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American Association of University Professors, Buffalo Chapter Secretary's files

 Collection — Box: 1-2
Identifier: 3-1-1217

Scope and Contents

Collection contains files of Marchand (Shonnie) Finnegan as Secretary & Vice President of the University of Buffalo Chapter, American Association of University Professors and it's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, mainly concerning the period of campus unrest, 1969-1971 and the arrest of the 45 faculty members during student protests in the Spring of 1970. Also included are some faculty grievance files and publications from the national association.


  • 1968-1989
  • (bulk 1968-1972)


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The American Association of University Professors, Buffalo Chapter, Secretary's Files, 1968-1989 (bulk 1968-1971) are open for research except the faculty grievance files which are restricted for 75 years from date of creation, in accordance with University Archives policy.


Copyright of 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

The years from 1964 to 1973 the University at Buffalo saw many student protests on subjects such as the Vietnam War, the ROTC presence on campus, racial bias in athletics, and the Department of Defense research (Themis). During spring semester 1970, the situation between the students, faculty and administration reached a boiling point.


August 11, 1969
President Martin M. Meyerson officially steps down. Peter F. Regan, III takes on the role of Acting President.
February 24, 1970
During a Clark Gym sit-in to protest racial inequalities in the Athletic Department, the administration calls Buffalo police to monitor the campus.
February 25, 1970
Discussions between Black athletes, the Athletic Department, and the administration ended at 7:35 pm with preliminary agreements by the administration to the student demands. A rally had been set for 8:00 pm in Haas Lounge of the Student Union, called by the Black students and organized by the white support groups of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF). Black students reported to this rally that negotiations with the administration were going well and called for an end to the evening's rally. The issue of Buffalo Police on campus was raised and 40-50 students made their way to the President's office in Hayes Hall. After a hostile interchange with the President and his staff, students headed back to the Student Union. Rocks were thrown through Regan's office window and other windows in Hayes and Crosby Halls. Regan ordered Campus Police to arrest the window breakers.
Campus Police entered the Student Union about 8:50 pm in pursuit of the window breakers beginning a month long campus crisis. In clearing the Union, police beat and arrested several students. Students fought back with barricades and eventually moved outside continuing to throw rocks, ice, and garbage cans. Buffalo Police came on campus and stood between the two groups. Student numbers swelled to a reported 500. Confrontations ensued within juries on both sides: rock-throwing and name-calling by students, police hitting and arresting students with the use of mace and dogs.
February 26, 1970
Around mid-day about 1,000 students held a rally in protest of the administration's action to call non-University law enforcement. Protesters marched around campus focusing on the administration building, Hayes Hall, the Campus Security Office, Clark Gym which housed the ROTC office, and the Themis Project site on Bailey Avenue. Protesters destroyed property and confronted Campus Police. The crowd grew to a reported 1,500. Late in the afternoon city and county police appear on campus and administrators negotiate their departure. About 3,000 students met in Goodyear Hall from 8:00 to 11 pm to develop a strategy and called for a campus strike. A Strike Committee was formed. Around mid-night a series of Molotov cocktails exploded in Lockwood Library (now Abbott Hall, the Health Sciences Library) destroying several hundred books. Other fires occurred on campus.
February 27, 1970
Students go on strike - main issues become self-determination of the Colleges, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), military linked research (Themis Project), removal of the University president and the police on campus, open admissions for Third World Youth, and demands of Black athletes for equality. Class attendance drops 30-40 percent. State Supreme Court Justice Marshall issues an injunction again demonstrators.
February 28, 1970
A University-wide convocation to discuss the recent turmoil was attended by over 4,000 in Clark Gym and turned into a strike solidarity meeting.
March 1, 1970
Acting President Regan appeared on local television to deliver an address on the campus situation. Instead of speaking about the demands of the students, he concentrated on the property that was damaged during the protests calling the perpetrators "vicious vandals."
March 2, 1970
Acting President Regan called for a one-day postponement of classes to ease tensions.
March 5, 1970
Twenty UB students were suspended.
March 8, 1970
The Buffalo police set up temporary headquarters on campus and began regular patrols.
March 10, 1970
Regan rescinded the suspensions of the 20 students. That afternoon a pig was roasted in effigy in the presence of police in front of the Student Union (now Squire Hall).
March 11, 1970
At a special session held at War Memorial Stadium, the UB Faculty Senate condemned the calling of police and demanded their removal.
March 12, 1970
A four hour battle between student demonstrators and police ended in several arrests, injuries and property damage.
March 15, 1970
Forty-five members of the faculty are arrested after holding a sit-in in Acting President Regan's office expressing their extreme concern with the police presence on campus.
March 16, 1970
Demonstrations were held demanding the release of the "Faculty 45." In support, the record, "Hayes Hall Blues" is produced by Vizzy Goth and his Vicious Vandals.
March 17, 1970
The Acting President finally asked police to leave the campus. The 'University Survival Group' announced its existence at a press conference and the Faculty Senate passed a motion of 'no confidence' in campus administration.
March 21, 1970
Spring break began.
April 14, 1970
Acting President Peter Regan resigned effective August 31, 1970.
April 17, 1970
Faculty 45 found guilty by State Supreme Court Judge Hamilton Ward and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
May 5-7, 1970
Student protests against the war in Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia continued across the country inflamed by the killing of four students at Kent State on May 4th.
UB students held several protests on campus and down Main Street; tear gassed by police.
May 7, 1970
Acting President Regan announced there would be no academic penalty for students choosing to leave campus for the semester.
Late in the evening Buffalo police reportedly opened fire with BB-sized no. 9 birdshot into crowds of demonstrators. Police lobbed tear gas and pepper gas grenades into the student union, three other campus buildings, and into crowds outside. Riots ensued and many students were injured or arrested.
June 30, 1970
Acting President Peter Regan stepped down. Dr. Robert Ketter, Dean of the Graduate School, elected President of the University by the Board of Trustees earlier in the month, assumed office the next day.
September 16, 1970
Buffalo police declared to have used birdshot on May 7th by Law Students Concerned for Peace and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Marvin Feldman

Marvin Feldman was a member of AAUP from 1951 and served as president of the Buffalo Chapter from 1968-1970:

In his last year as president...Marvin was constantly on guard to protect the rights of his faculty colleagues...[A]n injunction was sought by the administration that threatened the academic freedom of the faculty, privileged and confidential personnel files were threatened, and many members of the faculty had been arrested. Marvin was very active in the defense of faculty rights: he appeared before the Executive Committee of the SUNY Faculty Senate in May 1970 in Syracuse and succeeded in persuading that body to adopt resolutions condemning disclosure of confidential personnel files and exposing the threat to academic freedom and governance of the injunction; he went to the national meeting of AAUP in Los Angeles that year and persuaded that body to...adopt a resolution on "Disclosure of Professional Confidences" that has since become a national position of the association...; he was instrumental in making it possible for our chapter to file an amicus brief in the successful appeal that reversed the conviction of the Buffalo "Faculty 45." That brief stands today as a landmark in the legal annals and literature on academic freedom and governance of universities.

Taken from Prof. Thomas Connolly's memorial tribute, October 7, 1973. See Box/Folder 1.4


.63 Linear Feet (1 legal manuscript box, 1 half manuscript box)


Collection contains files of Marchand (Shonnie) Finnegan as Secretary & Vice President of the University of Buffalo Chapter, American Association of University Professors and it's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, mainly concerning the period of campus unrest, 1969-1971 and the arrest of the 45 faculty members during student protests in the Spring of 1970. Also included are some faculty grievance files and publications from the national association.


This collection is arranged in alphabetical order, then by date.

Acquisition Information

Collection received from Marchand (Shonnie) M. Finnegan in April 2004.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Karen Spencer, February 2011.

Finding Aid for American Association of University Professors, Buffalo Chapter Secretary's files
Finding aid prepared by Karen Spencer.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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