In the US state of California, the University of California (UC) is a public land-grant research university system. The eight campuses—Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz—as well as other research facilities and academic exchange programs make up the system, which has its main office in Oakland. The institution is the land-grant university of the state. Most UC campuses are consistently ranked among the top colleges in the world by major magazines. Along with Berkeley, seven of UC’s campuses have been admitted to the Association of American Universities since the 1970s. UC was one of the founding members of the organization in 1900. As Public Ivies, Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, Irvine, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego are regarded as such, making California the state with the most number of universities in the country. Almost all academic fields have a substantial number of notable faculty members on UC campuses, and as of 2021, 71 Nobel Prizes had been awarded to UC researchers and academics.
Over two million living alumni, 24,800 faculty members, 167,300 staff members, and 294,309 students attend the system’s 10 campuses together. In fall 2005, its newest campus, located in Merced, opened. Nine campuses accept graduate and undergraduate students, while UC San Francisco only accepts professional and graduate students in the health and medical disciplines. Furthermore, the University of California College of the Law, which is situated in San Francisco, is independent yet legally connected to UC and uses its name. The University of California is a component of the three-system public higher education plan for the state, which also consists of the California State University and California Community Colleges systems, as per the California Master Plan for Higher Education. The state constitution safeguards the Board of Regents’ independence from the other branches of government, which allows them to oversee UC. Additionally, the University of California oversees or co-manages Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Founded on March 23, 1868, the University of California was once located in Oakland, where it also housed the College of California’s assets until relocating to Berkeley in 1873. It was also connected to independent San Francisco law and medical institutions. Numerous satellite programs and branch locations were built around the state during the ensuing eight decades. The University of California started reorganizing itself in March 1951 to become something different from its Berkeley campus. Robert Gordon Sproul, the president of the university, continued to serve as the chief executive of the UC system, while Clark Kerr became the first chancellor of Berkeley and Raymond B. Allen became the first chancellor of UCLA. But Sproul and his friends blocked the 1951 restructuring, and it wasn’t until Kerr took over as UC president in 1957–1960 that UC was able to transform into a university system. Back then, chancellors
California enacted its first constitution in 1849 with the specific goal of establishing a comprehensive educational system that included a state institution. In 1866, the California State Legislature founded an Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College by utilizing the provisions of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. But it was really a paper placeholder created to obtain federal land-grant funding.
Congregational pastor Henry Durant, a Yale alumnus, had founded Oakland, California’s private Contra Costa Academy on June 20, 1853. The original location, which is now designated by State Historical Plaque No. 45 at the northeast corner of Thirteenth and Franklin, was bounded by Twelfth and Fourteenth Streets as well as Harrison and Franklin Streets in downtown Oakland. The trustees of the academy were then granted a charter for a College of California in 1855; nevertheless, the college did not begin to function as a college until 1860, when it began offering college-level courses. Although the college was only graduating three or four students annually as a true college, its trustees, instructors, and supporters believed in the value of a liberal arts education, particularly the study of the Greek and Roman classics. However, they encountered resistance to liberal arts colleges on the American frontier.