The University of California is unique among American multicampus systems in that it is organized around a principle known as the one-university idea. Its premise is simple: that a large and decentralized system of ten campuses, differing in size, resources, aspiration, and stage of development, can nevertheless be governed as a single university. The one-university idea has long been regarded as a major force behind UC's rise to pre-eminence among American research universities. But does it have a future in the age of public disinvestment in higher education? In this presentation, Patricia A. Pelfrey, Senior Research Associate with the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) discusses the one-university principle in the context of UC's history, its contemporary relevance to the governance of the UC system, and the drive for institutional redesign in American universities.