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Division of Student Affairs records

 Collection 0035-UA
The Division of Student Affairs is responsible for oversight of university functions affecting student life and for setting and enforcing related policies. The division's records consist of administrative materials, committee and commission files, and budgetary records as well as files pertaining to student organizations, housing, the Counseling Center, health services, and the dining hall. In 1970, the department name was changed to the "Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs."


  • 1947-1970

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


12.75 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Division of Student Affairs records span the period from 1947 to 1971; the bulk of the materials dates from the early 1960s to 1970. The collection contains correspondence, reports, statistics, pamphlets, minutes, publications, and clippings generated by the division.

The earliest documents in the collection were created by the dean of men, the dean of students, and the director of student welfare, and cover topics such as orientation, registration, and commencement. These materials represent functions assumed by the Division of Student Affairs and were included in the records of the division after its creation in the late 1960's, and now reside in the student affairs record group. The major correspondents from this time period include Geary F. Eppley and Doyle Royal.

The largest series of the Division of Student Affairs records concerns the administrative aspects of the division, documenting the day-to-day focus of the division staff. Housing is also a major topic, documented extensively in dormitory minutes. Fraternities and sororities are also covered.

Among the prominent correspondents are the succession of chief administrative officers, particularly Winston Martin, Francis Gray, and Leslie Bundgaard. Correspondence of James B. Borreson, Joseph Metz, R. L. Hornbake, Ralph Swinford, Thomas Magoon, and W. H. Elkins is also included.

Administrative History

The functions of the Division of Student Affairs can be traced back to the 1950s. During this time period, there was no official student affairs organization. Rather, student issues and concerns were handled by deans of men and women, the director of student welfare, and the dean of students. Then, sometime around January of 1958, the position of Executive Dean for Student Life was developed, and a centralized student affairs office was created. Over the next ten years, the positions of dean of men, dean of women, dean of students, and director of student welfare were phased out. The Office of Student Life remained in existence until the summer of 1968, when the unit was renamed the Division of Student Affairs with a vice president as the chief administrative officer of the division. In the fall of 1970, the title of vice president was changed to vice chancellor for student affairs. Then, during the 1988/89 academic year, the title reverted to vice president with the systemwide reorganization of the university administration.

The first individual to hold the executive dean position was James B. Borreson, who took up the office sometime around January 1958. Borreson was followed by Francis A. Gray, who served as acting dean from spring 1964 to January of 1966. Taking up the executive dean position in January 1966, Leslie R. Bundgaard served until the summer of 1967, when Gray again assumed the position of acting dean for one year. The next officer, Winston Martin, took over in the summer of 1968 with the new title of vice president, serving through the change in title to vice chancellor. Following Martin, Joseph F. Metz served as acting vice chancellor for a short period of time during the spring and summer of 1971. Then, in September of 1971, Daniel Bratton became vice chancellor, remaining in office until the spring of 1973. At this point, the rapid turnover experienced in the first 15 years of the unit ended, with the vice chancellorship being assumed by William L. Thomas, Jr. Thomas still holds the position today, in 1991, his 18 years of leadership sharply contrasting the early history of the division of student affairs.

The purpose of the Division of Student Affairs is to enhance the college experience of students, enabling them to get the most out of their time spent at the university. The division serves as an advocate for student interests and needs, develops and facilitates the students' understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and provides a variety of resources and services to guide students through the collegiate experience. To quote a 1977 Affirmative Action report: "the division shares responsibility for the general welfare of the campus, particularly in regard to the various environmental factors which impact on the quality of student life."

Over the years, the Division of Student Affairs has been comprised of a variety of offices and departments such as: Placement and Credentials, the Counseling Center, Commuter Affairs, Health Services, Greek Affairs, Resident Life, the Student Union, Judicial Programs, University Apartments, Campus Recreation Services, Orientation, Veterans Services, the Chapel, and Campus Parking. Of all of these, the Counseling Center has been a consistent member of student affairs; in a 1971/72 annual report, then Vice Chancellor Bratton labeled the center one of the finest in the country and the best unit in the Division of Student Affairs.

During the early and mid 1970s the division experienced a period of change and revision. With the induction of Bratton in 1971, the departments and offices of the division were reorganized into five areas: Student Health and Development, Resident Life, Minority Student Affairs, Commuter Affairs, and Student Services. Both Commuter Affairs and Minority Student Affairs were new undertakings for the division. According to Bratton, no other major large university had any such comparable service for its commuter students.

Parallel with Bratton's reorganization, the division came under review with the establishment by University Chancellor Bishop of the Student Life Study Committee. This committee was charged to review and present recommendations concerning student life and the Division of Student Affairs. The report of the committee cited the failure of the division to "articulate to the university community its views concerning the role and function of student affairs work." The committee ultimately found many of the functions of the division to be inadequate. Bishop subsequently appointed a second committee to focus on the division and review the functions of its departments. The result was another reorganization and the reassignment of offices from Student Services and Student Health and development to the Division of Academic Affairs. Minority Student Affairs was reassigned to Academic Affairs, as well. Accompanying the reorganization was a reduction of funds to the vice chancellor's office.

Still not free from scrutiny, in 1976, Bishop's successor, University Chancellor Gluckstern, continued investigation of the division with the creation of a task force to review and examine the programs and methods of student affairs. While the recommendations of the task force did not result in continued restructuring of the division, they did encourage seeking alternate means of funding for the chapel and the traffic ticket appeals program, a review of the duplication of services between the Counseling Center and the Health Center, and the increase of resources and attention to several other programs.

By 1977, the division was composed of eight major departments: Campus Activities, Commuter Affairs, Counseling Services, Health Services, Judicial Programs, Orientation, Resident Life, and the Student Union. Today, the Division of Student Affairs includes Campus Guest Services, Campus Recreation Services, Dining Services, Graduate Apartments, Campus Parking, Residential Facilities, and the University Book Center.


This collection is organized as five series:
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Dining Hall
Series 4
Counseling Center and Health Services
Series 5
Student Organizations

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Division of Student Affairs records were transferred by the division to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in 1972. Sometime in the 1970's an addendum was transferred.

Related Material

There are numerous unprocessed accessions from both the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Preliminary inventories are available for some accessions.

The University Publications collection contains a number of volumes and boxes under the headings of Student Affairs, Student Life and Student activities. Many of these materials were created during the 1970s. In addition, publications issued by the various departments and offices of the Division of Student Affairs may be found in the University Publications collection.

The University of Maryland Libraries also hold the personal papers of Geary F. Eppley, Dean of Men from 1936 to 1064, as well as records from the Counseling Center and the Student Union. Other records relating to student affairs may be found in the Chancellor's Office records.

Processing Information

Five series have been created from the records of the division. Duplicates have been discarded. Paper clips and metal fasteners have been removed and replaced with plastic clips. The materials have been refoldered in acid-free folders and reboxed in acid-free boxes. Addenda materials from the previous box list have been assimilated into the proper areas of the collection and the guide has been revised accordingly.
Guide to the Division of Student Affairs records
Guide revised by Sharon Beth Vicoli.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742