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Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-3

Scope and Contents

[These records contain materials reflecting the work of the Provost, its office and predecessor units, as noted in the preceding administrative history. The nature of the work of this office has grown and diversified over the years, and this change is reflected in the diversity of materials found within the collection, from letters and programs to videocassettes and computer files. In this collection you will find materials including transfer letters, policy compilations, committee records, administrative subject files, correspondence. Some of these materials will be general in nature while others will have a specific subject focus. These distinctions are made within the brief series descriptions accompanying this finding aid.]

The above is the old scope and content note. There needs to be a new one written to reflect all the newly processed material. INCLUDING: Spartan Athletic Review Committee (SPARC) material (from UA 3955) See original transmittal.


  • Creation: 1850 - 2016


Conditions Governing Access

Most of the collection is open for research. Some folders are restricted. Redacted copies of some "Problem Cases" folders are available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs was established in 1956, performing some of the duties of the former Administrative Assistant in Charge of Academic Affairs. Since its creation, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs has gone by two previous name variations: Vice President for Academic Affairs (1956-1959) and Provost (1959-1977).

These records reflect the work of the office's predecessor unit, the Administrative Assistant in Charge of Academic Affairs. W.H. Combs held this position from 1947-1955. In 1956, Thomas H. Hamilton became the first and only individual to serve as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1959, "Hamilton was replaced by Paul A. Miller, who went by the title of Provost (1959-1962). Miller was followed by Clifford E. Erickson (1962-1964), who was followed by Howard R. Neville (1964¬1969). John E. Cantlon assumed the position after Neville and served as Provost (1969-1976) until Lawrence W. Boger who was Provost during the 1976-1977 academic year. In 1977 Clarence L. Winder became the first person titled Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1986 he was followed by David K. Scott who held the position until 1993. In 1993 Lou Anna Kimsey Simon served as interim before assuming the position permanently in 1994.

As the principal academic officer of the University, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs are responsible to the President and the Board of Trustees. This post holds administrative responsibilities for the colleges, academic programs, and all academic units.

The Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs are responsible for the administration and leadership of the academic programs of the University. It is the duty of this office to assemble and administrate the academic budget. The Provost administers all academic personnel procedures, including appointments, promotions, terminations, salaries, tenure and working conditions. Furthermore, this office ensures that its administrative procedures preserve academic freedom while promoting academic responsibility.

In addition, the Provost and Vice President for Affairs supervises the policies and procedures regarding admissions and registration. This office is responsible for the administration of academic facilities and support services, which includes computer facilities and University libraries. The Provost acts as representative of the University to the public on state, national and international levels. Furthermore, it is the duty of the Provost and the office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to carry out the responsibilities of the President in the President's absence.

According to the 1995-1997 Academic Programs catalog for Michigan State University, the range of the Provost's administration presently include "...responsibility at the dean's level for the Department of Aerospace Studies and the Department of Military Science. The Office of the Provost also has administrative responsibility for the Office of Admissions and Scholarships, Computing and Technology, Office of Facilities Planning and Space Management, Financial Aid Office, The Graduate School (jointly with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies), Performing Arts Facilities and Programs including the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, Office of Planning and Budgets (jointly with the Vice President for Finance and Operations), Office of the Registrar, Office of the Secretary for Academic Governance, and University Outreach. In addition, the Office has University-wide responsibility for Summer Session programs, University travel, commencement, Faculty Seminars, academic human resources, liaison with academic governance standing committees, and awards for faculty and graduate assistants." (p. 407)


61 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Series Description

(1) Administrative Subject Files. 1944-1969.

Materials relating to the administrative decisions of the Provost and the Provost's offices and responsible units. Contains correspondence, meeting notes, course guidelines, committee files, memoranda, proposals, reports, conference programs, statistics, schedules, grant applications, university policies, personnel papers, events program, case files. Some of these files reflect committee work and budget planning. Redacted copies of some "Problem Cases" are available for research. Arrangement is first chronological then largely alphabetical by subject.

(2) Policy Compilations. 1850-1960. These files contain materials which reflect the various policies had at the institution on a wide range of topics and units. These include subjects such as the colleges of Michigan State University, the college seal, commencement, faculty, fees, public safety, registration, name changes, tenure, smoking, and war time courses, among others. Arrangement is alphabetical.

(3) Reports, Proposals and Project Papers. 1948, 1950, 1955-1973.

This series contains a number of reports, proposals and project papers kept in the Provost's Office and relating to a number of subjects. Among these files will be found the National Science Foundation Proposal for Addition to Cyclotron Laboratory, Project Thermis, final drafts for the Clinical Sciences at MSU Programs, and the Snyder-Phillips Report. Arrangement is first chronological then largely alphabetical by title.

(4) Committee Files. 1954-1980.

This series contains files of committees in which the Provost's Office had a special interest. These files are listed in a separate series because they were processed in groups of materials reflecting the work of various committees, though some committee materials can be found scattered through the administrative subject files. Arrangement is first chronological, then largely alphabetical by committee name.

(5) Committee on Undergraduate Education. 1967, undated.

Reflected in this series is the work of the Committee on Undergraduate Education. Materials here include not only the work of the committee, but interests relating to undergraduate education. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject.

(6) Transfer Letters. 1963-1964.

Materials in this series contain transfer letters on various administrative subjects including University colleges and services. Arrangement is largely alphabetical.

(7) Provost Accounts. 1962-1965.

This series contains administrative paperwork concerning budgets and accounts for the Provost's Office. Includes receipts, invoices and vouchers.

(8) Awards Dinners and Commencement. 1941-1943, 1946-1970.

Programs and accompanying materials for various awards dinners and commencement activities can be found in this series. Arrangement is largely chronological.

(9) College of Law at MSU. 1965-1973.

Materials in this series reflect the research and work involved in the attempt to establish a college of law at Michigan State University. These files contain proposals, news clippings, legislative activities, proposals and other topic related material. (10) Miscellaneous Materials by Subject.

(11) Oversized Materials

(12) Annual Reports, 1948-1969.

(13) Serials

(14) Electronic Resources

(15) Video

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Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Records
2 Draft Or Revision In Progess
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US