Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
Collection Inventory +/-
box 1, folder 1: Academic calendar (1982-1983)
box 1, folder 2: Academic Council minutes (1981)
box 1, folder 3: Administration staff survey -- Budgeted positions (1981-1982)
box 1, folder 4: Articles of Incorporation
box 1, folder 5: Board of Trustees announcement
box 1, folder 6: Board of Trustees minutes
box 1, folder 7: Board of Trustees resolutions
box 1, folder 8: Budget analysis and comparisons
box 1, folder 9: College handbook (1981)
box 1, folder 10: College officers -- Reappointment letters
box 1, folder 11: Constitution (Faculty)
box 1, folder 12: Employment notices
box 1, folder 13: Faculty appointments/dismissals
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 1.
box 1, folder 14: Faculty committees -- Reports and memoranda
box 1, folder 15: Faculty correspondence
box 1, folder 16: Faculty lists (Verifications) (1982-1983)
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 2.
box 1, folder 17: Faculty manual
box 1, folder 18: Faculty memoranda
box 1, folder 19: Faculty minutes (1983)
box 1, folder 20: Faculty rosters
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 3.
box 1, folder 21: Faculty rosters (Adjunct)
box 1, folder 22: Faculty rosters (External)
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 4.
box 1, folder 23: Faculty rosters (Part-time)
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 5.
box 1, folder 24: Faculty rosters (Salary)
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 6.
box 1, folder 25: Legal opinions
box 1, folder 26: Letters of support
box 1, folder 27: Newspaper clippings
box 1, folder 28: Policies and procedures
box 1, folder 29: President Petersen's correspondence
box 1, folder 30: Press releases
box 1, folder 31: Proposals -- Program
box 1, folder 32: Reorganization plan (1983 January 12)
Includes both the original "Critical path" oversized chart (folded) and a smaller legal-size photoreproduction.
box 1, folder 33: Reorganization -- Responses (faculty)
box 1, folder 34: Reorganization -- Responses (outside)
box 1, folder 35: Reorganization -- Responses (students)
box 1, folder 36: Tenure
box 1, folder 37: Tenure Committee
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 7.
box 1, folder 38: Tenure recommendations
Restricted folder removed to Box 2, Folder 8.
box 2, folder 1: Faculty appointments/dismissals
box 2, folder 2: Faculty lists (Verifications) (1982-1983)
box 2, folder 3: Faculty rosters
box 2, folder 4: Faculty rosters (External)
box 2, folder 5: Faculty rosters (Part-time)
box 2, folder 6: Faculty rosters (Salary)
box 2, folder 7: Tenure Committee
box 2, folder 8: Tenure recommendations
Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
Since its inception, Westminster College has faced several periods of financial difficulty, but perhaps never like that of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Finding the school to be in debt $1.3 million, the college was declared by the Board of Trustees on January 26, 1979 to be in a state of "financial exigency", a legal distinction allowing the administration to suspend certain policies and procedures in order to restore financial stability. Furthermore, the resignation of President Helmut Hofmann on the same day created a leadership crisis. The school immediately hired James Petersen as Interim President, a non-educator with a strong business background in the mining industry organizing labor unions and overseeing Kennecott Copper Corporation's special projects. Under this first, short stint as President, Petersen hired the Academy for Educational Development (AED), a Washington, D.C.-based organization, to make recommendations for the reorganization of the school. They sent Sidney Tickton, their vice-president, who compiled his findings and recommendations as the Tickton Report in August 1979. With its release, Petersen resigned, leaving implementation to others.
The Board of Trustees appointed C. David Cornell, an educator with extensive vice-presidential experience and reportedly strong administrative and fund-raising skills, to the presidency in September 1979. Charged with following through with the Tickton Report, Cornell revamped his administration, including the replacement of Dale Johnston with Douglas W. Steeples, an American history professor, as Academic Vice-President in May 1980. Steeples left a similar job at Warburg College in Iowa to assume the position. In spite of his efforts, Cornell failed to place the school on a sound financial footing. Cornell offered his resignation on January 26, 1982, and the Board again turned to Mr. Petersen for guidance.
All reorganization plans were discussed and formalized in closed meetings as reflected by the 1983 faculty minutes. In the January meeting President Petersen referred to an "operating proposal" which would soon be submitted to the Board of Trustees and stated that faculty contracts would not be renewed until after the meeting. No specific details were provided on the proposal, though Steeples said he was recommending the Board deny the faculty request for exclusive right to cancel classes.
By March, 1983 there was a faculty uproar and a myriad of counter proposals from faculty and students circulated through the administration. Pragmatically the objections focused on the accuracy of data the administration used in formulating program reductions. Both students and teachers provide additional data supporting their proposals claiming the facts to the academic situation. There are no defenses or explanations on how the data was derived, and almost all used the FTE (full time equivalent) notation in statistical and financial calculations. Philosophically the students had few objections except in Aerospace/Aviation and early childhood education, claiming the programs were important to the diversity of the school and quality of education. They proclaimed the end of academic freedom at the college and subsequently academic excellence because of the ever-present danger of retribution for unpopular teachings.
The college officially closed on June 30, reopening on July 1, 1983 as a new institution--"Westminster College of Salt Lake City." Tenure was abolished by legally ending the college and thus all faculty appointments. All assets and legal rights were transferred to the new institution as reflected in the amended Articles of Incorporation of the old college, and because it was technically a new school the college was not obligated to reappoint anyone. This move landed Westminster on the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) list of censured schools. The school remained on the list until 2006.
The reorganization was announced, notices of job termination were sent out, followed later by job availability notices at the new college. Some faculty refused to reapply, others refused to interview, and only those who accepted the new institution and worked within its boundaries returned the following semester. At the last faculty meeting it was proposed that all tenured faculty not continuing on in the new college be awarded Professor Emeritus status, which was approved by faculty and later the college administration.
Content Description +/-
This collection consists of the college reorganization records of Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah) from the Academic Vice-President's Office collected during the administrations of Dale A. Johnston (Dean of the College, 1977-1980) and Douglas W. Steeples (Academic Vice-President, 1980-1983). Dating from 1978-1983, the materials include articles of incorporation, budgets, charts, correspondence, counter-proposals, faculty and Board of Trustees meeting minutes, faculty lists, handbooks, newspaper clippings, plans, policies, recommendations, resolutions, responses, rosters, and surveys.
The Tickton report released in August 1979 is not included in this collection.
While there are a few 1978 documents, the bulk of the collection begins during the following school and fiscal year as the Board of Trustees voted to declare the school in a state of "financial exigency."
The vast majority of the records concern the faculty, specifically tenure policies and the balance of power as adopted in the Faculty Manual. One of the first acts of reorganization was to abolish the "Faculty Manual" and to replace it with a "Manual for Faculty" that removed tenure and asserted the administration's right to direct the school.
The collection is largely focused on the process of documenting Board of Trustees and faculty meetings, as well as various reports on facilities, student affairs, budget proposals and legal opinions on the college's options for improving its financial standing. Major documents include the official reorganization plan from January 1983, faculty minutes from the year reorganization was proposed, Board of Trustees resolutions, and legal opinions addressing specific limitations the administration was obligated to adhere to in designing and implementing the plan.
This collection contains the documents announcing reorganization, the notices of job termination and later job availability at the new college, faculty reappointment meeting, and some faculty interview notes from Vice-President Steeples. In addition, his remarks to the faculty are documented in faculty meeting minutes. One interview sheet has Steeple's handwriting with the Greek alphabet and some Greek words at the bottom. Although it appears that most of the professors were rehired, the collection does not contain any official statistics on reappointments.
The Tenure Committee minutes document a fragmented procedure for application and achievement, at times providing no justification for a particular faculty member being awarded tenure. During the semester when the reorganization was implemented the Tenure Committee attempted to recommend tenure awards but had to be reminded that tenure had ended. There are no notes or other explanations on why the attempt was made or how it was received.
Collection Use +/-
Restrictions on Access:
Access is restricted to portions of this collection. Materials in Box 1 are open to public research. Access to the materials in Box 2 is restricted under provisions of state or federal privacy law.
Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.
Restrictions on Use:
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.
Westminster College Academic Vice-President's Office reorganization records, 1978-1983, ACC-022, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Administrative Information +/-
The collection is arranged alphabetically by 38 subject categories.
This collection was arranged by Jonathan Haglund in September 2006 and revised by Josh Jentzsch in February 2007. The records were originally arranged alphabetically into very broad subject categories. To assist research, the headings were modified to be more specific and descriptive. Records not related to the college reorganization were removed and filed with other Academic Vice-President records. The Reorganization Plan file (Box 1, Folder 32) has an oversized "Critical Path" chart. A legal-sized photoreproduction copy of the document was made as well and placed in the same file along with the folded oversized copy.
Westminster College (Salt Lake City, Utah : 1902-1983). Academic Vice-President's Office
Collection materials are in English.
0.7 linear feet
Language of the Finding Aid:
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid written in 2006-2007 by Jonathan Haglund and Josh Jentzsch; expanded in 2012 by Sarah Shaw.
EAD Creation Date:
2012 June 19 by Sarah Shaw
Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)
Related collections and photographs in Giovale Library Archives:
Academy for Educational Development
College teachers--Dismissal of--Utah--Salt Lake City
Form or Genre Terms:
Johnston, Dale A.
Cornell, C. David
Salt Lake City (Utah)--History--Sources