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Ralph H. Smuckler papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.234

Scope and Contents

Smuckler’s papers consist of chronological correspondence, memos, articles and reports related to the Michigan State University Vietnam Project. A copy of Smuckler’s book A University Turns to the World is also available. His book is an autobiographical account of his career at MSU.


  • Creation: 1955 - 2003



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographical Note

Ralph H. Smuckler came to Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1951 as a professor in the Political Science department after finishing his doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In June of 1955 Smuckler, his wife Lillian, and their two children moved to Saigon, Vietnam. Smuckler was the research coordinator for the MSU Vietnam Project. Later that year he became the acting chief advisor replacing Wesley Fishel. In 1956, the family returned to East Lansing and Smuckler became the Assistant Dean of International Programs under Dean Glen Taggart. While he was assistant dean, he also worked half time in the Political Science department.

In April 1958, the Smucklers returned to Saigon because Ralph was appointed head of the Vietnam Project. He served as head until 1959 when he returned to East Lansing and his position as assistant dean. In 1966 Smuckler became acting the dean of International Programs until Taggart’s return from Nigeria in 1967. From 1967 to 1969, Smuckler took a leave of absence from MSU and became a representative for the Ford Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan to lead their Pakistan Project. The program supported agriculture growth and improvements in the import and export base.

In 1967, when Taggart left MSU for another job, President John Hannah wanted to Smuckler to return from Pakistan and become dean. Smuckler felt he could not neglect his commitment to the Ford Foundation so he agreed to return in 1969. In 1990, Smuckler left International Programs and became assistant to President John DiBiaggio on international affairs. In 1993, Smuckler retired.

Throughout his professional life, Smuckler was involved in many committees such as the Agency for International Development Research Advisory Committee. In the 1980s he served, as chairman on the National Research Council’s Board on Science and Technology in Development.

Source: A University Turns to the World by Ralph H. Smuckler


0.25 Cubic Feet (, 5 folders, 1 book)

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Ralph H. Smuckler Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
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