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University of Colorado Executive Vice President records

Identifier: COU:2706

Scope and Contents

The papers of the Executive Vice President are not specifically the papers of one continuous office, rather they are the records and correspondence of individuals who held that position intermittently over a twenty year period. In this way the papers of the EVP are far more individually distinct than are papers of continuous offices. Hence, the following collection is organized by individual EVP and reflects the character and interests of these specific administrators:!: ROLAND C. RAUTENSTRAUS, II. J. RUSSELL NELSON, ID. EARLY - THEODORE VOLSKY, JR., IV. LATE - THEODORE VOLSKY,JR. Senior Administrators appear to have carried a substantial portion of their files from position to position. Hence, since the following Executive Vice Presidents were all loi1g-term University of Colorado administrators, the EVP Papers contain material from an array of other administrative offices. The short biographies of all EVPs indicate the complexity and range of files of each EVP. EVP Rautenstraus had also been Associate Dean of Faculties, V.P. for Educational and Student Relations, and was concurrently V.P. for University Relations.!: ROLAND C. RAUTENSTRAUS contains materials differing from admissions. athletics, policies, day care, healthcare, faculty concerns, the various schools (music, nursing, etc.), public service programs to student affairs. These files reflect Rautenstraus· role in establishing the Colorado Springs Center/Campus and the Denver Center/Campus, as well as his interest in Minority Affairs. These files also contain his speeches and considerable material from the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs. J. Russell Nelson had served as the VP for Business Affairs and VP for Administration before taking the position on EVP. for the new four campus central administration. Nelson's appointment reflected President Rautenstraus' view that one of the major roles for central administration was budgetary in nature. II. J. RUSSELL NELSON.contains financial and budgetary files and do not hold the type of student and minority affairs or public relations papers as that of his predecessor. The office of EVP had its own numerical filing system which has been retained. The numerical system under J. Russell Nelson does not match that of EVP Volsky. ID. EARLY - THEODORE VOLSKY, JR. mirrors EVP Volsky's interest in counseling, personnel, and administration as he brought most of these files from his previous positions. Among topics contained in this section are files on Affirmative Action, employee benefits, the Equal Opportunity Program, faculty salaries, and the conversion to the State Personnel System. These files were not part of a cohesive filing system. Previously, 1nany of these files had been in binders, filed on shelves, or had been stored in separate file drawers. [n order to ease research the entire body of these records were pulled together into one filing system, modeled after the President's Office filing system for the same period. IV. LATE - THEODORE VOLSKY, JR. on the other hand conforms to the numerical system used by the EVP office, but developed after and not conforming to that system used by EVP Nelson's office. These files appear to belong specifically to the function and office of the Executive Vice President. Gaps in the numbering, which can be confirmed by viewing the index, indicate files retained by the Office of the Vice President for Administration or divided among Vice Presidential offices when the VPA was abolished.


  • 1972 - 1992

Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains or may contain private and personally identifiable information (PPII). Researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement in advance of access to collection materials. Contact for more information.

Researchers may also be asked to submit an access request for these records to the President's Office. Please contact for more details.

Copyright Statement

The University Libraries may not own the copyright to all materials in this collection. Researchers are responsible for contacting the copyright holder(s) for this material and obtaining permission to publish or broadcast. The University Libraries will not grant permission to publish or broadcast this material and are not responsible for copyright violations resulting from such use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers may not make notes, reproductions (including photographs), or other record of any private and personally identifiable information (PPII) located in this collection and may not publish, publicize, or disclose that PPII to any other party for any purpose. Exclusions may apply to researchers who have obtained authorization from the University of Colorado Institutional Review Board to produce human subject research records in de-identified form. All researchers must sign the University Libraries’ Private and Personally Identifiable Information Agreement indicating their understanding of the use restrictions for PPII found in this collection. Contact

Biographical / Historical

The University of Colorado operated with a very small bureaucracy until the early I 960s. Academic and administrative offices ballooned and multiplied during the presidencies of Joseph Smiley ( 1963-1969) and Frederick Thieme (1969-1974). Vice Presidencies of Academic, Student, and Business Affairs, as well as Budget and Planning, Health, Research, Denver Center, and Colorado Springs Center Affairs were created, shifted, dropped and reestablished to meet the increasing demand for reporting, management and administration at the University. The Office of the Executive Vice President (EVP) was established in order to relieve the president of specific administrative duties as well as to prov.ide daily management over the central administration. All EVPs were designated after the president had been in office several years. Executive VPs appear to have been stand-ins for the president, managers of the sizable Vice Presidential system, as well as having specific duties tailored to their individual experience and talents. All early EVPs were long-time faculty and ad~ninistrators at the University of Colorado. When the appointing president resigned or retired, the EVP position was usually eliminated, as the new president shifted administrative support to meet new requirements. The first such Executive Vice President was Dr. Roland C. Rautenstraus: Professor of Civil Engineering, 194 7-1958: Chair, Depa1tment of Civil Engineering, 1959-1964; Associate Dean of Faculties, 1964-1968; Vice President for Educational and Student Relations, 1968-1970; Vice President for University Relations, I 970-1974; and Executive Vice President, 1973-1974. In an era of tumultuous student and public relations, Vice President Rautenstraus· was directly responsible for creating an array of administrative channels through which minority and student concerns could be heard, acknowledged, and managed. Considerable responsibility was placed upon Dr. Rautenstraus by the president and regents for the management and support of the Denver and Colorado Springs Centers during their formative years prior to I 972. As VP for University Relations, He directed the both the University's public and internal relations following a period (1962-1970) of intense public criticism and scrutiny and assisted in the alteration of the University's public image from 1970 to 1974. By 1974, EVP Rautenstraus had managed to gain the student's trust, the faculty's appreciation, the administration's faith, and the Board of Regents' appointment as President of the University of Colorado, the first such in-house selection since Ward Darley in 1953. During his first year as EVP, Dr. Rautenstraus aided in the management of a University administration consisting of eight vice presidents: three center vice presidents, four central administration vice president and his own Vice Presidency for University Relations. In 1974, the University of Colorado became a four campus system, with the centers becoming campuses with their own chancellors. Now President, Dr. Rautenstraus endeavored to pare down central administration in a way that would refrain from duplicating the campus administrative tasks, while at the same time saving much needed funds. Considerable po1tions of the university administration were decentralized - passed to the campus chancellors in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, and the Health Sciences Center. Remaining administrative, budgetary, and University relations tasks were still conducted by the central administration located in Boulder. Three of the four new chancellors had been vice presidents \Vith EVP Rautenstraus (Crowe, Silverman, and Haak), smoothing the dispersal of administrative functions. Shortly after becoming president, Dr. Rautenstraus appointed Dr. J. Russell Nelson, the V.P. for Administration to be the next E.V.P. Dr. Nelson had considerable business and administrative experience: Professor of Business, University of Minnesota ( 1961-1970); Vice Provost and Professor of Business, University of Colorado ( 1970-1971 ); Associate Provost ( 1971-1972); VP for Business Affairs ( I 972-1973 ); VP for Administration (1973-1974); and EVP (1974-1978); after which he became the Chancellor of Executive V. P. - Guide - 3 Boulder Campus (1978-1981 ). As V.P.A., Dr. Nelson had been responsible for planning, budgeting, administrative and scientific computing, some business functions, while representing the university with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the state legislative and executive staff members. To these tasks were added system wide personnel functions and the planning for additional transfers of authority and activities from Boulder Campus to the newly designated campuses as they developed. That President Rautenstraus had picked an EVP so shortly after taking office illustrated the pressing need for an EVP to relieve the President of a portion of the enormous array of administrative tasks. Dr. Nelson had worked with the now President Rautenstraus since 1970, closely since 1972. From 1975 to 1978. EVP Nelson presided over a much smaller central administration than had his predecessor. Moreover, the financial, planning, and personnel functions were now subordinate to the EVP, their chief officers not full VPs, but Assistant VPs and Directors - directly· reflecting the current desire to cut administrative costs. After Dr. Nelson asstimed the office of Boulder Campus Chancellor (1978), a long period followed during which time, administrative functions were headed by vice presidents and the EVP position was replaced by a coequal VP for Administration ( 1978-1989). The number of VPs increased to three ( 1979- 1983), four (1983-1985), three (1985-1989), then four, (1989-1992). President Arnold R. Weber appeared to deem the EVP position as unnecessary. President E. Gordon Gee seemed not to require an EVP until four years into his presidency. In 1989, Dr. Theodore Volsky, Jr. was designated EVP: Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota ( 1958-1962); Professor of Psychology, University of Colorado ( 1962- 1992); Director, Counseling and Testing Department, Chairman, Graduate Program in Personnel Services ( 1962-1966); Director, Center for Student Life Programs & Studies, Special Assistant to the VP for Student Affairs (1967-1968); Dean for Student Services (1968-1971); Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (1971- 1974); Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Staff Affairs at Boulder Campus (1974-1975); Assistant VP for Personnel ( 1975-1978); and VP for Administration ( 1978-1989); and EVP ( 1989-1992). While Dr. Rautenstraus had brought with him extensive experience in student affairs and public relations and Dr. Nelson had carried with him ·a background in business and budgetary matters, Dr. Volsky's academic credentials in psychology were combined with long term practice in the fields of personnel and administration at the University of Colorado. Following the retirement of Dr. Volsky in 1992, both the offices of VP. Administration and EVP lapsed until Stuait M. Takeuchi was appointed VP for Administration in the newly named University System Administration in 1994. Executive Vice Presidents 1973-1974 1975-1978 1989-1992 Roland C. Rautenstraus J. Russell Nelson Theodore Volsky, Jr.


113 linear feet (226 boxes)

Language of Materials



Papers of the University of Colorado Central Administration, Executive Vice President. The office of Executive Vice President has only been of intermittent tenure ( 1973-1975, I 989- I 993, and 1994-), growing out of, and retiring back into, other Vice Presidential offices. Includes substantial consolidated papers (I 960s- I 974, I 970s-l 992) as the three Executive Vice Presidents, Roland C. Rautenstraus, J. Russell Nelson and Theodore Volsky, Jr., tended to carry for.vard papers from previous administrative posts. The position of Executive Vice President appears to have been less consistent than those of other vice presidencies. The position wa~ of a delagated nature - presidents selecting EVPs who would best perform such administrative, budgetary, or personnel tasks the presidents deemed necessary. EYPs acted as chiefs of staff in the central administration, and in a supernumerary fashion during the president's absence. When either a president or an executive vice president left for another position, or retired, the post of Executive VP would cease to exist.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

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