Statement Of The Intersegmental Committee Of The Academic Senates Regarding The Principal Provisions Of The 1960 Master Plan For Higher Education On The Occasion Of Its Fiftieth Anniversary

The Intersegmenal Committee of the Academic Senates, including the leadership of the Academic Senates of the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California, has examined the recommendations of the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education. These provisions remain as the key guiding principles for California’s three segments of higher education, the Community Colleges, the State University, and the University of California.1 The Master Plan is one of the most significant documents produced that defines the roles of public higher education. It represents a model plan to which other states and nations aspire. In California, where we face a crisis of funding for higher education, the fundamental principles of the Master Plan continue to provide sound guidance to the segments of California Higher Education. Our current crisis environment is not the result of flaws in the Master Plan; it is a crisis of funding. Our first priority is to stand behind the principles of the Master Plan and the world class standards of public higher education that are reflected in the document. We must re-awaken the citizens of the State of California to the fact that the greatest jewel in the crown of California is its system of higher education. Public higher education produces an educated workforce for the State’s ever evolving economy. Public higher education provides access to learning to all of the diverse people of the State of California. Public higher education not only leads to the innovations that fuel the State’s changing economy, it educates and trains the people who will discover those innovations and who will run the facilities that produce goods and services resulting from innovation. In sum, California’s system of public higher education fuels the California economy. A State failure to invest in public higher education will lead to a failure of our future.

We find a great deal of common interest in the provisions of the Master Plan, and no disagreement regarding the application of those provisions in the current environment. We recognize that integration of the segments of California higher education is important to embrace California’s students into higher education. We also recognize our collective responsibility to inform students and the public about the importance of post-secondary education and to assure that all students are provided appropriate opportunities to complete a secondary degree.

In this memorandum we examine the language of Master Plan recommendations with comments regarding current issues. These provisions are considered in the order of their contemporary importance. The headings are from the original Master Plan Report and the bold text represents quotations from the Master Plan recommendations.

More Information

Memorandum on the Master Plan (PDF) December 17, 2009