This volume provides an intellectual history of Kerr's vision of the "multiversity," as expressed in his most famous work, The Uses of the University, and in his greatest administrative accomplishment, the California Master Plan for Higher Education. Building upon Kerr's use of the visionary hedgehog/shrewd fox dichotomy, the book explains the rise of the University of California as due to the articulation and implementation of the "hedgehog concept" of systemic excellence that underpins the master plan.
Arguing that the university's recent problems flow from a "fox culture," characterized by a free-for-all approach to management, including excessive executive compensation, this is a call for a new vision for the university and for public higher education in general. In particular, it advocates re-funding and re-democratizing public higher education and renewing its leadership through thoughtful succession planning, with a special emphasis on diversity.
Gonzalez's work follows the ups and downs of women and minorities in higher education, showing that university advances often have resulted in the further marginalization of these groups. Clark Kerr's University of California is about American public higher education at the crossroads and will be of interest to those concerned with the future of the public university as an institution, as well as those interested in issues relating to leadership, diversity, and succession planning.