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University Committee on Academic Policy records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-14.6.3

Scope and Contents

The records of the Educational Policy Committee/University Committee on Academic Policy include official indexed minutes kept by the Office of the Provost and supplemented by records kept by various committee members, especially Charles St. Clair. Committee minutes date from 1960. Reports and other back-up documents cover the years 1960 to 1974. The records reflect the wide range of important University academic policies considered by this committee. The records provide good documentation of the development of significant reports and programs including the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS), summer term, Faculty Awards policies, the first Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE), and the 1965 Academic Freedom Report. UCAP was also instrumental in the development of semi-autonomous colleges such as James Madison and Lyman Briggs; records documenting the origins of these programs are included in this collection.


  • Creation: 1963 - 1983


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Box 4, Folder 67 "Summer School" has restricted access.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Historical Note

The UCAP was established in 1959 as the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) by recommendation of the Committee on the Future of the University. Individual colleges recommended names of potential members which were then approved by the Committee on Committees and forwarded to the President for final approval. The Educational Policies Committee considered broad educational issues affecting the University and represented the faculty in advising the Provost. In 1963, this committee was designated one of eight faculty standing committees and its responsibility shifted from directly advising the Provost to directly advising the Academic Council (and indirectly the Provost.) In 1967, its specific responsibility was identified as examining, evaluating, and recommending policies on methods of instruction, facilities and support for research, and curriculum including establishment or dissolution of departments and divisions. Between 1966 and 1975 the Committee took on increasing responsibility for shaping educational policy in conjunction with the needs of students. It was during this time that the committee expanded to included student representation. In 1972, the EPC again resumed its role of directly advising the Provost as a result of a dispute surrounding the authority and role of the EPC and the faculty in creating new colleges at MSU. The name was changed to the University Committee on Academic Policy in 1975. The new committee expanded its responsibilities to include an interest in general education requirements, recruitment, admissions, and retention; Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS); grading policy; Minimum Academic Progress Scale (MAPS); and university requirements.

The EPC/UCAP has been instrumental in the formation of University policy since its inception in 1959. The committee recommended the establishment of the residential colleges, Justin Morrill College, Lyman Briggs College, and James Madison College. The committee also began the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS) to review faculty performance. During the 1960s, EPC was closely involved with formulating MSU's Academic Freedom Report and the Faculty Code of Teaching Responsibility. UCAP's involvement with general education issues has been continuous, including both the Council on Undergraduate Education (1960s) and the Council to Review Undergraduate Education (1980s). One direct precursor of these projects was the Educational Development Project (EDP) which began in the early 1960s. EDP was concerned with university-wide evaluation, restructuring and redefining. UCAP has investigated and reviewed grading procedures such as credit/no credit, drops and adds, and the Minimum Academic Progress Scale (MAPS). It also reviews course and curricula degree requirements. Serving as an advisor to the Provost, UCAP has also considered tuition and fee assessment, admissions and future planning policies.


4 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Series Description


Minutes of the UCAP, with Provost's Index (1960-1964); final reports of UCAP members; 1959 mission statements of the committee; and personal papers of committee members.


Information and debate about the development of semi-autonomous colleges within the University structure, and the development of residential-academic halls. Includes proposals for the School of Music, University College, a Law School, and the Urban Affairs Program.

GRADING (1964-1974)

Minutes and correspondence of the Sub-committee on Grading. Includes records of various issues before the sub-committee relating to Grading policies and methods.


Correspondence relating to issues concerning the Faculty, and folders on special topics. The majority of the records concern evaluation of faculty performance through student reviews and faculty awards. Also includes information on the Code of Teaching Responsibility, sabbatical leaves, teaching assistants, and policy about faculty earning degrees at MSU while teaching there.


Correspondence, reports, and working papers. Topics include the Two-year Agricultural Technology Program, foreign language requirements, credits required to graduate, deletion of the physical education requirement, standards for class size, and interdepartmental courses and disciplines. There is also information concerning a system of transferring course credits between colleges and universities in Michigan. Series is arranged chronologically.


Committee minutes, reports and working papers arranged chronologically, 1961-1968. Also contains a sub-series on general education reviews and policy statements.

SUBJECT FILES (1961-1974)

Statements of policy and reports on issues including Academic Advising, the use of hand held calculators, the Committee of Sixteen, the functions of Department Chairpersons, the Graduate Council, Reserve Officer Training Corps, the State News, Student Academic Governance, and the MSU television station. Series arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

University Committee on Academic Policy Records
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