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University Senate (1920-1970) records

 Collection 0042-UA

The University Senate was the representative body of the University Faculty Assembly and the precursor of the College Park Campus Senate. These records consist of the minutes of the Senate as well as materials relating to its various committees and task forces.


  • 1923-1970

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.


12.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The University Senate records consist of material generated by the Senate in carrying out its duties. The collection covers the years 1923 to 1970. Minutes dating from 1923, before the University Senate's official recognition and creation in 1955 are also included. The bulk of the materials dates from the 1960's. The records include agendas, minutes, correspondence, reports, petitions, membership rosters, and newspaper clippings.

Administrative History

The University Senate began meeting as early as 1919, but was not officially recognized until 1955. During this early period, the University Senate worked in conjunction with various administrative bodies, such as the General Administrative Board, the Administrative Board, the University Council, the General Council, and the Council of Administration.

The University Senate was officially established on September 23, 1955, when the Board of Regents approved a faculty organization plan that provided for two bodies, the University Senate and the University Faculty Assembly. The University Faculty Assembly was to be the general electorate, and the University Senate the representative body, consisting of elected and ex-officio members of the University Faculty Assembly, to act for the faculty in legislative and advisory capacities.

The Regents assigned four functions to the University Senate. These were: 1) to formulate and recommend educational policies of the University as a whole, with the exception of policies specific to any college, school, or division; 2) to formulate and recommend policies pertaining to student life and activities; 3) to advise the University President on all general policy matters pertaining to the employment of the instructional and research staff of the University, when consulted; and 4) to advise the President, or the Board of Regents through the President, on any matter of concern to the University. The Senate carried out these functions through its committees, of which there were three kinds: an executive committee, standing committees, and special committees.

The last meeting of the University Senate was held on November 12, 1970. At this point in the history of the University, each campus of the University of Maryland system was undergoing reorganization. On October 29, 1970, the University Senate passed an amendment to the existing Plan of Organization which established a new body called the Interim College Park Senate to function until a permanent College Park Campus Senate could be created. The membership of this new body was defined in terms of the College Park membership of the former University Senate. The Interim College Park Senate held its first meeting on November 19, 1970 and continued to operate throughout the summer of 1971.

The revised Plan of Organization created what is known as the College Park Campus Senate, which first met on September 23, 1971, and was the governing body in operation until 2000. The senate renamed itself the University Senate again in 2000.


This collection is organized as eight series:

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Executive Committees
Series 4
Series 5
Series 6
Task Forces
Series 7
Campus and Collegial Organization Plans
Series 8
Rosters/Attendance Records

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University Senate records were transferred to the University of Maryland College Park libraries in July 1985 by the College Park Campus Senate. Additional records were found during processing of the Graduate School records in 1991 and were incorporated into the University Senate records.

Related Material

Box 78 of Accession Number 1993-090 of the Board of Regents records contains a subject-matter card index to University Senate minutes from 1923 to 1955. Minutes of the University Senate from January 1923 to October 1923 can also be found in the Office of the President records (Albert F. Woods), Series 5, Box 5, File: Council of Administration, 1923. In addition, the following Senate materials may be found in the University of Maryland Libraries holdings: the Interim College Park Senate records, covering the period from 1970-1971, and the College Park Campus Senate records, covering the period from 1971 to the present.

Processing Information

Eight series have been created from the University Senate records, arranged as closely as possible to the original order in which the records were received. Some bound material was removed from its binding and integrated into foldered material. All duplicates that were not annotated were discarded. Paper clips were replaced with plastic clips, and rubber bands were removed. All materials were refoldered into acid-free folders and boxed into acid-free containers. Lastly, the guide was written. Additional records separated during processing of files of the Graduate School in 1991 were incorporated into the records and the guide was revised.

Guide to the University Senate (1920-1970) records
Processed and guide written by Patricia A. McCracken.
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