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Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty records

Identifier: CA-MS-01039

Scope and Contents

The Dean of the Faculty Office records document the management of the Smith College faculty. The Dean of Faculty Office is responsible for faculty salaries, tenure and promotion, curriculum development, teaching evaluations, discipline and grievances, faculty meetings, carreer development, benefits, accredidation, and the administration of the academic departments. All of these areas are well documented in the collection. The collection includes the records of many faculty related committees, most notably the Committee on Academic Policy (CAP), the College Planning and Resources (CP&R) Committee, the Committee on Faculty Compensation and Development (CFCD), and the Lecture Committee.

Types of material include correspondence and memoranda; departmental administration records; committee reports and minutes; budgets and financial records; personnel records; studies and statistics; course syllabi, proposals, schedules, and evaluations; and subject files.

The records of the Dean include material dating from before the Dean of the Faculty was created as a separate office from the Dean of the College (pre-1978) and therefore includes material related to areas not necessarily under the jurisdiction of the Dean of the Faculty but which are the current responsibilities of the Dean of the College. Some of the more obvious Dean of the College Office records have been removed from this collection, such as correspondence with Dean Phyllis Lehmann relating to student activities.

Dates of Materials

  • 1875 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

Materials in the Smith College Archives are open for use, with the following exceptions: "Office Files," files of records created for the use of the administrative unit that created them, are closed to research for a period of 10 years following their creation.

Faculty tenure, medical, and promotion files, as well as inactive faculty files are closed permanently. Board of Trustees' records are closed permanently.

Minutes of the Faculty Council are closed to all except current Smith College Faculty for a period of 75 years following their creation.

Student academic records, student disciplinary records, and all records containing FERPA-covered student information are closed during the lifetime of the student. Student records created 100 years or more ago are assumed to be about deceased students.

In all cases, the College Archives will continue to provide public access to materials that were intended to be public at the time of their creation (press releases, publications, etc.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

The Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty began as Dean of the Faculty in 1946. This office only lasted until 1948. During the 1977-78 school year, the administrative structure of the College was reviewed in response to the President’s frequent absences from Smith for fund-raising purposes, as well as other concerns relating to student needs. The responsibilities of the Dean of the College, the next most senior academic officer of the College, were divided to create two positions: the Dean of the College, to retain supervision of the academic and extra-curricular life of undergraduates, and the Dean of the Faculty to administer concerns related to budgeting, faculty, and curriculum development.

The Dean of the Faculty reports directly to the President and is a member of the President’s Senior Staff Conference. The Dean is responsible for faculty staffing, consults with the Advisory Committee on Faculty Appointments, and chairs the Committee for Academic Policy and the Committee on Faculty Compensation and Development. The Dean is a member of the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, the College Planning and Resources Committee, the Committee on Tenure and Promotion, the Campus Planning Committee, and the Five College Deans and Deputies.

Officers who report (or have in the past reported) to the Dean of the Faculty include the Associate Dean of the Faculty, the Associate Dean for Faculty Appointments, the Director of the Ada Comstock Program, the Director of the Dual Degree Program in Liberal Arts and Engineering, and the Director of Libraries.

Deans of the Faculty/Provost

George Fisk Mair (died September 1978)
Kenneth Hall McCartney
Frances Cooper Volkmann
Robert B. Merritt
John Connolly
Susan Bourque
Marilyn Schuster
Katherine Anandi Rowe
Michael Thurston


551.354 linear feet (552 containers)

Language of Materials



The Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty directs and integrates the varied academic efforts of the college to create a thriving community and supports faculty across the arc of their professional lives—through curricular innovation, compensation, professional development and external grants. The Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty records contain files on tenure and promotion committees, meetings, inactive faculty, personnel.


The collection is divided into 17 series.


  1. Dean of Faculty Area
  2. Faculty Meetings
  3. Committees
  4. Chronological correspondence
  5. Internal Dean of Faculty office files
  6. Appointment Calendars
  7. Personnel
  8. Development
  9. Faculty records
  10. Faculty teaching evaluations
  11. Faculty issues
  12. Trustees
  13. Reaccreditation
  14. Conferences
  15. Five Colleges
  16. General/subject files
  17. Dean of Faculty Office individuals

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the Smith College Archives starting in 1985.

Related Materials

The Dean of the Faculty/Provost split off from the Dean of the College in 1978 and continues to work closely with that office today. The College Archives contains the Office of the Dean of the College records, as well as the records of other closely allied offices in the Administrative Offices records.

For additional records related to the academic departments, see the records of individual departments as well as the general Academic Departments records. Many of the faculty have their own collections and there are also the gathered Individual faculty papers. For more records related to the College Planning and Resources Committee, see the College Planning and Resources Committee records. For additional information about faculty committees, clubs, and events that were not put on by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, see the Faculty and staff records.

Separated Materials

In December 2020, the inactive faculty file in Jon Western (received as part of accession 2016-A-0065) was returned on permanent loan to the Dean of Faculty/Provost office, and reference to it was removed from the finding aid.

Processing Information

In 1995, the collection was processed. The papers were arranged into three subgroups: Dean/Provost, Associate Dean, and Associate Dean for Faculty Appointments. There was further arrangement done within the Dean/Provost subgroup to create series and subseries. We continued to recieve materials after this point which were not incorporated into this arrangement.

In 2020, Madison White, the Processing Archivist, did further arrangement and description on the collection. She rearranged the order of the series and subseries, and added a Dean of the Faculty Office individuals series and several subseries. At the end of this rearrangement there were a total of 17 series. Some of the new subseries were created in order to put permanently restricted materials into their own sections, especially for the Grievance Committee and Tenure and Promotion Committee files in series 3. Rearrangement was done by moving and rearranging the description, so material is still in the original boxes they were received in.

After this arrangement was complete, she rearranged the accessions that had been added to the collection after the 1995 processing and sorted them into these series and sub-series. While most accessions could just be placed at the end of a series, some had to be broken up to fit into multiple series. Most of the description from the accession content lists or from the processed materials' finding aid was imported and simply moved into the new structure. Some material had no existing description, so description was created from scratch. After arrangement and description was complete, boxes were renumbered to create a full run of boxes and the finding aid was updated.

Processing Information

Between September 2022 and February 2023, Smith College Special Collections renumbered many boxes to eliminate duplicate numbers within collections in order to improve researcher experience. A full crosswalk of old to new numbers is available.

Finding aid to the Smith College Office of the Provost/Dean of the Faculty records
Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
Madison White
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-12-14: Imported and corrected legacy description
  • 2022-07-08: Added Accession 2022-A-0085

Repository Details

Part of the Smith College Archives Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063