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Faculty Senate records

 Collection
Identifier: A035

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection spans 1960-1996 and documents the operations of the Northeastern University Faculty Senate and its committees. The collection includes agendas, minutes, correspondence, newsletters, membership lists, reports, and resolutions. Of particular interest are the meeting minutes of the Senate and the Agenda Committee, which trace the changing nature and focus of the Senate. Also included are petitions signed by faculty members in 1979 supporting freedom of speech for invited guests of Northeastern University.

Series 1. Administration includes agendas, minutes, correspondence, newsletters, membership lists, reports, and resolutions. Series 2. Committees includes records from each of the standing committees and many of the ad hoc committees. These records include agendas and minutes, correspondence, resolutions, and reports. Series 3. Subject Files includes materials that were not created by the Senate but were received by the Senate and relate to important issues impacting Northeastern's faculty.

Researchers should note there is no Box 20 in the collection.

Dates

  • 1940-2004 (bulk 1961-1997)

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel files (grievances in box 16) are closed for 75 years.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

President Asa S. Knowles formed the Faculty Senate in 1961 as an advisory and review body to provide the faculty with a forum for involvement in the administration of the University. The Senate originally consisted of 24 faculty members, including faculty members who proportionately represented the academic colleges, the Provost, and seven members of the administrative faculty appointed by the President; today there are 30 members. The Provost serves as chair. The Faculty Senate initially included three standing committees: Agenda, Academic and Research Policy, and Faculty Policy. The Senate Agenda Committee serves as an executive council and its chair is Vice-Chairman of the Senate. The current standing committees are Academic Policy, Admissions Policy, Agenda, Faculty Development, and Financial Affairs.

In its early years, the Faculty Senate focused on determining its own structure and reviewing tenure, sabbaticals, and benefits. In 1965, President Knowles sent a proposal to the Senate to establish the College of Criminal Justice. This was the first time the Senate was involved in approving a degree-granting program, a task that became a central responsibility of the Faculty Senate in later years. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Faculty Senate played a role in mediating conflicts between students and the administration, seeking ways of keeping the atmosphere of the campus peaceful. In January 1970, S.I. Hayakawa, then President of San Francisco State College, came to Northeastern to speak. Several student groups protested Hayakawa's appearance, accusing him of racism. The event led to a confrontation between students and Boston Police. In the wake of this, the Faculty Senate distributed a petition asking faculty members to affirm the rights of any speaker, regardless of his or her views, to speak on campus if invited by a legitimate student, faculty or administrative organization. The petition was signed and returned by many faculty members and led to the passage of a senate resolution assuring freedom of speech for guests to the university.

By the mid-1970s, the focus of the Senate had returned to the working conditions of the faculty. In 1978, a report by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges found that the Senate was "focused too narrowly on faculty benefits and prerogatives and not enough on academic standards, curriculum coordination and development, and critical reviews of old and new programs." The Senate took the criticism seriously; while it continued to support issues regarding faculty working conditions (such as the professional travel allowance policy approved in 1979), it also focused on academic issues. In 1978, it formed the Library Operations Committee in order to put pressure on administration for a new library.

The Senate became involved in the debate regarding the merger of Boston Bouvé College and the College of Education. It participated in searches for new deans of the College of Nursing and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Senate also participated in the search for a new University President in 1988. Between 1984 and 1989, the Faculty Senate approved five new graduate level programs, including two doctoral programs. In 1989, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges once again issued a report on the Faculty Senate which noted "a marked increase in faculty participation in virtually all aspects of university life" and concluded that "the Senate seeks to address all academic issues today." The 1982-1983 academic year, however, saw a breakdown in the operations of the Faculty Senate. A conflict developed between the Senate Agenda Committee Chairman Samuel Bernstein, the Provost and Senate Faculty Chairman Melvin Mark, and the members of the Senate Agenda Committee. Because of the conflict, several meetings of the Senate focused on parliamentary procedure with little else accomplished.

The Senate was able to recover a collegial atmosphere over the next few years and once again concentrate on the business of the university. In 1993, the Senate concentrated its efforts on the university's Strategic Plan. The plan was approved by the Senate in December and approved by the faculty on February 7, 1994. The plan included new guidelines for tenure, promotion, and salaries for faculty.

In 2001, the Faculty Senate approved the University's plan to shift from a quarter-based to a semester-based academic year schedule, and from 2001 to 2005, the Senate worked on a revision of the Faculty Handbook. In 2002, the Senate created three more standing committees: Information Systems Policy, Library Policies and Operations, and Research Policy Oversight. In 2009, in a major restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Senate approved the formation of three new colleges: the College of Science, the College of Social Sciences and the Humanities, and the College of Art, Media, and Design.

Chronology

  • 1960 Knowles appoints subcommittee to examine feasibility of Faculty Senate.
  • 1961 Faculty Senate first meeting with 32 members.
  • 1962 Senate accepts first University sabbatical policy.
  • 1965 Knowles sends proposal for College of Criminal Justice for Senate approval.
  • 1965 Elected membership increased to 30.  Administrative appointments increased to 10.
  • 1967 Committee on Faculty Policy divided into Committee on Faculty Development and Committee on Faculty Grievances and Appeals.
  • 1969 Senate establishes an ad-hoc committee to be consulted by the administration to respond to student demonstrations. Senate resolves to support Vietnam Moratorium Day by declaring the University closed October 15, 1969.  President Knowles rejects the resolution.
  • 1970 Faculty Agenda Committee recommends full faculty meeting to discuss the student strike.  The faculty vote (377 to 229) to suspend normal academic activities indefinitely.
  • 1972 Members of the Senate Agenda Committee negotiate with protestors who have taken control of the Bursar's office.  The situation ends peacefully and is the last demonstration on campus of the era.
  • 1972 Dr. Irene A. Nichols elected the first woman chair of the Senate Agenda Committee.
  • 1973 Senate approves a final definition of "faculty" to be used in the Faculty Handbook.
  • 1975 By-laws altered to require the University president to meet with the Senate Agenda Committee at least quarterly and the full Senate at least annually.
  • 1978 Library Operations Committee formed.
  • 1979 After functioning as an ad-hoc committee for four years, the Financial Affairs Committee becomes a standing committee to provide a faculty voice in the University budget process. Admissions Policy Committee becomes fourth standing committee.
  • 1980 Senate establishes new grievance and tenure policies.
  • 1993 Senate approves the Strategic Plan.
  • 2001 Senate approves the University's conversion from quarter- to semester-based academic year.
  • 2002 Senate establishes three new standing committees: Information Systems Policy, Library Policies and Operations, and Research Policy Oversight.
  • 2009 Senate approves the restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Criminal Justice into three new colleges: the College of Science, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the College of Art, Media, and Design.
1960
Knowles appoints subcommittee to examine feasibility of Faculty Senate.
1961
Faculty Senate first meeting with 32 members.
1962
Senate accepts first University sabbatical policy.
1965
Knowles sends proposal for College of Criminal Justice for Senate approval.
1965
Elected membership increased to 30.  Administrative appointments increased to 10.
1967
Committee on Faculty Policy divided into Committee on Faculty Development and Committee on Faculty Grievances and Appeals.
1969
Senate establishes an ad-hoc committee to be consulted by the administration to respond to student demonstrations. Senate resolves to support Vietnam Moratorium Day by declaring the University closed October 15, 1969.  President Knowles rejects the resolution.
1970
Faculty Agenda Committee recommends full faculty meeting to discuss the student strike.  The faculty vote (377 to 229) to suspend normal academic activities indefinitely.
1972
Members of the Senate Agenda Committee negotiate with protestors who have taken control of the Bursar's office.  The situation ends peacefully and is the last demonstration on campus of the era.
1972
Dr. Irene A. Nichols elected the first woman chair of the Senate Agenda Committee.
1973
Senate approves a final definition of "faculty" to be used in the Faculty Handbook.
1975
By-laws altered to require the University president to meet with the Senate Agenda Committee at least quarterly and the full Senate at least annually.
1978
Library Operations Committee formed.
1979
After functioning as an ad-hoc committee for four years, the Financial Affairs Committee becomes a standing committee to provide a faculty voice in the University budget process. Admissions Policy Committee becomes fourth standing committee.
1980
Senate establishes new grievance and tenure policies.
1993
Senate approves the Strategic Plan.
2001
Senate approves the University's conversion from quarter- to semester-based academic year.
2002
Senate establishes three new standing committees: Information Systems Policy, Library Policies and Operations, and Research Policy Oversight.
2009
Senate approves the restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Criminal Justice into three new colleges: the College of Science, the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the College of Art, Media, and Design.

Chronology of Chairmen of Senate Agenda Committee by Year of Election

  • 1961 Donald Pitkin
  • 1962 Gregg Wilfong
  • 1963 David W. Barkley
  • 1964 Sidney Herman
  • 1965-1966 Ralph A. Troupe
  • 1967 Frank F. Lee
  • 1968 Wesley W. Marple, Jr. 
  • 1969 Joseph H. Wellbank
  • 1970 Arvin Grabel
  • 1971 Spencer Rochefort
  • 1972 Irene Nichols
  • 1973 Robert L. Cord
  • 1974 Robert G. Finkenaur
  • 1975 Suzanne B. Greenberg
  • 1976 Norbert L. Fullington
  • 1977 Robert D. Klein (term completed by Robert P. Lowndes)
  • 1978-1979 Robert P. Lowndes
  • 1980 Frank F. Lee
  • 1981 Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
  • 1982 Samuel J. Bernstein
  • 1983-1984 Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
  • 1985 Maurice E. Gilmore
  • 1986 Joseph Meier
  • 1987-1988 William L. Faissler
  • 1989-1990 Wesley W. Marple, Jr.
  • 1991 Richard A. Daynard
  • 1992 Stuart S. Peterfreund
  • 1993 Sharon M. McKinnon
  • 1994-1995 Arvin Grabel
  • 1996-1997 Holbrook C. Robinson
  • 1998-2000 Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
  • 2001-2004 Robert P. Lowndes
  • 2005-2007 Carol A. Glod
  • 2008-2009 Steve Morrison
  • 2010-2011 Louis J. Kruger
1961
Donald Pitkin
1962
Gregg Wilfong
1963
David W. Barkley
1964
Sidney Herman
1965-1966
Ralph A. Troupe
1967
Frank F. Lee
1968
Wesley W. Marple, Jr. 
1969
Joseph H. Wellbank
1970
Arvin Grabel
1971
Spencer Rochefort
1972
Irene Nichols
1973
Robert L. Cord
1974
Robert G. Finkenaur
1975
Suzanne B. Greenberg
1976
Norbert L. Fullington
1977
Robert D. Klein (term completed by Robert P. Lowndes)
1978-1979
Robert P. Lowndes
1980
Frank F. Lee
1981
Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
1982
Samuel J. Bernstein
1983-1984
Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
1985
Maurice E. Gilmore
1986
Joseph Meier
1987-1988
William L. Faissler
1989-1990
Wesley W. Marple, Jr.
1991
Richard A. Daynard
1992
Stuart S. Peterfreund
1993
Sharon M. McKinnon
1994-1995
Arvin Grabel
1996-1997
Holbrook C. Robinson
1998-2000
Charles H. Ellis, Jr.
2001-2004
Robert P. Lowndes
2005-2007
Carol A. Glod
2008-2009
Steve Morrison
2010-2011
Louis J. Kruger

Extent

20.85 cubic feet (35 containers)

Overview

Northeastern University's Faculty Senate was formed in 1961 by President Asa S. Knowles as an advisory and review body that would involve the faculty in administering the university. The Faculty Senate originally consisted of 24 faculty members representing the academic colleges, the provost, and seven members of the administrative faculty appointed by the president. The provost serves as chair. The Faculty Senate initially included three standing committees: Agenda, Academic and Research Policy, and Faculty Policy. The current standing committees are: Academic Policy, Admissions Policy, Agenda, Faculty Development, and Financial Affairs. The Senate Agenda Committee serves as an executive council, and its chair is Vice-Chairman of the Senate. In its early years, the Faculty Senate focused on determining its own structure and reviewing tenure, sabbaticals, and faculty benefits. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, it played a role in mediating conflicts on campus between students and the administration. By the mid-1970s, its focus had returned to faculty working conditions. In the early 1990s, it concentrated its efforts on strategic planning for Northeastern University.

Overview

The bulk of the collection spans 1960-1996 and documents the operations of the Northeastern University Faculty Senate and its committees. The collection includes agendas, minutes, correspondence, newsletters, membership lists, reports, and resolutions. Of particular interest are the meeting minutes of the Senate and the Agenda Committee, which trace the changing nature and focus of the Senate.

System of Arrangement:

Organized into 3 series: 1. Administration; 2. Committees; and 3. Subject Files.

Physical Location

29/2, 33/4, 35/2-3
Title
Finding aid for the Faculty Senate Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Alison Brown; updated by Dominique Medal; updated by Abigail Cramer
Date
September 1999, September 2009, June 2012, October 2012, November 2012
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US