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The Pursuit of Knowledge

Speeches and Papers of Richard C. Atkinson

Richard C. Atkinson

Publication Year: 2007

Richard C. Atkinson’s eight-year tenure as president of the University of California (1995–2003) reflected the major issues facing California itself: the state’s emergence as the world’s leading knowledge-based economy and the rapidly expanding size and diversity of its population. As this selection of President Atkinson’s speeches and papers reveals, his administration was marked by innovative approaches that deliberately shaped U.C.’s role in this changing California. These writings tell the story of the national controversy over the SAT and Atkinson’s successful challenge to the dominance of the seventy-five-year-old college entrance examination. They also highlight other issues with national significance: U.C.’s experiments with race-neutral admissions programs; the challenges facing academic libraries and the University’s pioneering activities with the California Digital Library; and the University’s involvement in new paradigms of industry-university research. Together, these speeches and papers open a window on an eventful period in the history of the nation’s leading public research university and the history of American higher education.

Published by: University of California Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vii

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Foreword by David S. Saxon

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pp. ix-xii

...sity presidents: by the battles they have won and the battles they have fought. The battles won are refl ected in such bottom-line measures as the size of the institutional budget and the distinction of the faculty. From this vantage point, Richard Atkinson’s tenure as president of the University of California was rich in ...

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Editor’s Note

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pp. xiii-15

...digital collection of speeches, papers, statements, and other writ-ings associated with the 1995–2003 administration of University have been edited to clarify or bring references up to date. “College Admissions and the SAT: A Personal Perspective,” a paper here because of the light it sheds on his proposal regarding the ...

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A Brief History of the Atkinson Presidency

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pp. 1-8

Atkinson grew out of the forces shaping California: the state’s and the rapidly expanding size and diversity of its population, which brought the largest student generation since the 1960s to the University’s door. Atkinson’s administrative and intellectual leadership of the University reflected a deliberate effort to de-...

Seventeenth President

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pp. 9-25

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Remarks on Receiving the University ofChicago Alumni Medal

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pp. 11-15

It is always a wonderful experience to return to the University of Chicago. The campus was beautiful when I first set eyes upon it in 1944, and even with all the changes, it is still one of the most hold, a college education was not high on our list of priorities. But in February of 1944, when I was a sophomore in high school, one ...

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The Golden Fleece, Science Education, andU.S. Science Policy

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pp. 16-32

I was pleased to accept Roger Hahn’s kind invitation to participate in this colloquium series. It gave me an opportunity to rethink some events I was associated with at the National Science Foundation [NSF] in the 1970s. I would like to review briefly U.S. science policy since World War II from the perspective of the National Science Foundation...

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Remarks on Appointment as President ofthe University of California

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pp. 33-38

It is an honor to be selected the seventeenth president of the University of California. I come to the position with full knowledge University has made to the well-being of California. The people of California have created the finest public university in the more critical than ever to the economic vitality and social integ-...

The University of California

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pp. 39-53

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The Future of the University of California:A Personal View

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pp. 54-58

The role of knowledge in transforming virtually every aspect of our world has moved research universities like the University of California to center stage of American life. More than any other institution in our society, research universities are on the cut-knowledge for its own sake. However, society’s increasing need ...

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The Role of the President of the University

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pp. 54-58

... would be led by a “President of the several Faculties . . . [who would also be] the executive head of the institution in all its departments.” Despite this sweeping description of the president’s powers, the office carried academic but little administrative authority in the early days of the University. In 1890, for example, ...

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Robert Gordon Sproul

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pp. 59-62

Robert Gordon Sproul graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in the same class as his friend Earl Warren and, like Warren, was destined to become a shaper of events in twentieth- century California. But unlike Warren, the future governor and Supreme Court justice, Sproul chose to devote his prodigious energies to a single institution...

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Tradition at the University of California

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pp. 63-69

Let me add my welcome to the one you’ve already received from the chairman of the Board of Regents. A special welcome to the leaders of the business community who are joining us this evening. You are all individuals who have made important contributions to the University...

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Diversity: Not There Yet

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pp. 70-74

In the weeks leading up to the Supreme Court’s hearing on affirmative action, the public University of California system was depicted alternately as a dramatic success or a dismal failure in its efforts to enroll Latino and African American students after the elimination of race and ethnicity as factors in student...

The Research University and Its Responsibilities

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pp. 75-91

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The Numbers Game and Graduate Education

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pp. 77-85

The National Science Board report Science and Engineering Indicators, 1996 has a new section this year, entitled “Science and Engineering Labor Market.”1 It begins with the following statement: “The performance of the U.S. economy is the major determinant of current and future...

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Opportunities for Chinese and American Universitiesin the Knowledge-Based Economy

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pp. 86-98

It is a great pleasure to be back in China. I first came here in 1978 as director of the National Science Foundation [NSF] to explore the possibility of an exchange of students, scholars, and scientists be-surprise but quickly agreed to talks, with one proviso—that such standing” signed by the two governments. What has been called ...

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The Globalization of the University

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pp. 99-112

We are living in an age of unprecedented intellectual discovery, an era in which knowledge doubles every twelve to fi fteen years in the sciences alone. Thanks to revolutionary advances in tele-share information and ideas is leading to what can be called the globalization of the university. By “globalization” I mean the ...

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Academic Freedom and the Research University

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pp. 113-128

...novo, the first cornerstone to be laid is that of academic freedom. Professors (AAUP) committee that first articulated a statement free themselves from sectarian religious domination and later to resist secular political control. The modern research university ways that are relevant to the responsibilities and circumstances ...

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A New World of Scholarly Communication

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pp. 129-136

Higher-education leaders invariably have long lists of difficult issues to confront. These days, high on my list is the future of our university libraries. Although libraries form the basic infrastructure of the academic endeavor, I have come face to face with Even in the best of economic times, university libraries cannot ...

Achievemnet Versus Aptitude

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pp. 137-148

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Standardized Tests and Access to American Universities

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pp. 149-162

...been an eloquent voice on behalf of the nation’s colleges and universities, and for that we are all in his debt. I cannot think of a better way to recognize his important contributions than by tried to allocate educational opportunity in ways that reflect American ideals of fairness and egalitarianism. Many argue that ...

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The California Crucible: Demography, Excellence, and Access at the University of California

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pp. 163-164

Last February I gave an address to the American Council on Education about two proposals I have made to the Academic Senate of the University of California. The first proposal was that the University make the SAT I examination optional for admission to the University...

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Statement on the Vote by theCollege Board Trustees to Revise the SAT I

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pp. 165-179

I am delighted by the College Board’s decision to alter the SAT I examination. It marks a major event in the history of standardized testing. I give enormous credit to the College Board and to its president, Gaston Caperton, for the vision they have demonstrated in bringing forward these changes and for their genuine commitment to improved...

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College Admissions and the SAT:A Personal Perspective

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pp. 180-189

My intent in this paper is to offer a personal perspective on the events that led to a major change in the college admissions test missions process for the college class entering in the fall of 2006. Hopefully, this account will be useful to those trying to change term standardized test, I mean simply a test administered under ...

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Farewell Remarks to the Board of Regents

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pp. 190-194

Very shortly, I will be leaving the presidency of the University of California after eight years in office. It has been pointed out were paralyzed by a bitter debate over affirmative action. As I prepare to leave on October 1, our state is consumed by a gubernatorial recall election that will feature a ballot with 135 candi-...

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Regents’ Resolution in Honor of Richard C. Atkinson

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pp. 195-209

...retired as the seventeenth President of the University of California, the fifth-longest serving president in the University’s rich ship has enhanced U.C.’s stature as the world’s leading research this state as an inventor, public servant, and visionary leader, defending the role of the scientific enterprise in the American ...


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pp. 195-210

E-ISBN-13: 9780520933941
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520251991

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2007

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Subject Headings

  • University of California, Berkeley.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.
  • Education, Higher -- United States -- Aims and objectives.
  • Atkinson, Richard C.
  • College presidents -- California -- Biography.
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