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Purdue University Faculty and Senate records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 8

Scope and Contents

The Purdue University Faculty and Senate records document the activities of Purdue's Faculty Meetings (1874-1964), Executive Council (1916-1964), and University Senate (1964-Present). Much of the collection is drawn from the records of the Secretary of Faculties, who has historically been responsible for secretarial functions related to these bodies as well as various administrative and faculty committees. The bulk of the records in this collection consist of minutes, documents, and agendas related used in the work of these bodies. Some are final copies bound for distribution or the use of the Secretary, but others may include drafts, notations, or correspondence pertaining to various meetings or proposals. Other items included in the collection are materials used in the revision of the University Code, memorial resolutions presented by the Faculty Meeting or Senate upon a faculty member's passing, and other materials used by or generated through the work of these bodies or the Office of the Secretary.


  • 1874 - 2019


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research. The collection is stored offsite; 24 hours notice is required to access the collection. Due to the fragile condition of some items, boxes 2 and 94 are currently unavailable. Some boxes are restricted due to the presence of personal student information.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyright Purdue University

Historical Information

This collection documents the history and activities of Purdue University’s two major representative bodies – the Meeting of the Faculty (1874-1964) and the University Senate (1964-present) – and the Office of the Secretary of Faculties. From an early date, the governance of Purdue was assumed to be divided between the Board of Trustees, who were responsible for financial and public policy decisions, and the President, who was responsible for educational matters. Throughout Purdue’s history, these bodies represented the interests of Purdue’s faculty and other parties to the Office of the President, who relied on their guidance in directing the course of university affairs. The Meeting of the Faculty, or simply as the faculty meetings, began in 1874, the same year that classes began. As the name suggests, early faculty meetings were regular meetings, open to all faculty members, where faculty discussed Purdue’s curriculum, student and administrative affairs, and other issues. These discussions and the proposals that came from them helped to guide Purdue’s presidents in their decision-making. As the university grew dramatically during and after World War II, the organizational structure of the faculty meetings, as well as their complicated relationship with the Executive Council and campus decision-making processes, were deemed unruly and inefficient. After several years of study, the University Senate was formed. The Senate was a fully legislative and representative body that replaced the Meeting of the Faculty. In the new Senate, faculty members were represented by school, regional campuses were given representation, and the President also appointed several seats to represent his office and the administration. Although the format of faculty representation has changed over time, the Secretary of Faculties has been responsible for all secretarial functions related to the Faculty Meeting and the University Senate, as well as the Executive Committee/Council. This included regular tasks such as maintaining agendas, minutes, and other meeting materials and making them accessible to necessary parties, issuing formal correspondence regarding faculty affairs, and specific projects such as managing revisions to the University Code. The bulk of this collection is comprised of materials from the Secretary of the Faculties. Sources: Topping, Robert W. A Century and Beyond: The History of Purdue University. Purdue University Press, 1988.


74.10 Cubic Feet

160.00 Gigabytes


The records are divided into three series. Series I reflects materials distributed to or gathered by the library regarding these bodies, including distributed volumes and copies of meeting minutes. Series II and III are both comprised of records from the Office of the Secretary of Faculties. Series II primarily includes loose copies of meeting minutes and documents for each respective body, which may include occasional notes or supplementary information. Series III is primarily comprised of volumes of minutes and documents bound for use by the Secretary of Faculties, as well as some loose materials kept by the Secretary regarding various committees. More a detailed inventory of each series, please consult the collection's finding aid.

Custodial History

Most items in Series I were in the possession of Purdue Libraries prior to the creation of the Archives and Special Collections. Series II and III were transferred to the Archives by the Office of the Provost/Secretary of Faculties.

Source of Acquisition

Office of the Provost and the Secretary of Faculties

Accruals and Additions

20091021; 20111007; 20120202; 20120405; 20160713; 20191212.1

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of some materials are available for research use. See our digital collections database e-Archives: Purdue University Faculty and Senate records

Related Materials

The University Senate minutes from 1964 through the present have been digitized and are accessible through the e-Archives portal.



Purdue University Faculty and Senate records
Trevor Burrows and Neal Harmeyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2017-05-04.

Revision Statements

  • 2019-03-09: Updated date range, extent, and instance records, by Neal Harmeyer

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States