Speaking Freely: A Scholar's Memoir of Experience in the University of California


Angus Ellis Taylor was born October 13, 1911, on a homestead ranch near Craig, Colorado, and moved to California with his parents at the age of nine. He went east to study mathematics at Harvard and graduated summa cum laude in 1933. He received his doctorate in mathematics with highest honors from California Institute of Technology in 1936, spent a year as a National Research fellow at Princeton, and came home to southern California in 1938 to begin a long and distinguished career at the University of California, Los Angeles. He taught mathematics at UCLA and served six years as department chair, demonstrating early on the judgment and ability that would make him a first-rate academic administrator. In 1965, he became vice president for academic affairs, a position he held under presidents Kerr, Wellman, and Hitch. Taylor served as chancellor of the university’s Santa Cruz campus from 1976 to 1977. A brilliant scholar and teacher, Taylor was also a gifted administrator. His story, told warmly and well here, involves some of the most difficult and tumultuous years in the life of a great university.

Angus E. Taylor
Publication date: 
January 1, 2000
Publication type: 
UC History & Higher Education