The California Master Plan: Influential Beyond State Borders?

  • David W. Breneman
  • Paul E. Lingenfelter
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 38)


This chapter explores the question of whether the California Master Plan exerted a significant effect on the thinking of leaders in the other states regarding the organization and purposes of higher education. The authors interviewed ten individuals who served in leadership roles in prior decades, and report their comments. The general finding is that the California Master Plan was a unique form of response to these issues. Few other states adopted a fixed structure of institutions, with clearly defined admissions requirements, and clearly delimited missions. The authors also conclude that it is difficult to separate the Clark Kerr of the Master Plan from the Clark Kerr of the Carnegie Commission and Carnegie Council on Policy Studies, both of which he headed after 1967. The Carnegie activities gave Kerr a national platform from which to create and promulgate systemic proposals for the development and support of higher education. It seems likely, in retrospect, that the numerous publications of the Carnegie projects had a larger impact on other states than did the original California Master Plan itself.


High Education Community College Master Plan Community College System Community College Transfer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VirginiaKeswickUSA
  2. 2.State Higher Education Executive OfficersBoulderUSA

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