The Franklyn Bliss Snyder Vice-President and Dean of Faculties Papers are arranged in 48 sections, primarily as they were arranged in Snyder's office.
The largest amounts of material are in the sections dealing with Administration, Board of Trustees, College of Liberal Arts, Faculty, Medical School, School of Commerce, School of Education, and the School of Law. Most of the material in these sections, as in the rest of the series, consists of routine correspondence and official reports. However, there are also some unofficial reports to Snyder and some memoranda he made of meetings and phone conversations.
The series includes several items of unusual interest. When Snyder assumed the newly created position of Vice-President and Dean of Faculties on September 1, 1937 (two years before he took office as President), he created a small advisory committee to assist him. The folder (Box 1, Folder 2) of material relating to this committee contains a variety of interesting items including a 25-page report by Dean Leon Green of the Law School entitled "Projecting a Law School" (Nov. 11, 1937). The folder for the Board of Trustees' Committee on Educational Policies (Box 1, Folder 14) includes a 6-page statement (Sept. 27, 1937) by Snyder outlining what he (in his new position) should be trying to accomplish. The Department of Zoology folder (Box 2, Folder 16) contains a 34-page report by the Department's Committee on Development (Jan. 1939).
The first (Box 2, Folder 18) of two folders of general correspondence contains a two-page typed signed letter (in German) from Thomas Mann to Snyder from Jamestown, Rhode Island, (May 26, 1938), thanking Snyder for his kindness during Mann's visit to Chicago early in March. Mann dwells at some length on the work of the French critic of Catholic literature, Charles Du Bos. Du Bos had that year been teaching at Notre Dame when Mann had visited him after leaving Chicago. Mann concludes by saying that he and his wife hope eventually to settle in the United States.
James Washington Bell succeeded Snyder as Dean of the Graduate School. In Box 3, Folder 13, is a letter (Sept. 3, 1937) from Snyder to Bell in which Snyder refers to some of the things he accomplished while he had been Dean of the Graduate School (1934-1937). This folder also contains Snyder's last report as Dean (Oct. 5, 1937).
From 1937 to 1939 Northwestern considered acquiring Rush Medical College. Many informal reports, notes on meeting and phone calls, and related material dealing with this possibility may be found in Box 3, Folder 24.
In the material pertaining to the Medill School of Journalism are several items dealing with the School's changeover to a five-year program under Dean Kenneth E. Olson (Box 3, Folder 26). A three-page letter (Nov. 9, 1937) from Snyder to Walter Dill Scott outlines "the primary educational needs of the University" (Box 4, Folder 2). A copy of Snyder's first report as Vice-President (Sept. 1, 1938, 28 pages) is in Box 4, Folder 3.
Snyder's running feud with Dean Ernest O. Melby of the School of Education is documented by materials in Box 4, Folders 17 and 18 and Box 5, Folder 6. In 1937 the Engineering Council for Professional Development surveyed the School of Engineering and did not approve any of its curricula. The response to this action and initiation of a program to rehabilitate the School (which was carried through successfully by a committee chaired by Professor George A. Maney) is documented in Box 5, Folder 7. When Snyder took office as President of Northwestern on September 1, 1939, he was succeeded in the Vice-Presidency by Fred Dow Fagg, Jr., who had been Dean of the School of Commerce.
This series reflects some of the problems and benefits resulting from the creation of a new top-level administrative position in the University. It also illustrates, directly and indirectly, Snyder's methods and growth as an administrator.