Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Accessions: Academic and Student Affairs Records

Folks, I have an accession here for you today that is so hot it will give you blisters--Ladies and Gentlemen, Meine Damen und Herren for your research pleasure I present to you: The Academic and Student Affairs Records!

Last week I was visited by Bob Oster from the Provost's Office.  Bob is a great support of HC&A and his role within the Provost's Office provides a solid pipeline of materials to the archives.  Most recently Bob dropped off a box that somehow contained a plethora of records which I had been seeking since starting here last August.

Promotion and Tenure documents
This records group, which is only a single linear foot (so far--give me time), contains a wide variety of materials primarily from the 1980's through the mid 90's and covering such topics as Promotion and Tenure, Continuing Education Brochures, Graduate Council Bylaws (School of Medicine), School of Medicine Curriculum, Meeting Minutes for the Faculty Senate and a few strategic plans.*

Proposal for a PHD in Neuroscience and Neuroscience Graduate Program
One wonders why I am so excited by this acquisition?  There are a number of reasons the most salient of which (at least to me) is that these records show the development of higher education in North America in general and the growth of higher education in the Pacific Northwest specifically.  Future generations will want to know more about how we viewed certain scientific disciplines, where we put our focus on certain topics throughout the years, and lastly, with items like meeting minutes how decisions were made at this highest levels of the University.

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
In particular, we acquired, from the Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes a copy of the meetings leading up to the vote by the Faculty Senate to become a public corporation in 1994.  Those minutes and the discussions surrounding this decision are critical for understanding one of the largest operational, fiscal, and administrative changes OHSU has ever undergone.

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned that I am diligently working as one of the members of the Library's Strategic Planning Task Force?  Well, imagine our surprise when within this acquisition were not one, but two strategic plans (one for OHSU, a draft version for discussion and one for the Oregon System of Higher Education)!  It's like some kind of archival gold mine.  The smoking gun or the silver bullet as it is referred to from time to time.  This is when you find exactly what you were looking for, in the form you anticipate and it solves a major problem or need.  In a sense, both the OHSU strategic plan draft and the Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes were like an accession of silver bullets.  Really useful both internally for our staff and, most importantly, our patrons.

Who doesn't like a well written strategic plan?
I was really hoping to show off something weird or gruesome, but this week I only bring records.  I would like to offer that this fits the archives bill very well and is a thrilling acquisition.  So if these records sound like they are your "smoking gun" or if you have a serious interest in academic administration, then we have a collection for you!**

As always, even if not fully processed, these records are available for inspection and research upon request.

All the best,
Max

*Not a comprehensive list of collection contents
**I know, I called it a "collection" but technically it's a records group.

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