University of Colorado Secretary of the Board of Regents records
Scope and Contents
Aside from keeping and preserving the minutes, the secretary allowed the President's Office to keep most of the correspondence of the Board within its own files. The President's Office appears to have operated out of the president's house until the office was moved to administrative quarters in Macky Auditorium in 1913. Prior to 1913, all of the president's correspondence appears to have been deemed "personal papers" by various president's Joseph Sewall, Horace Hale, and Joseph Baker and has not survied. Such Regents' Office correspondence, between 1913 and 1944 that exists can be found in the President's Office Papers Series I. After 1944, board correspondence between the president and the board increases and can be found in the President's Office Papers, Series V. As with the President's Office, the Board of Regents file-keeping can be dated to their move into administrative offices. Regent Hall was built in 1964.
These papers from the office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, the official elected governing board of the University, contain agendas of board meetings, mailings to the board members, correspondence, files on the awards and honorary degrees awarded by the Board, and the papers related to various issues filed by subject (which consist of a primary series, a very small additional open series, and a restricted series). While some of the materials date from as early as 1919 and as late as 1996, the bulk of the collection is from the 1970s and 1980s, the fiels of the Secretary of the Board H.H. Arnold.
The materials are arranged in seven series as follows:
I. Meeting Agendas, 1965-1996 II. Mailings to Regents, 1959-91 III. Correspondence, 1963-94 IV. Honorary Degrees, Awards, and Citations, 1919-91 V. Suject Files, 1946-92 VI. Restricted Subject Files, 1959-74 (under review) Related collections include: the President's Office Papers, the Regents' Minutes, Board of Regents Reports, and bound University of Colorado Publications.
- 1919 - 1996
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 email@example.com for more information.
Researchers may also be asked to submit an access request for these records to the President's Office. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
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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 email@example.com.
Biographical / Historical
The University of Colorado and its governing body, the Board of Regents, were established by the Constitution of the State of Colorado in 1876. The Constitution provided considerable autonomy to the University by delegating the responsibility for its control to an elected Board of Regents. The president presided over the six member Board and was required to cast tie-breaking votes. Iniitially, each of the leading political parties nominated one regent every two years, commensurate to a political appointment. After 1882, this 'unofficial appointment process' ended, and members of the board were actually elected. During its first 25 years, the board was called upon to discuss and approve faculty appointments, the gradual development of the early campus, the erction of new buildings, the creation of the graduate school, the medical school, the law school and other colleges. Because of the University's small size, the board was able to consider the affairs to f the institution and its students down to the smallest detail.
Junius Berkley was selected as the first secretary of the Board of Regents in their March 28, 1877 meeting. Colorado law immediately spelled out the duties of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, among which were the recording and keeping of the Board's minutes, as well as the careful preservation of "all its books and papers." The secretary was to keep books on the permanent fund of the University, showing how the fund was invested, and the details of the management of these funds. The secretary was required to countersign and register all warrants for money on the treasurer. The state requirements appear not to have been changed since 1877.
The Board of Regents appear to have adopted the first statues of the university in 1898, during their May 30th, meeting. These statues, of which the Laws of the Regents were a part, were amended and published in 1909, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1927, and continuously thereafter. The offices of secretary and treasurer of the Board were Board-appointed positions, filled by non-Board mebmers. Aside from those duties prescribed by Colorado statue, the secretary was directed to "collect, record, and account for all dues to the University, and turn the same over to the treasurer." By 1927, collection, recording, and accounting for the dues of the University had passed from the duties explicitly stated in the statutes.
The Board appeared to have worked very closely and amiably with Presidents Livingston Farrand (1913-1917), George Norlin (1917-[1919-1939]), and Robert Stearns (1939-1953), all of whom seemed to have the full confidence and support of the Regents. Presidents Ward Darley (1953-1956) and Quigg Newton (1956-1963), in their own ways, began an era of controversy wherein such agreement between the President and the Board members could no longer be taken for granted. Darley's attempt to address fraternity and sorority discrimination against minorities brought the Board of Regents under fire from conservative elements in the press and public. Newton, whose percceived liberalism and Democratic Party affiliation put him at odds with Republicans on the Board, encountered disagreements and the Regents over: his hiring of professors; his firing of football coach Sonny Grandelius fro NCAA violations; and his handling of the Barry Goldwater/Colorado Dailly affair.
Contention which had pitted Board members against presidents, faculty, or students did not subside with Newton's resignation. During the period between 1965 and 1974, the Board of Regents found itself confronted with quarrels over a full range of questions relating to the in loco parentis style of supervising students. While the subject could have been police harassment, the war in Vietnam, or racial discrimination, the real issues at hand were the students' claims to the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the rights of majority. One of the key problems faced by the Board was inherent in its make-up. The six member number of the Board created difficulites during periods of intense political partisanship. The president's ex officio status on the Board, as well as his role as tie-breaking vote, caused substantial friction on the Board.
In the November 1972 election, the passage of amendments to articles VIII and IX of the Constitution of the State of Colorado ushered in a new era for the Board of Regents. The number of Regents increased from six to nine in an attempt to avoid the sorts of politcial disputes of the 1960s. Along the same lines and for the same reason, presidents lost their ex officio status, as well as their tie-breaking votes. Moreover, in a crucial phrase left off of the short form of the voters, "unless otherwise provided by law" was added to the paragraph relating to governing boards of the state institutions of higher learning, which was interpreted by the attorney genreal as placing deciding power in the hands of the legislature.
In 1974, the University of Colorado became a four campus "multi-versity" with campuses in Boulder, Denver, the Health Sciences Center, and Colorado Springs. Campus contention began to die down, lowering the political temperature of the Board. The nine member Board did not seem to elicit the type of political splits that had appeared prior to 1972. In addition, Presidents Roland Rautenstraus (1975-1979), Arnold Weber (1980-1984), William Baughn (1984-85, 1991), and E. Gordon Gee (1985-1991) worked well with the Board in their efforts to computerize, upgrade, and gain financial support for the University.
It was not until 1994 that the sort of partisanship which had divided the Regents during the 1960s recurred. President Judith Albino (1991-1995), who had encountered almost continuous press inquiry during her first three years, and who had come under fire from the faculty for her administrative style, was confronted by an administrators and a group of deans from the Boulder Campus, asking for her resignation. She brought supportive Board members with her to a meeting with the deans and faculty, which began a year long period of divisive acrimony within the Board, the administration, and the faculty throughout the University.
The appointment of John Buechner to follow Presidnet Albino, in 1996, alleviated many of the divisions in the Board. Buechner (1996-2000) was a known quantity as former Chancellor of the Denver Campus and popular with the Regents and the state legislature.
285 linear feet
Language of Materials
These papers from the office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, the official elected governing board of the University contain agendas of board meetings, mailings to the board members, correspondence, files on the awards and honorary degrees awarded by the Board, and the papers related to various issues filed by subject (plus a small restricted series). While some of the materials date from as early as 1919 and as late as 1996, the bulk of the collection is from the 1970s and 1980s. The minutes of the official meetings are not included as they are available separately.
- Processed by Timothy Hanssen, 1997. Edited by David M. Hays, 1999. Data entry by Barbara Black, 2021. Uploaded by Jennifer Sanchez, 2021.
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