President of the University of Michigan, 1924-1929, educational reformer, geneticist and cancer researcher, also interested in a range of reform movement including birth control, eugenics, international peace, and immigration. Papers include correspondence, speeches and reports concerning all phases of his career as president of the University of Michigan and his civic and reform activities.
The C.C. Little papers document a wide range to topics, events, administrative actions, policy developments during Little's tenure as president of the University of Michigan. The collection contains mainly reports and replies to letters but very little incoming correspondence. However, the researcher may use these replies as clues to other collections in the library which contain the individual correspondent's papers.
The chronological ordering of the papers makes subject access somewhat difficult. To selective indexes of correspondents and subjects found in the papers provide some assistance in using the Little papers. The following discussion of the papers follows the structure of the subject index.
The growth of the university which had begun at the close of World War I continued to be felt during President Little's tenure. New buildings completed earlier were handling classroom and laboratory needs, so attention now turned to living accommodations and the athletic department's needs (Sec. II). The period of the 1920s was one of increased interest in theories of progressive education. President's Little's primary interest was in educational policy arising from such theories. Thus, academic and departmental proposals and reorganizations (Sec. III of the subject index) form a major part of his papers. He made fewer administrative changes (Sec. I of the subject index). The twenties are also remembered as a time of social ferment in the country and this was reflected in campus life, with more attention being paid to regulating student social mores and the use of alcohol and cars (see Secs. I and IV of the subject index).
Although President Little oversaw the reorganization of some administrative offices, his attention was mainly focused on educational policy, his primary interest. This is reflected in materials on admissions policy, freshman orientation, continuing education of alumni, and the re-organization of the university into two separate units.
A few months after President Little took office, the "Day Report", so named because Edmund Day, Dean of the School of Business Administration chaired the committee which drew it up, was completed. It was the result of an exhaustive study of athletics, physical education and recreation in the university and led to changes in the Board in Control of Athletics, development of women's and intramural athletics, and gave impetus to the financing and building of the stadium (opened in 1927).
President Little's concern with developing students of good moral character resulted in regulation of the use of cars and alcohol, thought to be related twin evils, and the initiation of planning for dormitories, where all students would live under university supervision.
The major building projects that came to fruition during the Little Administration were the Stadium and the Women's League Building. Construction work at the Law School and the School of Education represented on-going projects begun in earlier administrations, while plans for a natural science museum were just beginning to take shape.
During President Little's tenure, schools and departments established earlier continued to grow, while some projects, such as the Creative Arts Fellowship, were brought to a close. The financing and governance of the Lawyers' Club presented on-going difficulties. Compensation for and the role of "outside work" in Medicine, Engineering, and Education required continued attention. The university contributed to scientific research through the Hobbs Expedition to Greenland which also showed the value of the university's fledgling radio program in maintaining communication with such distant projects.
With the appointment of Samuel Trask Dana as Dean, the School of Forestry was established in the spring of 1927. At that time the state was faced with the problems of cutover lands and the collapse of the lumbering industry. In 1927 the School of Forestry provided leadership in dealing with these problems by sponsoring two conferences which brought together owners and operators in the lumbering industry, state officials, and forestry experts to consider solutions.
The School of Education continued its growth with the addition of an elementary school building. The completion of that building in 1929 enabled the School to provide K-12 education under the supervision of its faculty. Some attention was given also to providing pre-primary education, but nothing came of this during Little's tenure.
The university and its academic life did not escape the impact of the societal upheavals of the "roaring twenties". Perhaps more so at the University of Michigan because of President Little's active role in several of those issues, as is reflected in his correspondence. He was an officer in the American Eugenics Society, a vocal proponent of both population control and the "betterment of the human race", and also served as chairman of the Michigan chapter of the League of Nations Non-partisan Association.