SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) convened the first hearing of the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, Dr. Joseph I. Castro, President of California State University, Fresno, Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Kristen Soares, President of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and Jennifer Kuhn, Deputy Legislative Analyst of the Legislative Analyst’s Office provided the committee with an overview and status of higher education in California.
“Our systems of higher education are envied and emulated throughout the nation, and are critically important to both the upward economic mobility of hundreds of thousands of Californians as well as the state’s economic vitality as the 6th largest economy in the world,” said Berman. “We owe much of this success to the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, which has served us well for the last 57 years, and we owe it to both current and future generations to make sure that the Master Plan is updated so that it benefits students and the state for another 50 years.”
The California Master Plan was written in 1960 and has guided the state’s higher education policy during the ensuing decades. Much has changed since the visionary plan was written – population growth, increased diversity, technological advancement, and new leading industries have altered the needs of students, changed the field of education itself, and boosted the demand for higher education.
The Select Committee was established in March 2017. Today’s hearing was the first step in a multi-year endeavor to ensure that the California Master Plan reflects students’ needs in the 21st century so that all students receive the skills they need to succeed.
“I am very encouraged by the level of engagement from my colleagues, the leaders of the higher education institutions, faculty, students, and other stakeholders. I look forward to working with all parties as we conduct a thorough review of the Master Plan. 57 years ago the state made a promise to its students to provide accessible, affordable, and high quality higher education. California must keep its promise,” said Berman.
The Assemblymembers on the Select Committee are Marc Berman (Chair), Dr. Joaquin Arambula, Catharine B. Baker, Autumn R. Burke, Phillip Chen, Susan Talamantes Eggman, Jacqui Irwin, Kevin Kiley, Evan Low, Jose Medina (Chair, Assembly Higher Education Committee), and Shirley N. Weber.
The hearing is available for viewing on The California Channel. The photos included are courtesy of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.
Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024