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Historical Note


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Title: Office of the Executive Vice President records
Call Number:A32

Historical Note

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Northeastern University experienced unprecedented expansion.  By the mid-1960s, Northeastern University President Asa Knowles recognized that the current administrative structure was inadequate to manage the increased size and complexity of the institution.  Knowles led the University through major administrative reorganization, including a change in the bylaws to allow for more than one vice president.  The Corporation approved this change in the spring of 1966.  In September 1966, Knowles asked the Board of Trustees to approve the appointment of William C. White, then Vice President and Provost, to the position of Executive Vice President.  The Board approved this appointment, thus electing the University's first Executive Vice President.

The Office of the Executive Vice President was not created to fill a particular administrative role.  It was created in part to reward Dr. White for his many years of service and to redistribute his responsibilities prior to his impending retirement.  Subsequent appointments molded the position to fill the needs of the moment and to best use the skills of the office's holder. Although White retired in 1968, another Executive Vice President was not named until 1971 when Kenneth G. Ryder assumed the position.  As Executive Vice President, Ryder retained many of his responsibilities from his former role as Vice President of Administration and focused on the expanding academic programs.  In 1975 Ryder was elected president and he appointed John A. Curry executive vice president.  Under Curry the Office of the Executive Vice President managed the day-to-day administration of the University, particularly Northeastern's role in Phase II of Judge Garrity's desegregation order.  In 1989 Curry was elected University President and the position was discontinued.