Cornelis W. de Kiewiet

Title

Cornelis W. de Kiewiet

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Biographical Text

The administration of Cornelis de Kiewiet, the fifth president of the University of Rochester (1951-1961), reflects the spirit of America during his tenure. Expansion, innovation, and integration defined his leadership. Taking advantage of a post-war surge in students and resources, de Kiewiet transformed the University of Rochester into a true research university. He invested in the development of new graduate programs, and insisted that pre-professional programs in business administration, education, and engineering, previously part of the College of Arts and Science, transition into independent academic units. De Kiewiet understood that cultural changes must accompany academic changes in order for the University of Rochester to compete with America’s elite universities. Consider his boldest decision: to merge the women’s and men’s colleges on the River Campus. Despite some heated opposition, including from the then Chairman of the Board of Trustees M. Herbert Eisenhart, the campuses merged in 1955. De Kiewiet served on the Board of Trustees after concluding his presidency.

Duration

46 minutes

Interviewer

End, Jack A.

Interviewee

de Kiewiet, Cornelis W.

Transcription

 Jack End (JE): Dr. de Kiewiet, a couple of years after you became president of the University of Rochester in 1951, you reported to alumni that there were two possible approaches to planning the future of the university.  The first was the “what do we have to work with” approach, and the second was a frank appraisal of the job to be done, and the steps necessary to carry out the job.  As you pointed out to the alumni, you elected the latter approach.  Why did you decide on this approach rather than looking at the university and saying, “What do we have to work with?”   

Cornelis de Kiewiet (CWdK): Jack, in answering a complicated question like that, I’d like to make two comments about the University of Rochester as it is now and the University of Rochester as it was before I came, and both intentionally complimentary comments.  I’m a very considerable admirer of the achievements that President Wallis has to his credit and of the very much enhanced stature of the University of Rochester today.  And by the same token, I think it’s only proper for me to say something about the very considerable strength and merit that I found at the University of Rochester when I came.  And consequently, anything that I say about my period of office in no sense in my intention must be interpreted as being critical of something it wasn’t the way it should have been.  Talk about the University as it was, therefore, I think it doesn’t have any significance at all.  Now, what I had in mind and I think I remember that talk to the alumni with whom I had already established, I thought, very friendly relations, were a number of themes that were the dominant themes in all university work, thinking, and action in that period between 1951 and 1961.  Let me see if I can be, without being lengthy, explicit about them.  The first was the meaning of the war for all universities and particularly for The University of Rochester.  And the war as far as universities were concerned meant, of course, an enormous influx of students who had not had an opportunity during the war.  In consequence, the American university system including University of Rochester was caught short.  The university system unable for want of staff, of physical space, and appointments, and so forth to take care of this inflow, and I would like to say that the State of New York and the private institutions of the State of New York, including The University of Rochester, had been somewhat slow in meeting this challenge of student influx.  And consequently, it was an easy decision to make that the physical growth of the University of Rochester was a high priority. That was number one.  Number two is a bit more difficult to be fully explicit about, but it was the influence or the meaning rather of the Manhattan Project. Now, the Manhattan Project – I’m not referring to as simply the moment or the institution that created the atom bomb.  With a purpose of education, it was an extremely meaningful phenomenon.  First of all, it revealed how enormously important the research factor, the research capacity of the American university system was for the national interest.  It set a new pattern for the scientists and for the intellectual.  And consequently, it was again, an easy deduction to make that the University of Rochester probably had not been successful in stressing enough the graduate and the research capacities.  Fortunately, during the war, the demonstration of the need for research in other areas than armaments had been demonstrated enough, so that the argument could be quite readily put forward and accepted by the University constituency.  The third element that was really much in the fault at the present - at that time was a gentleman from Wisconsin called Senator Joseph McCarthy.[4] Now, I wouldn’t compare him with the other two phenomena, but he did emphasize or cause us who were in the university system to recognize one need that we had been inattentive to in the universities, and that was the need to have a consent relationship.  A relationship we worked in a cooperative, an acceptable manner with American society.  Now I haven’t explained that perhaps as clearly as I might, but what McCarthy had done was to attack the university system and particularly, the meaning of the intellectual in the university system in such a way that something ((thank God))  a temporary something, a rift had developed between the American community at large and the university community.  And I myself felt that of all the relationships between a university and its community, the relationship of consent,  I don’t mean of submissiveness, but of consent, of an understanding on one side and an understanding on the other that meant they worked in the same terms was extraordinarily important to bring about.  And that led me directly, of course, to what I hope was a recognized theme in my administration - the need to establish the best possible relations, first of all with the alumni of the university, wherever they were distributed in the nation, and secondly, with the town of Rochester where there were, I think, divisions of judgment between themselves and the university that needed some attention.  And then finally, of course, and of great importance with the nation as a whole, and I say this at a moment when the problem with the relationship between university and nation has again, become a very difficult problem.  And then fourthly, and this concerns the University of Rochester perhaps more immediately, I had reachedfirst of all at The University of Iowa where I spent 13 years and then at the University of Cornell, or Cornell University where I spent another 10 years,[5] a very strong conclusion about what you might call the center of gravity of university education.  The University of Rochester, at the time when I arrived in 1951, had a center of gravity that at least as far as the core of the university was concerned, namely the College of Arts and Sciences, the center of gravity was in the four year college.  And it was a very popular concept at The University of Rochester,that it compared favorably with Amherst, or Williams, or Bowdoin, or any of the distinguished four year colleges.  Now, I came with a different point of view as to where the most effective center of gravity of The American university system might be or should be.  And that clearly was upwards – a distinct notch in the direction of more professional education, more graduate education, more research, more of a relationship to the whole phenomenon, so much stressed by The Manhattan Project of scientific and intellectual investigation and research.  And in answering your question, perhaps rather lengthily, I think those were the four themes that I felt were uppermost in my mind and trying to address myself to the question, ‘What type of university could the University of Rochester become?’ 

JE: Well certainly anyone who was associated with the University in the 70’s would agree that yours was the right approach – that the approach did make Rochester a truly national as well as nationally significant institution.  As you look back on it now, do you think that you made the right decision in the early 1950’s or do you see now that there were other directions in which the university should have gone?

CWdK: That’s – that’s a tough question to answer.  You mentioned ‘right decision’; I Imagine a number of decisions where reached and I would be the first to admit that some of the decisions were perhaps unwise as far as I was concerned, but on the whole I think that the direction that the university took was a profitable direction.  I still have that conviction.  There were, of course, a great number of opportunities to do other things.  One had to choose amongst a variety of goals.  Other goals might have been equally desirable.  There was one goal, for example, to which I attached personally a very great deal of importance because of my own background, but also because I felt that there was still another dimension into which the University could profitably enter - not merely upwards into more graduate, professional, and research work, not merely upwards so that it became more of a national institution, but one needs to remember that the period after 1945 was a period of the greatest international activity on the part of the United States in more ways than one.  The Marshall Plan,[6]for example, was one of the great themes in the environment when I came to the University of Rochester and consequently, it was one of my great ambitions and where I feel that I was not very successful, to establish more significant, more active, more influential programs at the University of Rochester that would relate to what is happening in Asia and in Africa.  I knew, and perhaps some people in my environment didn’t sufficiently appreciate this fact, that the period after 1947, or more accurately even after 1951, was the greatest period of university formation throughout the world, in the history of the world.  More universities were being created in the world than had been created up to that particular moment.  And consequently, for the university to have a significant relationship with that, I thought was of very great merit and importance.  We did get so far as to develop what for a while was a pretty smart Canadian studies program,[7] but it died out. But of the things that I would have liked to achieve, that I think, was one of the most notable in my mind that where I left with a feeling that I had not done very well.  There was another area where I would have hoped to have been more successful and that was in bringing more of the constituent colleges of the institution closer together.  And here you might permit me or will permit me, I hope, to make a comment about the excellent colleges at the University of Rochester.  There was no question about the high merit of the School of Music.  It was a national institution.  No question at all about the singular quality of the School of Medicine.  It had a most outstanding individual at the head.  There was no question at all about the integrity as a four year college and a success as a four year college or the College of Arts and Sciences.  But apart from the merger[8] about, which I imagine we should be saying something, of the men’s and women’s colleges, I left with a feeling that perhaps more steps might have been taken or a better preparation might have been laid for bringing the School of Medicine and the School of Music more intimately into the life of the institution.  One of the impressions that I had when I came was that the sum of the excellent qualities of the constituent colleges when you put them together did not add up sufficiently to that sum, which in my mind represents a truly national university and it was in a sense making that sum bigger.  In the sum of these excellent colleges, that is one of my aspirations where I felt perhaps there was still work to be done, and I’m fairly sure that my successor has that type of conviction.  Does that answer that question?

JE: Yes.  Along those lines, during your tenure at the university between 1951 and 1961, there were many changes, some of which you’ve mentioned. There was the merger of the two separate colleges, the men’s and women’s; three new professional schools were established, those were the Colleges of Business Administration, Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Education. [9]And the number of students both at the undergraduate and the graduate level was increased. [10]  Basic research was expanded and the undergraduate program was considerably broadened and strengthened.  Top notch faculty members were retained and many equally competent faculty members were added.  The operating budget was considerably increased and needed land was acquired for the University’s growth, and funds were raised to help meet all these additional costs.  Now, this is a long list, I know, but tell us about some of the problems you had or that you encountered in affecting these changes.

CWdK: Yes.  Your questions are full of challenge and meaning.  Well, I hope I don’t use the language of a field of study that really is not my own and that of nuclear physics too much.  I mentioned The Manhattan Project, but looking back on those years, I think I now see myself as being engaged first of all in a process of fusion and then in a process of fission.   And I think those two processes may explain somewhat the obstacles, but also the good support that I had.  Now, by fusion obviously, I’m referring to the merger of the men’s college, or the women’s college rather, with the men’s college.  I think that’s the way it went.  And the reasons were, I think, extremely plain in my mind although, I did have, I think, to put a very considerable amount of effort into making the reasons equally plain to a number of other people.  One was that the resources that were necessary to undertake the expansion of the university would be under strain if we had to maintain two separate institutions, one for men, and one for women.  Secondly, I had the most considerable personal sympathy for the members of the faculty who had to move across town from one campus to another.  The University, although relatively a wealthy institution, did not have the resources to staff thoroughly and fully the two institutions.  And therefore, looking at it psychologically, looking at it economically, looking at it as an embarrassment upon the future of the University or to the future of the University, it seemed to me that the removal of the burden of the women’s college as a separate college - mind you, I’m not talking about the women as part of the burden by any means - that, that burden had somehow to be removed.  Secondly, I’ve never been myself partial to education by sexual division.  There’s an enrichment that takes place when a variety of people are brought together in the same environment and one of the elements of obvious enrichment was to have the women who were a very well chosen group, a very attractive student body added to the student body on the men’s campus.  All right.  I was talking about the reasons that seem to be compelling to bring the men’s college and the women’s college together. I think I can sum up that best by pointing out that the pioneering that the University of Rochester did in this particular area was genuine pioneering in that other institutions of national eminence like Harvard and Yale, Princeton –there are others - has since that time followed the same example.  But that it was pioneering at that time may explain that it was not an easy undertaking.  And I would be less than frank if I didn’t point out, even though briefly and discreetly, that in more ways than one, there was very considerable anxiety about the proposal, sometimes a very stubborn resistance to the proposal and yet, of all the tributes that I would like to pay to the environment, in which I lived so happily for nearly 10 years was the manner in which thoughtful people thought with me. My colleagues talked with me and finally came to the conclusion that hazardous though the enterprise might be, it was something that should be undertaken.  I must admit that the first nine months or twelve months of office were extremely ((onerous)), very challenging, and to me personally sometimes rather anxious.  Now, I move to what followed and that was the process of fission that I thought should take place.  You may recall that within the College of Arts and Sciences, there were the activities, the academic activities of business administration, education, and engineering.  They were in a sense encapsulated within the College of Arts and Sciences.  I must admit that I started up with perhaps the humanist’s attitude towards the inclusion of these disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences as somewhat alien elements that impeded the proper growth of the humanities, the sciences - the pure sciences, and the social sciences - and it wasn’t until I had grappled with some of the difficulties of this encapsulation of business administration, and education, and engineering within the College of Arts and Sciences that I began to see what I should have seen much earlier, a different picture.  And that was that if the University of Rochester, made up of colleges that were joined only by their allegiance to the heating plant - that was a phrase I coined in those days - if that university was to become a complex institution and serving a variety of needed national functions, then the independence of engineering, the independence of education, the independence of business administration were extremely important.  They could not realize themselves, they could not perform their proper functions in the institution unless they were given, in a sense, their own management and put in control of their own arrangements.  Now, this, I think, was in many ways a far more difficult enterprise,  It occasioned far more debate, far more controversy and I’ll say a deeper sense of concern in the faculty than even the merger had.  And looking back upon it one can see why.  The establishment of three new academic activities meant, of course, the expansion of the budget.  And these were days when money did not flow freely. Every penny had to be looked at very carefully to be sure that it bought its full worth.  Naturally, each department was jealous of its own growth and its own opportunities and consequently it was not a matter of discussing an important issue as between two colleges; now it became a matter of discussing a very complex series of important issues where the spokesmanship came from the departmental heads, from the professoriate generally and consequently, this was a far more arduous undertaking.  I think the committee that sat - we did fortunately work well with committees - the committee that sat and deliberated going up and down like a boat on a stormy sea, met for 14 long, arduous months before they finally came up with the right decision.  And it was a decision that was made by the academic group themselves to separate these three institutions from the College of Arts and Sciences, and set them off on their own course.  And I feel myself in retrospect that fewer excellent decisions were reached by the total community than that.  I thought that was the making of the new University of Rochester.

JE: There was another very significant development at the University of Rochester between ‘51 and ‘60.  The membership of the Board of Trustees changed, but over and beyond that, the philosophy of the Board of Trustees changed.  Members of the board seemed to become more aware of the fact that the University needed the encouragement and support of the community.  And secondly, seemed to become aware of the fact that the University did have the potential for changing from a fairly provincial or regional institution to one of national importance.  Can you recall how and why these changes did take place?

CWdK: Yes.  In the American university system the board of trustees has always been a very important element.  Very valuable to an institution when the administration of the institution and the trustees can work things out in the same pattern, in the same atmosphere, with the same objectives.  And summing up a total experience which had its vicissitudes, I would say that the Board of Trustees of the University behaved admirably.  They learned about the nature of the changes that needed to take place or had to take place, or should take place.  They learned with tolerance; their questions were always searching questions.  There were – clearly enough - there were disagreements.  One very important member of the Board of Trustees, I think, was very reluctant to see the merger take place.  And I don’t think that he changed his mind, even later on, but in the main, I think there was a willingness to see the University undertake these changes.  Now, on the basis of those comments, there are a few others that I think for the record and because history has to be as accurate as it can be, there was a parallel attitude between the trustees and the student body that I would like to describe.  I don’t mean that they were in a relationship with one another, but they were parallel.  One of the phenomena that was somewhat unsettling, somewhat disturbing in dealing with the students at the University of Rochester was that so many of them had hoped to be in other institutions that had greater prestige.  I used to like to sit down with the students after their meals in their dormitories, for example, and I just talked to see them to see what was on their minds.  And one of the questions that came to me most regularly from a variety of students was ‘Well, how good is the University of Rochester?  Do you think the University of Rochester is as good as Yale or Princeton, or any of the other blue ribbon institutions?’  And inevitably, we reached the conclusion that this is where the student had hoped originally to go.  And I think that they all graduated with a feeling that they had come to an excellent institution that had given them an excellent training.  Now, something of that I think I felt I noticed in at least some of the members of the Board of Trustees at that time. I think I could sum that up best by making the point again that to some of the questioning students as to some of the trustees, the University of Rochester gave the impression of being a local institution, a good local institution, but not a national institution.  And a number of the trustees in a sense distinguished perhaps unconsciously between the University of Rochester in those terms.  Then also, I think I need to go back to a phenomenon that I referred to earlier and that was the sense of separateness that one noticed and felt inside the School of Music, or the School of Medicine.  The relationship between some of the trustees was rather directly with one of the schools or the other.  So in a sense, some of the trustees did not have a relationship with so much the total institution as they had to a favored part of it where their owned interests for a variety of reasons were very strong.  And particularly, of course, because Mr. George Eastman had been so generous towards the institution, there were some who followed him, his musical interests in the direction of the musical school, some who followed his medical interest in the and direction of the medical school, and therefore, I think it’s not unfair to say that there wasn’t a sense of process of education that the trustees themselves underwent in seeing more clearly the idea, the concept of a total institution with important, necessary interrelationships.  Another phenomenon that obviously had to be important in dealing with the trustees was their attitude towards money, towards expense, and resolve the things that we had been talking about were not cheap.  They involved fairly heavy capital expenditures and they involved, of course, annual increases in the budget.  And that these are all matters of necessary and proper concern for the trustees.  I had perhaps, not very far ahead of them, but I had perhaps an earlier sense, an earlier feeling that the nation, the American nation, as a result of the things that I’ve talked about - the implications of The Manhattan Project, the implications certainly of the great surge into education of students - would carry this challenge.  In talking with my senior colleagues abroad, I always made the point that when there was a crisis and after all, at that time we had a form of crisis in education, that the American people would not fail in that crisis.  And therefore, I had almost a visceral certainty that the money would be forthcoming.  The trustees were more cautious.  And consequently, I think the points of not stress, but the points where the arguments needed to be strongly prepared, and strongly presented, and strongly persisted in were in the financial areas.  There was one phenomenon that I think also needs mention here.  There was a perception of the University, a legitimate perception of the University, as a very wealthy institution.  And quite often, in talking over the financial implications of university growth and development, I would be faced with a comment, ‘But this is one of the wealthiest institutions in the United States.  What do you need more money for?’ - because we were pressing for fundraising, we were pressing for increases in budgets, for increases in tuition, and so forth.  And consequently, here you had an area of not confrontation, but an area nonetheless where differences of judgment necessarily came to the fore.  And I think if I may claim one rather special achievement and that was in convincing the trustees as a whole that a modern university, no matter how big its endowment may appear to be, is always a poor university, is always in need of funds.  And the translation of the concept of the great richness of the University of Rochester into the concept of its great need, I think psychologically was no mean achievement at that particular time.  I will recall the first major presentation of the finance committee report to the trustees, and that would have to be at the end of 1951, where a fairly smart surplus was declared, and perhaps without thinking what the implications in my academic ears might be, one of the trustees referred to that as ‘the annual profit’ and it was to destroy this concept of an annual profit that I set my sights.  I had my – I don’t mind saying it with all the emphasis in the world now, I had a strong conviction that a university, never is wealthy, always has needs that have to be satisfied, and that in the second place, it was really improper - academically improper - for a university to think in terms of saving money, of putting its money aside for some rainy day.  It was always raining as far as we were concerned in those days, and when I made this point, I think on the whole, it was tough progress.  It didn’t come easy and I think one has to respect the trustees for being quite skeptical about demands that are put forward one after another rather rapidly as one can gather, but they finally did, I think, accept the phenomenon or accept the recommendation that the University should not have, as it did have in 1951, very ample reserves.  They were astonishingly, the ample reserves.  And pulling down these reserves, of course, did mean that a good deal of strain was put upon the custodian or custodial feeling of the trustees.  But the fact that the money was forthcoming, I wished I could have had more, but the fact that it was forthcoming showed that in the main together we made this sort of progress I think that was so useful, beneficial to the University in those critical years. 

JE: Now, let’s move from the University of Rochester specifically, to the broader topic of higher education in general.  Now, you’ve helped establish new colleges and universities in Africa.  You have continued to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Rochester.  Your whole adult life has been concerned with higher education and as an historian, you’ve always been able to look into the future with an amazing degree of accuracy.  This is now 1971.  In the next five, to eight, to ten years, what shifts in emphases, what changes in patterns, what challenges and problems do you see will face American colleges and universities? 

CWdK: Well, Jack, you’ve given me an opportunity to talk about the past and now you challenged me to talk about the future.  I think I can remember things about the past, I’ve tried to remember them accurately.  Now, I think you challenged me to do a little bit of guessing, but in that spirit I’ll try to do a little guessing.  I’ll start by drawing a contrast, and I think it is a contrast, between my period of office and the present period.  No matter how many the difficulties were, it was a period of growth.  It was a period of opportunities.  And apart from the fact that the University of Rochester made a somewhat late start - it should have started, I think four or five years earlier with meeting its challenges - nonetheless, there was a spirit of compliance, a spirit of growing enthusiasm, an understanding locally as well as nationally, so that generally, I think one can characterize this as a period of opportunity for American higher education.  And probably it’s true to say that for American education, as for world education, it probably has not been as great a period of growth, expansion, multiplication, and penetration as took place let us say from 1948, roughly speaking, to 1968.  Now, from that time onwards, I think, American higher education seems to have moved into another period.  Not a period of ceasing growth, of cessation of growth, but certainly a period of a different set of problems.  And they’re so numerous that I think I would be out of line if I had tried to mention them all or tried to encompass them all.  But there’s one problem that I think is very serious.  It is a worsening of that issue that Senator McCarthy produced for us where there was the making or there were the makings of a split in the consent relationship between American higher education and society generally.  I’m not talking about and the establishment.  I’m talking about American society and the disaffection within the universities, the unrest within the universities, whatever their causes or justification, the manner which the universities had been a platform for issuing challenges in important national issues.  These all bring up this question of the consent relationship and I think there is at the present moment a fissure, or a difference.  How important it is I’m not in the position to judge because I now live outside the university community, but there has been, perhaps more in the last two years than at the present moment, a noticeable cooling of the relationship between the university community on the one side and the American community on the other side.  Maybe I’ve exaggerated that somewhat.  Maybe I’d be wiser if I pointed to the fact that the need for educational development now is challenged by other needs.  And these other needs are, of course, obvious to us - urban rehabilitation, the rehabilitation of an important racial element of our population.  These are all challenging, all expensive social problems.  And the university consequently does not present its case in an atmosphere where compliance or, rather generosity,is as easy to come by.  I think the wealth of the nation has been severely strained by international war and by the sudden recognition that we’ve accumulated over generations this vast deficit represented by pollution and disorganized cities.  And consequently, the image of the university is no longer an easy one to present with clarity.  I have enormous sympathy for the educational leadership of this generation, for their problems are vastly beyond the problems that we had to deal and their opportunities of success I think are more prejudiced and more difficult.  And that the mortality of university presidents, always somewhat high, has become greater still, I think can be ascribed to the a very great difficulty of university administration at the present time.  There’s a second phenomenon where I think the university has been rather inattentive.  Maybe properly so, and maybe understandably so, but actually the phenomenon that is a university, in other words, the organization of intellectuals  in science, or investigation, or in instruction, the phenomenon of the university has spilled over beyond the boundaries of the university.  The university exists, although not in name, within industry and the research laboratories of industry.  The university exists, although not in name, within this great government, particularly here in Washington, in the National Institutes of Health.  And consequently, the university phenomenon is no longer as clear a phenomenon, no longer as easy to justify and explain as it has been.  And I think the university consequently, has spilled over into society in such a way that a fair degree of disorganization, a fair degree of misunderstanding of the university functions seems to be now characteristic of a good portion of American society.  And the University of Rochester – just come back for a moment – was a very easily recognizable phenomenon.  Its shape, its outline, its meaning, its content, the image projected, all those things are very simple and easy to read, but now the University of Rochester - and it still isn’t one of the big expanded institutions of the country - the University of Rochester radiates not merely into its own society, local society, but it has people who move to and fro between industry and itself, between government and itself, and therefore, the administration of a university is no longer the relatively simple phenomenon or activity that it once was.  I think I’m doing a little bit of, with your consent, a little bit of rambling now.  I think also, I have both understanding but great anxiety about the mood of the student population and of those younger faculty people who carry the image of the University.  I think they are people who have a desperate need or feel that they have a desperate need - I’m not expressing agreement myself necessarily - for a radical experience. They’re asking of their generation that they be a radical experience.  A radical experience concerning international relations, a radical experience concerning the nature of the American city, a radical experience concerning the nature of racial problems.  Now, we had our radical experience in the Depression and I think a great deal of understanding comes, if one recognizes that this yearning for a radical experience is rather strongly focused inside the universities, and this may be one explanation of the sense of strain, the one thing that exists at the present moment between the university and their requirements and society and its definition of its requirements.  I think I’d better end there and thank you for the wonderful opportunity.

JE: Thank you Dr. de Kiewiet.

[1]Cornelis de Kiewiet served as the fifth President of the University of Rochester, 1951-1961 (de Kiewiet biography. Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation [RBSC]: Online).

[2]As part of the effort to develop the nuclear bomb during World War II, select faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine researched the effects of radiation exposure on health. University of Rochester professor of radiology Stafford L. Warren oversaw the national research effort, which began in November 1943. Andrew H. Dowdy led research at the University of Rochester. Researchers hoped to develop an effective response to a bomb attack should an enemy force acquire the bomb prior to the United States of America (May, History of the University of Rochester 2005 Online; "Morey Wantman." Living History Project [RBSC]: Online).

[3]Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-57). McCarthy gained notoriety for his investigation of suspected Communists in the United States government.  His 1950 speech in Wheeling, West Virginia brought the issue to national attention. In 1953, he became chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The post allowed him to pursue further investigations that were later revealed to be largely unfounded. (“Joseph R. McCarthy: A Featured Biography.” Web. 10 June 2016. http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/Featured_Bio_McCarthy.htm).

[4]de Kiewiet left the University of Iowa to become a professor of history at Cornell University in 1941. In 1945, he became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; three years later he was Provost.  From 1949 to 1951, he served as acting president (“Descriptive Summary: Cornelis de Kiewiet papers, 1949-1951." Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/EAD/htmldocs/RMA02559.html).

[5]The Marshall Plan, (oficially the European Recovery Program) introduced by then Secretary of State George Marshall on June 5, 1947, sanctioned the provision of $130 billion in aid to sixteen European nations.  The aid aimed to stimulate economic recovery and government stability in the beneficiary nations in the aftermath of World War II ("History of the Marshall Plan.” George C. Marshall Foundation. Web. 31 May 2016. <ahref="http://marshallfoundation.org/marshall/the-marshall-plan/history-marshall-plan/">http://marshallfoundation.org/marshall/the-marshall-plan/history-marshall-plan/).

[6]The Canadian Studies program was introduced in 1954. Mason Wade served as director (Arthur May, History of the University of Rochester (2005) [RBSC]: Online).

[7]Dr. George Whipple was the founding Dean of the University of Rochester Medical Center beginning in 1921. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1934 for a discovery that led to successful treatment of pernicious anemia, which was previously fatal. His papers are available in Miner Library. His wife Katharine Whipple has done an Oral History Interview.

[8]The merger occurred in 1955, when the women’s Prince Street Campus closed and women joined the men on the River Campus ("Eleanor Garbutt Gilbert." Living History Project [RBSC]: Online).

[9]The department of education separated from the Arts College in 1956. The engineering and business departments followed in 1957. Initially designated a School of Business, the business administration program became the College of Business in 1961. All three programs initially enrolled undergraduate students who had completed two years of study (May, History 2005. Online).

[10]Arthur May observes that the return of veterans of the Korean War contributed to a rise in enrollment in the first years of de Kiewiet’s presidency (History 2005). By the end of the decade, de Kiewiet had crafted a plan for 25 percent growth of enrollment in the College, a move which would increase the undergraduate student body to 2,500 (Janice Bullard Pieterse, Our Work is but Begun: A History of the University of Rochester 1850-2005. Rochester: Meliora Press, 2014. 99).

Citation

de Kiewiet, Cornelis W., “Cornelis W. de Kiewiet,” RBSCP Exhibits, accessed February 5, 2023, https://rbscpexhibits.lib.rochester.edu/items/show/7728.

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