The Dream Is Over: The Crisis of Clark Kerr’s California Idea of Higher Education

Inside this Book

If you make use of this material, you may credit the authors as follows:

Marginson Simon, "The Dream Is Over: The Crisis of Clark Kerr’s California Idea of Higher Education", University of California Press, 2016, DOI: 10.1525/luminos.17, License:

The Dream Is Over tells the extraordinary story of the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California, created by visionary University of California President Clark Kerr and his contemporaries. The Master Plan’s equality of opportunity policy brought college within reach of millions of American families for the first time and fashioned the world’s leading system of public research universities. The California idea became the leading model for higher education across the world and has had great influence in the rapid growth of universities in China and East Asia. Yet, remarkably, the political conditions supporting the California idea in California itself have evaporated. Universal access is faltering, public tuition is rising, the great research universities face new challenges, and educational participation in California, once the national leader, lags far behind. Can the social values embodied in Kerr’s vision be renewed?


Equal Opportunity, Clark Kerr, California, China, East Asia, Higher Education, United States

Rights | License

Except where otherwise noted, this item has been published under the following license:

Takedown policy

If you believe that this publication infringes copyright, please contact us at and provide relevant details so that we can investigate your claim.