Central academic administrative unit of the University of Michigan which functions as chief executive assistant to the president, responsible for appointments and promotions with oversight for schools, colleges, educational units and programs; including budget planning, legislative relations, institutional research, and affirmative action policies. Central Files subgroup includes correspondence files of vice-presidents, associate and assistant vice-presidents, and other staff members within the vice-president's office.
The records of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs date from 1947 to 1997 and total more than 675 linear feet. The records are a rich source of information on the University of Michigan from the 1960s to the present. They contain a wide variety of material documenting the concerns of the administration and, to a lesser extent, the faculty and students regarding academic programs, student and faculty activities, and the administrative operations of the University of Michigan.
The records, which include the provost's files as well as the files of associate and assistant vice presidents, are arranged in three subgroups: Central Files, Staff Files, and Supplemental Files. The Central Files subgroup consists of the records maintained by the provost's office and is discussed in greater detail below. The Staff Files subgroup includes the records of assistant and associate vice presidents and of the assistants to the provost. The Supplemental Files subgroup contains material on specific topics to which a number of academic affairs staff contributed their efforts, including retreats, unit reviews, and searches. Each of the subgroups is fully described in a separate finding aid.
It should be noted that some of the records in the record group predate the founding of the Office of Academic Affairs. Such records were generally brought by vice presidents or staff members from previous positions or inherited from persons who formerly performed their duties.
The Central Files subgroup consists of 605 linear feet dating from the creation of the Office of Academic Affairs in the academic year 1961/1962 to 2012/2013. The records consist primarily of correspondence, minutes and other committee files, reports, and budget materials, reflecting the broad range of responsibilities and functions of the provost. Whereas the records of the Staff Files subgroup tend to document the process of policy formation and decision-making functions, the Central Files records more often contain finished products, such as reports and policy statements. For the researcher interested in the provost's views on a particular topic or issue, or the Office of Academic Affairs involvement in the academic and financial life of various schools and colleges, the Central Files subgroup is the single best starting point.
The records of the Central Files subgroup are broken into series by academic year, and each series consists of one or more of the following subseries: Alphabetical Files, Schools and Colleges Files, and Chronological Files. From 1961/1962 through 1973/1974 the series each consist of one subseries of Alphabetical Files. The Alphabetical Files are arranged alphabetically and include topical files as well as files regarding university academic, research, and service units.
From 1974/1975 to 1983/1984 the series are split into two subseries, Alphabetical Files and Schools and Colleges Files. The Alphabetical Files remain similar in content to previous years with the exception that files relating to academic units, namely schools, colleges, and their departments, now comprise the subseries Schools and Colleges Files. Records concerning centers, special libraries, museums, institutes, and interdisciplinary programs are filed in the Alphabetical Files subseries. The Schools and Colleges Files are arranged alphabetically by academic unit and contain materials relating to the annual budget requests, promotion and tenure decisions, internal and external reviews, dean evaluations, and changes in academic programs.
For the years 1974/1975 to 1981/1982, with the exception of 1976/1977, there is an "Index to Correspondence" located at the end of the Alphabetical Files which lists in chronological order the letters written by the vice president, the name of the recipient, the subject of the letter, and the heading under which it is filed.
From 1984/1985 to 1993/1994, 1998/1999-2008/2009 and 2010/2011-2011/2012 the series consist of three subseries: Alphabetical Files, Schools and Colleges Files, and Chronological Files. The Alphabetical Files and the Schools and Colleges Files, while becoming more voluminous over the years, remain similar in nature. The Chronological Files consist of all outgoing correspondence from the vice president and are arranged by month. The Chronological Files are useful if the researcher knows the date the vice president might have corresponded on a particular topic but is unsure of the heading used for filing in the Alphabetical Files.
The Alphabetical Files, as mentioned above, are a strong source of information on a variety of topics relating to the administration of a large university, including the university's relationship with state and federal governments, issues confronting institutions of higher education at various points in time (student unrest and affirmative action, for example), collaborative efforts with other Big Ten and area colleges and universities, and the creation and revision of university policies. The minutes of the Academic Affairs Advisory Council (AAAC) are an especially good source of information on the activities of the Office of Academic Affairs. The AAAC, composed of the deans of the schools and colleges, directors of institutes, centers, and special libraries, and the staff of the Office of Academic Affairs, was established to hold monthly meetings to discuss educational policy, planning for growth, and special studies.
Because folder titles on a particular subject may vary from year to year, researchers are advised to be imaginative in searching for information in the topical files. It should also be noted that information on any given subject can probably be found in various places in the collection.
The 2010 and 2011 series feature the addition of the Archived Website subseries. These were created to preserve the office's public website over time. The subseries document the mission, activities, policies, and individuals involved in the operation of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs as they are presented on its public website. Content includes important news and announcements, publications (such as reports and administrative documents), and information about committees, initiatives, and events. This archived website will be captured on a regular, ongoing basis as part of the University of Michigan Web Archives, hosted at https://archive-it.org/organizations/934.