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Office of the Chancellor/President vertical file

Identifier: 5-H-VF

Scope and Contents

This vertical file is not comprehensive; it is comprised of ad hoc material collected over time by University Archives staff. Vertical files are often used by researchers as a "first stop" and serve as an orientation to the topic at hand.

The Office of the Chancellor/Presidents vertical file contains administrative histories regarding the office and organizational functions of the President. Administrative histories are useful as they generally contain citations to other sources, such as minutes, articles, etc., held in University Archives. In this instance, the administrative histories consist of descriptions of various positions within the Office of the Chancellor/President, as well as memos documenting personnel changes.

This small vertical file does not include materials on each chancellor or president. It does include clippings on personnel changes within the office; and most notably, a small number of subject files (budget; income offset; 1970-1971 dissolution of campus ROTC; and the establishment of the President’s Review Board, University Advocate, and University Ombudsman).

A small number of publications from the Office for Government Affairs are also included (Catalyst for the Community; University at Buffalo Contributions to the Western New York and New York State Economies).

For papers of chancellors and presidents, see Record Group 4 subgroups (arranged by chancellor or president).


  • 1966-2005

Terms of Access and Use

The Office of the Chancellor/President vertical file is open to researchers.


Copyright is held by The State University of New York at Buffalo. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

Records pertaining to the Office of the Chancellor/President. Personal papers of University Chancellors/Presidents at large are in Record Group 4.

The importance of the records of the Office of the Chancellor/President is twofold: first, they reflect the operations of the office itself, and secondly, they contain information about most activities taking place at the University.

The President’s files can also be used to reconstruct- in part- the files of other University offices. The files contain letters and memoranda of Deans and administrators giving details of activities and important policy decisions. The files also may contain runs of minutes from policymaking bodies kept for the information of the President.

The President of the University usually serves a public relations function. Although there may be offices that provide information about university activities to the public, usually the President (or a key subordinate) will sign the letters or make the speeches that transmit university messaging.

However, the files of the Office of the President are primarily kept to aid the President in the day-to-day duties of the office. They are not necessarily set up to provide a researcher with summary data about how a particular office operated at a particular date or what was the established policy at a given time. Instead, the files are generally chronological- often-yearly- accumulations of letters, memoranda, notes and background materials. They often reflect minor decisions made over time, not broad policy decisions. As such, they reflect the reality of modern bureaucracy. The activities and functions of offices, the University as a whole, as well as subordinate offices and departments, are ruled not so much by legislation (in the case of the University, legislation would be from the Board of Trustees), but a matter of accumulated decisions. The real function of an office may be as much a reflection of a certain incumbent or a gradual growth of function over time.

The records of the President often contain many memorandum concerning appraisals of programs and suggestions for the addition of new programs or the alteration of existing ones. As such, it is often difficult to determine what was actually decided. In some cases, the information concerning a decision does not exist (for example, a response was made verbally, not otherwise recorded, documentation of it was not retained, or documentation was not transferred to University Archives).


.2 Linear Feet (file cabinet drawer)

Language of Materials



Contains administrative histories, clippings, and miscellaneous printed material regarding the Office of the Chancellor/President.


H. Administrative History

G. Clippings

3. Subject files (A to Z)

9. Office for Government Affairs

Acquisition Information

Material in the Office of the Chancellor/President vertical file was collected by University Archives staff. Periodically, documentation is added to the collection.

Accruals and Additions

Further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Vilz, June 2019; finding aid encoded by June 2019.


Finding Aid for the Office of the Chancellor/President vertical file
Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz
07 June 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)