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University of Northern Colorado, Office of the Provost and Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs records

Identifier: RG007-S001

Collection Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials from the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, as well as similar UNC authorities known under a different name or title. The collection documents university-wide issues, all of the colleges, and several centers and campus units. It consists of records from provosts, assistant provosts, and committees. Major topics documented here include but are not limited to: academic and strategic planning, budgeting, diversity and inclusion practices, faculty matters, and work with external organizations such as the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The primary types of documents are reports, proposals, memos, correspondence, publications, minutes, budgets, and audio recordings.


  • 1935 - 2020
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access with the exception of confidential information in Series 2. Box 34 is restricted until 2057.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department for further information.

During processing, several documents were found to contain Social Security Numbers and were removed. Researchers are advised that some documents with Social Security Numbers may have been unintentionally missed during review. If found during research, please notify an Archives and Special Collections employee.

Organizational History

The Office of the Provost and Division of Academic Affairs has a long and organizationally complicated history. The section, "History of the Title of Provost," found below, sheds some light on this complex unit.

The provost or vice president of academic affairs reports to the university president and oversees a large number of units within the Division of Academic Affairs, including all of the colleges.

In 2020, the goals of the Office of the Provost were to: "transform the lives of students by focusing on the academic aspects of their success by making intentional decisions to meet their need; design and deliver academic programs of high and eminent quality at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels; achieve international prominence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative works, and service; promote the advancement and application of original knowledge; and serve faculty, staff, and students."


32.7 Linear Feet (41 boxes)

0.5 GB (Approximately 5 captures of the Provost's website)

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials from the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs documenting university-wide issues, planning, and the provost's work with the various academic units and external organizations.

Acquisition Information

Materials in this collection have been periodically transferred from the Office of the Provost from 2004 through 2017. In 2010, materials from various UNC administrative offices, including Vice Presidents, were received from the office of the General Counsel. Mission statements transferred from Provost’s Office (June 2019); pamphlet, announcement, and Academic Quick Look acquired via Library Administration (Sept 2018 and April 2019); Bear Country Snapshot sent by Stephanie Torrez (July 2019). Newsletters tranferred from UNC Office of the Registrar records (RG008-S005) in June 2021 (box 021).

Separated Materials

The following materials were separated during processing and transferred to other collections within university archives:

Files maintained by Howard Skinner during his time as interim president: transferred to UNC President Howard Skinner records, RG002-S010.

Files pertaining to Faculty Senate committees: transferred to UNC Faculty Administration collection, RG005.

Accreditation reports and materials: transferred to UNC Institutional Accreditation collection, RG007-S004.

Faculty performance evaluation guidelines for the College of Health and Human Services: transferred to UNC College of Natural and Health Sciences, RG007-S041.

Laboratory School Charter Application (2 vols): transferred to UNC Laboratory School records, RG014.

Building plans and specifications (2 vols): transferred to UNC Buildings and Grounds collection, RG015.

1 copy of College Statistical Summary 1999-2000: transferred to University Publications, Statistical Summaries.

Sources Used in Organizational History

Organizational History: University of Northern Colorado website,, accessed January 11, 2021.

History of the Title of Provost: Sources: First 30 Years of Organization of State Normal School, The State Teachers College of Colorado, Colorado State Teachers College 1890-91 - 1919-20. UNC Archives Studies Volume 18. Minutes of the Board of Trustees, April 4, 1917, p. 99; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, April 15, 1918, p. 119; Minutes of the Board of Trustees, April 4, 1917, p. 99; 1921/1922-1954/1955 Catalog and Yearbook. "Cross Filled Four Positions in One Year," Mirror, Apr. 25, 1929, p. 1; "Cross is Named Vice President of College Here," Greeley Tribune, Apr. 9, 1926, p. 1; Board of Trustees Minutes, January 22, 1931, pp. 268-269; "Administrative Changes Scheduled for Fall," CSCE Newsletter, Series LV, No. 3, Spring Quarter 1954-55.

History of the Title of Provost

The title for the senior academic administrator, just below the president of the University, has varied over time. The titles of Vice President and/or Dean of the College were in use from 1891 to 1955. James Harvey Hays served as Vice President during President Zachariah Xenophon Snyder's entire term of office, 1891-1915. In some of the college catalogs, Hays was listed as Vice President and Dean of the College. Upon the death of President Snyder in 1915, Hays became the Acting President from November 11, 1915 to late summer 1916 and Ethan Allen Cross the Acting Dean of the College. In some of the Board of Trustees minutes, Hays was referred to as "Dean Hays." John Grant Crabbe, who served as President of the college from late summer 1916 until his death in 1924, discontinued the position of Vice President. Instead, he created the title of Dean of the College. It appears that Ethan Allen Cross served as Dean of the College or Acting Dean of the College between 1916 and 1926. President George W. Frasier once again created the title of Vice President with Ethan Allen Cross serving in the position from 1926 until fall 1931. The Board of Trustees approved recommendations by Dr. George W. Frasier for fall 1931 that Dr. E. A. Cross be relieved of the office of Vice President and continue as head of the Department of English and Literature and Dr. W. D. Armentrout be made Vice President. Winfield Dockery Armentrout served as Vice President from 1931 until 1955. The "title of vice president of the college" was discontinued after Dr. Armentrout's retirement in 1955. Beginning in 1956, Donald Decker held the title of Director of Instruction, then became Dean of the College in 1959 and Provost in 1971. Frank Lakin began his term as Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1971, which changed to Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Services in 1975, then to Vice President for Academic Administration in 1976 and back to Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1979. The title Vice President for Academic Affairs was used somewhat consistently after 1981. In the early 1990’s, James E. Walker served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and also held the position of Provost. The same designations were held by Howard Skinner in an interim capacity, 1991-92. Following Roslyn Elms’ 1992-94 term as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Stephen Hulbert became Senior Vice President then Provost. When Roger Kovar became Vice President for Academic Affairs, he pointed out, “The position that I am taking is the vice president position, not provost.” This statement acknowledged that while one individual might concurrently hold both titles, the job duties were in fact separate. (The Mirror, June 22, 1994) Marlene Strathe (1998-2003) and Allen Huang (2003-2011) served as both Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Abe Harraf (2007-2011) held the titles of Provost and Senior Academic Vice President. Robbyn Wacker then served from 2011-2017 as Provost and Senior Vice President, followed by Theo Kalikow in an interim capacity. In 2019, Mark Anderson became provost and chief academic officer (CAO).

Collection Title Change

This collection was previously titled, University of Northern Colorado, Academic Vice Presidents and Similar Authorities records. It was changed during processing in 2020.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Laura Uglean Jackson with help from student employee Nikaiya Lawson and intern Gabrielle Reynard in 2020.

Shirley Soenksen, updated by Shan Watkins, updated by Laura Uglean Jackson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Edition statement
An outline of contents was created in 1994 and updated in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2001. An inventory was prepared in 2015 with updates in 2016 and 2017. New accessions added in 2019 and 2020. This collection was fully processed and the finding aid heavily revised in 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Northern Colorado Repository

University Libraries
James A. Michener Library L119
Campus Box 48
Greeley CO 80639