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Historical Note

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Collection Overview
Name of Creator: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). College of Arts and Sciences.
Title: College of Arts and Sciences records
Date: 1924–2002 (bulk 1965–1992)
Reference Code: A23
Location Code: 28/1, 32/2, 33/1-2, 34/3, FF5/D8
Extent: 24.45 cubic ft. (28 boxes; 2 flat file folders)
Scope and Content Abstract: The Northeastern University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) collection consists of 23.63 cubic feet acquired in four accessions and processed in two installments. The records document CAS's administrative and educational activities from 1924–2002, with the bulk of the material dating from the late 1960s through the early 2000s. Records of CAS's Curriculum Committee, the Core Curriculum Committee, the College Council, planning committees, and Faculty and Department Chair meetings document the development of CAS programs and many faculty concerns. Records about academic student services, undergraduate affairs, and graduate affairs document student admission and retention, academic requirements and policies, open houses and orientations, academic assistance programs, and scholarships. Records about academic departments and centers, while voluminous, only provide spotty coverage of their activities. Annual reports for all CAS department are available for 1987 and 1992. Annual reports from some of the departments are available for years 1979–1980 and 1991–1995. These reports include information concerning curriculum development, Ph.D. candidates, and faculty professional activity. Also contained in the collection are the College's Strategic Plan 1993–1998, Annual Budget Reports for academic years 1967–1985, and faculty salary reports. Departments with the best documentation include the Division of Fine Arts and the Departments of Art and Architecture, Music, Theater, Chemistry, Economics, English, Physics, and Psychology.
Historical Abstract: The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is one of the Basic Day Colleges that makes up Northeastern University (NU). It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and natural sciences. Headed by a dean, CAS is organized by academic department, interdisciplinary program, or center for specialized study. The dean has responsibility for managing educational policy, faculty issues, student services, and budgeting, and often delegates these functions to committees and his staff, including associate deans, assistant deans, directors, and student advisors. The CAS dean reports to the provost. The School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) was established in 1935 to offer general education for NU undergraduate business and engineering students. In 1936, its name was changed to the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). Even as CLA added faculty and developed new departments, majors, and courses in subsequent decades, it continued primarily to serve NU's professional disciplines. In 1978, Richard Astro was appointed dean of CLA. The College of Liberal Arts changed its name to the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) in 1979. Under Astro, CAS programs, including the humanities and fine arts, were strengthened, and several interdisciplinary programs, centers, and options for academic majors and minors were added. Under Dean Robert Lowndes, who became dean of CAS in 1987, CAS achieved independent prominence within NU and increasing national respect. By 1989, CAS was the largest of NU's basic colleges.
Language and Scripts: Materials entirely in English.
System of Arrangement: Arranged in alphabetical order in 2 series: 1. Dean's Office and 2. Academic Departments.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Astro, Richard
  • Lowndes, Robert.
  • Neighbor, Edward.
  • Shepard, Robert.

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Chemistry.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Economics.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of English.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Music.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Physics.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Psychology.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Dept. of Theater.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass). Division of Fine Arts.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass)––Administration.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass)––Curricula.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass)––Faculty.

  • Curriculum planning
  • Universities and colleges –– Administration.
  • Universities and colleges –– Curricula.

Conditions Governing Access: Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student records are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation (including select folders in Box 1 and all of Box 22). Records concerning tenure, salaries, and grievances of individual faculty members are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation (including select folders in Boxes 4 and 5, all of Box 22, and folders in Box 25).
Processor: Finding aid prepared by Kendra Kelley, October 2007; updated by Eliana Wachs Cashman, May 2008; updated by Abigail Cramer, November 2012.