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Oral Histories on the Management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley: 1960 – 2014

Oral Histories on the Management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley: 1960 – 2014

These forty five oral history interviews are part of the larger oral history project: Oral Histories on the Management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley: 1960 – 2014. The project includes approximately seventy interviews conducted from 2009-2014 by John Cummins, Associate Chancellor – Chief of Staff, Emeritus who worked under Chancellors Heyman, Tien, Berdahl and Birgeneau from 1984 – 2008. Intercollegiate Athletics reported to him from 2004 – 2006. The purpose of the project is to explore the history of the management of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Berkeley from the 1960s to the present. The interviews are with a cross sampling of individuals who played key roles in the management of intercollegiate athletics over that period of time: Chancellors, Athletic Directors, senior administrators, Faculty Athletic Representatives, other key faculty members, directors of the Recreational Sports Program, alumni/donors, administrators in the Athletic Study Center, and others.

Two publications by The Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley, based in part on the oral histories, are listed below. The first (2013), co- authored by Cummins and Kirsten Hextrum, a PhD student in the Graduate School of Education, a member and two-time national champion of Cal Women’s Crew from 2003 – 2007, and a former tutor-adviser in the Athletic Study Center, addresses administrative and management issues at UC Berkeley that typically concern those responsible for the conduct of a Division I-A intercollegiate athletics program. It assumes that such a program will continue for many years to come and that it provides important benefits for the Cal community. Its focus is principally on the market-driven, multi-billion dollar phenomenon of the big-time sports of men’s football and basketball, their development over time and their intersection with the academic world. The Olympic or non-revenue sports at UC Berkeley more closely resemble the amateur intercollegiate ideal, with high graduation rates and successful programs. Even these sports programs, however, are gradually being pulled into the more highly commercialized model.

A second paper by Cummins (2017) deals with the history and financing of the construction of the Barclay Simpson Student Athlete High Performance Center and the renovation of Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. These two interrelated projects, costing $474 million and largely debt financed, are the most expensive intercollegiate athletics capital projects in the nation. Their history and financing illustrate the complexity and challenges faced by university administrators in managing big-time intercollegiate athletics programs

THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS AT UC BERKELEY: TURNING POINTS AND CONSEQUENCES by John Cummins and Kirsten Hextrum CSHE.12.13 (November 2013).

A CAUTIONARY ANALYSIS OF A BILLION DOLLAR ATHLETIC EXPENDITURE by John Cummins, UC Berkeley CSHE 3.17 (February 2017).

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