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Master Plan for Higher Education   

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The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960-75, was originally prepared in 1959, and its recommendations were approved in principle by the affected governing boards of the higher education segments. Subsequently, legislation necessary to implement certain of the master plan's provisions was enacted, including this part. A need to differentiate the functions of the segments of higher education and rapidly increasing enrollments were primary factors that motivated the creation of the master plan.

(b) Pursuant to Resolution Chapter 285 of the Statutes of 1970, and Resolution Chapter 232 of the Statutes of 1971, a joint committee of the Legislature issued its report in 1973, entitled "Report of the Joint Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education," which reaffirmed the principles of the original master plan and emphasized a need for the segments of higher education to improve access and educational equity, coordination and planning, governance, and diversity within the entire system. As in the 1960s, legislation necessary to implement certain of the joint committee's recommendations was enacted, largely through amendments to this part.

(c) (1) Pursuant to Chapter 1507 of the Statutes of 1984, the Commission for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education conducted public hearings and deliberations; in 1987, it issued its report and recommendations, "The Master Plan Renewed: Unity, Equity, Quality, and Efficiency in California Postsecondary Education."

(2) Building on this report and two more years of public dialogue pursuant to Resolution Chapter 175 of the Statutes of 1984, the Joint Committee for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education adopted a comprehensive report in 1989, entitled "California Faces. . .California's Future: Education for Citizenship in a Multicultural Democracy," that affirms the achievements and the basic structure of the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education and identifies new challenges for California's institutions of higher education.

(d) Pursuant to Resolution Chapter 106 of the Statutes of 2009 (A.C.R. 65), the Committee for the Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education conducted a needs-based assessment comprising public hearings and deliberations to understand the needs of our state and our people and how our system of higher education can best meet those needs and issued a report titled, "Appreciating Our Past, Ensuring Our Future: A Public Agenda for Public Higher Education in California," viewing the master plan as a living document, reaffirming the essential tenets of the master plan of universal access, affordability and high quality, and identifying the need for an overarching policy framework of statewide public policy goals based upon the outcomes required, increased accountability both fiscal and programmatic, and more effective coordination and articulation.

(e) California in the 21st century continues experiencing a period of unprecedented population growth and extraordinary social and economic changes while the ability of our state's public system of higher education to carry out the master plan is at risk.

(f) In the spirit of the original master plan and the subsequent reviews, the Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) California has now passed the threshold of becoming a state with a new multicultural majority as the ethnic composition of the population is changing dramatically. Our state's future economic, social, and cultural development depends upon ensuring that all its citizens have opportunities to develop themselves so that they can contribute their best to society.

(2) Current estimates indicate that California will need to prepare more than one million additional graduates by the year 2025 in public higher education institutions to meet our workforce needs. California needs to prepare now for the projected enrollments in the 21st century. And, if the goals of the master plan and its subsequent updates are to be fully achieved, especially if groups that are historically and currently underrepresented increase their rates of participation in higher education, enrollments will most likely exceed even these projections.

(3) California must support an educational system that prepares all Californians for responsible citizenship and meaningful careers in a multicultural society; this requires a commitment from all to make high-quality education available and affordable for every Californian.

(4) To accomplish these goals, California's system of higher education will need to expand.

(5) It is the intent of the Legislature that the work completed by the master plan review committees be used to guide higher education policy.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 201, Sec. 1.)


Master Plan for Higher Education