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Annual Reports of Deans and Directors [microfilm]

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 5-2-MF-353-454

Scope and Contents

This collection contains microfilmed annual reports from 1931 to 1982 of schools, departments, offices, institutes and centers of the University at Buffalo. In the 1980s, a portion of annual reports were microfilmed as the original reports were fragile typescripts or degrading mimeographs.

Reports in this collection cover pivotal moments in the development of the University. Particularly noteworthy are reports of the World War II era, (which include war training programs, job placement for women, and veterans services); Chancellor Samuel Capen’s tutorial instruction plan; and the establishment of the Colleges in the late 1960s through the 1970s.

As a format, annual reports give a broad overview of the University at a given point in time, including of academic units, budgets, bequests and fundraising, campus planning, and facilities; and statistics such as enrollment, degrees conferred, and faculty research publication. These reports are a critical research resource as they offer not only “what was,” but “what might have been” (i.e. insight into the assumed and planned trajectories of departments, campuses, budgets, academics, etc.) as well as “firsts.” Goals of programs and departments at their inception are noted. Reports of Schools and Faculties, particularly after 1950, often incorporate reports of departments.

Researchers should also consult individual collections for departments, schools, offices, etc. for additional reports either falling outside this date range or not microfilmed.

Note: There are no reels 414, 421, or 425.


  • 1931-1982


Terms of Access and Use

Annual Reports of Deans and Directors [microfilm] 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

Founded in 1846 as the private University of Buffalo, UB began as a medical school. At first, classes were held in rented spaces in the city of Buffalo, until the first building was erected at Main and Virginia in 1849. The Schools of Pharmacy (1886) and Law (1887) were added, but it was not until the first liberal arts classes in 1913, and the official establishment two years later of the College of Arts and Science, that marks the establishment of UB as a true university.

At the same time, plans were taking shape to create a unified campus. Land was purchased (the current Main Street/South Campus) in 1909 and a major endowment campaign was held in 1920 to raise funds for building the campus. The campaign raised $5 million in 10 days in 1920. To give a measure of what was accomplished, it’s the equivalent to about $60 million today. The addition of Samuel P. Capen as the first full-time Chancellor (1922-1950) further served to unify the once loose collection of professional schools under a centralized administration.

During his twenty-eight years at the University of Buffalo, Capen established many University programs and educational experiments that helped to further the expansion of higher education. He helped to broaden the education of the professional schools, developed standardized curriculums, and personally handpicked a first-class faculty of full-time, academically trained professors. He also established the Millard Fillmore College for adult education and created the Bureau of Personnel Research, a counseling office, to administer programs that tested the achievements and personalities of students in order to provide better guidance for career choices and help them obtain employment. The numbers attest to his role as administrator: student enrollment rose from 1,687 in 1922 to over 10,000 by the time of his retirement in 1950.

The explosion of enrollment after WWII came with a rapid expansion of academics. Clifford C. Furnas, chemical engineer, metallurgist, aviator researcher, and Olympic athlete, was the University's ninth chief executive, holding the position of Chancellor from 1954 until 1962 when the University merged with the State University of New York and his title changed to President. Furnas undertook an extensive program of expansion and enrichment to meet the growing educational needs of Western New York. He was the guiding force in the merger of the private UB with the State University of New York in 1962, affording an infusion of funding. Between 1961 and 1963, over 200 new faculty were hired to meet growing enrollment demand.

Likewise, UB’s footprint expanded rapidly from the Main Street (South) campus to Amherst. The University at Buffalo's North Campus is located almost exactly in the center of the town of Amherst, NY approximately 3.5 miles from South Campus on the northeast edge of Buffalo, NY. In the mid-1960s, the University was quickly outgrowing its 178-acre campus, which was once the grounds for the Erie County Almshouse and County Hospital. After a few unsuccessful attempts to acquire land for a new campus in downtown Buffalo, the University looked to the surrounding suburbs. Then governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller helped the University acquire 2,000 acres in Amherst, and in October 1968, the University began the intensive planning for the newly acquired land.

Today, UB is the largest and most comprehensive research university in the SUNY system with more than 125 undergraduate degrees and 320 graduate and professional programs.


3 Linear Feet (100 reels in 2 microfilm drawers)

Language of Materials



Microfilmed annual reports of schools, departments, offices, institutes and centers of the University at Buffalo. Reports of Schools and Faculties, particularly after 1950, often incorporate reports of departments. This collection is not comprehensive. For additional reports, see individual collections for schools, offices, departments, etc.; and 5/2/1243 for reports outside of this date range.



Acquisition Information

Annual Reports of Deans and Directors were transferred to University Archives over time by the Office of the President, as well as individual schools, departments. etc. Due to fragility (reports were typescripts or mimeographed) a portion of annual reports were microfilmed in the 1980s and comprise this collection.

Accruals and Additions

No further microfilm accruals are expected.

Processing Information

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


Finding Aid for the Annual Reports of Deans and Directors [microfilm]
Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz
02 August 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)