Skip to main content

University of Colorado Boulder Graduate School records

Identifier: COU:2819

Scope and Contents

The Graduate School Collection begins with the Dean of the Graduate Schools files (1974-78), correspondence (1970-73), and annual reports (1960-71). The collection continues with Associate Dean Oster papers (1975-80), Human Research Committee papers, and the Council on Research and Creative Work. The later and newest part of the collection includes admission applications, Executive Committee of Graduate School and Graduate Faculty minutes, and newer Graduate School Annual Reports and Catalogues of the School. There is also a fair amount of miscellaneous items from the Vice Chancellor for Research. The collection in organized in the following series: I. Dean’s Office; II. Committees and Proposals; III. Associate Dean Oster (files 1975-80); IV. Human Research Committee; V. Council on Research and Creative Work; VI. Graduate Faculty; VII. Executive Committee of Graduate School; VIII. Admission Applications for School of Liberal Art; IX. Miscellaneous Items


  • Creation: 1905 - 1996

Biographical / Historical

University of Colorado’s Graduate School began early in the institution’s history. In 1883, the University started offering Master of Arts and Ph.D. courses although, at the time there was no Graduate School distinguished at the University of Colorado.

The first graduate of CU to receive a Master of Arts was Ernest Mondell Pease of the class of 1883. He received his MA in 1885. The next two CU students to earn graduate degrees from CU were Silas Edward Persons and Richard H. Whitely in 1887. They were last to be prepared by the faculty for graduate degrees until 1891, due to the faculty trying to only grant degrees that were entirely earned.

Although the loosely termed “graduate school” was a broad assortment of classes, the department was appointed a “graduate committee” in April of 1892 by the faculty of the School of Liberal Arts. The committee included Secretary Raymond Brackett and appointed professors Lindley M. Keasby (professor of history) and John Gardiner (professor of biology). The department ran well, although without great distinction from the other schools. Committees for departments were rare in the school’s history at this time. The committees that were formed consisted of only a few faculty members who agreed to supervise committees, and work on an overload basis without compensation. The graduate faculty also included professors that supervised graduates without extra pay.

Although the terms graduate school and graduate faculty had been dated back to 1904, all business had been conducted in faculty meetings of the College of Liberal Arts. In the process of legitimizing the existence of the department, the Graduate Faculty established its own existence in 1905. The first minutes of the Graduate Faculty begin in April, 20 1905.

Acting on the recommendation of President Baker in 1906, the Graduate School officially began in 1906 and was recognized as equal with the other schools at the University of Colorado. Raymond Brackett, former Secretary of the original graduate committee was appointed the first Dean of the Graduate School.

The evolution of the Graduate School’s structure progressed through the years as the rest of the University did. The original structure, as cited in The Statutes of the University of Colorado, consisted of a Faculty comprised of all professors engaged in graduate instruction only. The Officers of the Faculty Committee included the Dean, Secretary and the Executive Committee which was comprised of the Dean and Secretary along with two other appointed professors.

The original structure remained the same until 1915. Along with the professors engaged in graduate instruction, heads of departments were added to the faculty. The Executive Committee also added the Director of Summer Session.

In 1922, the faculty evolved to include all professors, associate professors and assistant professors at the University plus other members of the teaching staff as authorized by heads of departments to offer graduate instruction. That year officers also stopped being defined as official positions.

The 1927 Graduate Faculty grew to include all Deans of all schools or colleges of the University along with the 1922 standards for faculty. The Executive Committee in 1927 was the same as the previous, except that it allowed more than two professors appointed by the President. It was outlined that the duties of the Executive Council be delegated to it by the faculty.

The Executive Committee stayed as it was outlined in 1927 until 1945 when it was decided that the Committee would have five other professors appointed by the President, for two years. Of these five professors, four were to be from Boulder and one from Denver. Most important in 1945, a Council on Research was formed in the Graduate School. This council made of nine members of the Graduate Faculty, was important because it recognized the importance of creative and research work at the University as a whole.


76 linear feet (64 boxes)

Language of Materials



Graduate work at the University of Colorado began early in the school’s history in 1883 and became its own separate school in 1906. Throughout the Graduate School’s history, many changes in its structure and function have been made. The Graduate School Collection documents these changes and the School’s history through Graduate Faculty and Executive Committee on Graduate School minutes, applications to the school and numerous documents on the School’s administration.

Data entry by Anthony McKinnon, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States