The University of California (UC) provides higher education through (1) instruction in undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs and postdoctoral programs; (2) research; (3) education for professional careers; and (4) public service.
The UC was founded in 1868 as a public, state-supported land-grant institution. It was written into the State Constitution of 1879 as a public trust to be administered by the Regents of the University of California. The Board of Regents includes the following 28 members: 7 ex officio members, 20 members appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate for 12-year terms, and 1 student appointed by the Board. The Governor is President of the Regents.
The 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education designates the UC as the primary state-supported academic agency for research. In addition, the university serves students at all levels of higher education in California and is the public segment primarily responsible for awarding the doctorate and several professional degrees, including in medicine and law.
There are ten UC campuses as follows: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. Nine of these are general campuses and offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. The San Francisco campus is devoted exclusively to the health sciences. The university operates five teaching hospitals in the counties of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and Orange. The university administers more than 800 research centers, institutes, laboratories, and programs. The university provides oversight of one United States Department of Energy laboratory and partners with private industry to manage two other Department of Energy laboratories.
The Regents appoint a university president, who is typically responsible for overall policy development, planning, and resource allocation. The 10 chancellors are responsible for management of individual campuses. The Regents have delegated authority to the Academic Senate to determine conditions for admission, degree requirements, and approval of courses and curricula.