Archives and Special Collections
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Boston, MA 02115
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Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Creator:Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Office of the President.
Title:Office of the President (Curry) records
Dates:1967-2002 (bulk 1989-1995)
Call Number:A72
Location:31/2-4, 32/1
Volume:52.30 cubic ft. (57 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records document the tenure of John A. Curry (JAC) as the fifth president of Northeastern University from 1989 to 1996. This collection contains correspondence, reports, and other information about many of NU's colleges, departments, offices, and committees. It also documents JAC's involvement with external organizations within and beyond the Boston area. Of special note are the records of the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools, of which JAC was a trustee from 1990 to 1993, and reports produced for the Boston Public Schools in 1991. Also contained in this collection are files relating to JAC's and NU's worldwide leadership in cooperative education. Although the bulk of this collection documents JAC's tenure as president, it also includes records created by JAC while he was executive vice president under his predecessor, Kenneth G. Ryder.
Historical Abstract:John A. Curry (JAC), the fifth president of NU from 1989 to 1996, was involved with NU as an alumnus and administrator for 25 years before his inauguration. During JAC's tenure as president, NU faced drastic budget cuts due to a dramatic decline in enrollment. He streamlined operations by laying off nearly 200 employees, creating a leaner upper administration, freezing wages and hiring, merging programs, restructuring debt, and creating revenue-generating initiatives, which enabled him to balance the budget annually. JAC's vision for boosting NU's academic standing and stabilizing its financial position was largely realized. JAC strengthened NU academically by attracting a smaller yet more diverse and brighter student body and by supporting NU's research efforts. During JAC's presidency, he led NU in combating discrimination and promoting diversity. At the same time, JAC improved the appearance of the NU campus with new landscaping and buildings. JAC also advanced the cause of co-operative education by promoting co-op programs in the United States and internationally.
Arrangement:Organized into 3 series: 1. Colleges, Departments and Other Units; 2. Committees, Councils, and Organizations; and 3. Subject Files
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Curry, John A. (John Anthony), 1934-

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Office of the President
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Administration
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Admission
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Faculty
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Planning
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Presidents
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Student housing

  • College presidents -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Universities and colleges -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Education, Cooperative -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Campus planning -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Title IX

Restrictions:Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Personnel records (boxes 41-44) are closed for 75 years from their date of creation. Student records (box 52) are also closed for 75 years. The Student Government Association budget materials are read-only and cannot be reproduced.
Related Materials:

Records that JAC created during his tenure as executive vice president, 1984-1989, also comprise a separate collection: Office of the Executive Vice President, Records, 1963-1992 A32.

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Paige Roberts, additions processed by Jessica Parr, Jeanie Reese, and Ellen Lassiter, May 2004; August 2004; May 2005; October 2005