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by better utilization over the next several years. Now, that’s a
broad generalization, but I think one could give some reasons
why it’s not an impossible figure.
PC: Someone said it was a set of civic values in the state
at large and inside the higher education community—a
shared concern about the future—that was the necessary
condition that made the Master Plan possible.
: Yes.
PC: How do you assess the health of those values today?
: Well, at that time I think we had more concern
about the future than we do now. We were looking further
ahead. At the present time, I think there’s too much of a
tendency to look at it year by year. In the Master Plan, we
were planning ahead
to the year 2000.
And we weren’t that
far off in estimating
what was necessary
and what we had
to accomplish to
make it possible.
I think then we
were looking on a
longer-term basis.
The state and the
nation and higher
education were less
fractionalized than
they are today; there
was more of a sense of common concern. American society
has become so much more fractionalized in all parts of it in
the intervening years. Not only right and left, but by gender
and by ethnic and racial status and so forth. We were looking
longer term, we were looking more broadly at the overall
public welfare, and we were a more united people.
It was a period, also, of a certain amount of optimism, and
that optimismwas a kind of grease to the wheel. We thought
things were getting better, they were going to keep on getting
better. What we were doing we could accomplish it together.
It was not a zero-sum game, it was a game where all of us
were going to benefit.
Now I have more of a sense of pessimism about the future.
Can we accomplish what we’d like to accomplish? Really, in
the ’60s, it was much more a feeling that if we want to do it,
then we can do it. And now there’s more doubt. And that’s
PC: So the longer-termperspective, the sense of the
common good, and some sense of optimism—those are
the preconditions that allowed us to carve out that solution
in the 1960s. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but
are you suggesting that those are probably some of the
preconditions we’ll need to rediscover?
: If we can, yes. If we can. When you grew up and
matured in the United States during the period I did, you saw
that we overcame a great depression, the worst depression in
American history. We met the challenge of Hitler inWorld
War II. We went through a period of the greatest prosperity
the United States has ever known. We did for 45 years stand
off the challenge of Communism, not only on our behalf but
on behalf of all the free world.
So out of that background there was a feeling of, well,
if you make up your mind to do it, you can do it. And that
encourages you to go ahead and take your chances and do
your thinking. But for generations that haven’t had the same
experience of success with the American system, it becomes
a little tougher for them to grasp it. It doesn’t mean it’s less
necessary, it just becomes a little tougher.
It would be disastrous,
particularly at this
stage of demographic
change in California
and the nation, to say,
all of a sudden, we’re
going to close doors
to opportunities.