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Clark Kerr

Clark Kerr

Clark Kerr (born 1911) was an economist and labor/ management expert who served as president of the multi-campus University of California from 1952 to 1967, a period of rapid growth and expansion. He was concerned about the role of the university in society and created a master plan for coordinating the programs of all of the state's colleges and universities.

Clark Kerr was born May 17, 1911, in Stony Creek, Pennsylvania, to Samuel William Kerr and Carolina Clark Kerr. He received a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1932 and an M.A. from Stanford the following year. He attended the London School of Economics during 1935-1936 and in 1939 was awarded a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He was subsequently awarded numerous honorary degrees from the most prominent American colleges and universities. Kerr married Catherine Spaulding Kerr, and they had three children, two boys and a girl.

Kerr began his teaching career in 1936 with successive one year stints at Antioch College, Stanford University, and the University of California before accepting a professorship at the University of Washington in 1940. An expert on labor, he was named to the U.S. War Labor Board in 1942 to arbitrate wage disputes between unions and companies. His expertise as a labor/management consultant became widely known, and he soon became the highest paid negotiator on the West Coast. Following five years at the University of Washington, Kerr returned to Berkeley to establish the Institute of Industrial Relations and serve as its director while teaching a regular load of classes. In 1952 he was appointed chancellor of the Berkeley campus, and in 1958 he succeeded Robert Gordon Sproul as president of the multi-campus University of California.

The rapid growth of universities in response to the post-war baby boom had begun when Kerr took office. Rapid growth and expansion of the university system was on the horizon, and during his tenure the university doubled its enrollment to more than 50,000 students. The previous president had kept a tight reign on campus political activities to the extent that even Adlai Stevenson was not allowed to speak on the Berkeley campus. In 1949 Kerr had fought the application of faculty loyalty oaths, and that action identified him as a liberal in the eyes of many. Upon becoming system president he lifted the speaker ban on Communist speakers—winning him the American Association of University Presidents Meiklejohn Award—and liberalized a few other rules.

His policies were put to the test by the growth of activist groups on campus during the civil rights thrust of 1963-1964. Students aggressively pushed for remedies to racial discrimination in the university community and confronted local businesses, often leading to demonstrations and arrests. This antagonism led to Kerr's banning of on-campus recruiting and solicitation of funds for off-campus groups. Students denounced the president's action, and the Free Speech Movement was formed. In the fall of 1964 police attempted to arrest a non-student manning a table for the Congress of Racial Equality and were denied access to this individual by a massive 30-hour sit-in. Further incitement was provided by the Free Speech Movement (F.S.M.). Kerr met with Marco Savio, leader of the protesters, and was assumed to have resolved the disagreement, but Governor Brown intervened the next day and ordered the arrest of the students. There was immediate campus outrage, and the Berkeley faculty voted overwhelmingly to meet the F.S.M. demands.

The next three years of Kerr's administration were marked by constant attempts at mediation between the university and various interests, including the California state government. Ronald Reagan became governor in 1967, and conflict developed immediately between his administration and Kerr over proposed cuts in operating funds and the proposal to end free education by imposing tuition and other fees. An impasse developed, and on June 20, 1967, the California State Board of Regents voted to dismiss him as president, pointing to what they saw as his mishandling of the 1964 unrest at Berkeley.

Clark Kerr's accomplishments as president lay primarily in the evolution of the University of California into a "multiversity," a term he coined. He argued that a university must of necessity cater to the elite, but in an egalitarian society its role is that of a "prime instrument of national purpose." It must serve many constituencies, including government, industry, and the general public as well as its students and faculty. He devised a master plan to coordinate programs of all the state's colleges and universities. The result was a hierarchy of higher education, with the top 12 percent of high school graduates attending the universities, the rest of the upper third attending the colleges, and the remainder attending the junior colleges. This model was considered by many to be a proper national goal.

Kerr continued to hold his faculty position at Berkeley's School of Business Administration following his dismissal as president. His administrative innovations led to his appointment as head of a Carnegie Commission study of the structure and finance of higher education. In 1968 the commission called for a federal civilian "bill of educational rights" to guarantee a college education to any qualified student regardless of his/her ability to pay. Kerr's committee evolved into the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education, whose final report Three Thousand Futures: The Next Twenty Years in Higher Education has become the benchmark for reform in higher education. Clark Kerr's membership on numerous governmental and industrial commissions throughout his career bore witness to his position of respect and influence. He was also an extremely active worker in the Committee for a Political Settlement in Vietnam. He and his wife lived in El Cerrito, California, in a home overlooking the San Francisco Bay, a tranquil site where he wrote and pursued his favorite leisure activity of gardening.

Kerr held memberships in many professional and honorary organizations, including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Economic Society, American Economic Association, National Academy of Arbitrators, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Kerr continued to publish through the 1980s. Economics of Labor in Industrial Society, edited by Clark Kerr and Paul D. Staudohar and Industrial Relations in a New Age: Economic, Social, and Managerial Perspectives, edited by Kerr and Staudohar appeared at the end of the decade. Kerr also co-authored The Guardians: Boards of Trustees of American Colleges and Universities with Martin L. Gade in 1989. The book discusses problems with the governing boards of various universities and suggests a number of reforms.

Further Reading

Industrialism and Industrial Man (1964); Labor and Management in Industrial Society (1972); Marshall, Marx, and Modern Times (1969); The Future of Industrial Societies (1983); The Uses of the University (1972); and Unions, Management, and the Public (1967) all by Clark Kerr; for reviews of his work, see: Monthly Labor Review, March 1988, vol. 111, no. 3, p. 51-52 in which Morris Weisz reviews Economics of Labor in Industrial Society and Industrial Relations in a New Age: Economic, Social, and Managerial Perspectives, both edited by Kerr and Paul D. Staudohar; and a review of The Guardians: Boards of Trustees of Americas Colleges and Universities, by Carolyn J. Mooney in The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 17, 1989. □

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Kerr, Clark

Clark Kerr (kûr, kär), 1911–2003, American educational reformer, b. Reading, Pa., grad. Swarthmore College (B.A., 1932) and the Univ. of California at Berkeley (Ph.D., 1939). He was a professor of industrial relations at Berkeley from 1945 until 1952 when he was named chancellor. In 1958 he became president of the Univ. of California, building its prestigious system until 1967, when Gov. Ronald Reagan had him dismissed because of campus unrest. He became director of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, which called for a "bill of educational rights," and author of its report Three Thousand Futures (1970). His writings include The Uses of the University (1972) and The Future of Industrial Societies (1983).

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Kerr, Clark

Kerr, Clark

(b. 17 May 1911 in Stony Creek, Pennsylvania; d. 1 December 2003 in El Cerrito, California), president of the University of California, labor economist, arbitrator, and intellectual.

Kerr was raised in an agricultural community near Reading, Pennsylvania. His father, Samuel William Kerr, was a farmer and schoolteacher, and his mother, Caroline (Clark) Kerr, was a milliner before marriage. Other ancestors had been educators. Kerr also had three sisters and a half brother. He attended Reading High School and in his youth acquired habits of industry and self-discipline. His rural upbringing and subsequent attendance at Swarthmore College, the Quaker institution in Pennsylvania from which Kerr graduated in 1932 with an AB, were lasting influences. At Swarthmore, he became a Hicksite Quaker and did field work from time to time for the American Friends Service Committee, in particular promoting U.S. entry into the League of Nations and the World Court.

Throughout his busy career Kerr expressed his love for the land by avid gardening. He gave gifts of trees to the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, for which he had a lifelong affection from the moment he laid eyes on its campanile. The Swarthmore ideal of liberal education with emphasis on ethical conduct influenced his dream of making the University of California, Santa Cruz, which he founded, into a U.S. version of the collegiate Cambridge University. What he had in mind was a publicly financed “Swarthmore under the redwoods.”

Kerr married Catherine (“Kay”) Spaulding on 25 December 1934, and the couple had three children.

After graduation from Swarthmore, Kerr attended Stanford University, where he took an MA in 1933. On the advice of a professor from Swarthmore, who thought his interests better served at Berkeley, he moved across San Francisco Bay to study for a PhD in labor economics, which he received in 1939. From 1940 to 1945 he taught at the University of Washington and impressed observers with his skill in resolving labor disputes in the Seattle area. He acquired a national reputation as a labor arbitrator by helping settle a dispute between the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union and the Waterfront Employers’ Association in San Francisco. In 1933 he had visited the scene of a bitter and violent agricultural dispute in the San Joaquin Valley, reinforcing his desire to seek peaceful solutions. Kerr’s writings as a labor economist appear in The Future of Industrial Societies, Convergence or Continuing Diversity (1983).

Kerr returned to University of California, Berkeley, as the director of the newly established Institute of Industrial Relations. His problem-solving ability and respect for fundamental values had become generally acknowledged. When the University of California became a multicampus federation, Kerr was appointed the first chancellor at Berkeley and served under the university president Robert Gordon Sproul from 1952 to 1958. Kerr’s relations with Sproul, who only reluctantly accepted the principle of nearly autonomous campuses, were strained, and at one point Kerr contemplated resigning. He stayed with the university, however, and succeeded Sproul, serving from 1958 to 1967 as president of the University of California system.

Kerr’s skill as a labor arbitrator served him in the tortuous negotiations with academic leaders and state politicians that in 1960 resulted in the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The plan served as an inspiration for other American states and attracted attention from abroad as a means of connecting two opposing ideals: democratic access to higher education and the need for merit selection. The key ingredient was an unlikely combination of differentiating institutions according to mission but linking them through student transfer. The resulting tripartite system of public higher education in California allowed properly qualified students to move from community colleges and state colleges and universities to the University of California, to which the plan assigned principal responsibility for doctoral education, law, and medicine. After more than forty years, the plan continued to be memorable for its lucidity and brevity. Critics, however, complained that it unduly favored the University of California, and representatives of the tier of state colleges and universities continued to agitate for a greater role in the granting of higher degrees. Kerr regarded the community colleges as the special underpinning of a democratic system of access to higher education and was concerned whenever the numbers of transfer students to the University of California tapered off.

In an essay published in 1992 Kerr retrospectively laid out the sources of his thinking about the purpose and structure of higher education in American democracy. He named Thomas Jefferson, John Rawls, Benjamin Franklin, and John Maynard Keynes as thinkers who helped him understand how an “aristocracy of talent” could function within an egalitarian society and a mixed economy. Eager to keep state and central government from interfering with institutional autonomy, a key feature of the California Master Plan, Kerr believed that political guidance was acceptable only if market discipline was respected.

In April 1963 in the Godkin Lectures at Harvard University, he spelled out the arrival of a new kind of university on the American scene. He called it a “multiversity” rather than a “university,” and he had in mind Harvard even more than the University of California. The essence of a multiversity was its capacity to serve many constituencies at once. Previous thinkers had established the American principle that the university must serve all interests in a democracy, juggling priorities against competing pressures. Kerr extended the principle and demonstrated how the internal structures of universities accomplished such ends. The university president, he said, had become a manager or arbiter of numerous clashing interests. Kerr believed the multiversity appeared to have no core, no animating lofty spiritual idea. The multiversity was a “historical necessity,” Kerr said, rather than a “reasoned alternative.” The lectures were published as The Uses of the University (1963). As of 2005 the book was in its fifth edition.

Detractors accused Kerr of advocating bargains with powerful external interests since the multiversity was a federal grant university and thus in need of funding. Kerr said that in other contexts, money may not be the source of all evil, but it was the source of some. Because he feared that undergraduate education would be neglected, Kerr launched the Santa Cruz experiment. Not long after the Godkin Lectures, however, the student disruptions of the 1960s began, and Kerr was unprepared for what one sociologist called “affective politics.” Santa Cruz fell victim to the countercultural movements of the 1960s, and Kerr’s collegiate ideal faded as the campus became another research arm of the University of California.

A scholar and intellectual, a student of the arts of negotiation and compromise, Kerr was unable to comprehend the tactics adopted by student radicals of the 1960s. These students denounced the university for its association with industry and the military and accused it and Kerr of creating a large and impersonal bureaucracy subservient to capitalist enterprise. Civil rights activism and anti–Vietnam War agitation led to use of the campus as a staging area for political advocacy. The activists never forgave Kerr for trying to depoliticize the campus environment. They questioned his alleged open-mindedness, fidelity to moral precepts, and commitment to equality of opportunity.

The “multiversity” reality of an institution without a center led to power vacuums and crises of authority that Kerr had not anticipated. During the California gubernatorial campaign of 1966, Ronald Reagan, undergoing the transition from Hollywood actor to public servant, made Kerr’s lenient handling of campus upheaval into a campaign issue. Conservative members of the university board of regents, long upset at Kerr’s role in fighting the loyalty oath policies of the 1950s, engineered his dismissal in 1967. He had also been blacklisted by J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who considered Kerr a communist. The truth, however, was that Kerr’s fear of turning classrooms into sources of ideology made him a lifelong opponent of communism. Kerr observed ironically that he had managed to offend both left and right.

After leaving the University of California, Kerr headed the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and chaired the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education. He gathered leading academics and inspired creative work in educational policy. He wrote extensively, updating the arguments first advanced in the Godkin Lectures. His essays were collected in works such as The Great Transformation in Higher Education: 1960–1980 (1991) and Troubled Times for American Higher Education: The 1990s and Beyond (1994).

Kerr continued to travel, to advise, and to lecture around the world. He was repeatedly honored at home and abroad but retained the simplicity of his upbringing and religious faith. Well into old age he could be found unloading unwieldy cardboard boxes at a local recycling center. He died on 1 December 2003 in El Cerrito of complications after a fall. His remains were cremated.

Kerr was a shy man not given to flamboyance. His personal habits and tastes were plain and direct, as were his speech and prose. Because of these traits, Kerr’s words carried uncommon weight and authority. Optimistic by nature and conviction, his view of the world took on darker hues toward the end of his life. His Hicksite belief in the essential goodness of every person was sorely tried. He called the 1990s a “sad decade” and wondered whether universal access to higher education was compatible with meritocratic values. As Kerr wrote in his memoirs, his was a long life of “triumph” but also of “turmoil.” He had won and lost “big.”

The Clark Kerr Memoirs Project is being conducted by the Center for Studies in Higher Education of the University of California, Berkeley. The first two works in the series are Kerr’s memoirs, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949–1967. The first volume is subtitled Academic Triumphs (2001), and the second, Political Turmoil (2003). Obituaries are in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times (both 2 Dec. 2003) and National Crosstalk (Winter 2004).

Sheldon Rothblatt

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Kerr, Clark

KERR, Clark

(b. 17 May 1911 in Stony Creek, Pennsylvania), labor and management expert, economist, and university president who led the 1960s expansion of the University of California and wrestled with growing campus unrest including the Free Speech Movement.

Kerr is the son of Samuel William Kerr, a teacher and apple farmer, and Caroline Clark, a homemaker. His father, the first member of his family to go to college, held a master's degree from the University of Berlin and spoke four languages. He instilled in Kerr the importance of independent thought. Kerr received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1932. While at Swarthmore, he was captain of the debating team and president of the student body.

Kerr received his M.A. degree in economics from Stanford University in 1933. He completed additional studies at the Institute of International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1936 and 1939 Kerr studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He married Catherine Spaulding on 25 December 1934; they have three children. Kerr began his teaching career in 1936 at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. From 1937 to 1939 he was a teaching fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley in 1939. From 1939 to 1940 Kerr was acting assistant professor of labor economics at Stanford.

In 1940 Kerr began teaching at the University of Washington in Seattle as an assistant and then as an associate professor. In 1942, in addition to teaching, Kerr undertook his first labor arbitration assignment when the Pacific Coast Coal Company and its operating engineers were unable to agree on wage increases. He continued to solve hundreds of labor/management disputes in several industries including public utilities, newspapers, aircraft, canning, oil, and local transport. Known as the busiest arbitrator on the West Coast, Kerr became renowned for his toughness, his sense of fairness, and his expensive fees. Kerr tried to find what he called the "inner logic" of every situation. He was skilled in the arts of persuasion. With his mild expression, his unostentatious suits, and rimless glasses, he at first would strike the observer as a typical organization man who melts into the background. The resemblance disappeared once Kerr began to dispense his own brand of inner logic. He chose the most difficult disputes, worked tirelessly, and tried to reach settlements as quickly as possible. Kerr was soon the highest paid negotiator (he charged $200 a day) on the West Coast.

Kerr served on many federal fact-finding boards in labor controversies. During World War II he was a member of the National War Labor Board. As a public member, appointed by President Harry S. Truman, Kerr served in 1950 and 1951 on the National Wage Stabilization Board, which recommended wage policies and administered any pay controls imposed on labor. In 1960 President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Kerr to the Commission on National Goals. Kerr reported to the commission several months later on "the effective and democratic organization of the economy."

After five years at the University of Washington, Kerr returned to Berkeley, where he developed and directed the Institute of Industrial Relations. When the statewide University of California (UC) system was reorganized in 1952, he was appointed the first chancellor of the Berkeley campus. He initiated the modernization of the residence halls, student union, and intramural and recreational facilities. During the period of his leadership, the American Council on Education designated the Berkeley campus as "the best balanced distinguished university in the country."

In 1958 Kerr succeeded Robert Gordon Sproul as the twelfth president of the multicampus University of California, one of the largest university systems in the world. As president, Kerr had to coordinate the operations of all UC campuses and establish their role in a state educational system that also supported four-year and junior colleges. In so doing, he was often called on to resolve conflicts of interest similar to those involved in sensitive labor disputes. Kerr was already familiar with the art of mediation, having over twenty years of experience resolving hundreds of industrial controversies as a private and federal mediator.

Because of the postwar baby boom, U.S. colleges and universities were growing rapidly. During Kerr's tenure as president, the university doubled its enrollment to more than 50,000 students. The previous president had restricted political activism on campus, not even allowing the presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson to speak. In 1949 Kerr had voiced his disapproval of mandatory faculty loyalty oaths, thus earning him the label of liberal. When he became president, he opened the campus to even controversial communist speakers and relaxed some other campus rules. The American Association of University Presidents gave Kerr the Meiklejohn Award in 1964 for his contributions to academic freedom.

Kerr believed the role of a university administrator was mostly that of a mediator among students, faculty, regents, alumni, and public groups. Civil rights activist groups in 1963 and 1964 put Kerr's free speech policies to the test. Students were actively pressuring the administration to find remedies to racial discrimination in the university community. The activist students confronted local businesses, which led to protests and arrests. Kerr responded to the activists by banning on-campus recruiting and solicitation of funds for off-campus groups. Student activists denounced Kerr's action, and the Free Speech Movement (FSM) was founded. This movement's activities at UC Berkeley ushered in the age of student activism in the United States.

In 1964 the police tried to arrest a nonstudent who was promoting the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) at Berkeley. The police action led to a thirty-hour sit-in in which student activists denied access to campus buildings. Kerr met with Marco Savio, the FSM leader, and negotiated an apparent solution to the crisis. But Governor Edmund Brown intervened the next day, ordering the arrest of the students. The Berkeley faculty responded by voting overwhelmingly to meet FSM demands. From 1964 to 1967 the Kerr administration attempted to mediate between the university and various interest groups. When Ronald W. Reagan became governor of California in 1967, a conflict arose over cuts to the university's operating budget and a proposal to end free education by imposing tuition and other fees. An impasse developed, and Kerr was fired by the California State Board of Regents on 20 June 1967 for his failure (in their opinion) to deal effectively with the unrest at Berkeley.

Kerr's major accomplishment during his tenure as president was the evolution of the University of California into what he called a "multiversity." Kerr believed the university was a "prime instrument of national purpose." He assumed the leadership of statewide efforts to develop a master plan for higher education in California. He also held that a university must cater to the elite, but at the same time meet the need of several constituencies including government, industry, and the general public. Kerr developed a plan to coordinate programs in the state's colleges and universities. His hierarchy would give the top twelve percent of high school graduates admission to the University of California. The rest of the top third would be admitted to a California state university, and the remainder would be admitted to junior colleges.

Following his dismissal, Kerr returned to teaching at Berkeley's School of Business Administration. He assumed a leadership role in the development of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education from 1967 to 1973. In 1968 Kerr was appointed to head a Carnegie Commission study on the structure and finance of higher education. The commission called for the development of a federal civilian "bill of educational rights" to guarantee a college education to any qualified student regardless of his or her ability to pay. Kerr led the Carnegie Council on Policy Issues in Higher Education until 1979. The commission and the council together produced over 150 seminal reports and books on the condition and future of higher education. Kerr's final commission report, Three Thousand Futures: The Next Twenty Years in Higher Education (1980), became the benchmark for reform in higher education.

Information about Kerr can be found in Clark Kerr, The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California 1949–1967 (2001). Key publications by Kerr include Unions, Management, and the Public (1948); Industrialism and Industrial Man (1960); The Uses of the University (1964); Labor and Management in Industrial Society (1964); and Marshall, Marx, and Modern Times (1969).

Reed Markham

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Kerr, Clark

KERR, Clark

KERR, Clark. American, b. 1911. Genres: Economics, Education, Industrial relations. Career: Stanford University, CA, acting assistant professor of labor economics, 1939-40; University of Washington, Seattle, assistant professor, associate professor, 1940-45; U.S. War Labor Board, 1942-45; University of California at Berkeley, assoc professor, director, Institute of Industrial Relations, 1945-52, professor of industrial relations, 1945-, chancellor, 1952-58, president, 1958-67, president emeritus, 1974-. Contract arbitrator for labor unions. Has served on many boards and committees. Publications: (with E.W. Bakke) Unions, Management and the Public, 1948, 3rd ed., 1967; (with others) Industrialism, and Industrial Man, 1960, 3rd ed., 1973; The Uses of the University, 1963, 5th ed., 2001; Labor and Management in Industrial Society, 1964; Marshall, Marx and Modern Times, 1969; (with others) Industrialism and Industrial Man Reconsidered, 1975; Labor Markets and Wage Determination, 1977; Education and National Development, 1979; The Future of Industrial Societies, 1983; (with M.L. Gade) The Many Lives of Academic Presidents, 1986; (with M.L. Gade) The Guardians: Boards of Trustees of American Colleges and Universities, 1989; The Great Transformation in Higher Education, 1960-1980, 1991; Higher Education Cannot Escape History, 1994; Troubled Times for American Higher Education, 1994; The Gold and the Blue, vol. 1, 2001, vol. 2, 2003. EDITOR: (with P.D. Staudohar) Industrial Relations in a New Age, 1986; (with P.D. Staudohar) Economics of Labor in Industrial Society, 1986; (with P.D. Staudohar) Labor Economics and Industrial Relations: Markets and Institutions, 1994; Documentary Supplements to the Gold and the Blue, 2003. Died 2003.

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Kerr, Clark

Clark Kerr

Born May 17, 1911, in Stony Creek, PA; died in his sleep after suffering a fall, December 1, 2003, in El Cerrito, CA. University administrator. Clark Kerr's most significant contributions to higher education may be overshadowed in the public eye by his controversial dismissal from his position as president of the University of California system. That event is only a blip on the screen of a decades-long career studying and implementing innovative solutions to the problems facing modern universities. He created the term "multiversity," which helped described higher education as it evolved over the second half of the 20th century.

Kerr's dedication to education most surely came about because of the importance that both his parents placed on learning. His mother, Caroline, refused to get married until she had worked to save enough money for her future children's college educations. When she finally married, it was to Samuel Kerr—an apple farmer with a master's degree from the University of Berlin who spoke four languages. Kerr's father always believed in diversity of opinion, questioning popular beliefs and ideas.

After graduating from high school, Kerr attended Swarthmore College where he was an active member of groups and clubs. He became captain of the debating team as well as student body president. He joined a Quaker service group called the American Friends Service Committee and spent a couple of summers educating workers and the poor on social issues. One of those summers was spent in California.

As part of a group of traveling Quakers, Kerr had fallen in love with the West Coast. He graduated from Swarthmore in 1932 and was accepted into Columbia Law School. He changed his mind and decided to pursue a master's degree in economics at Stanford University, which is located south of San Francisco. He received his master's degree in 1933 and went on to the University of California-Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D. in economics, which he earned in 1939.

During the Depression, Kerr worked for the national government as a labor negotiator on the West Coast. He honed his mediation skills during those times and emerged having assisted in 500 negotiations. Kerr went on to be a professor of labor economics at Antioch College, London School of Economics, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. In 1945, he returned to UC Berkeley as head of the Institute of Industrial Relations.

As the effects of the Cold War spread into academia, Berkeley became embroiled in controversy involving loyalty oaths. In 1949, the regents of the university wanted to fire any professors who refused to sign the loyalty oaths, which declared that you were not a Communist. Kerr, who had signed the oath, advocated for the retention of all faculty even if they refused to sign. His mediation between the faculty and the regents won him favor among the faculty.

In 1952, this favor among the faculty helped him gain the position of UC Berkeley's first chancellor. He was overwhelmingly recommended to the position by the faculty. During his tenure as chancellor he started work on the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The goal of the master plan was to make higher education available to all who wanted it while also guaranteeing the integrity of the University of California. The plan took effect in 1960 and stated that the top eighth of the state's high school graduates automatically qualify for any of the campuses of the University of California. The top two-thirds were automatically eligible for California State University. All others were free to attend local and community colleges.

In 1958, Kerr became the 12th president of the University of California statewide system of schools. He was instrumental in creating three new UC campuses—in Irvine, San Diego, and Santa Cruz. During his presidency, Berkeley became the number-one graduate school in the United States. In 1963, he published The Uses of the University, in which he termed the word "multiversity" and outlined the framework for how modern universities needed to function.

In 1964, Kerr returned to the Berkeley campus from traveling and found students and protesters facing off against the university administration. The Free Speech Movement spurred controversy across the political spectrum and Kerr was asked to put a stop to it. As a trained negotiator, Kerr saw no need for violence and felt the events would pass. Criticism of his actions, or lack thereof, led him to submit his resignation in 1965. At that time, the regents refused to accept it and Kerr maintained his position as protests turned from free speech to focus on the conflict in Vietnam.

In 1966, Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California. He had made campaign promises that involved clearing Berkeley of its protesters. One of his first acts after being sworn in was to call a meeting of the Board of Regents and vote Kerr out of office. Kerr stepped down gracefully and in later years was able to joke about his tenure as president, including his abrupt firing.

Offers for jobs flooded in from across the country for Kerr, but five days later he became chair of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. In 1973, he became chairman of the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education. He worked with the Carnegie Council until he was forced to step down because he had met the mandatory retirement age. Afterward, he went on speaking tours, did some consulting, and worked on his memoirs. His memoirs, titled The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967, were published in two volumes. Academic Triumphs was published in 2001, and Political Turmoil was released two years later.

Kerr died on December 1, 2003, in El Cerritto, California; he was 92. Kerr is survived by his wife of 69 years, Catherine; his sons, Alexander and Clark; and his daughter, Caroline. Kerr's influence on education is reflected in the mission, focus, and out-reach of universities across the country. Arthur Levine, formerly of the Carnegie Council, told Tanya Schevitz of the San Francisco Chronicle, "There isn't anyone who had as large a role in higher education as Clark Kerr did in the post-World War II 20th century."

Sources

Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2003, p. A1, p. A24.

New York Times, December 2, 2003, p. B7.

San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2003, p. A1.

Washington Post, December 3, 2003, p. B6.

—Eve M. B. Hermann

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