of his role in the university crises of the 1960s, we usually think
of Clark Kerr primarily as an administrator and proponent of the research
university. Yet Kerr's work in higher education rested on his background
as a labor economist and industrial arbitrator. Kerr frequently used
and metaphors from his work in industrial relations to describe the
task of educational administration. Like many cold war liberals, Kerr
subscribed to an ethic of non-ideological problem solving that could
serve one equally well in any number of administrative situations. However,
he both wrote about and engineered a more substantive connection between
the industrial and the knowledge economy. He developedespecially in
his book of 1964, The Uses of the University-- a socially instrumentalist
view of the purpose of higher education. He was also influential in
the passage of California's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education, the
framework within which the state attempted to meet the "Tidal Wave"
of new students who entered its higher educational system in the 1960s.
This paper looks at Kerr as an important participant in the formation
of American liberalism in the Cold War period. It will try to answer
three inter-related questions: What is the source and character of Kerr's
administrative theory and practice? Why is an idea of management derived
from industrial relations amenable to the administration of higher education?
Why is higher education so important to Cold War liberals?