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Speeches, Articles, and Commentaries


Beyond the Master Plan: The Case for Restructuring Baccalaureate Education in California
Paper published with Saul Geiser in the California Journal of Politics and Policy, Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 2013).
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Richard Atkinson awarded Presidential Medal
Press release for the 2012 University of California Presidential Medal Award (09/10/12).
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UCSD From Field Station to Research University
Published in The Journal of San Diego History, Vol. 58, No. 3, (Summer 2012).This is adapted from the transcript of the first in a series of lectures sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society on “The Emergence of Pioneering Scientific Institutions in La Jolla”; the lecture series was organized and moderated by Constance Mullin Branscomb. This lecture took place on January 20, 2009 at St. James Hall in La Jolla, California.
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Entrepreneurial President: Richard Atkinson and the University of California, 1995-2003
Press release for The Entrepreneurial President: Richard Atkinson and the University of California, 1995-2003 written by Patricia A. Pelfrey (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2012).
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Better Research Needed on the Impact of Charter Schools
Commentary about the need for a wider use of randomized controlled trials to study the impact of charter schools on student outcomes, with Julian R. Betts. Published in Science, Vol. 335, 171-172 (01/13/12).
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Social Scientists’ Contributions to Science Policy during the New Deal
Paper with William A. Blanpied (September 2011).
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The Science of Human Memory
Speech by Richard C. Atkinson on the occasion of being named 2011 Scientist of the Year by the San Diego Chapter of the ARCS Foundation (03/18/11).
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Science and the Entrepreneurial University
This paper was published in the Summer 2010 issue of Issues in Science and Technology.
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FABBS Foundation In Honor of Richard C. Atkinson
The Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences honoring scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the behavioral and brain sciences (06/29/10).
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Speech at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
This paper is the basis for Richard Atkinson’s speech at the Conference of Presidents of Academies and Scholarly Societies in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities held March 14-17, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel (03/17/10).
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Reflections on a Century of College Admissions Tests
Paper published with Saul Geiser in Educational Researcher, Vol. 38, No. 9 (December 2009).
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Remarks to the UC Commission on the Future
Remarks at the second meeting of the UC Commission on the Future, a commission co-chaired by Chairman of the UC Board of Regents Russell Gould and UC President Mark Yudof. The charge of the commission is to recommend strategies that will allow the ten-campus system to maintain access, quality and affordability despite declining state support (11/12/09).
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Addressing the Graduation Gap
Book review of Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities, with Saul Geiser. Published in Science, Vol. 325, 1343-1344 (09/11/09).
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The New SAT: A Test at War with Itself
An invited presidential address at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association held in San Diego, California (04/15/09).
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Indiana University Commencement Speech
One hundred seventy-ninth commencement ceremony in Bloomington, Indiana (12/20/08).
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The New SAT: A Work in Progress
Opinion piece about the new SAT published in: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Observer, Vol. 21, No. 10 (11/08).
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Science Advisor to the Next President
Opinion piece published in the San Diego Union-Tribune (3/28/08).
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Research Universities: Core of the U.S. Science and Technology System
Paper published in Technology in Society, Vol. 30, No.1 (January 2008).
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Commencement Remarks
80th Commencement Ceremony for Claremont Graduate University (05/12/07).
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Recollections of events leading to the first exchange of students, scholars and scientists between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
A memorandum describing a US delegation’s visit to China in 1978 (12/14/06).
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Research Universities and the Wealth of Nations
A speech presented at the U.S.-China Forum on Science and Technology Policy held on October 15-17, 2006, in Beijing, China (10/16/06).
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'Absurd' studies of science's puzzles prove their worth
Opinion piece about the value of social sciences research published in the San Jose Mercury News (07/23/06) and other newspapers.
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Opportunity in a Democratic Society: Race and Economic Status in Higher Education
This paper was the basis for the Third Annual Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Diversity delivered by Richard C. Atkinson on May 18, 2005 at a national conference at the University of Michigan entitled "Futuring Diversity: Creating a National Agenda." Subsequently published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 150, No. 2 (June 2006).
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Commencement Remarks
Charter Class of the UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (06/03/06).
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Proposed Boycott of Israeli Academics
Letter to the Editor of the Financial Times signed by Richard C. Atkinson, President Emeritus, University of California; John Brademus, President Emeritus, New York University; Thomas Ehrlich, President Emeritus, Indiana University; Donald Kennedy, President Emeritus, Stanford University; and David Ward, Chancellor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison (05/30/06).
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Remembering David Saxon
Remarks given at President Emeritus David Saxon’s Memorial Service on the UCLA campus (03/14/06).
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Equity in California Higher Education
Speech presented to the Latino Education Summit X in San Diego, California (09/24/05).
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San Diego County Board of Education Resolution
in honor of Richard C. Atkinson (8/24/05).
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Foreword to Biography of Fred Terman
Fred Terman at Stanford: Building a Discipline, a University, and Silicon Valley (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2004).
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Research Universities and the Nation’s Economy
Speech presented to the Downtown San Diego Rotary Club (11/18/04).
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Rethinking Admissions: US Public Universities in the Post-Affirmative Action Age
Invited paper at the UK and US Higher Education Finance and Access Symposium, Oxford University (09/29/04).
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College Admissions and the SAT: A Personal Perspective
Invited address at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego (4/14/04). Subsequently published in: A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Observer, Vol. 18, 15-22, 2005.
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A New World of Scholarly Communication
Commentary about preserving access to scholarly resources in university libraries, published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (11/07/03).
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Farewell Remarks
Presented to the Board of Regents (9/18/03).
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Regents' Resolution
in honor of Richard C. Atkinson (9/18/03).
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A Brief History of the Atkinson Presidency
by Patricia A. Pelfrey (9/03).
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Public Sector Collaboration for Agricultural IP Management
Commentary about intellectual property rights by Richard C. Atkinson and others, published in Science (7/11/03).
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Academic Freedom and the Research University
paper published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 148, No. 2 (June 2004).
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University of Chicago Alumni Medal
Remarks on the occasion of receiving the University of Chicago Alumni Medal (6/7/03).
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Stanley Biosciences and Bioengineering Facility
Remarks on the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Biosciences and Bioengineering Facility at UC Berkeley (5/30/03).
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Vannevar Bush Award Citation
Presented at the National Science Board Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. (5/21/03).
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Academic Freedom
Letter to The Regents informing them of the Academic Council's review of a proposed revision to the policy on academic freedom contained in the Academic Personnel Manual, Section 010 (4/23/03).
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Diversity: Not There Yet
Opinion piece about UC's experience with the elimination of race and ethnicity in admissions, published by The Washington Post (4/20/03).
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Letter to the Regents
regarding enrollment projections and long-range planning (3/3/03).
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Valley will reap infinite rewards from UC Merced
Opinion piece about the University of California's 10th campus being built in the San Joaquin Valley, published in The Fresno Bee (11/4/02).
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 50th Anniversary
Remarks on the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (9/20/02).
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Anniversary of September 11
Letter to members of the University of California community on the anniversary of September 11 (9/3/02).
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English R1A course section
Letter to The Regents regarding reading and composition course at UC Berkeley, and Professor Robert Post's analysis on issues of academic freedom and responsibility (8/14/02).
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Message at the beginning of the academic year
Letter to members of the University of California community regarding the exchange of divergent viewpoints and civil obedience in exercising free speech (8/02).
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College Board's decision to alter the SAT I
Statement on the College Board's new test, which will be in accord with specifications developed by UC's Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (6/27/02).
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California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology
Remarks on the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony for the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-IT2) and the Computer Science and Engineering Building in San Diego (5/31/02).
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The Changing World of College Admissions Tests
Speech delivered to the Western Association of College and University Business Officers, San Diego (5/7/02).
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Food safety first
Opinion piece about efforts by the University of California to help ensure the safety and security of the nation's food supply, published in the San Francisco Chronicle (5/2/02).
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The Quality of the University of California
Text of letter to a UC alumnus concerned about the quality of the University (1/28/02).
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American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology
(2002).
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Achievement Versus Aptitude in College Admissions
Paper based on keynote address delivered at a conference on Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions, in Santa Barbara, 11/16/01. Published in Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 2001-02 (12/01).
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Rethinking admissions tests
Web site with comprehensive information about UC's deliberations on the use of admisssions test.
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The California Crucible: Demography, Excellence, and Access at the University of California
Keynote address delivered at the 2001 International Assembly of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, San Francisco (7/2/01).
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UC looks beyond test scores for students
Opinion piece about initiatives to expand opportunities for students to achieve admission to UC, published in the Sacramento Bee (6/15/01).
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Educational leadership for California
Testimony on demand for the education doctorate before the California Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education, Sacramento (6/12/01).
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The Globalization of the University
Keynote address delivered at the inauguration of President Akimasa Mitsuta, Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies, Japan (5/26/01).
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Update on Federal Research and Development Expenditures
Letter to The Regents of the University of California about a report in the March 16, 2001 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education on the top 100 institutions for federal R&D expenditures in 1998 and 1999 (4/18/01).
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Standardized Tests and Access to American Universities
The 2001 Robert H. Atwell Distinguished Lecture, delivered at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education, Washington, D.C. (2/18/01).
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Let's step back from the SAT I
Opinion piece about elimination of the SAT I examination as a requirement for application to the University of California, published in the San Jose Mercury News (2/23/01).
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UC takes a look at SAT I's worth
Opinion piece about the role of standardized testing and the SAT I in admissions decisions at the University of California, published in the Sacramento Bee (2/21/01).
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A Five-Year Report to The Regents
Progress report on goals for the University of California (1/01).
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Higher Education Helps Drive the Economy
Opinion piece about the partnership between the University of California and California State University systems in contributing to the state's economy, published in the Los Angeles Times (10/4/00).
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Why federal funding for basic research is important
Opinion piece about how basic research funding can help maintain our nation's economic strength, published in the San Diego Union-Tribune (9/28/00).
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Dual Admission Proposal
Letter to UC Academic Council Chair proposing an alternative path to supplement the University's current admission process.
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A background document accompanies the letter (9/20/00).
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Summer Institutes
Letter to Governor Davis about the California Professional Development Initiatives, designed to improve teacher quality and student learning in California (9/8/00).
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Commencement Address
California Western School of Law, San Diego (4/28/00).
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Industry-University Partnerships
Letter to The Regents of the University of California about an article in the March 2000 issue of The Atlantic Monthly on industry-university partnerships (3/10/00).
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The Future Arrives First in California - The need to educate record numbers of students, UC's research contributions to
California's economy, and the University's initiatives to encourage diversity in a post-affirmative action era, published in Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 1999-2000.
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Opportunities for Chinese and American Universities in the Knowledge-based Economy
Paper presented at the China-U.S. Joint Science Policy Seminar, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the first agreement between the People's Republic of China and the United States for the exchange of scientists and scholars, Beijing, China (10/25/99). Published in Proceedings of First Sino-US Science Policy Seminar (October 24-27, 1999), edited by Mu Rongping and W. A. Blanpied, Beijing, China: Science Press, 2000.
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The Golden Fleece, Science Education, and U.S. Science Policy
Paper read at the Colloquium Series on the History of Science and Technology, University of California at Berkeley, 10 November 1997, and published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 143, No. 3 (9/99).
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Robert Gordon Sproul
Sproul's presidency of the University, published in California Journal (11/99).
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UC Wants More Transfers From Community Colleges
Opinion piece about UC's efforts to boost community college-to-UC transfers, published in the Los Angeles Times (9/20/99).
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Letter to the Regents
regarding the U.S. News and World Report rankings of universities (8/27/99).
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Prepare Now for the Next Wave
Opinion piece about the large numbers of students who will seek access to California's colleges and universities in the next ten years, published in the Los Angeles Times (4/14/99).
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Teach children to read? Higher education is lending a hand
Opinion piece about summer institutes for California's K-12 teachers sponsored by UC and CSU, published in the San Diego Union-Tribune (1/14/99).
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A Three-Year Report to Alumni
Talk at the fall retreat of the Alumni Associations of the University of California (10/16/98).
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It Takes Cash to Keep Ideas Flowing
Opinion piece about the need for public investment in education and research, published in the Los Angeles Times (9/25/98).
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Tradition at the University of California
Transcript of remarks at The Regents' dinner (9/17/98).
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The Future of the University of California
A personal view on the issues and challenges facing the University (revised 9/98).
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After 209: Now We Must Raise Achievement of K-12 Kids
Opinion piece about UC's efforts to support and strengthen K-12 education, published in the San Jose Mercury-News (4/10/98).
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Admission to the University of California
Opinion piece about the challenges of expanding opportunities for all promising students without regard to race and ethnicity, published in the San Francisco Chronicle (4/1/98).  Reprinted in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Santa Barbara News-Press, and the Oakland Tribune.
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California's Outreach
Published in On Common Ground, the journal of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute (Winter 1998).
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Investing in California's Children
Transcript of a talk at the California Senate Fiscal Retreat, an annual policy forum for California political leaders sponsored by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the UC California Policy Seminar, Berkeley (1/24/98).
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The Role of the President of the University
Prepared for UC student newspapers (12/97).
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The Role of Research in the University of the Future
Address at The United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan (11/4/97).
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California's Library Without Limits
Opinion piece about UC's digital library, originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune (10/14/97).
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Partnership For Learning
Opinion piece about the benefits of a UC education, published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and the Davis Enterprise (6/97).
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Universities: At the Center of U.S. Research
An editorial in Science magazine (6/6/97).
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Visions and Values: The Research University in Transition
The 19th Annual Pullias Lecture, University of Southern California (3/1/97).
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Present Challenges of a Research University
Transcript of a talk at the conference "University in Transition," University of California, Berkeley (3/97).
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Town and Gown Join Forces to Boost State
Opinion piece about UC's research partnerships with industry to ensure the State's economic leadership, published in the Los Angeles Times (12/31/96).
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The Numbers Game and Graduate Education
Address at the Symposium on Graduate Education in the Biological Sciences for the 21st Century, University of California at San Francisco (10/2/96).
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UC and the National Research Council Ratings of Graduate Programs
Commentary and excerpt from the May/June 1996 issue of Change magazine.
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The California Solution
Keynote Address at the California Coalition on Science & Technology Summit, Sacramento (5/28/96).
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UC and California's Future
Address at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco (5/2/96).
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High Stakes for Knowledge
Opinion piece about the importance of funding university research, published in the Los Angeles Times (4/28/96).
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America's Great Success Story -- The Land-Grant University,
California Agriculture magazine (3/96).
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How to Improve U.S. Productivity, Opinion piece about investing in university research and development to ensure continued intellectual and economic productivity, published in the San Francisco Chronicle (3/4/96).
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Universities and the Knowledge-based Economy
Transcript of a talk by President Richard C. Atkinson at the California Senate Fiscal Retreat, an annual policy forum for California political leaders sponsored by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the UC California Policy Seminar, Berkeley (2/3/96).
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UC Is Unwaveringly Committed To Diversity
Opinion piece about UC's efforts to achieve diversity following the decision to end the use of race and gender factors in admissions, published in the Los Angeles Times(11/13/95).
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Report to the Regents on the National Research Council's Study of Ph.D. Programs that ranked more than half of UC's 229 programs in the top 20
(10/11/95).
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Remarks of Richard C. Atkinson
Remarks to The Regents of the University of California on the occasion of being appointed president (8/18/95).
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The Future of the Research University
Reprinted from Reinventing the University: Proceedings of a Symposium held at UCLA (6/23/94).
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Equilibrium in the Research University
Published in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, co-authored with Donald Tuzin, professor of Anthropology, UC San Diego (May/June 1992).
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Supply and Demand for Scientists and Engineers: A National Crisis in the Making
Paper published in Science magazine about the shortage of technical personnel and its impact on the nation (04/27/90).
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State of the National Research System: Issues for the New Administration
Proposed remarks at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Research Administrators (10/11/88).
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Peer Review and the Public Interest
Paper published with William A. Blanpied in the Summer 1985 issue of Issues in Science and Technology.
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Report of the California Commission on Industrial Innovation
I have had so many inquiries about this report following Jerry Brown’s election as Governor of California in 2011 that I decided to place it on my website so that it is easily accessible. This report was completed in 1982 at the end of Jerry Brown’s second term as governor in the 1970 to 1980 period (November 2, 1982).
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American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution
(1977).
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