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Office of the Secretary Records, 1749-1994


341 Cubic ft.
Prepared by James M. Duffin
Under the direction of Theresa R. Snyder
July 1991

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

Note: for records of the central administration prior to 1930, also see the General Administration Records, 1749 - 1930.


The papers of the Office of the Secretary encompass the entire corporate history of the University. Prior to the creation of the University Archives in 1945, the Office of the Secretary retained and preserved not only current and inactive administrative records, but also historically significant records dating to the founding of the institution. Beginning in 1945 and continuing regularly since that time the Secretary and the Director of the University Archives have jointly arranged for the transfer of large quantities of inactive and historical materials to the Archives.

In June of 1990 the Board of Trustees formally adopted a resolution of "Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center," which effectively restated all institutional archival policy. Guided by the new "Protocols," the Office of the Secretary organized a large transfer of materials to the University Archives in August. In response the Archives technical services staff has issued this comprehensive retrospective guide to all archive holdings originating in the Office of the Secretary.



The papers of the Office of the Secretary have come into the possession of the University Archives in a number of transfers. The following is a list of the boxes and the date of accession:

Before 1955, 3 cubic ft.; January 26, 1956, 26 cubic ft.; before 1962, 4 cubic ft.; June 14, 1962, 4 cubic; July 3, 1962, 10 cubic ft.; August 25, 1965, 5 cubic ft.; June 29, 1967, 9 cubic ft.; August 30, 1968, 6 cubic ft.; October 3, 1969, 5 cubic ft.; before 1970, 20 cubic ft.; March 6, 1970, 1 cubic ft.; August 5, 1970, 8 cubic ft.; December 22, 1970, 3 cubic ft.; July 16, 1971, 10 cubic ft.; September 21, 1972, 10 cubic ft.; July 26, 1973, 13 cubic ft.; August 22, 1973, 9 cubic ft.; July 16, 1974, 17 cubic ft.; December 19, 1974, 8 cubic ft.; October 5, 1976, 21 cubic ft.; July 14, 1977, 8 cubic ft.; August 1, 1978, 11 cubic ft.; August 2, 1978, 2 cubic ft.; August 1, 1979, 13 cubic ft.; September 17, 1980, 7 cubic ft.; November 18, 1980, 3 cubic ft.; November 30, 1981, 5 cubic ft.; July 14, 1981, 1 cubic ft.; July 29, 1983, 9 cubic ft.; December 10, 1984, 5 cubic ft.; August 1990, 48 cubic ft.; June 1991, 1 cubic ft.



The papers of the Office of the Secretary are broken into sixteen series. These series are: Board of Trustees Material, 1791 - 1990; University Council Material, 1963 - 1989; Committee Files, 1831 - 1989; Special Committees, 1973 - 1979; Affiliated Corporations, 1967 - 1991; Search Committee Files, 1974 - 1989; Judicial System Files, 1969 - 1977; Reports, 1931 - 1991; 250th Anniversary Files, 1983 -1990; Agreements, [1965 - 1985]; Commencement Materials, 1965 - 1984; Personnel Files, 1977 - 1981; Statute Revisions, 1912 - 1981; General Correspondence, 1891 - 1911, 1940 - 1980; General File, [1945] - 1989; Miscellaneous, [1920 - 1985]. All of these series are arranged in a general chronological fashion, reflecting the accession of the files by the Archives since 1945. The arrangement within these series is primarily alphabetical with the exception of the Statute Revisions and Judicial System Files, which are ordered by date.

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From the creation of the Board of Trustees in 1749, there has always been a person who was responsible for the task of maintaining the minutes, coordinating meetings, and preparing and, beginning in 1828, signing diplomas. The person responsible for these tasks often held another office in the University. When the office of Secretary to the Board was created in 1764, the Provost, Rev. William Smith, was elected to the post. Later, in 1780, the position moved from the Provost's duties and combined with those of the Treasurer. With the increasing administrative demands upon the University and the growing bureaucracy in American higher education of the late 19th century, the Board of Trustees decided to separate the position from the post of Treasurer-Secretary. The office of the Secretary of the University to the Board of Trustees was created in its modern form in 1882. Beginning in 1882, the Secretary acted as a wholly independent officer of the Board and University.

The expansion program of Provost William Pepper from 1881 to 1894, which resulted in the creation of the thirteen new departments within the University, was the real factor behind the increasing work and creation of the independent Secretary. The first Secretary to hold this newly formed office was the Rev. Jesse Young Burk (1840-1904). It was during Burk's tenure that the work of the office began to slowly grow. Administering all the new schools, preparing and reviewing of all university publications, as well as following and implementing the plans of the Trustees, created greater demands upon the Secretary's time. By 1891 these had become so great that the Board created the Assistant Secretary position, which was held by Edward Warloch Mumford (1868-1941).

In 1895 Pepper's successor as Provost, Charles Custis Harrison, displayed an interest in improving the operation of the Office of the Secretary when he took notice that the office was not a "going concern."(1) Despite Harrison's interest, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary had no help beyond "the comparatively feeble assistance . . . [of an] office boy" who was the personal employee of the Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The staffing of the office remained the same during the tenure of Burk's successors J. Hartley Merrick and Edward Robins.

The true professionalized nature of the Office the Secretary took its shape in 1919 with the appointment of Edward W. Mumford to the position of Secretary. It is clear that he was chosen by the Board of Trustees because he could bring "real business management" for which the office was in desperate need.(2) With the aid of two office workers, Mumford proceeded to take on the responsibilities of the office as described in Statues of 1920:

He shall keep regular minutes of the meetings of the Board, carefully preserve and file all communications, reports, and papers of importance; act as Secretary of all committees of the Board and preserve the minutes of their proceedings; give notice of appointments to all committees, and transmit to them all papers, documents, and copies of resolutions referred to them; give notice of all stated and special meetings, and in general perform the duties of a Secretary under the direction of the President pro tempore, or of any committee of the Board of Trustees. He shall have the custody of the corporate seal of the University, and shall affix it, and attest the same, to such instruments as the Board of Trustees may direct.(3)

In addition to those outlined above, he still had charge of supervising the publication of the University catalogue, bulletin and other educational announcements, as well as the important task of revising and printing the statutes of the University (a duty of the Secretary since the 1820's). As a result of the reorganization of the Board of Trustees in 1928, the Secretary's power to execute legal documents was expanded. The Secretary's record-keeping responsibilities extended from the Board of Trustees and its committees to maintaining an institutional archives, a duty which Mumford particularly enjoyed. It was Mumford who began the first retrospective index of the Trustee's minutes. With the creation of the University Archives in 1945, the Secretary could concentrate upon the more immediate concerns of the University.

The Office of the Secretary continues to perform all of the basic functions solidified during Mumford's tenure. The responsibility of this office has grown to include notification of appointments and promotions; extended management of files concerning the legal obligations and relationships of the University to many corporately dependent schools and outside institutions; and the implementation of the University Judicial System, created in 1970 to handle infractions of student discipline more effectively. The real change for the office since Mumford's time has been the sheer increase in the volume of work. Rising enrollment, beginning in 1920's and a proliferation of committees in the 1960's and 1970's generated greater administrative work for which the Secretary was responsible. In response the Office staff increased over the last thirty years. In 1952 a second Assistant Secretary position was created, subsequently supplemented by additional professional staff.

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Rev. Jesse Young Burk, June 1882 - October 1904 (died)

James Hartley Merrick, December 1904 - October 1907

No election of a Secretary reported in the Trustees minutes between 1907 and 1911

Edward Robins, January 1911 - June 1919

Edward Warloch Mumford, November 1919 - April 1941 (died)

Phelps Soule, October 1941 - April 1946

Donald Kinney Angell, 1946 - January 1956
(Angell also held the post of Vice-President and Secretary, January 1951 - December 1955)

John Cummings Hetherston, January 1956 - May 1963

Stuart H. Carroll, June 1963 - July 1968

William G. Owen, July 1968 - October 1975

Donald T. Sheehan, October 1975 - November 1976
(Sheehan holds the position of Secretary, Emeritus, November 1976 to present)

John C. Hunt, November 1976 - April 1977

Janis Irene Somerville, September 1977 - May 1978

Mary Ann Meyers, January 1980 - December 1990

Barbara Ray Stevens, February 1991 - June 1997

Rosemary McManus, March 1998 - July 2000

Leslie Laird Kruhly, September 2000



Edward Warloch Mumford, June 1891 - 1894

James Hartley Merrick, 1894 - December 1904

Edward Robbins, October 1907 - January 1911

No election of an Assistant Secretary reported in Trustee minutes, 1911 - 1941

Ronald Johnston McCarthy, October 1941 - July 1948

John Cummings Hetherston, June 1948 - January 1956

Edward F. Lane, January 1952 - [1955]

William G. Owen, January 1956 - January 1960

John C. T. Alexander, January 1960 - [1961]

Lillian G. Burns, May 1960 - October 1962

Robert G. Lorndale, October 1962 - September 1969

Lloyd S. Herrick, January 1967 - September 1969

Richard M. Sherman, September 1969 - [1978]

Barbara B. Wiesel, August 1978 - [1980]

Gail C. Levin, January 1981 - March 1989



William G. Owen, October 1953 - January 1956

Robert G. Lorndale, [1961] - October 1962

William L. Hires, [1962] - [1964]

Lloyd S. Herrick, [1964] - [1969]

Linda J. Smith, 1980



Robert G. Lorndale, September 1969 - September 1989

Gail C. Levin, March 1989 - April 1991

Duncan W. Van Dusen, September 1989 - July 1999

Constance Goodman, September 1991 - June 1999

Eric Kaplan, August 2006 - 2010

Leslie Mellet, January 2011

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The records of the Office of the Secretary reflect the many duties and responsibilities of the Secretary as both an officer of the Board of Trustees and as well as an official in the University administration. The original and primary duty of the Secretary, that of recording the minutes of the Board of Trustees, along with the other duties as record keeper; as a liaison to the many committees of the University which were formed to create and monitor policy; as a coordinator of meetings; as a disseminator of committee policies and decisions; and as representative of the board of trustees' interests are all well represented within this collection.

The minute books, 1749 - 1990, in addition to maintaining the official record of the Board, also contain the minutes of the Executive Board, which was created in 1928 to carry out the major functions of the trustees between the meetings of the full Board. Indices (created in 1920 and continuing) provide name and subject access to the actions of both the full and executive board from 1749 until 1825, and from 1860 until 1989.(4)

The bulk of the collection documents the actions of a wide variety of University committees spanning from 1833 to 1989. There are: minutes (in formal and draft form), agendas, correspondence, and membership lists, for several hundred committees. Though reports presented to and produced by committees are sometimes contained within the committee material, the majority are found in the report series.

The selection and promotion of school administrators and educators also figures as an important part of this collection. Since the Board of Trustees has the ultimate authority in all school appointments and promotions, the Secretary must notify all candidates of the Board's final decision. Information about the process in which these school administrators were selected for their posts can be found in the search committee files, 1974 - 1989. Included are: minutes of the selection committee, evaluations, resumés, and letters of recommendation for each candidate.

Clarification of some of the finer points of University administration and commitments can be found in the agreements, 1965 - 1985, delineating both the legal obligations and relationships of the University to many corporately dependent schools and outside institutions. The statutes, 1912 -1981, detail the development of university administration and its structure. There are often annotations within these files which give a sense of how the University changed over time.

Judicial system files, 1969 - 1977 include: reports, correspondence, student codes, and case files. Correspondence, reports of charges, and some physical evidence may be found within the case files.

Letterpress books, 1891 - 1911; general correspondence, 1891 - 1990; reports, 1937, 1952 - 1989; and University Council papers, 1963 - 1989 fully document other more general efforts of the Secretary to fulfill the duties of the Office. Information on the University as a corporation as well as a community may be found readily throughout these records. Topics include: financial affairs; insurance; legislation; medical and Hospital affairs; president's staff issues; student matters; operational and physical plant concerns; faculty issues, ad hoc educational functions; athletics; judicial proceedings; and virtually every aspect of the ever evolving functions of this large University.



1. Charles C. Harrison to John H. Merrick, 1895, Archives General Collection.

2. Harry Bowers Mingle to Edward W. Mumford, 19 November 1919, Archives General Collection, 1919 Secretary.

3. Rules and Statutes of the Corporation, 1920, Box 314, folder 1.

4. For indices for the years between 1825 and 1860, see notes on the 13th page of the 218 page guide.

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