Seth Rosenfeld: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of UCRoundup: Books
tags: Ronald Reagan, University of California, LA Times, Seth Rosenfeld
Seth Rosenfeld is the author of "Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power," which received the 2013 Ridenhour Book Prize.
Once upon a time, the University of California was a sacred trust, the top tier of a model educational system that helped lift the state to unprecedented prosperity. It was jealously protected from outside political interference.
Now UC is more often described in profane terms. The state's entire higher education system has been under assault for decades — free access is long gone; investment per student has shrunk; some rankings have slipped. The passage of Proposition 30 last year will help repair some of the damage, but UC's stature has been diminished and with it the dream of a truly excellent education for every qualified native son and daughter.
The causes are complex and largely economic, but in an important way, the troubles of the nation's greatest public university can be traced to the ascent of a California icon, Ronald Reagan, and his brand of anti-government conservatism.
UC's downfall was eerily anticipated by a man Reagan made his scapegoat: Clark Kerr, UC president from 1958 to 1967. Kerr, an economist and renowned labor arbitrator, sought to make a college education universally accessible. He oversaw the 1960 adoption of the influential Master Plan for Higher Education, coordinating the state's junior colleges, four-year colleges and universities to avoid redundancy, save tax dollars and deliver on the state's commitment to provide a quality education for its high school graduates....
comments powered by Disqus
- Warming is Clearly Visible in New US ‘Climate Normal’ Datasets
- Open Letter in Support of Free Inquiry and Discussion
- Melting Glaciers Have Exposed Frozen Relics of World War I
- The Stealth Sticker Campaign to Expose New York’s History of Slavery
- We Found the Textbooks of Senators Who Oppose The 1619 Project and Suddenly Everything Makes Sense
- How the Modern NRA Was Born at the Border
- Event: A War on Global Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit with Joanne Meyerowitz (5/17)
- A Texas Bill Drew Ire for Saying it Would Preserve ‘Purity of the Ballot Box.’ Here’s the Phrase’s History
- How Trump Ignited the Fight over Critical Race Theory in Schools
- Hamilton, Hip-Hop, and the Law (Review)