apap003
New York State Modern Political Archive
Collection ID: apap003

Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) Records, 1938-1992

Collection description

Summary

Creator:
Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York
Abstract:
An early organization representing higher education before the Legislature and the Executive in Albany, as well as the Federal Government in Washington D.C.
Extent:
22.5 cubic ft.
Language:
English and English
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) Records, 1938-1992. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The records of the Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) contain minutes of the Board of Trustees, the executive committee and annual meetings; correspondence both to members and to other individuals and institutions involved with higher education in New York; reports both by ACUSNY committees and other education organizations; newsletters; copies of education legislation; and other records that document the concerns and activities of the Association from 1938-1992, and in particular between 1945-1992. The files contain very little information concerning lobbying in Washington, D.C.

Especially complete is the documentation of the executive committee and the annual meetings, and of the Association's involvement in the State legislative process. While illustrating the social, financial, and political concerns of the higher education community as a whole, these records also illuminate the often quite divergent interests of public versus private institutions, especially with regard to the use of state funds.

There are extensive records illustrating the Association's continual efforts towards improving student financial aid and access to higher education, and ensuring fair treatment of educational institutions under state social benefits, taxation, and labor legislation. However, the records also illustrate how the concerns of the educational community were shaped by the larger political and social environment, for example the need for a state university, 1947-1949; universal military training and college deferment 1952; subversion in education, 1953; the use of state bonds for college and university construction, 1955; inter-institutional cooperation, 1956-1973; the expansion of SUNY, 1965; Bundy Aid to private education, 1965-1978; the New York State Constitutional Convention, 1967; and the anti-war protests during the Vietnam War, l969; the establishment of visiting student programs, 1969-1990; the political resolution of educational problems, 1972; the higher education movement, 1975; discussion about problems and prospects of higher education in the next two decades, 1981; statements of principles concerning relations among the sectors, 1983; the establishment of the Minority Faculty Project, 1988-1990; retirement plan, 1990; and service and volunteer programs, 1988-1992.

Biographical / Historical:

The Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) was founded in 1906 on the initiative of Commissioner of Education Andrew S. Draper and President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University. The founding meeting of the Association included representatives of the municipal colleges of New York City as well as the private colleges and universities, which then accounted for most of the State's small colleges enrollment. The State teachers colleges joined soon thereafter. For approximately fifty years ACUSNY was virtually the only organization representing higher education before the Legislature and the Executive in Albany, as well as the Federal Government in Washington D.C. ["Introduction to ACUSNY". ACUSNY: Albany (N.Y.), undated].

ACUSNY's present membership includes all four sectors of higher education in the State--the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), independent colleges and universities, and proprietary (for profit) colleges authorized by the Board of Regents to confer degrees. Although other organizations now exist to represent the particular needs of these institutions, most institutions maintain their affiliation to ACUSNY, recognizing their unity of purpose, despite differences in their financing and governing structures [In 1956 ACUSNY's private institutions were organized as the constituency of The Commission for Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), which until 1972 functioned as an integral part of the Association. Following the incorporation of the Association and the Commission by the Regents of The University of the State of New York in May 1972, the Commission became a separate legal entity for the advocacy of independent institutions. Les W. Ingalls, "ACUSNY, Statement of Purpose", 1976]. Rather than representing higher education on specific legislation and executive decisions, ACUSNY now serves members as an information clearing-house on matters where the State Education Department is involved, on relations with other state agencies concerned with activities affecting higher education and on legislation concerning higher education in the State. Through its executive committee, annual, and special meetings the Association provides a forum where college presidents can meet to discuss their common goals and concerns either among themselves or with the leaders of State government, business, elementary and secondary education, and other communities within the State ["Introduction to ACUSNY"].

Since 1985, Business affairs and properties of ACUSNY are managed by the Board of Trustees, which consists of ten trustees of the Commission Independent Colleges and Universities, seven trustees of the State University, three trustees of the City University, and one trustee of the Association of Proprietary Colleges. At the time of the Annual Meeting, the Board of Trustees designates the President, Vice President and Treasurer, and four other trustees, one each from SUNY, CUNY, the Independent and Propriarity sectors from among its membership to form a smaller working group called the executive committee. The executive committee meets periodically with the executive officer to oversee the on-going business of ACUSNY ["Bylaws, Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York", approved at the Annual Meeting, November 22, 1985, and amended at the Annual Meeting, November 3, 1989]. In addition, the Rensselaerville Seminars, which were begun in 1971, offer an opportunity for chief executive officers to speak freely with each other. The major concern is to foster a common bond between public and independent colleges and universities, as well as to explore those areas of mutual concern where joint effort may produce results beneficial to all of higher education in New York State [L.W.I to Clifton R. Wharton, June 13, 1983].

The Association also sponsors, conducts, and cooperates in various projects for the improvement and advancement of higher education in New York State. Some of the major projects with which the Association has been involved include the organization of the emergency colleges for veterans following World War II, the expansion and improvement of the state's student financial aid programs (scholarships, graduate fellowships, scholar incentive awards and tuition assistance), the improvement of education opportunities for the disadvantaged, and the establishment of state aid for private colleges [Les W. Ingalls. "ACUSNY, Statement of Purpose", 1976].

On July 1, 1992 the position of the Executive Director and the Albany Headquarters of the organization were abolished. The Directorship rotates between the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor, the City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor and the President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) [Conversation of Geoffrey Williams with George Sussman, Executive Director of ACUSNY, June 15, 1992. ACUSNY].

Acquisition information:

All items in this manuscript group, except one, were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York on August 14, 1989 and June 24, 1992. Dennis Dahl donated one publicated, "The Education of a Teacher" in January 2017.

Processing information:

Processed in 1990 by Jean Kemble (October 8, 1990), Marisa Goetz (March 2, 1993).

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Restrictions:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Association of Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) Records, 1938-1992. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).