The front-page stories in the April 18 Mercury News on record profits for Silicon Valley companies and the crisis in California higher education suggest that it is time to explore the historic relationship between investment in higher education and our region’s leadership in innovation — and what is now at risk.

As a graduate student at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to meet Clark Kerr, the former president of the University of California and architect of the Master Plan for Higher Education. Later, I conducted an in-depth interview with Kerr for a chapter on the California economy for a book on the states’ role in economic development.

I learned that Kerr was a noted economist who understood the importance of preparing the next generation of knowledge workers and promoting world-class research to generate long-term economic benefits for the California economy.

Read the full opinion piece by Doug Henton in the San Jose Mercury News