Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:Division of Student Affairs records
Dates: 1933-2008 (bulk 1965-1985)
Location:32/3
Call Number:A84
Volume:5 cubic ft. (5 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The Division of Student Affairs records document the everyday operations of the Office of the Dean of Students and its later incarnation as the Division of Student Affairs. Much of the collection consists of materials from Vice President of Student Affairs John D. O'Bryant, who served in that capacity from 1979-1984. These materials reflect both the Division as a whole and its individual departments, the wider Northeastern University administration and the Division's relationship to that administration, and the activities of John D. O'Bryant acting independently of the University. The collection also includes materials dating from before and after O'Bryant's tenure as Vice President, documenting Division of Student Affairs/Office of the Dean of Students activities such as student admissions and enrollment, freshman advising, housing, freshman and transfer student orientation, and student behavior and discipline.
Historical Abstract:The Division of Student Affairs was originally known as the Office of the Dean of Students. In the 1950s, the office comprised a dean of freshmen, dean of women, and dean of men. In 1970, the Office of Dean of Students was reorganized into the Division of Student Affairs, and many of the tasks that had originally been handled directly by the dean and his assistants were separated into departments that reported to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Among these services were counseling and testing, student housing, and financial aid. The Division of Student Affairs continues to oversee programs and services relating to student life today.
Arrangement: Organized into 2 series: 1. Vice President's Files and 2. General Files.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Karp, Ruth.
  • Norman, John C.
  • O'Bryant, John D.

  • Boston Housing Authority (Boston, Mass.).
  • Greater Roxbury Community Corporation (Boston, Mass.).
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.).
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Division of Student Affairs.

  • Affirmative action programs.
  • African American students -- Massachusetts -- Boston.
  • Minorities -- Education (Higher) -- United States.
  • Minority college students -- United States.
  • Minority college students -- Recruiting -- United States.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Administration.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Class of 1985.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Funds and scholarships.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Student government.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Student housing.
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Students.
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements -- Massachusetts -- Boston.

Restrictions:Records are closed for 25 years from the date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student records are closed for 75 years from the date of their creation.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Jeanine Rees, April 2005

Scope and Content Note

The Division of Student Affairs records document the everyday operations of the Office of the Dean of Students and its later incarnation as the Division of Student Affairs. Much of the collection consists of materials from Vice President of Student Affairs John D. O'Bryant, who served in that capacity from 1979-1984. These materials, contained in the first series, reflect both the Division as a whole and its individual departments, the wider Northeastern University administration and the Division's relationship to that administration, and the activities of John D. O'Bryant acting independently of the University. The Division's departments represented in the collection include: the Office of the Vice President (to which the other departments report), the Office of the Dean of Students, the African-American Institute, Counseling and Testing, the English Language Center, Freshman Affairs, Freshman Orientation, Handicapped Services, the International Students Office, Minority Student Affairs Office, Multicultural Affairs, the Religious Life Office, the Student Activities Office, and the Student Union. Throughout the collection are materials produced by John O'Bryant while Vice President for Student Affairs, and though some of these items relate to his work in that capacity, others reflect his work outside of the University. The African American community on campus and the activities of the University regarding minority students are well-represented in the collection. Materials from the African-American Institute are of particular note.

The collection also includes materials dating from before and after O'Bryant's tenure as Vice President, documenting Division of Student Affairs/Office of the Dean of Students activities such as student admissions and enrollment, freshman advising, housing, freshman and transfer student orientation, and student behavior and discipline. Of particular interest are the materials dealing with student unrest relating to the Vietnamese Conflict and the treatment of African Americans on campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Historical Note

The Division of Student Affairs was originally known as the Office of the Dean of Students. The first dean was Harold Wesley Melvin, who served from the office's inception in 1930 until 1957. In the 1950s, the office comprised a dean of freshmen, dean of women, and dean of men. In 1970, the Office of Dean of Students was reorganized into the Division of Student Affairs, and many of the tasks that had originally been handled directly by the dean and his assistants were separated into departments that reported to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Among these services were counseling and testing, student housing, and financial aid. In 1971, the positions of Dean of Freshmen, Dean of Women, and Dean of Men were replaced with the positions of Dean and Associate Dean of Students. The Division of Student Affairs continues to oversee programs and services relating to student life today. It provides academic support through the Disability Resource Center and through Special Support Programs; administers cultural and personal centers such as the African-American Institute, the International Student and Scholar Institute, the Latino/a Student Cultural Center, the Center for Counseling and Student Development, and the Office of Spiritual Life; and deals with student social life through the Curry Student Center, the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, and the Department of Residential Life. The Division of Student Affairs reports to the Office of the Provost.

In 1979, John D. O'Bryant was appointed Northeastern's Vice President of Student Affairs. He was born in Boston on July 15, 1931 and was educated in the Boston public schools. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Boston University. After serving in the U.S. Army, he worked as a teacher and a guidance counselor in the Boston public schools from 1955 to 1969. In 1969, he developed the Health Vocational Training Program at the Dimock Community Health Center and directed that program until he joined Northeastern as Associate Dean of University Administration in 1978. O'Bryant served as president of the Boston School Committee and as national chairman of the Council of Urban Boards of Education, and founded a number of local and statewide education advocacy groups. He died in 1992.

Chronology
1930 Office of the Dean of Students established; Harold W. Melvin, first dean
1956Counseling and Testing Center established
1958Gilbert G. MacDonald becomes Dean of Students
1969Afro-American Institute, later named the African-American Institute, founded
1970Office of the Dean of Students reorganized into the Division of Student Affairs; Gilbert MacDonald becomes Vice President for Student Affairs
1971Positions of Dean of Freshmen, Dean of Men, and Dean of Women replaced by Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Students
1974English Language Center established
1975International Student and Scholar Institute (International Students Office) established
1979John D. O'Bryant becomes Vice President of Student Affairs
1992John D. O'Bryant dies; Karen Rigg becomes Vice President for Student Affairs
1993African-American Institute renamed the John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute
1994Extended freshman orientation program initiated
Bibliography

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: An Emerging Giant: 1959-1975. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1982.

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: Coming of Age: The Ryder Years: 1975-1989. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995.
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Series:

1. Vice President's Files, 1973-1987 (bulk 1978-1986)
Volume:4 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence
Summary:

This series consists of correspondence, reports, budgets, fliers, brochures, meeting minutes, handbooks, and other materials produced and received during John D. O'Bryant's tenure as Vice President. These materials reflect the activities of the Division of Student Affairs and the departments within the Division, all of which fall under the Vice President's jurisdiction. Of particular interest are items relating to the African-American Institute, which was later named after O'Bryant. This series also includes materials produced by John D. O'Bryant while acting outside of his university capacity, particularly with Boston groups and institutions on behalf of the African American community. Of note are the items relating to the Educational Counseling Center and Roxbury Community College.
BoxTitleDate
1Academic Assistance Centern.d., 1981-1984
Administrative Cabinet, Division of Student Affairs
1Generaln.d., 1979-1986
1Minutes (2 folders)1979-1987
1Retreat (2 folders)n.d., 1980-1985
1Administrative Council1981-1984
1Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM)1980-1984
1Black Student Retentionn.d., 1982-1984
1Boston Black United Fundn.d., 1980
1Brochures1981, 1985
1Budget, Division of Student Affairs1978-1986
1Campus Ministryn.d., 1979
1College of Business Administration Retention Task Force1985
1Commencement1981-1985
Committees
1Administrative Operations1980-1985
1Committee to Create a Career Development Course for International Students1980-1981
1Committee for International Studentsn.d., 1979-1983
1Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)/Buckley Amendment1981-1982
1Government Relations Advisory Committee1981-1982
1Multicultural Awareness1982-1985
1National Educational Policy1978
1Student Handbook1979-1983
1Subcommittee to Sensitize the University Community to the Needs of the Handicapped1980-1982
1University Planning1981
1Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA)n.d., 1980
1Correspondence (3 folders)1978-1985
1Deposition, John D. O'Bryant1985
Division of Student Affairs Departments
African-American Institute
1Ad Hoc Policy Committee1978-1979
1Black Freshman Orientationn.d., 1981-1984
1Charette Simulation1979
1Director Searchn.d., 1983-1985
1-2General (4 folders)n.d., 1978-1985
2Norman, John C. (Director of AAI, 1984-1986)n.d., 1984-1985
2Project Ujiman.d., 1975-1985
2Scholarshipsn.d., 1982-1985
2Staff Meeting Minutes1984-1985
2Counseling and Testing Center (2 folders)n.d., 1980-1986
Dean of Students
2Correspondence (2 folders)1980-1985
3Fraternities and Sororities1978-1985
3General1978-1980
3Orientationn.d., 1982-1987
3Student Court1984-1985
2English Language Centern.d., 1979-1985
2Freshman Affairs (4 folders)n.d., 1979-1986
2Housing (4 folders)n.d., 1978-1985
2International Students Office (5 folders)n.d., 1976-1986
3Minority Student Affairs (3 folders)n.d., 1980-1985
3Multicultural Student Affairs1981-1985
3Services for the Handicapped (2 folders)n.d., 1981-1986
3Student Center and Activities (2 folders)n.d., 1970-1985
3Enrollmentn.d., 1979-1986
3Evaluation Workshop1981-1982
3Faculty Senate1982
3Financial Aidn.d., 1971-1985
3General (2 folders)n.d., 1979-1985
3Madison Park High School Grant Proposal1979
3Massachusetts Association for Teachers of Other Languages (MATSOL)1981
Media
3NU News1979-1985
3The Onyx1979-1983
3Minority Counciln.d., 1979-1984
3National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Conference (4 folders)n.d., 1978-1983
3National Scholarship and Service Fund for Negro Students1979
3Neighborhood Associationsn.d., 1980-1984
4Organization and Duties, Division of Student Affairsn.d., 1979-1981
Personal (O'Bryant)
3Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Employment Training, Commonwealth of Massachusetts1985-1986
3Apprenticeship Training Program, Boston Public Schoolsn.d., 1984
3Carter, Jimmyn.d., 1979
3Citywide Educational Coalitionn.d., 1982-1985
3Courtside Club1980-1985
3Danforth Foundationn.d., 1981-1986
Educational Counseling Committee (3 folders)
3Correspondence1979-1985
3Finances1977-1985
3Generaln.d., 1976-1984
3Forum, Then.d., 1983-1984
3Generaln.d., 1978-1985
3Greater Roxbury Development Corporationn.d., 1977-1979
3National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)1981-1984
3National Conference of Christians and Jews1984-1986
3New England College of Optometryn.d., 1984-1985
3Paige Academy1979
3Occupational Resource Centern.d., 1984
3Office for Children, Commonwealth of Massachusetts1979-1981
3Roxbury Community College (2 folders)n.d., 1978-1985
3"The Roxbury Response"n.d., 1979
3Shaw/54th Regiment Memorialn.d., 1980-1983
Programs
4African-American Master-Artists-in-Residency1979, 1984
4Boston Housing Authority Grantsn.d., 1984-1985
4Boston Projectn.d.
4Open Campusn.d., 1979-1983
4Open Doorn.d., 1978-1979
4Open Doors to the Deafn.d., 1980
4Operation Crossroads Africa1982-1985
4Progress in Minority Engineering (PRIME)1984
4Resource Peoplen.d., 1983-1985
4Upward Bound1979-1982
4YESn.d., 1979
4Student Government Association (2 folders)n.d., 1978-1985
4Student Grievancesn.d., 1978-1984
4Transfer Studentsn.d., 1973-1985
University Departments/Offices
1Admissions1984-1985
4Affirmative Action 1979-1985
4African-American Studiesn.d., 1982-1985
4Community Affairs1980-1985
4Cooperative Education (2 folders)n.d., 1978-1985
4Personnel Servicesn.d., 1981-1985
4Public Affairs1979-1983
4Religious Life1979-1984
4Urban Schools Collaborative1979-1983
4Word Processing Systemn.d., 1982-1985
4World Conference on Cooperative Education1980-1981
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Series:

2. General Files , 1933-2008 (bulk 1965-1990)
Volume:1 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence
Summary:

This series documents such activities of the Office of the Dean of Students/Division of Student Affairs as student admissions and enrollment, freshman advising, housing, freshman and transfer student orientation, and student behavior and discipline. The series includes correspondence, statistics, informational booklets, fliers, reports, petitions and clippings generated by these activities. Of particular interest are the materials dealing with student unrest relating to the Vietnamese Conflict and African Americans on campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
BoxTitleDate
Class of 1985 Student Government
4Activitiesn.d., 1980-1981
4Advisor (Karp, Ruth)1980-1988
4Clippings1980-1981
4Fliersn.d.
4Formulation and Bylawsca. 1980
4Generaln.d., 1980-1981
4Ledger Reports1984-1987
4Minutes1980
4Committee on Freshman Year (2 folders)1973-1979
4Dean of Men1965, 1968
4Dean of Women1962
4"Diversity Training Workshop for the Student Affairs Education Committee:" Manual1994
4Faculty and Staff1970-1996
Freshman Affairs Office
4-5Advisor's Handbooks (5 folders)1978-1980
5Generaln.d., 1969-1980
Housing
5Generaln.d., 1965-1969
5Menn.d., 1965
5Womenn.d., 1965-1969
5Karp, Ruth (Associate Dean for Students): Correspondence 1978-1981
5Northeastern University Information Pamphlets n.d., 1976
  Office of Financial Aid  
5 Financial Aid Forms n.d., 1978-1992
5 Memoranda n.d., 1966-1989
5 Publications (2 folders) n.d., 1978-2008
5 Work-study Program n.d., 1967-1988
5Operationsn.d., 1962-1995
Orientation
5Brochures1978-1990
5"Orientation Outlook"1990, 1993
5Orientation Week Books (7 folders)1962-1996
5Orientation Week Packets (2 folders)1986, 1990
5Planningn.d., 1983-1994
5Parents' Weekend1986
5Scholarships (8 folders)n.d., 1933-1977
Student Activism and Unrest
5Abortion Referral Advertisement1971
5General (2 folders)n.d., 1968-1972
5Petitionsn.d., 1964
5Race Relationsn.d., 1968-1974
5Student Discipline (2 folders)n.d., 1957-1972
5Student Honorsn.d., 1952-1995
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