Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy Deans Office Records, 1946-1989
- Established in 1947 to meet the need for academic training in public administration, the Rockefeller College originated as a joint effort between New York University and Syracuse University and was transferred to SUNY Albany in 1962.
- 21 cubic ft.
- English .
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy Deans Office Records, 1946-1989. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs Records).
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- Scope and Content:
The GSPA records contains annual reports, dean's office correspondence, budget documents, evaluation reports, plans, publications, student research essays, training program manuals, workshop materials, meeting minutes, course descriptions and reading lists. The majority of records originate from the Dean's office subject files. The two major exceptions are the records originating from Hannah Applebaum, the school's librarian from approximately 1963-1971, and the Organization & Methods program (1946-60) records of Murray Nathan, the Director of the Office of Planning and Procedures in the New York State Department of Health. The original file names, where available, were kept when possible and the records are primarily arranged by subject series.
The records relate to the founding of the school and its integration into the SUNY system in 1962 and then into University at Albany in 1966. The records also document the school's development and administrative history and its programs in political science, public administration, public affairs and political economy. There are also dean's office records concerning the development and programs of the school's centers and institutes. The most prominent centers, the Comparative Development Studies Center, the Center for Women in Government, and the Institute for Government and Policy Studies, are more thoroughly documented through their respective records contained in the University Archives.
The GSPA records cover the period from 1946-1989. The bulk of the material covers the time period from 1962-1983. It is possible that additional records and materials relating to the early history and administration of the school (prior to 1962) may be located at Syracuse University and New York University due to the school's original structure as a joint program of the two universities. There are no annual reports of the dean prior to 1962 or after 1979, although there are a number of other annual reports available for 1980. The records include many evaluation reports regarding the school and its programs. Some of the individual reports are gathered into Series 1, Subseries 6, but the remainder are widely scattered throughout the records. There are no department-specific subject files prior to 1968, but the school did not begin to adopt a departmental organizational structure until after its integration into the University at Albany in 1966. There is detailed information regarding GSPA courses and reading lists contained in the Hannah Applebaum series for 1963-71. There is some additional information relating to courses and reading lists available but these are scattered throughout the records. The additional files are generally less complete, particularly after about 1974. There are relatively few examples of publications issued by GSPA's related centers and institutes, with the exception of the Local Government Studies Center. There is a large collection of Local Government Studies Center publications and it includes a complete run of Metropolitan Area Problems and Metropolitan Area Digest together with the cumulative index (1957-1971). The student research essays available in the records are disproportionately representative of the 1960s, although there is some material from the early 1970s included in the records. Faculty publications cover the 1960s and the 1970s, and the records include a few items from the early 1980s. Reprints of faculty written journal articles are only available for the 1960s. Workshop and training program materials in the records generally only represent either the Public Executive Project or the Public Service Training Program, and contain materials from ca. 1975- 86. There are a few additional materials relating to workshops conducted during the 1970s contained in the faculty publications Subseries. The records do not contain any organized or complete collection of publications such school view books, program pamphlets, brochures or commencement programs. There are scattered examples of these types of items in the records, but these disproportionately represent the 1980s. Most examples of publications of this type are contained within the GSPA and Rockefeller College records Subseries.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Graduate School of Public Affairs, called the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy since 2001, originated as the Albany Graduate Program in Public Administration in 1947. The end of World War II and a subsequent growth in government created a need for academic training in public administration in Albany. As there was no existing school in Albany to provide training, in the fall of 1946 the State contacted the two New York schools that had existing public administration programs - New York University and Syracuse University - regarding the possibility of offering courses in Albany. As this was agreeable, the Albany Graduate Program in Public Administration was established as a joint program of the two schools and began offering courses in September 1947. The state formalized its internship program to coordinate with the Graduate Program in 1947, and added a trainee program in 1950. The state also created a sponsoring committee, to represent the state's interests, and a sub-committee, to create internship policy.
Due to annual deficits, the state began providing financial assistance through the State University of New York (established in 1948) to the Graduate Program in 1950. As early as 1954, recommendations were made to create a graduate program within the State University system, due to the program's limitations. The State University announced its intention to create a Graduate School of Public Affairs on September 23, 1960. The administration of the existing program was gradually transferred, and the establishment of the Graduate School of Public Affairs (hereafter GSPA) within the State University of New York was formally announced on February 23, 1962. The Albany Graduate Program in Public Administration was terminated on June 30, 1962. The program's existing director, Dr. O. B. Conaway, Jr., became the first dean of the school. The school initially offered MA & PhD programs in Public Administration and Political Science, and a MA in Public Affairs. The school initiated a summer program in 1963. A full-time MPA program was initiated on July 24, 1963. The school added M.A. & Ph.D. programs in Political Economy during the 1964-65 academic year. On March 11, 1965, the Trustees of the State University of New York voted to integrate the Graduate School into the University at Albany, and the school became part of the University- at Albany, SUNY in September 1966.
Once becoming part of the University at Albany, GSPA assumed responsibility for the university's undergraduate program in Political Science and created a Department of Political Science. The existing program in Public Administration was restructured in February 1968, when GSPA established a Department of Public Administration. The Graduate Program in Political Economy was kept in GSPA, but the responsibility for providing its faculty was transferred to the Department of Economics. The Political Economy Program was discontinued in l975, due to its similarity to the Economics programs. The Public Affairs program continued as a separate program until 1975, when the program was incorporated as a "track" within the Political Science Department. An undergraduate major in Public Affairs was added during the 1978-79 academic year. A separate Public Affairs & Policy Department was established after a recommendation of the SUNYA Task Force on Public Affairs and Policy in 1981. The Public Affairs & Policy Department began offering an MA in Public Affairs in September 1982, but the department existed as a separate entity for only a few years. The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy and Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government were also established by recommendation of the Task Force in 1981. At its establishment, the Rockefeller College consisted of the School for Criminal Justice, the School of Social Welfare and the Graduate School of Public Affairs. Today, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy consists only of the Departments of Public Administration and Policy and the Department of Political Science, as were originally contained within the Graduate School of Public Affairs.
GSPA was founded not only to provide training to government employees, but also to provide assistance and service to the state government through research and other programs. GSPA has also become involved in national and international discourse on issues relating to government. Throughout its history, GSPA has created and worked with many research centers, institutes and programs to fulfill its goals. A collection of short histories of several of the institutes and centers associated with GSPA from1960-1990 follows below, arranged chronologically by year of establishment.
The Local Government Studies Center was created in 1962 to provide a means for the school to assist local governments in NYS by service, research and training activities. The center also continued major functions of the Conference on Metropolitan Area Problems. The Local Government Center issued publications, including a bi-monthly publication, Metropolitan Area Problems, which had started in 1957, and this publication was continued as the Metropolitan Area Digest in 1966. During 1968 the Center's publications were consolidated into two, Metropolitan Area Digest (still bi-monthly) and Metropolitan Area Annual, which included studies previously issued in Metropolitan View Points. As a result of a 1968 working group report and study of the center, which recommended the center broaden its activities to include all levels of government, the center became the Public Affairs Research Center during the 1969-1970 academic year.
The graduate school was originally created for the training and professional development of government officials. GSPA had offered institutes as early as 1962, and officially asked for funds to continuing offering institutes in its 1965-66 budget. The institutes were generally taught by subject and dealt with a number of different environments within public administration. See also Institute for Government Executives.
The Legislative Institute was created by the NYS Legislature under Chapter 488 in 1967. The Institute was to assist in the development of the state, federal and international legislative process through study, research and other programs. However, as the state did not provide funding for the institute's establishment, the project was never actually created at SUNY. A Legislative Institute was eventually established at Baruch College in 1972.
The Comparative Development Studies Center (CDSC) was formally established in 1968. As the CDSC had interests in many academic fields, it was originally established as a university center at the University at Albany, but was integrated into GSPA during the 1970-1971 academic year. The center's purpose was to promote interdisciplinary research and teaching in development, in particular, development relating to government programs designed to create socioeconomic change. Its four major study areas were defined as the intellectual history of development, economic development planning, development administration, and development politics. The center ceased to exist around 1981. The center was state-funded and also had a supplemental IFR account, and when the center's state funds were re-directed to organized research, its IFR account was transferred to the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
The Public Affairs Research Center (PARC) was created in 1969. A working group had studied the Local Government Center in 1968, and also took into account the proposal for the Legislative Institute. The working group recommended the creation of a center that covered the whole range of public affairs and all levels of government. The center was created to foster interdisciplinary research while still focusing on gathering data and creating publications. PARC's publications and research activities ceased in 1971 due to budget restraints. See also Local Government Center, Research Unit.
The Institute for Government Executives was established in 1970, replacing the Executive Development Program. The new program was designed to provide sessions for higher-level staff members than the prior program. The Institute was discontinued in 1971 due to budget restraints.
The Research Unit was established in 1971. The unit's primary purpose was to act as a facilitating unit and administration center for GSPA research contracts. The Research Unit was also created to continue PARC's activities and to assist in the integration of CDSC into GSPA. Under CDSC, the Research Unit undertook a program in legislative development in developing countries in 1970.
The Public Executive Project (PEP) was originally established under the School of General Studies, and was transferred to GSPA in 1971. PEP was created to offer training problems relating to senior management problems in state agencies. The activities conducted by PEP were split in 1980. The College of Continuing Studies took responsibility for the project's training and development activities, and GSPA continued the projects consulting activities and high-end seminars.
The Research Center was established during the 1972-3 academic year under the direction of Professor Leigh Stelzer. Professor Stelzer was mainly responsible for creating a consortium of colleges within the university for the purpose of becoming part of the International Consortium for Political Research based at the 37 University of Michigan. The Center also received funding from the Tickner Fund.
The Public Affairs Research Center was established during the 1973-1974 academic year. The Center was designed to supply research advice to state agencies on immediate and long-range problems.
The Institute for Public Policy Alternatives (IPPA) was established under the Central Office of the University during the 1973-1974 academic year. The center was created to provide research assistance to the state and to administer an internship program of public policy. However, as of 1975 the institute was still not established as an actively functioning body and no funds had been attached to it, although announcements were made regarding the institute's planned research projects. Due to budget problems within IPPA that prevented final program arrangements, and state budget restraints that prevented agencies from contracting research projects, it appears that the IPPA was never fully functional.
The Center for the Study of Public Policy was formally established late in the 1972-3 academic year. The center was created to provide leadership and assistance for collaborative research projects, both within GSPA and in collaboration with outside faculty.
The Documentation Center was established during the 1974-75 academic year in order to collect documents published by state agencies and to provide supplement course materials for GSPA.
The Center for Governmental Research and Services was established in August, 1977, in order to act as a liaison between students, faculty and the state government. Its main purpose was to act as a negotiator and to assist in translating state problems into researchable issues. See also The Center for Financial Management and the Institute for Government and Policy Studies (IGPS), which took over the center's functions.
The Center for Women in Government (CWIG) was established in 1978. The center was originally established to explore problems and barriers women experience in employment and promotion within the state government, in order to eliminate sexual discrimination. Its mission has broadened over the years to include other public sector areas. CWIG works through research, training and public education to accomplish its basic mission. The center exists today as The Center for Women in Government and Civil Society.
The Traffic Safety Program was established in 1978. GSPA had been developing programs to teach courses in unusual formats to non-degree students in off-campus locations. This program was the first of its type, and was created under a contract with the Traffic Safety Program of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The program was meant to provide the same material as GSPA's graduate courses, but in a very different format. An Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research still exists within University at Albany, and conducts research, evaluation and policy analysis. The University Libraries hold three issues of Traffic Safety Bulletin (1978-79). Traffic Safety Bulletin was a quarterly publication containing information on research, publications, funding, grants and events.
The Institute for Government and Policy Studies (IGPS) was established in 1980. Its main purpose was to provide research opportunities, encourage campus awareness of public sector issues and facilitate research efforts, education and service. The Institute also took over activities formerly performed by the Public Executive Project and the Center for Governmental Research and Services. The Institute coordinated and facilitated the activities of several centers including the Center for Organization and Policy Studies, the Center for Women in Government, the Decision Techtronics Group (DTG), the Center for Financial Management, the Court Systems Management Program, the Evaluation Research Group, and the Center for Computing and Disability. IGPS dissolved in 1988.
The Center for Organization and Policy Studies was established in 1980 as a unit specializing in education and research on organizational performance, decision and policy analysis, and the development of systems. The Center also administered all programs and activities of units under the Institute for Government and Policy Studies (IGPS), and was also designed to respond to opportunities to conduct policy and action research for state agencies.
The Decision Techtronics Group (DTG) was established as part of the Center for Organization and Policy Studies. The group functioned as a decision-support facility that used analytic techniques and group facilitation methods to assist clients in problem solving.
The Center for Financial Management's predecessor organization was the Center for Government Research and Services. The Center conducted financial management research for industry and government. The Center also conducted conferences, workshops, training programs, seminars and issued reports.
The Rockefeller Institute of Government was formally established on October 6, 1982, as a SUNY-wide unit to provide leadership for the compilation and distribution of public policy research conducted within the SUNY system. The Institute also conducts internship, fellowship, research, conferences and other programs.
The Evaluation Research Group was created to provide evaluation services to all levels of government. The Group provided evaluation services specifically created for the problem, program or agency requesting evaluation.
The Court Systems Management Program (CSMP) provided graduate training in court management. The program also served as a research center, particularly for study in administration and financial management, and provided technical assistance to both state and federal Court systems.
The Center for Computing and Disability was established in February, 1987. The Center's overall goal was to assist in the adapted transfer of computer-based technology to persons with disabilities. The center accomplished this mission through conferences, training, consulting, issuing publications and by evaluating equipment and prescribing adaptive computer systems.
The University Center for Policy Research was formally established in September, 1987. Its original purpose was to promote public policy research across many disciplines at all levels of government within the university. Today, the center continues this mission and also focuses on research in public policy issues concerning health, environment, and social welfare at all levels of government.
List of Directors, Albany Graduate Program of Public Administration 1954-1957 Paul Studenski 1957-1962 O.B. Conaway, Jr.
List of Deans, Graduate School of Public Affairs and Policy 1957-1967 O.B. Conaway, Jr. 1967 February-August Lewis P. Welch (Acting Dean) 1967 August-1971 Fred Tickner 1971-1977 L. Gray Cowan 1977-1981 Orville F. Poland 1981-1983 Irene Lurie (Acting Dean) 1983 June-1988 David Andersen 1988-2005 Frank J. Thompson 2006-unknown Helen R. Desfosses (Interim Dean)
Notes:  Program: Tenth Anniversary Dinner of the Albany Graduate Program in Public Administration," June 7, 1957. Ibid; and letter Alvin C. Eurich to Chancellor Harry Woodburn Chase, September 13, 1950, on the State University Board of Trustees adopting a proposal to sponsor the program on September 11, 1950. "A Short History of the Graduate School of Public Affairs," ca. 1971. p. 5. (hereafter cited as "Short History" Ibid, 8-10. Ibid. State University of New York Graduate School of Public Affairs Preliminary Announcement, 1961-1962, p. 10-13. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1963-1964 (October 1, 1964, p. 7 Idem, 6. "Short History," 14; and State University of New York Graduate School of Public Affairs General Bulletin 1965-1966, p. 24-25. "Short History," 14; and Graduate School of Public Affairs, State University of New York at Albany 1966-1967 Bulletin, p. 15; and Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1967-68, p. 1. "Short History," 17. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1967-68, 2. "Short History," 17; and Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1967-68, 1. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report of the Dean 1974-75, 36-37. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report of the Dean 1975-76, 4-5. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report of the Dean 1978-79, 2. SUNYA Task Force on Public Affairs and Policy, March 31, 198 1; and Memo: Activities of the Department of Public Affair: Irene Lurie (Acting Dean) to Vincent O'Leary, February 24, 1982; and University at Albany Telephone Directories for 1982-3, 1983-4, 1984-5 and 1987-8. SUNYA Task Force on Public Affairs and Policy, March 31, 198 1; and Proposal To Trustees April 20, 198 1. 19 Rockefeller College Five Year Plan July 1, 1984, p. 1-3. http://www.albany.edu/rockefeller/ - see the About Rockefeller College and Academic Department links. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1962-1963 (July 15, 1963), 8 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1968-9, 14-15 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1969-70, 2, 14-15 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1963 -64, 19-20; and Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1967-68, 20. Idem, 18-19. "Baruch College Proposal - Legislative Administration" and "Legislative Institute" Folders Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1967-8, 17-18; and Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1970-71, 2. Letter - Asst. Dean Grignon to Dean Lurie, August 26, 1981 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1969-70, 2, 14-15. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1970-71, 2. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1969-70, 15-16 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1970-71, 4. Idem, p.2-3. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1971-72, 3; and Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1974-5, 43. Public Executive Project Annual Report 1979-80, 1-3. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1972-3, 2-3. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1973-4, 2-3. Ibem, p. 3, 41. Dean Cowan to Professor Robert M. Carrnack (SUNYA Council on Research) March 14, 1975 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1973-74, 41. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1974-75, 6-7. Folder - "Center for Governmental Research and Services" Goals & Priorities 1978-9, 1980-8 1. Box 14 Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1977-78, p. 12; and Centers and Institutes: A Directory SUNYA, 1982, p. 21 and Centers and Institutes: A Directory SLTWA, 1990, p. 45. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1977-78, p. 4. Graduate School of Public Affairs State University of New York at Albany Annual Report 1978-79, p. 3 Directory 1990, p. 47. Letter - "Descriptive Statements for the University Budget Proposal for 1982-.1983" Paul Siarnond to Dean Poland; and Directory 1982, p. 15. Directory 1982, p. 15-25; and IGPS 5 Year Plan 1984; and "Rockefeller College 1986" Folder, Update to 5 Year Plan 1986, p. 40. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, IGPS Finding Aid Letter - "Descriptive Statements for the University Budget Proposal for 1982-1983" Paul Siamond to Dean Poland; and Directory 1982, p. 19 IGPS & Associated Units 5 Year Plan 1984 and "Rockefeller College 1986" folder - Update to 5 Year Plan 1986, 40. Directory 1982, 24. Idem, p. 16-18. Idem, p. 79-80. IGPS Five Year Plan 1984 IGPS Five Year Plan 1984 and "Rockefeller College 1986" folder - Update to Five Year Plan 1986, 40. Directory 1990, 43. Idem, 52. Center for Policy Research - http://www.albany.edu/cp Accessed March 26, 2002 "Program: Tenth Anniversary Dinner of the Albany Graduate Program in Public Administration," June 7, 1957 indicates that the creation of a program director position did not occur until 1954. Paul Studenski had worked as a professor of economics and as an adviser to the sponsoring committee prior to becoming director.
- Acquisition information:
These records were transferred to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, the Graduate School of Public Affairs in several separate records transfersca. 1983-1992
The collection is organized into 10 file series based on their original use.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2002 by Catherine N. Carson .