CSU, Chico News

President Paul Zingg and UC Berkeley Senior Research Fellow to Discuss California’s Higher Education System

Date: 08-24-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Laird Easton
Department of History

California State University, Chico’s Department of History will host its annual History Roundtable, titled “Higher Education in California: Past, Present and Future,” Monday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. in the Ruth Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall.

The roundtable will essentially be a conversation between Paul Zingg, president of CSU, Chico, and John Aubrey Douglass, senior research fellow for the Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley.

“Both President Zingg and Dr. Douglass are very familiar with the ongoing public education crisis,” said Laird Easton, chair of the Department of History at CSU, Chico, and coordinator of the History Lecture Series.

Zingg has spoken and written extensively about the crisis, and Douglass is the author of the comprehensive “The California Idea and American Higher Education: 1850 to the 1960 Master Plan.”

“To understand the crisis public education in California is currently in, one must understand the principles that the 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education was founded on,” said Easton. “The California Master Plan for Higher Education was a comprehensive effort to make higher education affordable for everyone who wanted it. The master plan created a three-tier system of publicly funded higher education — the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges.”

California’s educational system was the envy of much of the world for decades, said Easton. However, the recent steep decline in California's public funding of higher education, the state's continual budget cuts and other far-reaching changes in higher education have called the continued existence of the master plan into question and have damaged severely the international reputation of California's public universities and colleges.

“Is the master plan still relevant to California? Can it or should it be saved? What was the impact of the plan on the state's economy and society? What is the future of higher education in California? These are the important questions that will be addressed during the roundtable,” said Easton.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Easton at 530-898-4284.