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Inventory of the California State University Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California State University Records
    Dates: 1957-1996
    Collection number: R211
    Creator: State Colleges California State Colleges California State University and Colleges California State University
    Collection Size: 26 cubic feet of textual records
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The record group consists of 26 cubic feet of textual records from the State Colleges, California State Colleges, California State University and Colleges, and The California State University created between 1957-1996. The records contain bill analysis, reports, memoranda, correspondence, press clippings, and subject files. The collection benefits researchers interested in California's public higher education.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California State University Records, R211.[Series Number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the California State University Records according to state law.

    Administrative History

    The California State University originated from the Donahoe Act (SB33, Chapter 49, Statues of 1960) authored by State Senator George Miller, which enacted certain suggestions from the California Master Plan for Higher Education: 1960-1975 (Master Plan). The act united the State Colleges into the California State Colleges as a public trust, created the California State Colleges Board of Trustees, and moved authority over the nineteen state colleges from the State Board of Education to the Board of Trustees. Even though the Master Plan recommended legislative independence similar to the University of California Board of Regents, the Board of Trustees reported to the legislature on budget allocation and various state agencies concerning such topics as employment and campus expansion. Despite this restriction, the Trustees centralized the diverse and independent campuses into a unified system.
    The Donahoe Act created a three-tier, statewide postsecondary education system. The CSU occupied the middle tier and functioned as the teacher education school. The University of California (UC) occupied the top tier and the California Community Colleges (CCC) occupied the bottom tier.
    The California State University Board of Trustees (the Trustees) governed the California State University (CSU) and coordinated the various university campuses. Prior the CSU system, the colleges that would form the university system were known variously as: Normal Schools, 1862-1921; State Teachers Colleges from 1921-1935; State Colleges from 1935-1960; California State Colleges from 1960-1972; California State University and Colleges from 1972-1982; and The California State University from 1982-1996. The first campus established was the State Normal School in San Francisco, which moved to San Jose in 1871 and became California State University, San Jose in 1972. Additional normal schools included the State Normal School in Los Angeles in 1881, which later joined the University of California, and the State Normal School in Chico in 1887.
    Before 1960, the State Colleges had no single unifying plan or organization preparing for California's educational needs. Additionally, each campus retained authority and responsibility over expansion. The Donahoe Act centralized authority and granted the CSU the ability to offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts and applied science. Furthermore, individual campuses could now create Ph.D. programs through a joint project with the University of California.
    The Trustees initially consisted of sixteen Governor-appointed trustees with four ex-officio members and one non-voting officer named by the chancellor. Subsequent additions to the Trustees included faculty and student representatives, bringing the total to twenty-three members as of 1996. In 1960, the system included eighteen campuses, which increased by 1996 to twenty-two campuses, including California State University, Maritime Academy.
    As the chief executive officer, the Chancellor carried out the Board of Trustees administrative functions and enjoyed authority to take actions necessary to fulfill the CSU's Constitutional mandate. One of the offices answering to the Chancellor was the Government Affairs office, which presented the Chancellor with bill file analysis.
    Chancellor Barry Munitz became chancellor in 1991. The CSU had four previous chancellors starting with Buell Gallagher from 1961-1962, followed by Glenn S. Dumke from1962-1982, W. Ann Reynolds from 1982-1990, and Ellis E. McCune from 1990-1991. Glenn Dumke appeared prominently in the collection and established early policies for the Chancellor's office.

    Scope and Content

    The record group consists of 26 cubic feet of textual records from the State Colleges, California State Colleges, California State University and Colleges, and The California State University. The majority of the records were created after 1980 with the exception of a group of records created between 1968 and 1972. This collection is organized into four series: Report Files, Subject Files, California Constitution Revision Commission Files, and Bill Files.
    The records contain bill analysis, reports, memoranda, correspondence, press clippings, and subject files. The Board of Trustee's broad interests included: modernizing class rooms, increasing the prestige of CSU, limiting union and labor power, cut costing, increasing enrollment, expanding the CSU ability to grant Ph.D.'s, making the Trustees immune to legislative and executive branch oversight (mirroring the Board of Regents), maintaining academic freedom and excellence, and increasing state teacher training and competence.
    The collection benefits researchers interested in California's public higher education. The majority of the collection details the CSU's legislative agenda and the bill analysis for each legislative enactment. The Government Affairs office corresponded with legislators, their counterparts at the UC, and the Governor's Office concerning the Trustees' opinion and concerns. In particular, the correspondence with various Governors offers insight into the Trustees' position on bill topics as the Chancellor hoped to spur a signature or a veto. Many of the issues deal with the increased student enrollment coupled with decreasing state funds. Similarly, the subject files reveal the Trustees and Chancellor's operations and background information of the university. The system grew extensively during the time covered by the subject files and the Trustees and Chancellor attempted to maintain the university's standards while accommodating more students. Along similar lines, the California Constitution Revision Commission Files reveal the issues the university faced in the mid-1990s and the Chancellor's Office intentions for the future. The correspondence between Dr. Lee Kerschner and Chancellor Barry Munitz was frank while focusing on the CSU's interests.
    The Chancellor's Office produced most of the records in this collection. The Government Affairs office, a division of the Chancellor's Office responsible for suggesting positions regarding legal issues to the Board of Trustee, authored the largest series, bill files. The Government Affairs office did not set the Trustees' policy but analyzed bills and recommended positions to the Chancellor and the Trustees. An additional office responsibility required them to communicate the CSU's position to state legislators. The Chancellor's legislative agenda focused primarily on emancipating the Trustees from legislative oversight and expanding the CSU mission.

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Selected Archives: Records of the California State University, Board of Trustees (F3561)
    Assembly Education Committee Records
    Assembly Higher Education Committee Records
    Senate Education Committee Records
    California State Board of Education Records
    Diane Watson Papers
    Teresa P. Hughes Papers
    Tom Hayden Papers

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California State University
    California State University. Office of the Chancellor
    California State University. Board of Trustees
    Higher education and state