In 1978 UCSC’s fourth chancellor, Robert Sinsheimer, responded to the crisis of the mid 1970s by reorganizing the campus along more conventional lines. The colleges, deemed too expensive to function as robust educational centers, were transformed into social and residential units. The dispersed “boards of study” became “departments.”

The Legacy of the Old Cowell Ranch

While everyone can think of changes they regret, the vision of the early planners has worn well through fifty years of transformation. The old Cowell Ranch is now home to a major university.

17,000 students, ten colleges, a major research infrastructure, and miles of sewers and conduits occupy a dramatic forested terrain without major damage.

UC Santa Cruz’s most unambiguous and enduring achievement is its campus. This uncommon place still stops us in our tracks, inspiring us to think and dream differently.