The university reflects the society which it shapes. Its “functions” can be understood it terms of the challenges it faces. Today, the university is under assault from both economic and political forces. The result is that its professional and policy functions dominate its critical and public functions, giving rise to four sets of crises: fiscal, administrative, identity and legitimation. There is no restoring university autonomy and its public character without recomposing it from within. The analysis will be illustrated with a preliminary study of the University of California, Berkeley.