Finding Aid for Chancellor’s Office Subject and Correspondence File, 1869-
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This collection is the primary record series of the highest administration position at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and its predecessor institutions. Originally the Office of the President, and now the Office of the Chancellor, the records themselves reflect the growth and subsequent delegation of the President's/Chancellor's authority initially comprising a most in-depth look at operations of the institution and in later years comprising summaries, reports, minutes, and correspondence not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the various units.
University of Wisconsin--Stout -- College presidents
The University of Wisconsin-Stout had its origins in a flurry of educational innovations in late nineteenth century Menomonie, Wisconsin. James Huff Stout (1848-1910), a wealthy lumberman and state senator (1894-1910), provided most of the funds and initiative for the city’s far reaching programs. In 1889, Senator Stout underwrote the first manual training and domestic science classes in the city’s schools. On January 5, 1891, the school opened its doors providing education in manual training and domestic science for Menomonie children at every grade level. Under the auspices of the Menomonie Board of Education, the school was financed by James Huff Stout who had been closely following pioneering efforts in manual and household arts and wished to start such an educational experiment in Menomonie. The success of this experiment led to the construction of a larger building which was completed in March of 1893. The Manual Training Building housed departments in Mechanic Arts, Domestic Arts and Art. A change of direction occurred on April 28, 1903, when Stout Training Schools, for preparation of teachers of manual training and teachers of domestic science, was initiated under the Menomonie Board of Education through financing by Stout. To head the training schools as well as superintend the public-school system, Stout brought Lorenzo Dow Harvey, a prominent state educator and former state superintendent of schools, to Menomonie. On March 20, 1908, Stout, Harvey, and William C. Ribenak signed the articles of incorporation creating the Stout Institute as a private institution separate from the Menomonie Schools. The Stout Institute was to emphasize vocational and industrial education, including domestic science. After the death of Stout, the school’s founder and benefactor, the Stout Institute was transferred to the State of Wisconsin becoming a public institution in 1911. The State Board of Industrial Education, created the same year to oversee a new system of vocational schools, also was designated the Board of Trustees of the Stout Institute. The State Board of Industrial Education was renamed the State Board of Vocational Education in 1917. Except for a brief period of 1937-1938, when the Stout Board of Trustees was abolished and the college placed under the administration of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools, Stout continued to be governed by a separate board. Stout Institute was folded into the State College system on July 1, 1955, becoming Stout State College, and in 1964 became Stout State University. On October 12, 1971, the State College system merged with the University of Wisconsin and Stout became the University of Wisconsin-Stout. In its first decades the school remained close to its original mission as an institution for training industrial arts and home economics teachers. This began to change in 1917 when the Legislature permitted Stout to add a Bachelor of Science degree and a four-year program to its original two-year diploma course. In 1925, the two and three-year diploma programs were abolished. The school went back to a more technical curriculum and in 1935 started to offer graduate work and a Master’s degree program. The school received accreditation from the North Central Association and the American Association of Teacher’s College in the late 1920s. Academic preparation of the faculty, teacher-student ratios, library holdings, and other policies and practices needed to meet national, local, and state standards. The school’s progress before the 1950s was severely handicapped by the limited financial resources and physical facilities provided by the state. There was no major campus construction after the completion of the home economics and trade buildings before World War I. President Nelson’s pleas to the Legislature for dormitories, classroom buildings, a physical education plant and a library went unheeded. Faculty salaries increased little during the 1920s and were slashed many times during the Depression years. Student enrollment increased during the early 1930s, but it was hard for many graduates to find jobs during the Depression. In 1934, 40% of the graduates of the previous two years were unemployed. Enrollment dropped during World War II, as men were drafted or took jobs instead. Many people feared the school would be weakened through loss of faculty and appropriations. After World War II, Dr. Verne C. Fryklund replaced Burton E. Nelson as President, and many veteran faculty retired. Student enrollment increased with return of World War II veterans to campus in the late 1940s. A rapidly changing campus accompanied the influx of new students and faculty. The long-needed library, shop building, and student union were constructed. Dr. William J. Micheels took over as president in 1961. The earlier physical growth and internal change continued. The school’s curriculum expanded into industrial technology, guidance, early childhood education, and related arts. A new system of faculty ranking and salaries was instituted and the roll of faculty in college governance increased. College administration, once centered almost exclusively in the president’s office, was centralized under new deans and vice presidents.