Oral Histories

Interview of David S. Saxon (1994)

UCLA professor of physics and president of the University of California.
Subtitle:
University of California President
Topic:
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Administration
UCLA Faculty
Interviewer:
Mink, James V. and Treleven, Dale E.
Interviewee:
Saxon, David S.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Father migrates to the United States from eastern Europe; childhood and early education in Philadelphia; interest in science and mathematics; undergraduate and graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); conducts research in the MIT Radiation Laboratory; Julian S. Schwinger; Alfredo Baños Jr.; America's wartime research strategy versus Germany's; radar research; accepts a position in the physics department at UCLA; strategy for building up the physics department; students at UCLA compared to students at MIT; refuses to sign loyalty oath and is denied employment at the university; decides not to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory; teaches at the University of Southern California; the loyalty oath is declared unconstitutional; returns to UCLA as an associate professor; the cost of the loyalty oath to UCLA; systematizing graduate student requirements; the closing of the Institute of Numerical Analysis; becomes chair of the physics department; Franklin D. Murphy; Charles E. Young; love of teaching; updates the physics curriculum; serves in the Academic Senate; the American Association of University Professors; tenure and recruitment policies; the planning and construction of Kinsey Hall; research on electromagnetic waves; develops the optical model of the nucleus; becomes dean of the Division of Physical Sciences; becomes vice-chancellor; Foster H. Sherwood; the rise of the professional schools; student unrest in the 1960s; impatience with student protestors; writes Elementary Quantum Mechanics; decision to call the Los Angeles Police Department to quell the May 5, 1970, campus disturbances; attempts to improve the quality of the faculty; shift from the semester to the quarter system; the university's responsibility to encourage minority participation and the development of the ethnic studies centers; coping with budget cuts; becomes provost of the University of California (UC); becomes president of the university; relations with the University of California Board of Regents; Berkeley-UCLA rivalry; institutes a centralized library acquisitions policy; decentralizes campus computing systems; the University of California's relationship with the state government in Sacramento; Charles J. Hitch; Donald C. Swain; Dorothy E. Everett and Beverly R. Liss; reorganizes University Hall; Lowell J. Paige; Baldwin G. Lamson; effect of Proposition 4 (1974) on the structure of the board of regents; Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown; the Political Reform Act of 1974; Proposition 13 (1978);