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Graduate School Records of the Dean, Clarence L. Ver Steeg

Identifier: 10/2

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The records are comprised primarily of the correspondence, reports, and other documents pertaining to the administration of the Graduate School, the various academic departments under its auspices, and affiliated institutions including Northwestern's Medical School, School of Law, School of Journalism, and the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, among others. They are arranged into five sub-series.

The general subject files cover a wide range of topics germane to Ver Steeg's deanship. Although some of these span more than one file, most are documented in single folders and labeled accordingly.

Program Review records relate to the procedure of formal departmental or academic program evaluation initiated at Northwestern University in the mid-1980s. The records here document the Graduate School's evaluations, findings, and recommendations concerning selected academic and administrative departments. These files, which date between 1984 and 1986, consist of committee reports, memoranda, and correspondence between department faculty and the Dean.

The files on the Program in Cognitive Science / Artificial Intelligence detail the exhaustive efforts to establish a new and nationally renowned interdisciplinary effort, seizing on what was then perceived to be an emerging field in academic research and scholarship. The files include various findings and reports on the precise nature of this program, extensive correspondence between administration and faculty on its progression and setbacks, and letters, recommendations, and evaluations concerning potential faculty recruits as well as projected financial allocations for the program's physical plant.

Files relating to departmental and administrative matters address and critique the standing of each academic department, center, or program under the Graduate School's umbrella from 1975 to 1986. These include committee reports and memoranda, student statistical profiles, information on scholarships and teaching assistantships awarded, and correspondence between individual faculty members and the Dean. One aspect of these records concerns the departmental evaluations made by external reviewing committees across this period. Other files contain the design plans for refitting the Graduate School offices as well as systems management recommendations and proposals.

Department profiles relate to units of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Medical School, and the Technological Institute and feature reviews and reports concerning a number of academic departments, undertaken at the beginning of Ver Steeg's tenure as Dean from fall 1976 to spring 1977. These include correspondence between faculty and administrators as well as department interviews and evaluations.

Addition, Box 20-55

This addition to the records of the Graduate School Dean Clarence L. Ver Steeg and are arranged into four categories: Ver Steeg's chronologically-arranged correspondence files, general subject files, budgetary records, and records relating to a conference on South Africa chaired by Dean Ver Steeg.

The correspondence files, filling more than nine boxes, contain copies of Ver Steeg's outgoing letters relating to Graduate School and University administrative matters. The correspondence is arranged chronologically and usually foldered month by month. Within folders letters are filed in reverse chronological order.

General subject files form the largest portion of the addition, more than twenty-one boxes, and pertain to administrative matters, associations and organizations relating to research and higher education, Northwestern University departments and interdisciplinary programs, curricular affairs and planning, faculty committees, and Northwestern officers and administrators. The subject files are arranged alphabetically by keyword of folder title.

Budgetary records are arranged in approximately four boxes. The files mainly include summary budget records as well as records concerning Northwestern's Administrative Budget Committee and the Budget and Resources Advisory Council.

Ver Steeg took the leading role in setting up the U.S. Policy Toward South Africa: A National Agenda conference sponsored jointly by Northwestern and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. Held May 27-28, 1981, the conference became a focal point in efforts to change Northwestern's investment policies as they concerned corporations operating in South Africa. The files found here pertain largely to the organization of the conference.

Addition, Box 56

A small volume of correspondence and materials pertaining to the Roose-Andersen Report, a rating of graduate programs, have been added to the series. General administrative correspondence dates from August and September, 1986, the end of Clarence Ver Steeg's tenure as dean of the Graduate School. Other correspondence includes several folders of Dean Ver Steeg's letters to candidates seeking readmission to graduate study at Northwestern. Typically, these candidates had applied for resident research continuations, for post-degree candidacy research, or for the continuation of study after leaves of absence. All correspondence found in this addition is arranged in reverse chronological order.


  • 1945 - 1987


Conditions Governing Access

This collection may contain sensitive materials; consultation with University Archivist is required prior to use.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored at a remote campus location and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


56.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The records of the Clarence Ver Steeg cover the years 1945 to 1987; with the bulk involving Ver Steeg's tenure as Dean of Northwestern University's Graduate School (1976-1987). A few records predating or subsequent to Ver Steeg's Deanship are included.


The records are arranged into five sub-series representing major administrative duties and concerns: general subject files, Program Review records, a special series devoted to the anticipated development of an interdisciplinary program in Cognitive Science/Artificial Intelligence, departmental and administrative matters, and specific department profiles undertaken at the beginning of Ver Steeg's term in office in 1976-1977. The original division and ordering of the materials across and within each folder has largely been maintained. Within sub-series the files typically are arranged in alphabetical order by subject headings. Items within folders are arranged usually in reverse chronological order.

Method of Acquisition

This series includes records transferred to the University Archives by Clarence L. Ver Steeg, Dean of the Graduate School, in three accessions: 83-141, 85-139 and 87-113. First addition was transferred to the University Archives by Clarence L. Ver Steeg in two accessions: 86-222 and 87-107. Second addition was transferred to Univeristy Archives by Clarence L. Ver Steeg in one accession: 86-234.

Separated Materials

A small amount of duplicate and extraneous material was discarded.  For the first addition, photographs transferred to the University Archives' Photograph Collection (South Africa: U.S. Policy Toward South Africa Conference); audio cassettes to the Archives' audio collection (AC!175-176).  The second addition, approximately two linear inches of personal materials have been separated and added to the University Archives Series 11/3/16/23, the papers of Clarence Ver Steeg.

Processing Information

Christopher Rogers; July-August, 2006.

Guide to the Graduate School Records of the Dean, Clarence L. Ver Steeg
Christopher Rogers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US