RG 15/A1

Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers University Dean of Administration, 1951-1965

By Milly Hor

May, 2002

Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Rutgers University. Dean of Administration
Title: Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers University. Dean of Administration,
Dates: 1951-1965
Quantity: 2.8 cubic ft. (7 manuscript boxes)
Summary: The records of the Dean of Administration at Rutgers University comprise those created and accumulated primarily during the tenure of John L. Swink, 1958-1962. They are arranged as one series of alphabetical subject files and are housed in seven manuscript boxes. The series also includes documentation of Swink's functions and activities as associate dean of University College, acting dean of Douglass College and acting dean of the College of Agriculture. The files, dating from 1951 to 1965, consist mostly of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, newsletters, pamphlets and newspaper clippings and reflect the wide range of interests and responsibilities held by Swink during his years as a Rutgers University administrator.
Collection No.: RG 15/A1

Administrative History of the Rutgers University Dean of Administration and Biographical Sketch of John L. Swink

The period in which John Swink served as Dean of Administration was one characterized by social change, transition, and expansion. Major events occurring before, during, and after his appointment were instrumental in shaping and establishing the foundation of Rutgers, The State University. Just prior to his appointment as Dean of Administration, there was a major internal reorganization. After struggling with inefficiency and role confusion, the Board of Trustees relinquished their authority to the Board of Governors in 1956. The title of the university was then officially changed to "Rutgers, the State University." In their first year of control, the Board of Governors faced many obstacles, mainly due to financial hardships and budget crunches. Financial constraints resulted in the ill-received increase in tuition and dormitory fees. Students organized the Greater State University Committee to protest the increase in fees. The shortage of dormitory and classroom accommodations and obvious lack of space coupled with an anticipated increase in enrollment contributed to a very bleak outlook. Concurrently, the faculty and staff of Rutgers experienced much uncertainty at this time as well. In 1952, The Board of Trustees had instilled a policy stating that any member of the faculty or staff of the University who refused, on the grounds of the Fifth Amendment, to answer questions regarding involvement in Communist activities would be automatically dismissed by the University. At the time, there was a national fear of Communist subversives and activities. However, there was much opposition voiced in regards to this dismissal policy, and the University was censured by both the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Law Schools. In 1957, the Board of Governors made it a priority to revise its dismissal policy.

One major event however helped lift the sagging spirits of the university and catalyzed a nationwide interest in high academic achievement. The orbit of Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957 served as a wake-up call to the United States and thus great efforts were invested in "bettering" the educational system of the United States. This resulted in more money allotted for research by the government along with foundation grants and funds from several defense agencies. Federal aid also became more readily available to students especially, for those who wished to pursue a career in science. Before the Sputnik incident, Rutgers had already been grappling with the inadequacy of facilities and the lack of finances needed to fund building projects. Studies performed in the 1950's estimated that college student enrollment in NJ would more than double in the 1960's and 1970's. The State Board of Education then took an active role by attempting to formulate a plan for expanding facilities in New Jersey campuses. Funds for proposed expansion programs would mainly come from a bond issue, pending approval. A proposed figure of $77,000,000.00 would be required to finance all of the University's building projects. In the meantime, legislature allotted a smaller sum ($3,700,000.00) to Rutgers in 1958. Rutgers did not wait idly by for the approval of the bond issue. With funds from the government and other sources, Rutgers began to initiate some of their construction projects. There was also much activity put into planning for the expansion of facilities. Sometime in 1958, amidst this activity, President Louis Webster Jones resigned. In February of 1959, Dr. Mason W. Gross secured the position as University President. In 1960, the bond issue was approved and thus Rutgers began perhaps the largest growth and expansion in the 1960's in all of Rutgers history.

The University experienced yet another reorganization in 1962, and John Swink left his position as Dean of Administration to become the Vice-President and Treasurer, serving as Chief Executive Aid to the President. The position of Dean of Administration ceased to exist once Swink left. Throughout his years as Dean of Administration, Swink was active in both the expansion of both physical facilities and academic programs. In his final position at Rutgers as the Vice President and Treasurer, Swink took on greater responsibilities in the nature of all business arrangements, budget management, purchasing, insurance, safety, physical plant and construction, golf course, and various other areas.

Biographical Sketch of John L. Swink

John L. Swink was born in Colorado in 1914. He eventually moved to New Jersey to attend Princeton High School before enrolling at Rutgers. He thus began a long association with Rutgers spanning four decades. As a student attending Rutgers, Swink majored in mathematics and became active in the ROTC. After graduating from Rutgers in 1936, he worked as an audit clerk at Prudential Life Insurance Company for three years while teaching mathematics at Rutgers. In 1939, he became a full-time instructor in the evening extension division until he was called to active duty during World War II in 1941. In 1945, he returned to Rutgers to become the Registrar for the University College in Newark. After earning an M.B.A. from New York University in 1948, Swink went on to become Associate Dean of University College in 1951. Seven years later, he was appointed Dean of Administration and he served this role from 1958-1962. During this time, he also served as the temporary Chief Administrative Officer for Douglass College and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (Cook College) until new deans were appointed for these colleges. Swink was again promoted when he was appointed Vice-President and Treasurer in 1962. In 1967, he took on an additional role as the president of the New Brunswick-Raritan Valley Chamber of Commerce. After retiring from Rutgers in 1975, he continued to remain active by joining the Rutgers University Foundation, which is an independent agency that raises funds on behalf of the State University.

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Scope and Content Note

The records and papers of John L. Swink created and maintained during his post as Dean of Administration from 1958to 1962 are arranged into one alphabetical subject file. The folder titles reflect those subject terms originally assigned by Swink. Documents are arranged in chronological order and range in date from 1951-1965. The records consist mostly of correspondence, memoranda, minutes, newsletters, and pamphlets. Some newspaper clippings can also be found. The papers and records reveal the wide range of interests and responsibilities held by Swink.

As Dean of Administration, Swink was mainly responsible for matters in Educational Administration. Reviewing the papers allow researchers to get a glimpse of some of the routine functions and administrative duties of the Dean of Administration. A good way to get an overview of some of these operations and interactions is to review the following folders: 1) Admissions, Office of, 2) Arts and Sciences, College of, 3) Arts and Sciences, College of Newark, 4) Auditing Department, 5) Business, School of, 6) Engineering, College of, 7) Registrar, 8) Summer Institutions, 9) Summer Session, and 10) University College and Extension Division. These folders mainly consist of correspondence regarding new faculty appointments, faculty salaries, budgets, individual program regulations and practices, scholarships, enrollment issues, and disciplinary actions. The large number of correspondence found in the Summer Session folder reflects the increased responsibilities generated by the addition of the Summer Session program to Rutgers University in 1960.

Of special note are the Agriculture and Douglass College folders. Swink also acted as the temporary dean for both the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (now known as Cook College) and Douglass College pending the appointment of new deans. The large Agriculture files consist mostly of minutes and correspondence. Files range in topics such as discussing potential candidates for the position of Dean of College of Agriculture, dedication of the new Horticulture and Poultry facilities, consideration of 75minute period schedules, and resolving conflicts among staff. The Douglass College folders mostly consist of correspondence to and from Edna Newby, then Assistant Dean of Douglass College.

Besides dealing with the various duties of administration, Swink also received numerous requests, invitations to dinners, and invitations to speak at functions. These documents can be found either in the Requests, Miscellaneous or Miscellaneous folders. The difference between these two subject files is that the majority of Requests, Miscellaneous are invitations or requests from faculty and staff within the University. The four folders of Miscellaneous files contain letters from persons not necessarily affiliated with the University and various pamphlets and newspaper clippings that do not seem to "fit" in any other of Swink's subject categories. The files of the Miscellaneous folders cover a vast range of topics such as invitations to dinners, suggestions offered for the improvement of programs, requests for information, and newspaper clippings/pamphlets of regional programs.

The half dozen folders pertaining to graduate school reflect the University's blooming interest in graduate programs. To gain familiarity with some of the graduate schools springing up at this time, researchers may be interested in looking at the following folders: 1) Education, Graduate School of, 2) Graduate School, 3) Graduate Faculty: Psychology Section, 4) Law School, 5) Library Service, Graduate School of, and 6) Social Work, Graduate School of. The Graduate School of Education was formally created in 1960 and thus the two folders dedicated to this program contain information on the formative practices of the new institution. The files concerning Law School are rather thick and contain papers corresponding to both the Newark School of Law as well as the then recently acquired School of Law of Camden. The Law School files also touches on issues concerning the construction of a new Law School Building. Although the Graduate School of Social Work was relatively new at the time, documentation is surprisingly scarce in the corresponding folder. Although increased enrollment of graduate students demonstrated interest in these programs, they were not the only ones seeking a fine Rutgers education; faculty and their families took advantage of the educational system as well. The large Tuition Reduction and Remission folders provide evidence that there was much interest in the benefits of a free education among faculty, staff, and their families.

The period in which Swink was Dean of Administration represented one of transition and expansion. The folders labeled Programming Committee for Building Program, Space Committee, and Building Program Reports reflect the vast undertaking and expansion activities necessary to meet the demands of increased enrollment. The Programming Committee for Building Program files consists of correspondence ascertaining representatives from each department who would serve on the Programming Committee. Included in this folder, is the final list of all participants and members of the Programming Committee. The Space Committee files include correspondence regarding the lack of space as well as the pending approval of the bond issue. Included also are discussions of the Heller Report, which was a study performed to assess Rutger's space needs. The Building Program Reports folder consists of reports and updates on the construction of each of the buildings on each campus. University Heights (now known as Busch Campus) would have additions such as the Engineering building, Accelerated Building, Institute of Microbiology, and the Alcohol Research Center. For more on the Alcohol Research Center, researchers may want to peruse the folder Alcohol Studies (Center for), which discusses the transfer of the Center for Alcohol Studies from Yale to Rutgers. The files consist of resumes of possible directors or staff employees to begin work at the new center, correspondence discussing the preparation and transfer of the Center, and discussions regarding the construction of the new Alcohol Research Center to open in September of 1962. The new facilities and/or renovations of College Avenue Campus include the College Avenue Dining Hall and Dorms, Student Center, and Engineering Building (Queen's campus). Douglass also saw its fair share of new facilities with the construction of Hickman Hall and the Nielson Dining Hall.

There are a handful of subject files that are named after individuals. The Meder, Albert E. folder contains correspondence of Albert Meder, who served as Dean of Administration in the term before Swink. At the time of Swink's term in this role, Meder had gone on to become the Dean of the University. Documents include correspondence between Meder and Arthur S. Platt, Assistant Dean of Administration (see also folder labeled Platt, Arthur S., Asst. Dean of Administration). The Hill, (Senator) Lister folder does not contain many documents but it does give an idea of funding procedures backing building expansion as the Senator was the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcomittee in the Department of Labor, Health, Education, and Welfare. These documents discuss proposal for grants for the construction of research facilities. There are a few folders that are dedicated to specific student problems or issues. The Shomo, Rose F. files contain correspondence addressing questions of whether or not the student plagiarized on a PhD qualifying exam. The files of Tansman, Roberta reveal attitudes and discussions on the issue of changing grades.

In addition to activities directly affecting Rutgers, one can also gain a sense of the social concerns and conflicts of this post-War War II era. The Fallout Shelters folder contains discussions and plans for a fallout shelter to be located at Douglass College and the College of Agriculture. There are references to underground tunnels leading from the dorms to the dining halls. Included are various defense and disaster plans from other universities and a paper titled "On the Feasibility of Peace" by Gerard Piel. The Public Relations folder contains information on a specific incident that reflects the social issues in this era. Files in this folder address the issue of how to handle publicity when a professor of English at Douglass College decided to participate in the "Freedom Ride" for racial equality. The correspondence illustrates the concerns of the public relations office in dealing with the press before and after the professor's arrest in Jackson, Mississippi.

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Name and Subject Tracings

Personal Names

Brand, Robert H.
Hill, Lister
Meder, Albert E.
Platt, Arthur S.
Swink, John W.

Corporate/Organization Names

Douglass College.
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.
Rutgers University--Faculty--Political activity.
Rutgers University--History--Sources.
Rutgers University--Admissions.
Rutgers University--Buildings.
Rutgers University--Campus planning.
Rutgers University--Deans.
Rutgers University--Faculty.
Rutgers University--Presidents.
Rutgers University. Center for Alcohol Studies.
Rutgers University. College of Agriculture. Extension service.
Rutgers University. College of Arts and Sciences.
Rutgers University. College of Agriculture.
Rutgers University. College of Engineering.
Rutgers University. Graduate School.
Rutgers University. School of Law.

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Detailed Description/Box and Folder Listing

Subject Files, 1951-1965
Box Folder
1 1 Admissions, Office of 1958-1961
2 Admissions, Committee on 1958-1961
3 Agriculture 1958-1959
4 Agriculture 1960
5 Agriculture 1961 (Jan-March)
6 Agriculture 1961 (April - Nov)
7 Alcohol Studies, Center for 1960-1962
8 Allen, Jacques W.F. 1960
9 Alumni Relations 1958-1960
10 American Council on Education 1959-1961
11 American Association of University Professors 1958-1960
12 American Friends of the Middle East 1959
13 Architectural School Committee 1961
Box Folder
2 1 Arts and Sciences, College of 1958-1959
2 Arts and Sciences, College of 1960
3 Arts and Sciences, College of 1961-1962
4 Arts and Sciences, College of (Newark) 1958-1961
5 Association of American Medical Colleges 1960-1963
6 Association of University Evening Colleges 1958-1962
7 Association for Higher Education 1959-1960
8 Atlantic Community College 1951-1960
9 Auditing Department 1961
10 Brand, Robert H. 1960-1962
11 Building Program Reports 1960-1965
12 Business, School of 1958-1961
13 Calendar, Year Round (U. of Pittsburgh) 1961
14 Camden Coordinating Committee 1959
Box Folder
3 1 Census, Bureau of the 1960
2 Channel 13 1961
3 Churchill Foundation 1961
4 Cities Service Research and Development Corp. 1960
5 Closing of School 1960-1961
6 Commons Conversion 1961
7 Crossroads Africa 1962
8 Damon Runyon Foundation 1961
9 Dean of Men 1958-1961
10 Douglass College 1958-1961
11 Education, Graduate School of 1958-1959
12 Education Graduate School of 1960-1961
13 Engineering, College of 1958-1959
14 Engineering, College of 1960-1961
15 Fallout Shelters 1961-1962
Box Folder
4 1 Graduate School 1958-1961
2 Graduate Faculty (Psychology Section) 1961
3 Greater NY Council for Foreign Students 1960
4 Hartley, O.G. 1958-1962
5 Health, Education and Welfare 1958-1960
6 Health, Education and Welfare 1961
7 Hill, Lister (Senator) 1961
8 Human Relations in Professional Education Workshop 1961
9 International Cooperation Administration 1958-1960
10 Inter-University Community on the Superior Student 1959-1961
11 Law School 1958-1959
12 Law School 1960-1961
13 Library 1958-1961
14 Library Service, Graduate School of 1958-1961
15 Library, State of New Jersey 1959-1962
16 Meder, Albert E. 1958-1961
Box Folder
5 1 Memos to Deans and Directors 1958-1960
2 Military Memorandums 1951-1961
3 Miscellaneous 1958-1959
4 Miscellaneous 1960
5 Miscellaneous 1961
6 Miscellaneous 1962
7 Natural Sciences, Division of (Newark) 1962
8 New Jersey Education Association 1959-1962
9 Platt, Arthur S., Asst. Dean of Administration 1957-1958
10 Programming Committee for Building Program 1958-1961
11 Public Relations 1959-1961
Box Folder
6 1 Registrar 1957-1959
2 Registrar 1960-1961
3 Requests, Miscellaneous 1962-1965
4 Shomo, Rose F. (Mrs.) 1960-1961
5 Social Work, Graduate School of 1959-1962
6 Society for the Advancement of Education 1962
7 South Jersey, College of 1958-1961
8 Space Committee 1960-1961
9 Statistics Center 1959-1961
Box Folder
7 1 Summer Institutions 1958-1961
2 Summer Session 1958-1959
3 Summer Session 1960-1961
4 Tansman, Roberta 1960
5 Tuition Reduction and Remission 1958-1959
6 Tuition Reduction and Remission 1960-1961
7 University College and Extension Division 1958-1959
8 University College and Extension Division 1960-1961