Oral Histories

Interview of DeWitt A. Higgs

Member of the University of California Board of Regents from 1966 to 1982.
DeWitt A. Higgs
California State Archives State Government Oral History Program
Politics and Government
UCLA and University of California History
UC Regents
Treleven, Dale E.
Higgs, DeWitt A.
Persons Present:
Higgs and Treleven.
Place Conducted:
Higg's office in San Diego, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Dale E. Treleven, Director, UCLA Oral History Program. There exist no private papers which the interviewer was able to consult for this interview.
Processing of Interview:
David P. Gist, editor, checked the verbatim manuscript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spellings, and with the interviewer verified proper names. Insertions by the editor are bracketed. Gist drafted the table of contents and the interviewer prepared the introductory materials. Higgs reviewed the edited transcript and returned the transcript with only minor corrections.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series were undertaken by the UCLA Oral History Program under the auspices of the California State Archives and in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton, Oral History Program; California State University, Sacramento, Center for California Studies Oral History Program; Claremont Graduate School Oral History Program; and the University of California, Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office. Funds were allocated to the state archives after Governor George Deukmejian signed into law Assembly Bill 2104 (Chapter 965 of the Statutes of 1985), establishing a state government oral history program "to provide through the use of oral history a continuing documentation of state policy development as reflected in California's legislative and executive history." All interviews in the series are available at the California State Archives in Sacramento.
Family background; earning LL.B. during night school at California Western School of Law; serving as city attorney for Chula Vista; serving on boards and as president of bar associations; appointment to University of California Board of Regents; governors Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Sr., Ronald W. Reagan and Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. as presiding officers; Clark Kerr and the regental vote of no confidence; philosophical differences among board members; conflict of interest issues; controversies at the University of California, San Diego; student unrest in the 1960s; regents' intervention in university administration; regents as apolitical trustees; Higgs's role as conciliator; trying to improve channels of communication within the university; university expansion; registration fees; university investment policies; medical education; Allan P. Bakke reverse discrimination suit; equal opportunity; California Coordinating Council for Higher Education; cluster college concept.