Portrait of Reagan, Michael D.

Reagan, Michael D.

June 15, 1998

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Michael Reagan, early professor and academic administrative leader, respected columnist on health care issues, describes the programs and policies of the emerging campus. He also discusses life after retirement and continuing service to his discipline and community.
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Reagan: That was wonderful. There is no better way to get to know a campus than to serve on that for appointments and promotions. The other people on it were Jim Kendrick, who later became the Vice President for Ag, George Zentmyer was on it at that time-some of the very strongest people, particularly from ag section and the sciences. That's how I got to meet people. The most valuable thing about the Academic Senate is not what it does in governance-maybe it is sometimes, but most times what it is valuable for is getting members of the faculty to rub elbows with faculty outside their own discipline, because that is a terrible problem, and the Academic Senate committees are all spread around the campus.

Erickson: Why don't you talk a little about how the academic process-that's called CAP, am I correct? Why don't you talk about how that works.

Reagan: Well, I assume that it works pretty much the same way now and that nobody's doing anything different. That's the way it worked when I was familiar with it

One of the things distinctive here is we were one of, we may not be the only one, but not more than a couple of them, who had devised a point system. We wanted to try to make is slightly less subjective than it inherently is. It was devised before I came on that committee-four points for research, four points for teaching and two for university or public service, and you needed 5.5 to get a positive on your advancement. We would argue long and hard over "Well, we gave this guy a 3.0 on teaching, and his record compared to this guy who got a 2.5 , " that sort of thing.

Reagan: We really did a lot, and we used that point system to give a point to many of our comparisons on faculty who were up for advancements and so on.

They gave us a simpler process when I was on that committee than it is today because this was before a department had to send forward three files, its top three candidates rather than just the top one at that time, before affirmative action, which must have complicated the process. It is a committee that had one ag, one physical science, one social science, one humanities and what the fifth one is, I don't remember, but it has always represented every intellectual area of the campus.

The amazing thing is that we do learn to understand enough of each other's area to be able talk about a case that would really only be known in detail by one out of the five people sitting at the table. One person would always be assigned the lead on a case, usually the person was familiar with that area. I don't read much theoretical physics in my spare time, and they don't read much poly sci,

Questions Regarding this Oral History Project should be directed to Jan Erickson at jan.erickson@ucr.edu.