Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 1 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase. Well written history of the University of California during the presidency of Richard Atkinson. Detailed accounts of the conflict concerning race based admissions, the university's role in administering the Los Alamos and Livermore National Labs and Atkinson's role in bringing about fundamental change to the SAT exam.
A worthwhile book that details events that have influenced many lives. See the review. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. The political and demographic stresses that set the stage for the Atkinson administration still remain today, intensified by the plunge in state funding for California public higher education generally. Entrepreneurial President concludes with some reflections on the evolution of the UC system and its future.
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King, C. Judson et al. California has lost the public values that sustained the s belief in universal social advance through higher education, and understood taxation as a shared asset that is used for the common good of each and all, rather than as a reduction in individual freedoms. But why did support for the common public good deteriorate in California and in the United States? The ideas underpinning the tax revolt began in Cold War strategic circles in the United States. In instances of collective decision-making, one or the other assumption would have to give way—either the outcome of individual preferences would not be collectively rational, or individuals would lose their freedom to determine personal ends.
The shared conditions enabling that freedom to be exercised and enjoyed were taken for granted—even though such social conditions would be fatally undermined when all persons pursued their absolute self-interest without regard for others. Ideas matter. With Ronald Reagan, the public choice theorists had a president willing to put their arguments into action. In setting himself against the notion of a common public interest, Reagan reduced taxation on high incomes and capital gains, reduced spending on social programmes, including federal education funding, and weakened unions in the workplace, opening a surge in executive incomes.
The top tax rate fell from 70 percent to 28 percent. The increase in measured income inequality in the United States dates from Since there has been extraordinary growth in the inequality of private incomes and wealth in the United States, freed up by the evacuation of the public good. Growing inequality has reworked the conditions, character and potentials of public higher education, increasingly pulling it away from the world that Clark Kerr and his colleagues inhabited and served, in which the Master Plan was a practical solution.
In the Anglo-American countries, the concentration of wealth and income in hands of each of the top 10 percent, top 1 percent, top 0. What primarily characterizes the United States at the moment is a record level of the inequality of income from labor probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world, including societies in which skill disparities were extremely large together with a level of inequality of wealth less extreme than the levels observed in traditional societies or in Europe in the period In the Nordic countries in the s, the most equal modern societies, the top 1 percent received about 7 percent of all income.
In Europe in , the top 1 percent received 10 percent, in the United States 20 percent, same level as in the aristocratic societies of late nineteenth century Europe Piketty, , pp. It is seen as the product of hard work, not just property and capital, though as the role of networks in elite graduate recruitment shows, competition for high labour incomes is not a level playing field. The argument that wage inequality in the us is primarily driven by technological change has fallen from favour.
Most industrialized countries have similar technological change but divergent income patterns Milanovic for imf , , p. In the United States, as in the rest of the English-speaking world, the rapid growth of economic and social inequality is occurring in societies in which formal participation in higher education is at or near an historic high. This suggests that growing income inequality is grounded in a corresponding growing inequality of skills and productivity. Yet us higher education, while highly stratified, with the leading private universities dominated by affluent families, seems to be largely decoupled from the surge in top incomes since , which is shaped by tax policy and by salary determination at work Piketty, , p.
Education and growing income inequality are joined in ways other than the human capital equations, through the process of social reproduction.
Richard C. Atkinson
The intrinsic limit to equality of opportunity, in any era, is the persistence of irreducible differences between families in their economic, social and cultural resources. The growing inequality of incomes and wealth in the United States magnifies the effects of unequal social backgrounds on educational outcomes.
In turn educational inequality tends to reproduce and enhance prior social and economic inequalities. In the highly stratified American higher education system these reproductive effects are further enhanced. At the bottom end, low income recipients, accessing low value colleges in the educational hierarchy, find that as inequality increases higher education becomes both more expensive and less useful as a means of occupational and social mobility.
Both the social and economic value of mass public higher education, and the capacity and motivation of its users both tend to become emptied out. The participation rate in us higher education long was the highest in the world but is now falling. In , a near-universal 77 percent of persons in the top family income quartile in the United States had completed a Bachelor degree by age 24 years. In this quartile, the graduation rate had almost doubled since , increasing from 40 to 77 percent in In the bottom family income quartile, the graduation rate had again risen, but from 6 percent in to only 9 percent in However, the overwhelming majority of top quartile people had done so.
These national patterns better explain the faltering of institutional funding and quality in California since the s, and the attenuated completion and transfer rates in the community colleges and the California State University. At the same time, the failure of the Plan was accentuated by its internal structural limitations.
Political cultures and state strategies vary greatly across the world. In the United States, they have varied greatly between the generations. The tragedy of American public higher education, once such a shining example in the nation, is that its democratic promise, its contribution to self-determining individual freedom and fulfilment—which is the philosophical centrepiece of both the American political right and the political left—has been so far reduced.
The American paradox is that the nation in its normal business of life regularly overturns its own ideals. In a sense, the hyper inequality of the last generation is typical of the United States—yet so was the real commitment to equality of opportunity that went before it. In that sense the faltering of the Master Plan both negated the national character, and fulfilled it. Yet the influence of American ideals is not confined to America or stymied by their domestic failure.
The s American coupling of excellence and access, the world-class research university together with open participation and a ladder of educational opportunity, continues to set benchmarks for higher education in many countries. The Master Plan might have faltered in California, but since its influence has never ceased to spread across the world.
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Amid rising participation and greater policy emphases on basic science and research-led innovation, the comprehensive research multiversity that Clark Kerr described in The Uses of the University is now more clearly paradigmatic in higher education everywhere. This is apparent in three ways. First, a growing proportion of science is found in comprehensive research universities rather than separated academies. Second, in some though not all countries, non-university second sectors, institutions that specialize in a narrow group of disciplines, and institutions offering elite teaching and professional training without research, have been folded into research universities Salmi, ; Huang, What are the lessons of the successes and failures of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California?
The larger lessons, for all systems in all countries, are three-fold. First, steep structural stratification in higher education weakens the potential for both social equity and educational equity, especially for families positioned at the base of the social pyramid, while it also tends to empty out the social value of mass higher education, further undermining equity Marginson, Perhaps because the American revolution predated the French revolution by 15 years, the United States never completely broke with the idea of aristocracy that it inherited from Britain.
The hyper-meritocracy of the income earning elite, legitimated by Ivy league colleges and postgraduate business degrees, is a form of modernised aristocracy—at least to the extent that American tax laws permit the transmission of family wealth down the generations. The Ivy League institutions parallel the class they serve. Educational aristocracy, a strange echo of feudalism in modernity, legitimates not only unequal educational outcomes but the underlying social and economic inequalities as well. Second, it is easier to sustain a national consensus about the public good mission of stellar research universities than about universal high quality mass higher education, for both social-cultural and economic-fiscal reasons.
But shared social values are essential if public higher education is to fulfil both missions, those of social inclusion and equalisation. Third, and most importantly, a progressive taxation system, coupled with firm egalitarian policy in states not controlled by corporations and privileged families, is the lynchpin of commitment to the common good. What are the lessons specifically for China? Higher education in China has many features in common with California. Both involve large, regionally uneven and institutionally complex systems, though the scale of China is many times greater.
Both use institutional classifications to manage a firm hierarchical division of labour between types of institutions. In both that hierarchy is steep by comparison with the countries of Western Europe, in terms of institutional status and resources. In both the creation of a layer of leading global research multiversities has been of crucial importance to policy makers, university leaders and the society at large. Both attempt to ensure some social equality in access to the leading universities through extensive financial aid in the leading universities, though affluent families play the leading role.
In both societies, the affluent classes have gained stronger social influence over time. There are differences. The us has a substantial elite private research university sector, alongside the public research universities and competing with them for prestige, including in California Stanford, Caltech and the University of Southern California.
China has a stronger vocational sector than the United States. The Californian model was dynamic during its period of most rapid development in the s and s. The Post-Confucian model of China has been at least equally dynamic since the late s. The policy target is 2. The improvement in quality has been equally dramatic.
By that 0. There are similar figures in Engineering and Computing nsf , The dynamism of the Master Plan in California was sustained by economic growth; by consensus about the familial and national benefits of higher education, and by consensus about the public good benefits of expanding opportunity on an accessible basis. There was high dependence on public money but at first enough resources to support low tuition and infrastructure.
The institutions managed their own evolution in response to need, within the systemic plan. The dynamism of the modern Post-Confucian Model of higher education in China Marginson, 43 is conditioned and sustained by economic growth; it continues to be rooted in Confucian educational cultivation and ambition in the home, and a broad social consensus about the familial and national benefits of higher education; and it secures the largest part of its momentum from a modernizing state determined to direct priorities and sustain the pace of educational and scientific progress.
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There is more private funding in China than in us public education but less emphasis on the autonomous institution. The state in China is a more important factor overall than was its Californian counterpart, and this is likely to remain an irreducible difference between East Asian and American cultures. The essential features of the Post-Confucian Model of higher education are found not only in mainland China, but also in Taiwan China, Singapore and Korea.
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They were also integral to the rapid evolution of a large scale and high quality higher education and research system in Japan between the s and the s, although the earlier educational dynamism of Japan has now faltered. The state always has a more comprehensive potential in East Asia than in the us , though the East Asian state often stops short of direct intervention. It has developed many techniques for controlled devolution. Perhaps the most important educational system-wide lesson of California for China is the need to focus not only on lifting the tier one institutions to the global peak but on improving institutions in the second and third tier.
In the long run the quality of mass higher education is as important as the quality of wcu s, though in a different way, and for different objectives. California established such a World-Class System in but within thirty years had run down that system, though it successfully maintained its wcu s. At the same time, as in California, in China the capacity of higher education to broaden opportunity, and even enhance social equality through educational mechanisms alone, is constrained by forms and degree of inequality in the larger social environment. This feeds back into the structuring of the education system, especially when it shapes the political outlook at the top, affecting public taxation and spending priorities—prior social and economic inequalities all too readily govern the distribution of good quality schooling and no doubt feed into the steepness of the hierarchy in higher education.
California shows that when the institutional hierarchy is steep that puts too much pressure on the transfer function.
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It is much better to retain more modest differences in the quality of institutions from the bottom up, by elevating the lower tiers without reducing the quality of the top research universities. But this more egalitarian system structure, one more typical of Netherlands or Sweden than California, is only possible if political and social habits will permit it. California also provides China with a political economic warning.
Periods of rapid expansion of the middle class, in which economic growth and modernization sustain a broad-based opening of paths for new layers of the population, do not last forever. China has been experiencing it since the s. It is certain that at some future point the growth of the economy and the middle class will slow. The present society in China, in which the rapid growth of opportunity is normal, will transform into a more reproductive society in which opportunities in the social middle no longer expand much and political economic inequalities appear to become very stubborn.
China has a long habit of steep social hierarchy Goodman, 44 and the old normal always has the potential to return—the only question is how strong is that tendency, and particularly, whether it is corrected or partly corrected by state action.