Negotiating the California Master Plan of 1960
The California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 was developed by a survey team appointed by the UC Regents and the State Board of Education during the administration of Governor Edmund G. [Pat] Brown. Clark Kerr, then the President of UC was a key figure in its development. Kerr appointed Dean McHenry, his old college roomate from his Stanford years and his colleague in the Upton Sinclair End Poverty in California campaign of the 1930s, as head of academic planning for the UC system and also as one of the two UC representiatives on the team that negotiated the plan.
The Master Plan set up a coherent system for postsecondary education which defined specific roles for the University of California, California State College [now California State University system] and the California Community College system. It has remained the guiding document in higher education in California through the present day. McHenry was a critical figure in the development of the plan, as Kerr explains in the excerpt of his memoir below.
See what President Clark Kerr had to say about Dean McHenry's role in developing the Master Plan:
"I brought Dean McHenry from UCLA, where he had been dean of social sciences, and appointed him head of academic planning. He had chaired the committee that produced the McHenry report on new campuses, which the regents, in effect, had adopted at their October 1957 meeting. He was the staff person in charge of both academic planning for the three new campuses and the detailed negotiations for what became the Master Plan for Higher Education in California—with the aid of one assistant (Charles Young) and one secretary! Dean was also my major source of ideas about the university of the future and particularly about the role of UCLA... McHenry was already giving advice to other systems of higher education, including those in Nevada and Missouri. The new directions for the university (1960-2000) were worked out in detail mostly in the McHenry-Kerr collaborations. We were the planning team...The master plan survey team began its work on June 16, 1959, and completed its report in December 1959. Coons was an excellent chair. Dean McHenry was a superb representative of the university with good judgment and outstanding persuasive skills. He and I had jointly developed in our discussions the idea of a master plan. It was his idea as much or more than mine. McHenry and I were in constant contact as the plan developed.— from Clark Kerr, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967
For an extensive history of the California Master Plan see The History and Future of the California Master Plan for Higher Education developed by the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley.
John Aubrey Douglass, The California Idea and American Higher Education: 1850 to the 1960 Master Plan (Stanford University Press, 1960).
Clark Kerr, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1948-1967 (University of California Press, 2001).