Thursday, December 3, 2009

Master Plan Hearings Monday December 7

For Immediate Release: December 1, 2009
Contact: Karen Zamel (650) 691-2121


Legislators and Top College System Administrators Meet to Assess How Master Plan
Must Change to Address Educational Needs and Keep California Competitive

Sacramento, CA - The Joint Committee for Review of the Master Plan on Higher Education, co-chaired by Assemblymember Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) and Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), will conduct the first of five public hearings on Monday, December 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the State Capitol, in room 437.  

The hearings commence as the Master Plan for Higher Education reaches its 50-year anniversary, at a time many agree the state system of higher education is in peril.  The Committee's goal will be to evaluate the Master Plan for Higher Education and determine if it meets California's current and future educational needs, in light of changing forces in global competition, demographics, technology and public financing.

Monday's agenda will include a review of the plan's history, its status today and a beginning look at how the plan should evolve to meet the current and future needs of the state, its students and educators.

"Our higher education system has been the cornerstone for the state's preeminence the past 50 years, and the system is now in danger," Ruskin said.  "If we don't recommit ourselves to higher education, we risk our ability to compete in the global economy and we threaten the continued development of the state.  Studies show that by 2020, we will not have enough qualified graduates to fill jobs across all key sectors of the economy if we do not head off the impending collapse of our higher education system in California."

Morning sessions will include testimony from individuals who were involved in drafting the original 1960 Master Plan, former legislators involved in previous Master Plan reviews and top administrators from the UC, CSU and Community College systems.  University of California President Mark Yudof, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed, and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott are scheduled to testify at 10:00 a.m.  In the afternoon, administrators, educators, students, business and labor leaders will testify about what is needed for the higher education system to serve its stakeholders and the state.

"The time has come to revisit the California Higher Education Master Plan.  It has been nearly 50 years since the plan was formulated and much has changed in California.  California has become a more diverse population while our economic base has shifted from manufacturing to a service sector economy," said Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, Co-Chair to the Joint Committee.

"It is time for a realignment of higher education in both mission and goals to address the changing economy and demographics of California," she added.  "With all the financial chaos challenging California and our educational system, we must revisit our mission and goals and refocus our efforts for our children and their future."

The hearing Monday will be available via live webcast and broadcast.  For the webcast link and specific channel listings, go to

The committee's four additional public hearings will be conducted during the first quarter of 2010, and will focus on eligibility and access, affordability and financing, accountability and quality, and coordination and efficiency.

Websites of Committee Co-Chairs:

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