California’s approach to coordination of the state's higher education system over the past 50 years has been indirect, resting mostly on well–defined missions and eligibility pools to guide the development of higher education institutions. This approach worked well during several decades of expansion, producing arguably the greatest higher education system in the world. The effectiveness of this approach has declined over the last quarter century, however, and institutions have been left to pursue their separate interests with insufficient mechanisms to advance the state’s priorities. This report examines the need for a systemwide approach to planning and coordination of California’s system of higher education, and proposes strategies for improvement.