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McHenry (Dean E.) papers
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Finding aid revision statement
  • Related material
  • Other Finding Aids
  • Additional collection guides

  • Contributing Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
    Title: Dean E. McHenry papers
    Creator: McHenry, Dean Eugene, 1910-
    Identifier/Call Number: UA.001
    Physical Description: 90 Linear Feet 176 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1926-1998 (bulk 1955-1974)
    Abstract: This collection documents the career of Dean E. McHenry, the founding Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
    Language of Material: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright for the items in this collection is owned by the creators and their heirs. Reproduction or distribution of any work protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the copyright owner. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether a use is fair use, and to obtain any necessary permissions. For more information see UCSC Special Collections and Archives policy on Reproduction and Use.

    Preferred Citation

    Dean E. McHenry Papers. UA 1. University Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred to Special Collections & Archives in 1999.


    Dean Eugene McHenry was born in 1910 on a bean farm in Lompoc, California. He attended elementary and junior high school in Lompoc and then moved to Van Nuys (near Los Angeles) in 1925, where he attended Van Nuys High School. In 1928 McHenry entered the University of California, Los Angeles, then a primarily undergraduate campus only in its ninth year. He was to become an important force in the history of UCLA, both as a student and later as a faculty member and dean of social sciences. While at UCLA he was elected president of the Associated Students and earned a BA in political science. McHenry went on to Stanford University, where he roomed with Clark Kerr, a fortuitous happening, for Kerr was to become a lifelong friend and key colleague who shaped McHenry's career. There McHenry also fell in love with his future wife, Jane Snyder. He earned his master's in political science from Stanford in 1933. His thesis focused on lobbying in the California legislature.
    In 1933 McHenry entered UC Berkeley graduate school with Clark Kerr. The Great Depression gripped the United States and both McHenry and Kerr needed a summer job. Kerr traveled to Los Angeles to work with self-help cooperatives organized by the End Poverty in California (EPIC) movement and McHenry joined him. That summer McHenry was inspired by Upton Sinclair, a Socialist who had switched to the Democratic Party to campaign for governor of California. McHenry returned to UC Berkeley in the fall, but chaired the Northern California Division of the EPIC Young Person's League, organizing what he called a "brain trust" of individuals who would help in the Sinclair administration, should Sinclair be elected.
    In 1934, while still a graduate student, McHenry was hired as a research assistant at the Bureau of Public Administration in Sacramento, writing briefs for legislators. It was there that he began to build the rich experience in California's politics that would serve him for the rest of his career.
    In 1936 McHenry completed his doctorate in political science at UC Berkeley and moved to the East Coast, where he taught political science at Williams College and Pennsylvania State University. In 1939, he returned to UCLA as a faculty member in the politics department, where he taught until his appointment as founding chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1961. During this period he wrote many books about the American political system, the British political system, and also traveled to the South Pacific to be a Carnegie Fellow in New Zealand and Australia, and a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Western Australia.
    In the early 1940s while continuing to teach at UCLA, McHenry ventured beyond academia in search of a political career. In the early 1940s, he joined the State Agricultural Prorate Advisory Commission and a Special Committee to Investigate Milk Marketing in the Los Angeles area. During World War II he served on the Advisory Board to Selective Service and as public representative and panel chairman of the National War Labor Board. He also became a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. In 1950 he ran (but did not win) for mayor of Los Angeles in a recall election against Mayor Fletcher Brown. These electoral ambitions culminated in an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress in 1952, during which the liberal Dean McHenry was viciously redbaited by his opponent.
    Shifting his focus from electoral politics to higher education policy, in the late 1950s McHenry played the major role in writing the Master Plan Survey of Higher Education for California. Once again Clark Kerr was pivotal. He appointed Dean McHenry as head of academic planning for the University of California system and also as one of two UC representatives on the team that negotiated the plan. In The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967 Clark Kerr reflected, "Dean McHenry was a superb representative of the university with good judgment and outstanding persuasive skills. He and I had jointly developed in our discussions the idea of a master plan. It was his idea as much or more than mine." The Master Plan laid out a coherent system for accessible postsecondary education that defined specific roles for the University of California, California State College [now California State University] and the California Community College system, and remains the guiding document in higher education in California through the present day.
    As head of academic planning for the UC system, Dean McHenry helped Kerr plan three new UC campuses authorized by the Board of Regents. The site-selection process would lead to campuses in Irvine, San Diego, and Santa Cruz-and Kerr recruited McHenry in 1961 to head what became the University of California, Santa Cruz.
    McHenry's decades of education, research, and practical experience in California politics from the 1930s to the 1950s imbued him with the savvy, political acumen, and vision to imagine, plan, and lead this boldly innovative campus. During the years before the campus opened, McHenry worked with President Clark Kerr and a team of others including Provost Page Smith, Vice Chancellor Harold Hyde, Landscape Architect Thomas Church to design a singular and internationally prominent experiment in public higher education. UC Santa Cruz married a decentralized residential college system modeled on Oxford and Cambridge and small liberal arts colleges such a Swarthmore with a public research university; offered a narrative evaluation system instead of letter grades; and foregrounded an interdisciplinary and small-scale approach to undergraduate education. He recruited dozens of distinguished scholars such as botanist Kenneth Thimann to the faculty and oversaw the innovative physical planning and distinctive architectural design for this spectacular campus nestled in the redwoods above Monterey Bay. His wife, Jane, who also had a master's degree in political science from Stanford University, was the daughter of the founder of Los Angeles City College, and served on the grand jury in Los Angeles County, played a pivotal role in UCSC's development throughout McHenry's tenure. She helped Dean build relationships with faculty, political figures in California, critical members of the Santa Cruz community, and students alike. They raised four children together.
    Dean McHenry served as UC Santa Cruz's founding chancellor for thirteen years. His vision, integrity, and deep commitment to higher education played an essential role in the success of UC Santa Cruz. He remained an active member of the UCSC community until his death in 1998 at the age of 87. In his retirement years, McHenry returned to his rural roots. He and Jane devoted themselves to the family-owned and operated McHenry Vineyards on their Bonny Doon ranch on the sandy slopes above the Pacific Ocean in rural Santa Cruz County, where they produced Pinot Noir wine. Jane died in 2013 at the age of 101.
    By Irene Reti


    1910 October 18th: Dean E. McHenry born on a bean farm near Lompoc, California, son of William Thomas McHenry and Virgie Hilton, who were originally from Missouri.
    1915 Attends the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California.
    1916 Attends the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, California.
    1916-1922 Attends La Purisima District School, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County.
    1925-1928 Family moves to Van Nuys and attends Van Nuys High School (City of Los Angeles).
    1927-1929 Publishes a sonnet in The Antique Chair: an anthology publised by students of Van Nuys High School.
      Delivers publicity releases for the Hollywood Bowl to the music editor of the Los Angeles Times Mirror.
    1928 Graduates from Van Nuys High School.
      Enters the University of California, Los Angeles (nine years after its opening).
      Jane Snyder graduates from Hollywood High School.
    1930 Chairman of the Production Staff of UCLA's University Dramatics Society.
    1932 Receives B. A., University of California, Los Angeles (Political Science major; student body president).
      Enters Stanford University. McHenry meets Clark Kerr and future wife Jane Snyder during his first week at Stanford. "That week I met a lovely girl graduate student who lived across the street in Palo Alto. Her name was Jane Snyder. We were married in 1935 and she has been my partner in various joint enterprises ever since. The same week I met another fellow graduate student who had just finished Swarthmore College and had come west on a Quaker Peace Mission. I persuaded him to move into my boarding house. He was, of course, Clark Kerr." (Quote from DEM's introduction of Kerr at the UCSC Graduate Degrees Commencement ceremony in 1974.)
      Jane Snyder graduates from Stanford with an undergraduate degree. Jane's father was Dr. William Henry Snyder, first Director of Los Angeles City College.
    1933 Receives M. A. in political science from Stanford University. Master's thesis is on lobbying in the California Legislature and called "The Third House - A Study of Organized Groups before the California Legislature."
      Fall - Enters UC Berkeley graduate school.
    1934 "The year 1934 was for me … a time of political change. My initial moorings in the progressive wing of the Republican party were ruptured by two events in the contest for the gubernatorial nomination … By mid-summer I shifted to the Democratic side and accepted with enthusiasm Upton Sinclair as candidate. During the summer months I worked in Los Angeles for the State Emergency Relief Administration [with Clark Kerr and their "future wives"]… I returned to Berkeley in late August [and] for the next two months all my spare time and energy went in to [Sinclair's] campaign." From "Working for EPIC" by McHenry.
      Works for the End Poverty In California (EPIC) campaign and the election of Upton Sinclair as Governor of California. DEM's "main role in the Sinclair campaign was in attempting to form a sort of 'brain trust' in Northern California (per letter to H. Morton "Mort" Newman, 1984). (15 October: A "small group of academic, business, and professional men" meet at the Plaza Hotel in San Francisco to discuss the preliminary planning of an EPIC legislative program.)
      Post-election becomes Chairman, Planning Committee, Northern California Division of the EPIC Young People's League.
      Publishes Liquor Control and Liquor Taxation, University of California, Berkeley.; Institute of Governmental Studies.; Legislative problems (Berkeley, 1934)
    1934-1935 Works as Research Assistant for the Bureau of Public Administration (UCB).
    1935 Marries Jane Snyder in Claremont, CA.
    1935-1936 Study and dissertation research in Europe (including Geneva, Switzerland).
    1936 Receives Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley. Publishes Structure and Problems of the British Labour Party, 1931-1935 , Ph.D. Thesis Political Science, UC Berkeley.
    1936-1937 Instructor in Political Science, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.
    1937 First child, Sally, born.
    1937-1939 Assistant Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University.
    1938 Publishes The Labour Party in Transition, 1931-1938, London, G. Routledge & Sons. 1938.
    1939 Second child, Dean Jr., is born.
    1939-1945 Assistant Professor, Political Science University of California, Los Angeles.
    1940 Publishes His Majesty's Opposition Structure and Problems of the British Labour Party, 1931-1938 . Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1940.
      Publishes A New Legislature for Modern California. Los Angeles, Calif., Haynes Foundation, 1940.
      Becomes a member of the State Agricultural Prorate Advisory Commission.
      Becomes a member of a Special Committee to Investigate Milk Marketing in the Los Angeles area.
    1941 Third child, Nancy, is born.
      Becomes a member of the Commission to Study the Organization of the Peace, Southern California Division.
    1942-1943 Becomes a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for International Understanding.
      Receives a grant-in-aid from the Social Sciences Research Council for a study of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Canada.
      Member of the Advisory Board to Selective Service Local Board No. 245.
      Public representative and panel chairman of the National War Labor Board in six dispute cases.
      Becomes Vice-President of the People's Education Association.
    1943-1946 Navy Training Program Coordinator at UCLA.
    1944 Fourth child, Henry, is born.
    1945 Fulbright Lecturer in Australia.
      Co-authors California Government; Politics and Administration, Winston Winford Crouch; Dean Eugene McHenry. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1949.
    1945-1950 Associate Professor, UCLA.
    1946-1947 Takes a sabbatical leave from UCLA to be a Fellow of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, for travel and research in New Zealand and Australia.
    1947 Co-authors The American Federal Government, John Henry Ferguson; Dean Eugene McHenry. New York and London, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1947.
      Publishes Impressions of Public Administration in New Zealand. ([S.l. : s.n.], 1947).
      Becomes a member of the Editorial Board of the Western Political Quarterly .
      Divisional Dean for Social Sciences at UCLA.
    1947-1950 Appointed Dean, Division of Social Sciences, UCLA.
    1948 Commissioned as Captain, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. Serves until 1960.
    1949 Works on James Roosevelt II's gubernatorial campaign.
      Publishes article "The Impact of the C.C.F. on Canadian Parties and Groups". The Journal of Politics, v.11 no.2).
    1950 Publishes The Third Force in Canada; the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, 1932-1948 , Berkeley, University of California Press, 1950.
      Co-authors Elements of American Government, John Henry Ferguson; Dean Eugene McHenry. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1950.
      Enters the November recall election as mayoral candidate against Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron.
    1950-1952 Chairman, Political Science Department, UCLA.
    1950-1963 Professor of Political Science, UCLA.
    1951 Co-authors American Government Today by Ernest B. Fincher, John H. Ferguson and Dean E. McHenry. Charts by Harold K. Faye, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1951.
    1952 Clark Kerr is appointed first Chancellor of Berkeley (also the first Chancellor of any campus in the history of the University of California).
      Runs for Congress (takes leave without pay 7/1/52-12/31/52 from UCLA).
      Contributes to State and Local Government in California [by] Winston W. Crouch [and others], Berkeley, University of California Press, 1952.
    1954 Takes a sabbatical leave from UCLA to be a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Western Australia (on sabbatical 1/1/54-12/31/54 from UCLA).
    1955 The 10th All-University Faculty Conference recommends that the U.C. Regents establish adequate residential units "to implement the broad educational objectives of the University," and that they appoint a committee "to study the desirability and feasibility of the establishment of new types of colleges within the University."
      Director of the State of Nevada University Survey.
    1956 Contributes to California Government and Politics [by] Winston W. Crouch [and others], Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, [1958, ©1956].
    1957 The 12th All-University Faculty Conference recommends that four new campuses be constructed, including one in "the Central California Coastal Region."
      Chairs faculty study of new campuses of University of California.
      Appointed Director of the Survey of Higher Education in Kansas City.
      Publishes Higher Education in Kansas City: with particular reference to the University of Kansas City; survey of higher education in the Kansas City area (Kansas City, Mo.: [Place of publication not identified], 1957).
    1958 The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously passes a resolution requesting that the Board of Regents "give favorable consideration to the establishment of a University of California campus in the county of Santa Cruz."
      Clark Kerr becomes President of the University of California.
      Appointed as Academic Assistant to the President (Kerr), University of California, Office of the President.
      Writes to Clark Kerr regarding "Some ideas on the Proposed Monterey Campus". A former student had written to him "in anguish in 1955, seeking some [way] to hold together the faculty of the [Army's] Language School" in Monterey. McHenry proposes taking over the school and integrating it in within UC.
      Speech writer for Edmund G. "Pat" Brown during his gubernatorial campaign.
      First of nine grandchildren born.
    1959 Tentatively pursues the position of Dean of the Faculties of the University of Colorado.
      Three week trip to the Far East with Jane and daughter Nancy.
      Begins as Assistant to the President, University of California.
      Member of the California Governor's Organization Advisory Committee.
      Member of the Master Plan Survey of Higher Education for California.
    1960 Tentatively pursues spending a year with the University College in Salisbury, South Rhodesia.
      Joins Clark Kerr in drafting California's Master Plan for Higher Education.
      Appointed University Dean of Academic Planning, University of California, Office of the President.
    1961 U.C. Regents tour the two final sites for the Central Coast campus in south San Jose's Almaden area and the Cowell Ranch in Santa Cruz. The trip proves decisive, in favor of the Santa Cruz site.
      March 17 - Cowell Ranch chosen as site for new campus. Regents decide to exercise the option to purchase 1,994 acres of land from the S. H. Cowell Foundation.
      July 21 - Named Founding Chancellor, of new University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).
      Recommends via letter to Clark Kerr (who accepts) that UCSC set up temporary headquarters at Cabrillo College following president Robert Swenson's offer rather than in the Civic Auditorium (the city's offer).
      December 7 - Official ceremony for transfer of Cowell property to the University of California.
      Ford Foundation Consultant in South America
    1962 February 16 - Master Planning and Landscape Architects appointed by Regents.
      August - Transfer of offices from Berkeley to Santa Cruz. Offices set-up at Cabrillo College, Aptos.
      Chancellor McHenry hires two consultants, Karl Lamb and Neil Megaw, to help with a provisional academic plan for the new campus.
    1963 President Kerr's book of lectures entitled Uses of the University, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1963 is published.
      The first UCSC Long Range Development Plan approved by the Regents.
      Tours eight British Universities established post-World War II (East Anglia, Essex, Keele, Kent at Canterbury, Lancaster, Sussex, Warwick, and York).
      Trip to Australia and New Zealand to visit universities in order to gather ideas for use in planning UCSC, en route to and from the Golden Jubilee of the University of Western Australia, where McHenry received a Litt.D. (Hon.) degree.
      Professor of Comparative Government, UCSC.
    1964 Spring - Construction begins at UCSC.
    1965 Fall - Cowell College opens. UCSC enrollment stands at 637 students.
      August - First Cowell College Provost Page Smith decides "Santa Cruz would have no grades beyond a simple pass/fail."
    1966 Receives LLD.(Hon.), University of Nevada.
      Fall - Adlai E. Stevenson College opens. UCSC enrollment climbs to 1273 students.
      November - Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California. State Proposition 2 passes, allowing construction of Colleges 3 (Crown) and 4 (Merrill), and the planning of Colleges 5 (Porter) and 6 (Kresge).
    1967 Lick Observatory transferred to UCSC administration.
      April - First Peace demonstrations held in the town of Santa Cruz by UCSC students.
      January - First Peace vigil held at UCSC.
      January - Clark Kerr dismissed as President of the University by the UC Regents. Nine hundred students protest his dismissal in the first mass rally held at UCSC.
      Fall - Crown College opens. UCSC enrollment stands at 1911.
    1968 Fall - Merrill College opens. Enrollment stands at 2560 students.
      October - UC Regents meeting (including Governor Reagan) at Crown College is stormed by over a thousand students demanding the establishment of a college named for Malcolm X, support for the United Farm Workers Union's grape boycott, and a rescinding of limitations on the frequency with which a lecturer can appear during a quarter (a rule aimed at Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panther Minister of Information).
      Appointed to Senior Commission, Western Association of Schools and Colleges; serves as president 1972-1974.
    1969 June - September. Embarks on Danforth Grant world-wide trip.
      Fall - College V opens. Named and dedicated twelve years later as Benjamin F. Porter College on November 21, 1981. Enrollment is at 3092.
    1970 January - Membership in UCSC's Young Republicans Group reaches 25.
      May - UCSC students approve a mandatory fee to support a free campus-to-community bus system.
      Trip to Germany via a Gästeprogramm der Bundesrepublik Deutschland .
      Campus housing occupancy stands at 81.7 % full.
      Becomes a member of the Board of Advisors, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
    1971 The local Gay Liberation Movement organizes.
      April - UCSC's Central Services building partially destroyed by fire. Fire started in Chancellor's Office.
      Fall - Kresge College opens. UCSC enrollment is at 4209.
      Adlai E. Stevenson College offers the first major interdisciplinary program: "Modern Society and Social Thought".
      March - Six hundred plus students march from the Santa Cruz County Building to the Boardwalk to protest the U. S. invasion of Laos.
    1972 Foreign language requirement terminated at UCSC.
      Santa Cruz Mayor Al Castagnola asks the UC Regents to limit UCSC to 10,000 students.
      Fall - College VII (renamed Oakes College in 1975) opens. Enrollment is at 4631.
      Fall - College VIII opens in Kerr Hall. In 1990 it moved to its present permanent location.
      May - The first mass arrests of students blocking Highways 1 and 17 during anti-war protests.
      Becomes President of the Western College Association.
    1973 Named UCLA's "Alumnus of the Year".
      Co-authors The American Federal Government [by] John H. Ferguson and Dean E. McHenry, 12th ed., New York, McGraw-Hill [1973].
      March - Women Against Rape organizes an on-campus Rape Line.
      October - Dean E. McHenry announces his retirement.
    1974 Elected to the Board of Directors of Longs Drug Stores - serves until his death.
      April - Dean E. McHenry announces the appointment of Mark Christensen as his successor.
      June - Retires as UCSC's Founding Chancellor after 13 year tenure.
    1977 Publishes Academic Departments: [Problems, Variations, and Alternatives] by Dean E. McHenry and associates. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977.
    1975-1996 Travels extensively around the world.
    1980 Established the family-owned McHenry Vineyard in Bonny Doon.
    1981 November - Benjamin F. Porter College (formerly College V) is officially named and dedicated.
    1988 First of great-grandchildren born.
    1991 Site clearing for Colleges 9 & 10 begins. UCSC/Big Creek Lumber log Elfland over the holiday break to avoid student protests. Forty-two people are arrested in daylong demonstration.
    1993 Early in the year McHenry suffers a "slight stroke".
    1998 Dean E. McHenry dies of natural causes at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California.
    2000 College Nine finally founded. Dorms finished in 2002. Enrollment stands at 11734.
    2002 College Ten finally founded making it the newest college on campus. Enrollment is at 13614.
    2014 Jane Snyder McHenry dies at her home in Bonny Doon.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains biographical materials, correspondence, writings, subject based files and clippings documenting McHenry's involvement with the Santa Cruz community and organizations as well as his professional activities before, during and after serving as founding Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz.


    This collection is arranged in six series.
    1. Series 1 Biographical
    2. Series 2 Correspondence
    3. Series 3 Writings
    4. Series 4 Subject Files
    5. Series 5 General Administrative
    6. Series 6 Clippings

    Processing Information

    Processed by: Mathew Simpson, M. Carey, Cameron Baker February 2016. Encoded by M. Carey.

    Finding aid revision statement

    This finding aid was revised in the Reparative Archival Redescription Project. Previous versions of this finding aid are available upon request.

    Related material

    Dean E. McHenry's oral history can be found at the link below.
    1. Title: Dean E. McHenry: Founding Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz
      Date: 1972

    Other Finding Aids

    UA88 Karl Lamb Papers; UA86 F. Louis Fackler Scrapbooks; MS1 Virginia C. Campbell Papers.

    Additional collection guides

    The "Single letter list" generally consists of individual letters, invitations, congratulations, etc. that were not foldered when the collection was processed. In the interest of time, these letters were alphabetized by last name of the correspondent and foldered under the appropriate letter of the alphabet. This inventory is an A-Z list of that correspondence.
    1. Single letter list  

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    College administrators -- California -- Santa Cruz
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Kerr, Clark, 1911-2003
    Clark, Donald Thomas, 1911-
    Bird, Remsen Du Bois, 1888-1971