benefit.
Many of the leading politicians of Santa Cruz after 1970 were refugees from Silicon Valley or the suburbs of Los Angeles. They had seen semirural areas become urbanized and fled to Santa Cruz. And they were determined to use all means to prevent the repetition of what they had seen, to keep Santa Cruz small and laid back. They felt no obligation to the prior promises made to UC to bring the campus to Santa Cruz, nor did they feel any societal obligation to help to accommodate the continuing influx of population into California.
They found ready allies in the voting student body, strongly influenced by the environmentalist movement and entranced by the natural beauty of the area, which contrasted with the urban settings in which most of them grew up. They were also aided by the relative apathy of a growing "bedroom community" who commuted daily "over the hill" to jobs in Silicon Valley and had less concern for local affairs. The no-growth policies had the reinforcing effect of raising property values. However, such policies had a negative economic effect, discouraging the entry of business into the area and seriously limiting employment possibilities. Young people growing up in the area eventually had to leave to find career opportunities.
During my tenure, relations with the political figures of the local community were an unending confrontation. Contrary to my expectation, they showed no appreciation for the social and cultural benefits provided by the presence of a major university. Politicians must, of course, reflect the wishes of the constituents who elect them. However,
one might hope for a larger vision from those who have in their hands the future welfare of the community, as well as some sense of responsibility for the commitments of their predecessors. Not so in Santa Cruz. Even the potential of the university, a "clean industry," for direct employment and secondary employment through the provision of services was well beyond the range of their limited vision.
In 1982, after four consecutive years of belt-tightening and fiscal stringency under Governor Jerry Brown and with no relief in prospect, I sought urgently for a way to improve the campus's finances. Unlike some of the UC campuses, we had no real potential to raise much money from our young alumni or from local business. We did have one major resource—two thousand acres of land in a very desirable part of California. Manifestly, it could not be sold, but it did occur to me that a portion of it could be used to house a research park as had been established at Stanford and several other universities. A research park would have several advantages. It would significantly augment the numbers of scientists and researchers, thus providing potential interaction in our rather isolated community. It would provide part-time and summer employment for students. It would provide employment for the significant number of unemployed in the Santa Cruz area, as well as a tax base for the local government. And it was a "clean industry."
I commissioned a consulting firm to do a survey of potential interest for involvement in such a research park among firms in northern California and, in particular, Silicon Valley. Their report was positive and it appeared that a research park would be attractive and feasible and would in time provide substantial revenue to the campus. I then publicly broached the proposal. To enlist support and dispel misconceptions, I met individually with all eight college faculties and all eight student councils. The responses ranged from mere acceptance to enthusiasm, but there was no organized opposition.
Then the proposal reached the local politicians, who were opposed to growth in any form. While much of the employment to be generated could make use of unemployed persons already living in Santa Cruz, we estimated that the research park, when fully developed, might bring in as many as two thousand scientists, engineers, and technicians. As one of the political leaders opposed to the proposal said to me in a rare moment of candor, he did not think they would vote for him! I was still näive enough to be astonished at such naked venality. Of course, the first and enduring principle for a politician, as distinct from a states-
man, is to be reelected. These are not citizen-rulers, nor even civil servants. They are career office-holders.
Ordinarily, construction on a UC campus, as an entity of the state, is exempt from local zoning or growth control ordinances, although not from environmental control requirements. Nevertheless, county officials threatened to bring suit to force the research park to comply with local requirements (and thereby kill it) on the basis that it would not be part of the educational mission of the UC. The university general counsel thought, however, that we could make a good legal argument against such a challenge. Further, though, the construction of a research park would definitely require construction of the direct-access road to the campus long ago promised by the county when the UC located in Santa Cruz. And unless the county would build this, we were stymied.
I wanted the university to apply pressure, political and otherwise, on the county to fulfill its long-standing obligation. At this time, however, the presidency of the university changed hands, and when I discussed the whole research park project with the new president, David Gardner, he was not enthusiastic. There had been a research park adjacent to the campus at his former post at the University of Utah. And while it was clearly a successful park, he did not feel that its presence had been especially beneficial to the campus and that, rather, it had been a source of problems relating to faculty-industry connections and so on.
In short, a research park at Santa Cruz was not worth the political capital it might cost UC.
Without the president's strong backing, I had no means to exert pressure on the local officials, and so the research park project was burked. I still believe it would have been beneficial for both the campus and the community.
In 1984, application for enrollment at Santa Cruz turned upward and again, sharply, in 1985. The bad image of the campus was finally behind us. And newer demographic projections for California indicated that UC as a whole could expect marked growth into the twenty-first century. For the first time in fifteen years, we could envision the campus achieving its planned 27,500 students.
Still an optimist, I thought I should personally bring this good news to the attention of the local political leaders. When they had vehemently opposed the research park because it was not "educational," they had stated they would have no objection to growth of the student body. In fact, I thought that since the students in general supported their poli-
cies, they would welcome more student voters. I proposed a larger vision. Santa Cruz was distinctive among the UC campuses in the small size of its surrounding community. This provided a unique opportunity to create in Santa Cruz a true "university town," a community focused on its university as its employment base and cultural center, much like Cambridge in England and Princeton in the U.S.
I thought this vision would be appealing, but I was wrong again. The politicians' no-growth reflexes took command over whatever cultural ambitions they may have had for their community. They could not prevent our acceptance of more students, but to accommodate more students the campus required more buildings. These, in turn, required the preparation of a new campus Long Range Development Plan, which required an accompanying Environmental Impact Report. The latter had to detail all impacts of campus growth on the local environment, including of course the community, and to propose "mitigation measures" where possible. The city or county governments could challenge the sufficiency of these mitigation measures in court if they wished, and they threatened to do so. We might win the court case, but all construction could be delayed for years.
My retirement came just after completion of the Long Range Development Plan and before completion of the Environmental Impact Report. My successor had then to negotiate this difficult problem with the local officials. He finally obtained their reluctant acquiescence, but at the price of limiting future campus growth to fifteen thousand students. The campus could make a strong educational argument that 15,000 students was the minimum number that would, under UC funding rules, provide sufficient faculty to permit the campus to staff adequately a range of programs to provide enough breadth to be considered a major university. The local politicians felt they could not successfully challenge this rationale.
There were, of course, components of the community that appreciated the cultural benefits afforded by the campus and that supported it politically and financially. From these we drew members of the UCSC Foundation, the UCSC Affiliates, and the various friends groups for particular activities such as the arts, arboretum, library, marine laboratory, and so on And among these we established strong personal friendships. Karen (I had remarried) recognized that while our amateur sports could not provide a strong bond with the community, the arts could provide an alternative network of common interest. With the aid of the theater arts program, she established a summer Shakespeare festival in-
volving actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as more local talent. Staged on campus but governed by a joint campus-community board, the festival grew rapidly and attracted large audiences from the community and, later, the greater Bay Area. The festival has become a major Santa Cruz attraction and its existence has significantly enhanced our theater arts program.
It seemed to me to make eminent sense to combine the resources of the campus and the community to enable us to attract a more eminent music conductor for both the Santa Cruz Symphony and the campus orchestra and a joint appointment was thus arranged.
It is so obvious that the campus and the community should make common cause that one can only believe that, in time, common sense will prevail over ideology. In the meantime, relations remain dismayingly difficult.
"What Does the Chancellor Do?"
"What is the chancellor?"
"Well, the chancellor is the chief administrative officer of the campus.
"I know that, but what does the chancellor do?"
The chancellor has many roles—symbol of the campus, campus representative in many settings, campus host, mediator and arbiter of disputes, target for protest, douser of "fires," and always mentor.
Importantly, given his or her limited authority and resources, the chancellor should constantly look for, probe for, create, and exploit "windows of opportunity" to improve the varied aspects of the university. He or she must provide the initiative for those times when faculty willingness and foresight, staff needs, student tensions, resource accessibility, and personnel availability combine to make possible a major strengthening or broadening of the academic enterprise—a new department or emphasis, a new and important research program, a plan for staff training and advancement, a student recreation center or a campuswide student government. Such times seldom occur spontaneously but must be catalyzed and nurtured amid the daily routine and (often) tumult.
It took me a little while to realize that to be the chancellor at Santa Cruz was to occupy a distinctive, if somewhat lonely, niche in the UC system. UC routinely pays lip service to the desirability of improved
undergraduate education, but its heart is in graduate and professional education and research, and its pattern of resource allocation reflects this priority. As a campus that sought seriously to emphasize a high-quality undergraduate education (together with graduate education and research), Santa Cruz was hobbled by the UC ideology.
UC receives from the state a budget primarily related to the numbers of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students on a per student basis. The state customarily agrees to fund all qualified undergraduate students and a negotiated number of graduate and professional students. But UC does not distribute its funds to the campuses on a per student basis. Rather, it uses a "weighted student" formula in which lower division students (freshmen and sophomores) count 1.0x, upper division students (juniors and seniors) count 1.5x, beginning graduate students count 2.5x, and advanced graduate students count 3.5x. (Professional students have other weightings.) Manifestly, such a formula for resource allocation favors those campuses with large graduate student enrollments and drives all campuses toward similar emphasis on graduate programs in order to be able to compete more successfully for the limited resources.
I argued year after year against this allocation pattern, with complete lack of success. The bland argument was made that "it costs more" to educate graduate students than undergraduates. I argued in vain that this distinction depends entirely on the manner of instruction—that one can usefully spend just as much on the education of each undergraduate as UC spends on each graduate student, and that, indeed, many first-rate private institutions do so. The situation was made even more invidious by the circumstance that Santa Cruz was not allowed to improve its graduate/undergraduate ratio so as to compete more successfully with the large UC campuses. In these years, the state would not agree to increase the funded number of graduate students and the larger campuses were not about to share their allotments, acquired in earlier times, with the newer campuses.
This situation resulted in the irony that as campuses such as Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara increased their undergraduate enrollments, the resources and faculty positions that UC acquired from the increased state budget went, under the formula, in considerable part to the large campuses that had not grown at all. When UC changes its allocation formula, I will believe its rhetoric about the importance of undergraduate education.
Over the years, I sought to advance the interests and distinctive ideals
of Santa Cruz within the UC system while at the same time seeking to reconcile Santa Cruz to the UC standards of quality. Within the collegial ambience of the university, significant curricular change is almost impossible except by growth. During my first five years, with ever-tightened budgets, change could only come by taking resources and faculty positions from one program to transfer to another at a time when all were constrained.
Because it had been assumed the campus would grow without pause for decades, by 1977 twenty-three boards of study had been established, all stretched very thinly to cover their disciplines. The board of religious studies was in grievous straits because of inadequate initial staffing and subsequent resignations. An external review of the program recommended either a doubling of the faculty or its termination. As the former was infeasible and the program was not a central or core discipline, I decided to "disestablish" it.
Once established, a program within UC can only be disestablished by an elaborate procedure, over a two-year period, involving numerous committees and hearings to provide opportunities for campus and other comment. Ostensibly, this procedure allows for broad input to enable the administration to decide whether it really should terminate the program. During this lengthy period, the administration is of course subject to constant pressure from those students, faculty, alumni, and colleagues at other campuses who resist the action. The prolonged process thus becomes a facade, for no administration would subject itself to such pressure and condemnation unless it had already made its decision.
During my second five years, budgets were easier, the campus was growing, change was more feasible. Working with the faculty, I sought to broaden the academic base of the campus and, with an eye to the future, select its directions of emphasis. Faculties, absorbed in their own intellectual interests, tend to reproduce themselves when thinking of new faculty. To dislodge such tendencies, I initiated a program of external reviews at five-year intervals of each board of studies. Such reviews require the board to reflect on and define its current program, and they bring an objective and informed external perspective to bear on the assumptions underlying the current programs.
With their advice, with augmented resources, and with leadership from farsighted faculty, we were able, as has been mentioned, to develop several outstanding programs. A special committee composed of engineers from both university and industry helped us to recruit Patrick Mantey, a leading researcher from IBM, to establish our program in
computer engineering, our first step toward a revived school of engineering. With the committee's aid, Mantey in turn brought in an excellent faculty and established valuable ties with Silicon Valley.
Another achievement was the establishment of Phi Beta Kappa on campus. Shortly before I arrived at Santa Cruz, the campus had been turned down in its request to establish a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa because of administrative turmoil and uncertainty as to its future academic directions. This was a further blow to campus morale and imposed a "penalty" on our best students, who could not be awarded this distinction. Therefore, following our efforts to improve academic quality and having reversed the decreasing enrollment trend, we reapplied in 1984. This time, after the usual period for investigation, the establishment of a chapter at Santa Cruz was approved.
The social obligations of a chancellor are formidable. Karen and I hosted some 140 to 150 events at University House each year, mostly between September and June. Events included lunches, dinners, receptions, award ceremonies, support group meetings, and so on. At another university, many of these events might have been held at the Faculty Club, but as a young campus, Santa Cruz lacked such amenities. So the University House (the chancellor's residence) became the only appropriate locale for events of campuswide interest. Because of its ambience and facilities, many community organizations would have liked to use University House for their activities. The potential list was overwhelming and to keep it manageable we sharply restricted such use to organizations with direct university ties.
One of the fringe benefits of being a chancellor is that the university attracts or invites distinguished speakers and over the years it was our privilege to entertain them. The Dalai Lama of Tibet spoke on campus to a throng of over five thousand. We spent a fascinating afternoon with him. As the titular head of a theocracy, he is a remarkable combination of religious leader and shrewd politician. He also had a deep and abundant sense of humor.
He told us of his selection to be the fourteenth Dalai Lama. Each Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the former. Two or three years after the death of a Dalai Lama, a "search party" is sent about the nation to find, among the children of appropriate age, the reincarnation. He is identified by his ability to recognize, specifically, favored possessions of the former Dalai Lama, a comb, a book, shoes, and so on. This Dalai Lama was located in a remote corner of Tibet. He was then, at age of about 2 1/2, brought in an ox-cart on a three-
month journey to Lhasa. There he was educated in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and in the ways of governance. After passing tests, he was ordained as a priest and inaugurated as the Dalai Lama. Of course, early in his reign, the Chinese government overran Tibet and forced him into exile. He still desires and hopes to return to Lhasa.
A very different visit was that of two Santa Cruz alumni who have become astronauts, Kathleen Sullivan and Steve Hawley. Both were remarkably poised, outgoing, and articulate about their experiences, creating a great sense of pride both in NASA and in Santa Cruz as the "birthplace" of their careers.
Carl Sagan was another who attracted an immense crowd. Far more affable and unpretentious than he appears on TV, he made a strong appeal concerning the need to "preserve the planet."
Gore Vidal was in fine form, witty and acerbic. At the time of his visit in 1982, he was contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate, which would have put him in opposition to Governor Jerry Brown. He told us that Brown had offered him a position on the UC board of regents if he would not run for the Senate. He declined the offer but in the end did not run anyway. His presence would have surely enlivened regents' meetings.
Harold Wilson, the former prime minister of Great Britain, told many amusing anecdotes. He pleased audiences with a remarkable imitation of Winston Churchill. And Tom Wolfe, dapper in his trademark white suit, engaged a large audience with a witty, frequently barbed lecture on the decline of American letters.
"Name recognition" was the key to student audience attraction for these visiting luminaries. Extremely able and distinguished speakers such as Simon Ramo and Elizabeth Holtzman drew embarrassingly small audiences.
The chancellor confers the degrees on graduating students at commencement. At Santa Cruz, each of the eight colleges has its own commencement and a ninth is held for graduate degrees. Basically, these are joyous affairs to mark the successful completion of a demanding formal education. But at Santa Cruz they were often corroded by the diatribes of student speakers reaching for an acme of rebellious rhetoric in their last fling. As several of the graduations were simultaneous, I could not attend all nine. Usually, I officiated at four college commencements and the graduate student ceremony; responsibility for the other colleges was then delegated most often to the academic vice-chancellor.
The smaller-scale collegiate ceremonies permitted more individual
recognition and informality, albeit sometimes at a cost to the dignity of the proceedings. In the late 1970s, attitudes of the 1960s persisted at Santa Cruz. Few students wore cap and gown, and bare feet and bizarre costumes were not infrequent. Student speakers invariably trashed the academic administration and the venal larger society into which they were about to enter, often to the dismay of the assembled parents. With time attitudes became more conventional and by the mid-1980s most students wore cap and gown and the student rhetoric was more temperate even if of similar thrust.
I repeatedly proposed a collective graduation ceremony for all of the colleges and with a major speaker as a "grand occasion." This could have been followed by separate programs at each college that would provide opportunity for individual recognition. The colleges, jealous of their autonomy, consistently rejected this proposal.
The graduate ceremony was much more restrained and dignified. A senior faculty, member would provide a usually brief address. The small scale permitted reading of the thesis title as each candidate was hooded, individually, by his major professor. Each degree conferral was a personal and often touching moment.
Some of the rewards of being a chancellor come long afterward. The growth in student enrollment beginning in 1984 finally brought construction funds to the campus, but given the protracted authorization, planning, procurement, and construction schedules for public buildings, none were completed before I left. The first major new building to be completed was a large new laboratory for biology and chemistry. The regents were kind enough to waive their rules and to name the laboratory building for me. At the dedication, I indicated that I was indeed honored to have this enduring monument named for me, especially while I was still alive—unlike James Lick, I did not have to be buried under the structure. James Lick donated the funds for the construction of the Lick Observatory. Unfortunately, he died before it was completed and is buried in a crypt beneath the base of the original refracting telescope at the observatory. "I am glad that I did not have to be interred under an ultracentrifuge. Talk about turning in your grave!"
So much of my effort was devoted to raising the quality of the scholarship at Santa Cruz. I was therefore simply delighted when in the spring of 1991 the Institute for Scientific Information published an analysis of the "citation impact" of scientific papers, published in the previous three years, from academic institutions. (The "scientific im-
pact" measures the extent to which others refer to these papers.) In the physical sciences, the papers from UC Santa Cruz ranked first among all universities in the nation; in the biological sciences, twelfth While the specific significance of these rankings can be argued, they surely place the quality of scientific research at Santa Cruz among the best in the nation.
The Telescope and the Genome
Mrs. Marion Hoffman died on Friday, 16 December 1983, a sad event that was to have remarkable consequences.
Not long after I became chancellor at UC Santa Cruz, I was made aware that I also thereby became responsible for the fortunes of Lick Observatory. Lick Observatory was established in the 1880s as the observatory of the University of California as a memorial to James Lick, an eccentric Bay Area millionaire who donated the then considerable sum of one million dollars for this purpose. (A prior notion of Lick had been to build a great pyramid rivaling that of Cheops in what is now downtown San Francisco.) When dedicated in 1888, Lick Observatory was the first major telescope on the West Coast and possessed the largest refracting telescope anywhere. Not long after, it acquired the first Crosley reflecting telescope, which established that reflectors could provide images of quality comparable to that of refractors. Throughout the years, Lick had been a premier observatory although overshadowed by larger instruments in southern California at Mt. Wilson and later Mt. Palomar. After World War II, Lick had obtained funds from the state and built a 120-inch telescope, then one of the largest telescopes in the world.
Originally, Lick had been an autonomous unit of UC. The astronomers had lived in considerable isolation on the top of Mt. Hamilton. With the establishment of the Santa Cruz campus in 1965 and the greatly increased case of transportation, it had been decided that the observatory, while still a UC systemwide facility, should be assigned to
Santa Cruz, and that the astronomers would move off the mountain and teach and have their facilities at Santa Cruz.
But now Lick had a new problem. San Jose, once a small, semirural area, had become the focus of Silicon Valley. With the rapid increase of population came light pollution, harming the visibility, at Mt. Hamilton forty miles away. To escape the glow of light in San Jose, the university was considering the establishment of a new facility about a hundred miles to the south on Junipero Serra Peak, in the Santa Lucia Mountains west of King City. Light pollution was nonexistent in this area and seemed likely to remain so for many decades. Whether the telescopes on Mt. Hamilton could be moved or whether new ones should be built was as yet an unanswered question.
Junipero Serra was on land belonging to the Bureau of Land Management. Surveys had already been made and consideration given as to how a road might be routed into the area and up the mountain. However, a major obstacle had arisen. As the highest peak in the Santa Lucias, Junipero Serra was a sacred mountain to the indigenous Native American tribes. The tribe leaders were vigorously opposed to granting of a permit to build a road and observatory. Attempts to persuade the tribal leaders of the value of the observatory, of the abstract and aesthetic quality of its astronomical uses were futile. Attempts to compromise the intrusion and proposals to minimize construction on the peak and to avoid some road construction by the use of aerial tramways and so forth likewise were bluntly rejected.
Stymied at least for the moment but stimulated by the thought of other telescopes and other sites, another idea began to take form in the minds of the Lick astronomers. If a new telescope were to be built, should they not seek to surpass any existing instrument? The largest effective telescope was the Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar, a two-hundred-inch reflecting mirror. It and its supports and machinery had been designed in the 1920s, when it represented the forefront of the technology of that day. Indeed, all subsequent telescopes, albeit of somewhat lesser size, had been modeled on the Hale telescope design.
Now, a half-century later, could not a more advanced design be conceived? A larger mirror would provide more light-gathering power. This would permit studies of more distant galaxies, out so far that their light began its journey not long after the Big Bang that originated the universe. A ten-meter (four-hundred-inch) telescope, twice the size of Mt. Palomar, would collect four times as much light. But given the laws of geometry, and the need for the mirror to bear its own weight, a ten-
meter telescope based on the Palomar design would weigh eight times as much. The machinery to move the mirror with precision would be correspondingly more massive. It was estimated that a scale-up of the Palomar design to ten meters would cost about five hundred million dollars, if indeed it could be built. A technological breakthrough was needed that would permit the use of a much lighter mirror and correspondingly simpler machinery.
Two approaches were developed. The one at Lick was a single "meniscus" mirror, ten meters in diameter and very thin, whose shape would have to be precisely maintained by its supporting structures. Another approach, by Jerry Nelson at Lawrence-Berkeley Laboratory, was a mirror composed of thirty-six hexagonal sectors, each nearly six feet across, to be maintained in precise register by a series of sensors that monitored the relative positions of the edges of each sector and in turn controlled the position and inclination of each mirror through an integrating computer program. The mirrors themselves were to be formed by a new technique of stressed mirror polishing in which a circular glass blank was first appropriately deformed by peripheral weights and then polished to a spherical figure (a simple task), after which the constraints were removed to allow the blank to relax back to the proper parabolic shape.
By 1980, a decision had to be made if the project were to proceed. A committee of senior astronomers from outside UC was convened to make a recommendation. By a vote of four to three, they opted for the sectional concept. Personally, I was very pleased with this result. The meniscus concept might work, but ten meters, if attainable, was clearly an upper limit for this approach. If a ten-meter sectored telescope could be built and worked well, extension of this concept to even greater size was straightforward.
We now needed a substantial influx of funds to develop the technology to the point at which a full-scale telescope could be built. We also needed to launch a search for the necessary funding, estimated at that time at fifty million dollars, for construction. We took the matter to President David Saxon. A physicist, he immediately grasped the virtue of the proposal and the ingenuity of the concept and supported it in principle. He convened a meeting of the chancellors of the four campuses—Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Cruz—with interests in astronomy to discuss the proposition. Opinion among the chancellors was certainly not unanimous. I was the most vigorous advocate; Mike Heyman, then new at Berkeley, was supportive; Chuck
Young at UCLA was neutral or perhaps moderately disinclined; Atkinson of San Diego was clearly opposed, given the other needs for funds as he saw them.
After strong argument and with unconcealed but not leading support from Saxon, this group agreed to proceed with the project. Saxon would find funds, about one million dollars a year, to carry the design process forward. A seven-member executive committee comprising chancellors or their representatives from the four campuses, the Lick director, the LBL director, a representative of the user-astronomers, and the vice-president for academic affairs would oversee the operation and a search would begin for the needed funding. At the end of the initial meeting, Saxon recalled how in the midst of the Depression President Sproul had managed to devote one million dollars of university funds to E. O. Lawrence to build his early cyclotron, to the university's and the nation's everlasting benefit. Saxon indicated that he thought this to be an analogous prospect.
The search for funds took the form of seeking a single large donor who would be intrigued by the project and wanted a personal memorial. Eugene Trefethen, a loyal Berkeley alumnus and former vice-president of Kaiser Industries, a man well acquainted among the ultra-wealthy, agreed to seek to find such a donor either in the United States or abroad, specifically in Japan or Hong Kong. He thought there were a reasonable number of prospects and felt confident.
The technical development, largely under the supervision of Jerry Nelson at LBL, proceeded more slowly than anticipated but systematically and without encountering major difficulties. Costs seemed to escalate, but President Saxon loyally managed to find the funds needed.
The search for the single donor, however, had proven fruitless. Tax laws in Japan diminished the incentive for multimillionaires in that country. Meanwhile, more refined cost estimates had risen to about seventy million dollars.
Discussion of a possible site had fairly quickly settled on Mauna Kea, an extinct volcano on the big island of Hawaii. Three telescopes had already been located on this peak. Light pollution was negligible. At fourteen thousand feet, on an island surrounded by water at uniform temperature, studies of the lower atmospheric turbulence had indicated that the "seeing"—the stability of the optical image of a distant object—was consistently superior. Further, some of the more interesting research in astronomy now revolves the study of light received in the infrared region of the spectrum. Certain portions of the infrared are,
however, absorbed by water vapor in the atmosphere diminishing the light of such wave lengths that can reach the telescope. At fourteen thousand feet, the telescope would be well above most atmospheric water vapor.
Funding of the magnitude needed from California seemed out of the question. Requests for federal funding would lay the project open to the politics of the astronomical community. In general, the National Science Foundation supports centralized facilities for the use of astronomers such as Kitt Peak and Cerro Telolo in Chile. However, the access to such facilities must of necessity be widely shared and thus infrequent. The Lick astronomers emphasized the need for some important studies to be assured of sustained time on the telescope—at least a few nights per month over a period of several months—which could not be had at the national observatories.
Early on in this project, given my long acquaintance with the Caltech astronomers, I had proposed that Caltech be brought into the project to share in the design and the cost. This idea was opposed by the Lick astronomers. They wished to retain full control of the project and they saw the telescope as the means to restore the preeminence of Lick over the Hale observatories. It should be added that the rather proprietary attitude of Caltech and the Carnegie Institute astronomers toward the Palomar facility and their long-standing reluctance to share its use had not endeared them to the astronomical community. At this time, in view of our growing funding problem, I again raised the possibility of a Caltech connection; however, the time was not yet ripe.
On 23 August 1983, Joe Calmes, the assistant to the director of Lick Observatory, received a telephone call from a Mr. Edward Kain in San Jose. Mr. Kain's accountant was Bill Unruh, an astronomy buff who had developed a great interest in the history of astronomy in general and Lick Observatory in particular, and who gave popular lectures on this subject at Lick to summer visitors. While doing Mr. Kain's taxes, Unruh had mentioned the plan for the new telescope and our inability thus far to find an "angel." Mr. Kain had been intrigued by this discussion and had a suggestion of a possible donor, Mrs. Marion Hoffman, Mr. Kain's sister who lived in Los Angeles. Her husband, Max Hoffman, had died two years earlier and Mrs. Hoffman was seeking a unique memorial for him.
We had earlier agreed that if a donor provided half or more of the construction cost (then estimated to be seventy-two million dollars) he or she could name the observatory. It was indicated, therefore, to Mr.
Kain that such a memorial would require a gift of at least thirty-six million dollars. He did not think that such an amount was infeasible. We investigated and found that Max Hoffman had likely left a substantial fortune acquired by his ownership of the import licenses for VW and BMW cars into the United States since 1946.
Through Mr. Kain, Mrs. Hoffman was contacted and the telescope project was explained to her. It developed that her late husband had had a lifelong interest in machinery and technological advancement. The idea of this unique, highly advanced, and novel telescope appealed to her as a potential memorial. The sum required seemed impressive but not daunting. She would have to consult with her accountants and lawyers.
Negotiations with Mrs. Hoffman proceeded rather slowly. We learned that she herself was not well and made repeated visits to a clinic in Cleveland. President Saxon had retired in 1983, and he was replaced by David Gardner, then president of the University of Utah. I had visited Gardner in Salt Lake City, after his selection and had briefed him on the telescope project, in addition to the state of affairs at UC Santa Cruz. Although not a scientist, Gardner recognized the significance of the project and undertook to carry it forward.
Clearly at this stage the president's office had to be brought into the negotiations with Mrs. Hoffman. On 15 December 1983, President Gardner met with Mrs. Hoffman in Los Angeles. Agreement was reached on the size and nature of the gift (to be worth thirty-six million dollars) and the university's commitment with regards to the naming and securing the additional funding. Legal documents were to be drawn up. The next day, Mrs. Hoffman passed away from throat cancer.
The funds had earlier been transferred to a Hoffman Foundation. The three trustees of this foundation were Mrs. Hoffman, Ms. Ursula Niarakis, her longtime secretary, and Mrs. Doris Chaho, her sister. In the event of the death of any one trustee, the remaining two were to select a third. It soon developed that the two remaining trustees had no great affection for each other. They were completely unable to agree on the choice of a third trustee. It also developed that one of the trustees, while grudgingly conceding the intent of Mrs. Hoffman to fund the telescope, was less than enthused about this use of the funds. Matters ended up in probate court in New York and the university did in fact receive cash and title to tangibles worth thirty-six million dollars—the largest single gift in the history of the University of California.
We still needed to raise the additional thirty-six million dollars. In
early 1984, I revived the notion of a partnership with Caltech as the other eminent astronomical center in California. The Lick astronomers were still not enthused, but with the prospect of a wondrous telescope looming, they acquiesced. President Gardner convened a meeting of the four chancellors, which brought general agreement. Chuck Young and I had a lunch meeting with Murph Goldberger, president of Caltech, to explore the idea. He was favorably inclined and agreed to discuss the idea with astronomers and others at Caltech. Further discussion proceeded through President Gardner's office. It was agreed that Caltech would undertake to raise twenty-five million dollars toward the telescope in return for which they would receive a proportionate share of the observing time.
It was in late August that I learned, via Harold Ticho, the UCLA representative on the executive committee, of a startling development. President Goldberger, in seeking to raise the twenty-five million dollars, had solicited several sources for gifts of five million dollars. He had received one such pledge when he received a telephone call from Mr. Howard B. Keck, a Caltech trustee. Mr. Keck's father, William M., had established the Superior Oil Company, which had been sold some years later for several hundreds of millions. A large share of the proceeds had gone to create the Keck Trust, which in turn supported the Keck Foundation of which Howard Kcck was the chairman. Howard Keck proposed that the foundation provide, instead of five million dollars, the entire seventy-two million dollars to make this a Caltech telescope and to be named the William M. Keck Telescope. To Caltech's credit, it was not willing to take UC's design and build its own telescope, but the seventy-two million dollars was irresistible.
But what of the Hoffman estate? A rather ingenious proposal was formulated. Two ten-meter telescopes would be built, one to be named after Keck, the other after Hoffman. The cost for two would be considerably less than twice that of one. Both would be located on Mauna Kea about a hundred yards apart. They could be operated separately, providing twice the observing time, or jointly. In the infrared, they could be operated in an interferometric mode to provide extraordinary resolving power; in the visible region, their output could be pooled, providing no better resolution but twice the light-gathering power.
Ingenious, but unacceptable. The fractious and divided trustees of the Hoffman estate found this idea unacceptable. The telescope would no longer be a unique memorial and they seized on this opportunity to withdraw from the project. UC, with great regret, returned the largest
gift it had ever received. The trustees divided the thirty-six million dollars to create two separate foundations, one for each with eighteen million dollars apiece.
Caltech and UC established a third corporation, CARA (California Astronomical Research Association), with a joint board of directors to oversee the construction of the telescope and its future operations. Caltech was to provide the construction funding, UC to provide operating funds for a period of years until its contribution equaled the construction cost. Thereafter, operating costs would be shared. Observing time would be shared equally and allocated by a joint committee. "First light" was seen in December 1990 and the telescope is now in full operation. Also, plans are underway, with a sizable second grant from the Keck Foundation, for the adjacent second telescope to form the "binocular."
What now would the two Hoffman Foundations do with their eighteen million dollars each? Could either be induced to devote the bulk of this money to a worthy technical or scientific project? The prospect coalesced several ideas in my head, answers to several questions that fit neatly into what has become the Human Genome Project.
As chancellor, I had become at least peripherally involved with several projects of Big Science. Indeed, harking back to Radiation Laboratory days, I had seen the power and progress made possible by the coordinated actions of diverse talents on a large scale, with ample funding. The ten-meter telescope was such a project, although on a relatively modest scale. Several of our astronomers were also involved in the Hubble Telescope project, an enterprise of five hundred million to one billion dollars. At chancellors' meetings we had had frequent discussions of the leading role of the university in the formulation of a proposal by the state to locate the proposed giant accelerator, the superconducting supercollider, a six billion dollar project, within California. Some of the UCSC faculty working in high-energy physics were directly involved.
Biology had no comparable Big Science projects. It was clear that other areas of science—physics, astronomy, space science—were not bashful about seeking relatively large sums of money to support their programs. Big Science, per se, was not a virtue. But were there important areas of biological research that were not being adequately explored because biologists were not thinking on an adequate scale?
The characteristic of Big Science projects in other fields was that they provided a facility that would be essential to further advance in the field. Biology did not seem to need a comparable facility. What biology
needed, however, was a massive information base—a detailed knowledge of the genetic structure of several key organisms, including—for obvious reasons—man.
Mapping of genetic factors had been initiated with drosophila in the early years of the century. Extensive maps had also been developed since World War II for bacteria, yeast, maize, and mice. The first assignment of human genes to chromosomes other than the X became possible in the 1960s; by the mid-1980s, some four to five hundred genes had been so located. With the understanding that genes were composed of DNA and the development through recombinant DNA of the ability to isolate genes and sequence them, an extension of genetic mapping to the molecular level became possible. Some entire viral DNAs, ranging from a few thousand nucleotides to more than 100,000 had been sequenced. Efforts were underway to sequence entire bacterial DNAs (4.5 million base pairs) and the DNA of nematodes (about 80 million base pairs). Sequences of mouse or human DNA (genome 3 × 109 nucleotide pairs) were known only in certain small regions where they had been painstakingly worked out by groups interested in the genes of that region. Each group interested in a particular gene or gene cluster had to develop the appropriate technical expertise to sequence those genes.
What if a project could be undertaken to sequence, once and for all, the entire human genome. This would be Big Science, but the product would be an invaluable resource for all of biology and medicine. Was it feasible? What would it cost? How long would it take? How might it be organized?
Another question concerned the future of UC Santa Cruz. In its early stages, the campus had understandably attempted to develop a competence in the basic fields and disciplines expected of a university. But now with prospects of future growth brightened, the campus had to develop several centers of excellence, to focus a portion of the additional resources that would come with growth in the establishment of selected programs that would merit national and international attention. Naturally, I wanted to see such a center of excellence in biology. Given its significance, an institute for research on the human genome would accomplish this objective Such an institute would be a natural component or a center for the human genome initiative and would insure that UCSC biology would be in the forefront position for many decades.
The establishment of such an institute, however, would require substantial funding. To be on a useful scale, it would require, I estimated,
a building, equipment, and endowments adding up to perhaps twenty-five million dollars. The federal government was a possible source, but I knew that however attractive the concept, NIH or NSF would have to award any sum of this magnitude on a competitive basis, and in such a competition UCSC would never win out against Stanford, MIT, Caltech, Berkeley, and other "heavy hitters." If we had an institute already established, however, the research proposals would surely command support for specific projects from NIH or NSF. But we would need to raise the initial funding from private sources.
The eighteen million dollars now located in each of the Hoffman Foundations beckoned. The boldness and significance of the concept might appeal to one of the trustees. To avoid an unseemly scramble, President Gardner had decreed that any approaches to the Hoffman Foundation must pass through his office. Therefore, on 19 November 1984, I wrote him as follows:
Let me expand a bit on our brief discussion at the regents' meeting on Friday.
If the "Hoffmans" firmly intend to withdraw from the TMT project, then I have another project that we might propose to them. It is an opportunity to play a major role in a historically unique event—the sequencing of the human genome.
A genome is the complete set of DNA instructions for the making of a species The human genome is the complete set of instructions for a human being We know that the haploid human genome is composed of some three billion nucleotide pairs (3 × 109 ). A few months ago, I posed to our biologists the question, Could the human genome now be sequenced, with extant technique, and In a reasonable time (In years)? If so, what scale of effort would be required? (Obviously, I had made a guess as to the answer.)
Their reply is enclosed. It can be done We would need a building in which to house the Institute formed to carry out the project (cost approximately twenty-five million dollars), and we would need an operating budget of some five million dollars per year (in current dollars). Not at all extraordinary.
Clearly, the human genome will be sequenced. It will be done, once and for all time, providing a permanent and priceless addition to our knowledge.
In addition to satisfying our scientific curiosity, this know ledge will provide deep insight into other questions of interest It will have major medical implications: we know that literally thousands of human ailments have genetic bases, in whole or part.
This knowledge will also have highly significant evolutionary implications. The biological differences between Homo sapiens and the chimpanzee are certainly due to the changes and rearrangements in the genomes of each as they have diverged from that of our common ancestor To understand these changes will surely illuminate the ancient human quest to know what we are and where we came from.
The enterprise could be known as the Hoffman Project and, of course, the building could be named the Hoffman Laboratory or Institute. If we had the building and equipment, I feel quite confident we could obtain the operating funds from government and/or private sources.
Needless to say, should the "Hoffmans" not be interested in this project, I will intend to look elsewhere for funding.
I expected David Gardner, too, would be seized by the deep significance of the proposal, but then I'm a biologist and he is not. He wasn't seized. It must have seemed like another in a set of meritorious, costly proposals he was receiving from various parties on various campuses. After a few months it became apparent to me that funds from a Hoffman Foundation were not likely to be forthcoming, if indeed they were ever to be solicited. I would have to look elsewhere. Other sources came to mind—Arnold Beckman, David Packard, Gordon Getty, the Howard Hughes Foundation. Any of these could fund the project, but before I could make such approaches, I needed more certain ground as to the feasibility of the concept.
Until now, I had germinated the ideas in private and in discussion with some of the UCSC biologists—Harry Noller, Bob Edgar, Bob Ludwig. At first dubious, they too had soon been seized with the notion. We decided to convene a small workshop to explore the idea with the people who were most prominent in the sequencing field. As chancellor, I allocated the needed funds and we set the dates for 24–26 May 1985. The membership of the workshop included representatives of the most active sequencing groups, researchers interested in the development of associated automated instrumentation and computer techniques.
The initial mood at the workshop was clearly one of great skepticism about the project. As the various aspects were discussed, it became clear that many elements of the task were indeed feasible and that plausible advances in automation could well make practical the entire sequencing project. When thus pushed to confront the possible reality of such an enterprise, differences of opinion emerged as to its desirability. These were not resolved, but the workshop had changed the question in the minds of the participants from one of feasibility to one of desirability. From can to should.
I prepared the notes and conclusion report, which were sent to the participants and other interested parties. As I said in my letter of 5 June 1985 to Dr. Donald Fredrickson, the president of the Howard Hughes Institute:
Briefly the conclusions were:
(1) A genetic map of the human chromosomes providing well-defined markers (polymorphisms) at reasonable spacings along all of the chromosomes, to use as reference points, could be developed (in collaboration with outside groups) by a group of twenty people in a two- to four-year period.
(2) A physical map of the human chromosomes providing a linearly ordered set of cosmid-size (thirty to forty thousand bases) DNA fragments could similarly be developed by a group of twenty people in two to four years.
(3) A complete nucleotide sequence map of the human chromosomes is not presently feasible with reasonable effort. Sequencing a few percent of the genome around selected markers and in carefully chosen regions is feasible, with a group of some thirty people working over a ten-year period. The availability of such sequences would undoubtedly be of great value At the same time, it is quite reasonable to anticipate advances in and automation of sequencing technology such that the sequencing of the next few percent could be done with one fifth or one tenth of the man-years effort.
(4) There was general agreement that a centralized effort correlating genetic, physical, and sequence mapping, promoting the development of improved technologies, and actively fostering the application of this knowledge and approach to specific problems in human genetics, development, and physiology would be of great value.
Over the next year, I sought unsuccessfully to interest potential donors in support of this project. Somewhat näively, I believed that the project, to determine once and for all the genetic basis of man with all its rich and incalculable consequence, would surely seize the imagination of anyone with even a rudimentary scientific bent. Curiously, it did not. I also believe that the proposal would have been given greater credence and a better hearing had it been put forth by a more prominent, established institution—a Caltech, a Stanford, a Harvard. UCSC was an undistinguished spot on the map of biological research. Ideas should be evaluated purely on their merit, but in the real world, in the battle for attention and credence, that seldom happens.
Elsewhere, however, the concept was demonstrating that it was an idea whose time had come. My summary of the workshop was circulated in the biological community. The idea had come to the attention of the officials of a seemingly unlikely sponsor, the Department of Energy, and in particular to Charles DeLisi.
In fact, this was not so unlikely. The Department of Energy is accustomed to the management of Big Science and the DOE had in existence a biology program dating back to the Manhattan Project. From its inception, this program had been concerned with understanding the
biological effects of radiation, but in recent years scientists in the program had moved opportunistically into related fields.
Using the availability of exceptionally powerful computing facilities, biologists at Los Alamos had established Genbank, the national repository for the DNA sequences that were emerging in a growing stream from biology laboratories. Approximately ten million nucleotides of sequence, from various DNA sources, were already on file at Genbank. At Livermore National Laboratory, biologists taking advantage of the local expertise in laser technology had applied this tool to the fractionation of chromosomes, modifying a biotechnique originally developed for cell sorting.
Thus, in the spring of 1986 DOE convened a conference to discuss the merits of a national program to sequence the human genome. Regrettably, a conflict made it impossible for me to attend. A second conference was held at Santa Fe in January 1987 on techniques for the automation of processes related to DNA sequencing. A DOE subcommittee, headed by Professor Ignacio Tinoco of Berkeley, was established in 1986 to provide advice as to the feasibility of the human genome sequencing project and the outline of a plan as how best to proceed. I served on that committee.
We recommended that such a program be established and that the initial emphasis be on the establishment of genetic and "physical" maps—sequentially ordered collections of ten to twenty kilobase tracts for each chromosome—while the development of automated machines for the more laborious task of nucleotide sequencing proceeded. At the same time, development of computer programs for management of the vast amount of data to be gathered would proceed. We recommended an initial budget of forty million dollars a year to ramp up to some two hundred million dollars per year over five years. We projected that a further ten-year expenditure at that rate would complete the program and provide the sequence. We also proposed that some definite goals be set such as the sequence of one or two of the smaller human chromosomes by a definite date.
As this program moved forward, voices of opposition began to be heard. One faction argued against the introduction of Big Science into biology especially if it were to come at the expense of the current smaller-scale projects. The objection was in part self-interest, in part a conviction of the superiority of investigator-driven initiative, and in part a simple unfamiliarity with and fear of Big Science. A more glib objection raised was that much of the sequence reformation would be use-
less—that only a few percent of the human genome was meaningful and the great bulk was "garbage." Given our ignorance of so much of the genome, the evidence to support this position was limited; further, one person's garbage can be another's treasure. The potential utility of so-called "nonsense" DNA, for evolutionary or anthropological studies, or its role in control processes, is as yet quite unknown.
Still another objection related to the emphasis on human DNA. Admittedly, for the clarification of the present issues in biology, the complete sequence of E. coli DNA, drosophila DNA, or mouse DNA might be more useful, but to obtain a commitment of perhaps three billion dollars, the sequence of human DNA with its potential for medical insight was far more justifiable. And once the apparatus for the determination of the human DNA sequence was established, its application to the other genomes of interest would not be difficult.
The idea had an inherent natural appeal that has in fact swept all before it. The project is now underway. I merely provided the push to start the snowball rolling. It did not benefit UCSC as I had hoped, but it will surely benefit humanity and I am pleased about that. To have come from the nearly total ignorance of cellular substructure and molecular process in the 1930s to the prospect of a total knowledge of the human genome in the 1990s—what a remarkable journey of discovery.
The memorial that Mrs. Hoffman wanted to create for her husband was never realized, but from that thought so much has come. Perhaps it is sometimes truly "the thought that counts."
When the parents of the freshmen look too young to have college-age children, it is time to move on.
Retirement from the chancellorship was mandatory at age sixty-seven, but it was time to go. Ten years of administration were enough. The routine of the academic year—meeting the new freshmen, reporting to the academic senate, the fall UCSC foundation meeting, the staff Christmas party at University House, the monthly council of chancellors meetings, the monthly regents' meetings, the regular senate meetings, the spring foundation meeting, the myriad annual receptions for Friends of ———, the ARCS scholars' lunch, the athletic awards party, the staff awards picnic, the multiple commencements, the end-of-the-year faculty party, the annual budget sessions, all punctuated by student protests over some issue or other—had indeed become routine and begun to pall.
Old issues, never settled, only patched, began to recur—affirmative action, financial aid, child care, ethnic studies, community unhappiness with campus growth, yet another provost for Kresge College, yet another dean for natural sciences, yet another furor in the music board. The freshmen seemed younger every year. The freshmen in 1986 had been born around 1968. To them the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, and Watergate were as much ancient history as were World
War II, the Great Depression, the American Revolution, and the Roman Empire.
Repetition breeds cynicism. Hearing the same time-worn complaints from each new crop of students, watching and bearing their patterned protests and antics, it became harder each year to muster an open mind, to remember that it was new to them, to respect their need for growth and expression. I had reviewed the arguments many times and come by then to firm conclusions. It thus became hard to enter into a true dialogue with students, to present a paternal rather than a dictatorial face. Having heard all of the arguments many times over, my mind tended to wander, to concentrate on the student personalities in lieu of the substance—callow but earnest, näive but impassioned, incredibly self-centered, incredibly arrogant, and convinced at their tender age of their superior wisdom.
My natural tendency is toward a "liberal" orientation. A liberal philosophy necessarily is based on a belief that people are basically good and well motivated and will, if left free, act for the common weal. Contact with succeeding generations of students, however, corrodes that belief and reminds one how much education is needed to achieve even a modest maturity. An ability to view this frothy scene with a sense of humor had been a saving grace, but even this had begun to ebb.
To be a chancellor is a baptism in a whirlpool spun ever faster by the conflicting forces of modern society, for these forces correctly focus on the university as the fountainhead of the future—and seek to influence its direction by acting on its titular head. But the chancellor cannot directly oblige any of them for, in fact, he or she has very limited power to alter its course. Who does? In truth, very often, no one. Inertia dominates.
UC Santa Cruz was one of a group of colleges and universities launched in the 1960s (e.g., Evergreen, Hampshire, Old Westbury, New College) to "reform" higher education. All fell on hard times. Santa Cruz survived only by virtue of its lifeline to the UC system.
The founders of UC Santa Cruz knew more what they were against (disciplinary and research emphasis with resultant faculty indifference to undergraduate education) than what they were for and how to accomplish it. Incompletely conceived, the birth of the campus was premature. The infant university was then afflicted with the general campus
turmoil of the 1960s and the accompanying drastic changes in student attitudes, while its congenital deficiencies grew increasingly salient.
To create a campus designed in contradiction to the role of UC as set forth in the master plan for higher education in California was quixotic at best. The conflicting objectives of colleges and disciplines charged every decision with resultant partisan bitterness: if one favored the colleges, it was "lowering standards"; if one favored the disciplines, it was "a betrayal of the campus vision." In short, it was a no-win situation.
Does higher education need reform? In my view, yes. Apart from the claims of myriad special interest groups, American higher education in general succeeds admirably in the provision of disciplinary education (indeed, its appeal is international) but largely fails in the provision of broader inter- and cross-disciplinary perspectives and concepts. There is no consensus on the nature of a "liberal" education for the twenty-first century and little incentive to develop one. Lacking this, American universities often become, in good part, training grounds for future white-collar workers and holding tanks for youth in prolonged adolescence.
If reform is to come anywhere, it will require a conception that is thought through well to reflect external context; faculty motivations, incentives, and availability; and student motivations and interests, as well as more abstract educational goals. The thorniest problems involve curriculum and faculty responsibilities. These issues must be thought through before the university is launched, before its energies are consumed in the construction of facilities, the organization of classes, and the stewardship of students. Several years, or at least several summers, of sustained thought and discussion by a committed group of faculty would be needed to develop a consistent and coherent curriculum and work out the details of its implementation before it is attempted.
The new enterprise must be assured of resources adequate to the tasks. The concept should embody a clear vision, but promises should not be made nor expectations raised that cannot be fulfilled and lead only to continuing frustration. Older standards of excellence should not be abandoned without explicit—and tentative—justification. An inherent element of any reform program should be periodic evaluation of its successes and failures and a willingness to "reform" the reforms. The reform movement should not succumb to the pathology of "instant tradition," in which early casual actions become unalterable sacred precedent. And the conductors of educational experiments should at all
times have a conscience with respect to the students whose lives and future careers are in their hands and to the junior faculty whose careers are precious and precarious and must similarly be nurtured.
There were the accustomed bittersweet farewell dinners and events. Many people seemed genuinely sorry to see us leave and I was deeply touched. Karen was named "Woman of the Year" by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce for her many community activities—the first time anyone from the campus had ever been so recognized in the community. A faculty chair was endowed in my name, thanks in large measure to my old college friend Art Graham and his wife Carol. Even faculty and community people with whom I had been much at odds seemed to mellow and sheathe their swords and wish us well as the time drew near.
But, it was time to go. Science beckoned.