Burning Down the House

Politics, Governance, and Affirmative Action at the University of California

By Brian Pusser

Subjects: Education, Higher Education, History Of Education, Philosophy Of Education
Series: SUNY series, Frontiers in Education
Paperback : 9780791460580, 291 pages, January 2006
Hardcover : 9780791460573, 291 pages, April 2004

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Table of contents

Figures and Tables


1. Burning Down the House: The Politics of Higher Education Policy

2. The UC Governance and Decision-Making Structure: History and Context

3. The Context Shaping the Affirmative Action Contest at UC

4. Interest Articulation and the Illusion of Control

5. The New Politics of Governance

6. National Contest and Conflict

7. Contest, Resistance, and Decision

8. Aftermath

9. The End and the Beginning

Appendix 1. SP-1 as Amended and Passed

Appendix 2. SP-2 as Amended and Passed




List of Titles, SUNY series: Frontiers in Education

A riveting analysis of the struggle to eliminate affirmative action at the University of California.


Burning Down the House presents a riveting analysis of one of the most nationally prominent and bitterly contested policy battles in the history of American higher education: the struggle to eliminate affirmative action at the University of California. A timely and essential addition to the literature on affirmative action, it examines the political, economic, legal, and organizational factors that shaped the debate in California and offers unique insight into the contemporary politics of admissions policy, university governance, and the role of higher education in broader state and national political contests to come.

Brian Pusser is Associate Professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.