Goals In 1960, California's Master Plan for Higher Education transformed a collection of uncoordinated and competing colleges and universities into a coherent system and unique model of higher education. It did this by assigning each public segment-the University of California (UC), the California State University system (CSU) and the California Community Colleges (CCC)-its own distinctive mission and pool of students, while maintaining the principle of low-cost public higher education and universal access and choice. The University of California became the state's public research university, with responsibility to admit the top 12.5 percent of students from the graduating high school class, to conduct research and to award doctoral and professional degrees.
While California has maintained its commitment to the Master Plan, its support of higher education has declined. The University's share of the state's general fund has dropped from 8.1 percent in 1966-67 to 3.1 percent in 2009-10. California itself has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. It has grown greatly in size and diversity and its public K-12 education system, once a leader nationally, is ranked 43rd by the National Education Association (NEA) among all states in 2008-09 with regard to current expenditures per student. California also ranks 46th in eighth-grade math achievement and 47th in eighth-grade reading achievement, according to the most recent assessments by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
This combination presents the University of California with formidable challenges as it seeks to continue to provide a high-quality education to all eligible undergraduates, to provide the state with an educated work force and to generate the research, ideas and innovations that improve people's lives and create the new jobs and industries that keep California economically vibrant.
Narrative The indicators in this opening section describe the University's development over the past 50 years. They demonstrate enormous growth in enrollment, steady declines in state support, reductions in the average cost of education, and increases in tuition and fee levels-that is, the challenges that confront the University today. They also show the continuing vibrancy of the University-a wide and diverse community of students, faculty, staff and alumni. And they show the diverse and complex array of revenues that the University relies upon to maintain its highly diversified enterprise. Together, the indicators paint a picture of a strong institution but one now at significant risk; they also set the backdrop against which subsequent sections are framed.