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Office of Planning and Development, Robert W. Spencer records

 Collection — Box: 1-3
Identifier: 8-1-50

Scope and Contents

Collection contains the records maintained by Robert W. Spencer regarding the planning for the Amherst/North Campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo: correspondence with and reports to SUNY Central Administration in Albany, background data on projected space needs for divisions and departments, design plans, and records of the Campus Planning Committee. A related collection is 8/1/328, Campus Planning Committee Files, 1964-1965.

Box 1 contains reports and correspondence relating to space needs for the departments, offices and divisions on the new Amherst Campus, compiled mainly for and by Facilities Planning and Research (Office of Architecture and Facilities) of the State University of New York, Central Administration. Enrollment projections, space analysis summaries and studies. Major correspondents include William T. Conway, Director of SUNY's Facilities Planning and Research; William C. Doemland, Director, Office of Planning and Development; and John R. Warren and Robert W. Spencer, coordinators of the Office of Planning and Development.

Box 2 continues the reports of Box 1 with detailed information on the libraries and student union.

Box 2 and 3 contain files Robert Spencer kept during his participation on the Campus Planning Committee, chaired first by Bradley Chapin and later by John C. Wahlke. The committee was primarily concerned with determining the space needs of various departments, offices, and divisions and reporting these needs to Albany. Included are architectural programs and correspondence between the committee members, departments, and Albany officials. Primary correspondents include John C. Wahlke; James Titus, Assistant to the Dean of the University College, C.C. Furnas, President of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Harold C. Syrett, Executive Dean for University Centers (SUNY Central) and Harry W. Porter, Provost (SUNY Central).


  • 1964-1966


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Office of Planning and Development, Robert W. Spencer records, 1964-1966 are open for research.


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.

Biographical Note

Robert W. Spencer (1921-2012 ) attended Riverside High School in Buffalo, New York and received his B.A. degree in 1942 from the University of Geneseo. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Pacific. He married Mary Pearl Elder on October 30th, 1942. Following the war they moved to Eden, New York, where Mr. Spencer taught high school science and driver education. He quit teaching to work as a carpenter and later opened his own home and pool construction business. In 1962, he returned to higher education working towards his doctorate degree in political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He worked in the Office of Planning and Development during his graduate studies focusing on planning for the new Amherst campus. In 1967, before he was able to complete his dissertation he was offered a position with SUNY Central in Albany in the Long Range Planning Office. He later became a special assistant to the Chancellor of SUNY. He and Mary, who taught kindergarten for 25 years, retired in August 1983 and returned to Buffalo. The Spencers have four children, Mary, Robert, Karen, and Kevin, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Robert Spencer died on January 14th, 2012.

Historical Note

For historical information on the North Campus of the University at Buffalo, please ask for the North Campus History Files. See also Related Resources below.


3.75 Linear Feet (3 cartons)


Collection includes the records maintained by Robert W. Spencer regarding the planning for the Amherst/North Campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo.


This collection is arranged in original order.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the University Archives by Karen L. Spencer, daughter of Robert W. Spencer, in 2003.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources in the University Archives

  1. 2/2/679, Committee to Name Buildings: Records, 1972-1980
  2. 3/1/464m, Committee for an Urban University, 1966
  3. 3/3/1128, Location, Location, Location: A Special History of the University of/at Buffalo, 2007
  4. 5/3/267B, President, Office of. Campus Planning, 1954-1973
  5. 8/1/328, Campus Planning Committee files, 1964-1966
  6. 8/1/447, Office of Planning and Development Records, 1920-1968
  7. 8/1/497, Amherst Land Acquisition, 1964-1972
  8. 8/1/552, Capital Budget Requests and Campus Master Plan: Files, 1968-1979
  9. 8/1/664: Contracts and Legal Files, 1966-1979, 1969-1977
  10. 8/1/968, University Facilities Budget and Planning Documents, 1965-1978
  11. 8/9/993, The Amherst Campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo: A Historical Perspective, Masters Project by Angeline Janetakos, April 26, 1985
  12. 8/7/999: South Campus Planning Documents, 1957-1984
  13. 8/9/997, Amherst Campus Clippings, 1962-1980
  14. 8/9/1007, North Campus Construction Records, 1957-1991
  15. 8/9/1090, North Campus Construction Clippings, 1971-1979
  16. 8/10 Video 213: Press conference-New shopping/office center, 1992

Processing Information

Unprocessed, maintained in original folders.


Finding Aid for the Office of Planning and Development, Robert W. Spencer records
Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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