Guide to the President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Oregon State Agricultural College. Office of the President.
Title: President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr
Dates: 1907-1964 ( inclusive )
1907-1940 ( bulk )
Quantity: 1.75 cubic feet (5 boxes, including 1 oversize box)
5 microfilm reels
Collection Number: RG 013 - SG 07
Summary: The President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr document Kerr's presidency of Oregon Agricultural College between 1907 and 1932 and include materials from his tenure as Chancellor of Oregon's higher education system. The collection includes general reference files, correspondence, newsclippings, assorted reports and publications, and materials generated for the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the Board of Regents. The collection contains materials relating to the college's educational mission, organizational structure, budget, attendance, and curricular offerings, the state of education in Oregon, and the reorganization of the Oregon educational system.
Repository: Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections & Archives Research Center
Contact Information: Special Collections & Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 541-737-2075
Fax: 541-737-8674
Languages: Materials in English. 

Historical Note

William Jasper Kerr was born November 17, 1863 in Richmond, Utah. At a young age, Kerr dropped out of school in favor of a position on his father's railroad construction crew. He later returned to school, earning a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Utah in 1885. Following graduation, Kerr accepted a position teaching in Smithfield, Utah. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Superintendent of the Smithfield district. Between 1887 and 1894, Kerr taught mathematics at Brigham Young College and the University of Utah. In 1894, Kerr was appointed President of Brigham Young, a position he held until 1900 when he became President of Utah State Agricultural College. In 1907, Kerr resigned his position at Utah and became President of Oregon Agricultural College.

Kerr's presidency at OAC was defined by a period of prolonged and aggressive growth. During his tenure, the college constructed more than twenty buildings, including the Memorial Union, and more than doubled the total size of the campus to 555 acres. He tightened admissions requirements, expanded curricular offerings, and added talented staff to the college's ranks. Kerr resigned from his post in 1932, ending the longest reign of any OSC president.

After leaving the college, Kerr became the first Chancellor of Oregon's system of higher education. He held this position for three years before retiring. William Jasper Kerr died in 1947 at the age of 83.

Content Description

The President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr are comprised of materials from Kerr's tenure as President of Oregon Agricultural College. The collection include a general reference file, correspondence, newspaper clippings, communications with the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, publications, reports to the Board of Regents, survey materials, and biographic materials. The collection contains extensive material relating to the physical and curricular growth of the college, the controversial reorganization of OAC and the University of Oregon, and the state of higher education in Oregon in the early 20th century.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation :  

President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr (RG 013 - SG 07), Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The President's Office records of William Jasper Kerr are arranged into eleven series: I: General Reference File, 1922-1940; II: Correspondence, 1907-1935; III: Clippings, 1908-1935; IV: Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, 1925-1941; V: Resolutions Adopted by the State Board of Higher Education, 1935; VI: Biography of William Jasper Kerr; VII: Publications, 1908-1964; VIII: The OSC - U of O Controversy, 1937; IX: Reports to the Board of Regents, 1909-1929; X: Reorganization, 1931-1932; XI: College Surveys, 1928-1930. Materials within series are arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

Acquisition Information :  

These records were transferred to the University Archives by the OSU President's Office. The collection is now held by the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Related Materials :  Related Materials

Content related to the Kerr presidency can be found in the Edwin T. Reed Papers and Subgroup 12 of the President's Office Records. Additional materials relating to the presidents of Oregon State University include the President's Office Records (RG 013), the Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection (P 001), the President's Office Photographs Collection (P 092), the President's Office Motion Picture Film and Videotapes Collection (FV P 092), the Board of Regents Records (RG 008), the Board of Trustees Records (RG 033), and the the Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I:  General Reference File, 1922-1940

Series I contains reports, correspondence, notes, and clippings related to agriculture in Oregon. The material spans the latter portion of Kerr's career at Oregon Agricultural College and his time as the state's Chancellor of higher education. Subjects referenced in this series include agricultural and industrial production, marketing and sales, construction, public works, agricultural sciences, college and government employees, trade law, and government organizations.

80.1 Oregon Production Statistics, 1933-1937
80.2 Production in Oregon and Washington, 1934-1936
80.3 Oregon Private Marketing Firms, 1937
80.4 Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1936-1937
80.5 Cauliflower Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1937
80.6 Hops Stabilization Program, 1935-1937
80.7 Walnut Control Board, 1936
80.8 Marketing Cooperative, 1932-1938
80.9 Oregon Agricultural and Industrial Marketing Study, 1938
80.10 Marketing Organizations in Oregon and Washington, 1936-1937
80.11 Cooperative Organizations - Summary Agriculture and Lumber, 1935-1938
80.12 Hood River Apple Growers Association, 1934-1937
80.13 Interstate Associated Creameries, 1934-1938
80.14 Northwest Dried Food Association, 1937
80.15 Oregon Growers Union, 1937-1938
80.16 Oregon Prune Control Board Incorporated, 1936
80.17 Oregon-Washington Pear Bureau, 1936
80.18 Oregon-Washington-California Pear League Inc., 1937
80.19 Pacific Cooperative Poultry Producers, 1937-1938
80.20 Pacific Wool Growers, Portland, Oregon, 1937
80.21 Southern Oregon Sales Inc., Medford, Oregon, 1937-1938
80.22 Tillamook County Creamery Association, 1935-1937
80.23 "Oregon's Problem in Maketing Agricultural & Industrial Products", 1938
80.24 Research Production and Marketing - Reports, Correspondence, Memoranda and other material, 1936-1939
80.25 Report of Agricultural Investigating Committee - Governor Martin, 1937-1939
80.26 Oregon Marketing, 1939-1940
81.27 Agricultural and Industrial Marketing, 1937-1939
81.28 Marketing Miscellaneous, 1937-1940
81.29 Services of Oregon State Agricultural College in Marketing Oregon Products, 1937
81.30 Marketing Report Miscellaneous Editorials, 1935, 1938
81.31 Marketing Report Miscellaneous News Stories, 1935-1939
81.32 Marketing - Chancellor Hunter, 1938
81.33 Marketing Report Oregon Journal Editorials, 1935-1939
81.34 Marketing Report Oregon Journal News Stories, 1935-1939
81.35 Marketing Report The Oregonian Editorials, 1935-1939
81.36 Marketing Report The Oregonian News Stories, 1937-1939
81.37 "What the State Does in Educational Preparatin for Marketing", 1939
81.38 Division of Marketing State Board of Higher Education, 1938
81.39 By-products - Culls, 1935-1937
81.40 Cooperative Organization Problems, 1930-1937
81.41 Farm Purchasing Associations, 1935-1937
81.42 Food Preparation, 1935-1936
81.43 Brand Names, undated
81.44 Flax Seed and Flax Fiber Possibilities, 1936-1940
81.45 Industrial Uses for Farm Products, 1934-1938
81.46 Industrial Uses for Farm Products - Power Motor Alcohol, 1934-1937
81.47 Irrigation, 1934-1938
81.48 "Possibilities for Livestock Fattening in Oregon", 1936
81.49 Merchandising, 1936-1937
81.50 Milk Distribution Problems, 1936-1938
81.51 Other Domestic Market Outlets, 1936-1938
81.52 Packaging, 1936-1937
81.53 Processing, 1934-1938
81.54 Producer - Consumer Sales Campaigns, 1937
81.55 Prune Industry in Oregon - Governor Sprague, 1939-1940
81.56 Special Prune Committee - Glenn Hogg, Chairman, 1939-1940
81.57 Marketing Conference State System of Higher Education - Governor Sprague, 1939-1940
81.58 Marketing Oregon Prunes, 1931, 1938-1940
81.59 Grading of Agricultural Products, 1936-1938
81.60 Sugar Beet Industry, 1936-1940
81.61 Transportation, 1936-1938
81.62 Unfair Trade Practices, 1936-1937
81.63 Agricultural Engineering Foundation - San Francisco, California, Oswold Wilson, Mngr., 1937-1938
81.64 Ashland Chamber of Commerce, 1937
81.65 Bonneville Dam Project, 1937-1938
81.66 Cooperative Grange League Federation Exchange, Inc. Ithaca, New York, 1936
81.67 Dairy Cooperative Association, Portland, Oregon, 1936-1938
81.68 Eugene Fruit Growers Exchange, 1935-1937
81.69 Farm Security Administration (Resettlement Administration), 1937
81.70 Federal Farm Board, 1930
81.71 Fruit Growers League, Medford, Oregon, 1937
81.72 Winter Pears--Henry Hartman, 1935-136
81.73 Idaho Department of State, Boise, Idaho, 1937
81.74 National Emergency Council, 1936
81.75 National Farm Chemurgic Council, Dearborn, Michigan, 1937
81.76 National Youth Administration, 1935-1936
81.77 Oregon State Planning Board, 1936-1937
81.78 Pacific Northwest Advisory Board, 1937-1938
81.79 Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission, 1935-1937
81.80 Portland Chamber of Commerce - Lumber Products, 1935
81.81 Social Science Research Council, undated
81.82 U.S. Forest Service, 1936-1938
81.83 Population Developments, 1937
81.84 General Correspondence, 1933-1938
81.85 J.R. Beck, 1936
81.86 H.K. Benson, 1937
81.87 "Preliminary Study for Proposed Bonneville Industries", undated
81.88 A.G.B. Bouquet, 1937
81.89 W.D. Bristol, 1937
81.90 L.R. Breithaupt, Extension Agricultural Economist, 1935-1938
81.91 Gordon G. Brown, Hood River Experiment Station, 1935
81.92 W.S. Brown, 1936-1937
81.93 Paul Carpenter, 1936-1937
82.93 Paul Carpenter (continued), 1936
82.94 R.L. Clark, Bodine and Clark Commission Company, 1936
82.95 Berkeley Davis, 1937
82.96 William Einzig, Great Western Malting Company Inc., 1938
82.97 A.E. Engbretson, 1936-1938
82.98 Eric Englund, 1936-1937
82.99 A.C. Forrester, Industrial Distilleries, 1935-1937
82.100 Dan D. Freeman, Oregon Manufacturer's Association, 1936
82.101 O.G. Hughson, 1935-1936
82.102 G.R. Hyslop, 1936-1938
82.103 E.R. Jackman, Oregon State College, 1937-1938
82.104 Arthur S. King, 1937
82.105 George M. Knox, Hood River County Assessor, 1937
82.106 L.L. Laws, 1940
82.107 Earl G. Mason, 1937
82.108 Victor P. Morris, 1937
82.109 Harry L. Riches, Marion County Agent, 1936
82.110 J. L. Taylor, Vale Chamber of Commerce, 1937-1938
82.111 I. H. Vanwinkle, Attorney General, 1938
82.112 E.H. Wiegand, 1936-1937
82.113 Walter C. Winslow, 1938
180 American Association of University Women, 1922-1927
1 Emergency Board Request for Extension Service & Experiment Station, 1930
1 Statement of Services Lost to the Institution & State for the Year 1931-32, December 1931

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Series II:  Correspondence, 1907-1935

Series II includes correspondence relating to the management and operation of Oregon Agricultural College. The series contains correspondence between William Jasper Kerr, OAC faculty, the Association of American Universities, students, figures associated with the institution, and the general public. Topics include equipment and materials for college use, reports from faculty members, the donation of a McCormick Reaper replica, legislation impacting OAC, Extension Service programming, faculty appointments, and budget matters.

82 Microfilmed Correspondence, 1907-1929
1 Original Correspondence, 1907
1 Original Correspondence, 1930-1935

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Series III:  Clippings, 1908-1935

Series III is comprised of newspaper clippings relating to Oregon Agricultural College. Subjects include state educational funding, college attendance, faculty activities and research, development of the campus, and OAC's curricular offerings. The series contains both photocopies and a selection of original clippings.

1 General, 1908-1909
1 General, 1910
1 General, 1911
1 General, 1912
1 General, 1913
1 General, 1932
1 General, 1935
1 General, undated
5 Selected originals of newspaper clippings, 1909-1932

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Series IV:  Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, 1925-1941

Series IV contains official reports and statements made by Oregon Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula between 1925 and 1941. The series also contains an outline of a plan for dividing programmatic efforts between the University of Oregon and OAC.

1 Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, May 18, 1925
1 Outline of a Suggested Division of Work Between University of Oregon and Oregon State Agricultural College, June 5, 1925
1 Report to the Board of Higher Curricula, April 27, 1928
1 "Statement of Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Curricula", May 2, 1928
1 "Statements by Representatives of Oregon State College Before Curricula Committee of State Board of Higher Education", December 8, 1941

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Series V:  Resolutions Adopted by State Board of Higher Education, 1935

This series is comprised of a document entitled "Resolutions Adopted July 22, 1935, by the State Board of Higher Education Regarding Dr. Kerr, Retiring Chancellor."


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Series VI:  Biography of William Jasper Kerr

This series is comprised of an excerpt from Edwin T. Reed's William Jasper Kerr, A Biography.


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Series VII:  Publications, 1908-1964

Series VII contains publications authored by William J. Kerr and members of Oregon Agricultural College between 1908 and 1964. Topics include the importance of Home Economics during wartime, the construction of the Memorial Union, higher education in Oregon, and the state of land grant institutions. The series also contains programs and materials from the dedication of the Kerr Library.

82.1 OSC - Illustrated Booklets, 1929-1930
82.2 Relations of Land-Grant Colleges to State University, 1908
82.3 OAC - Sources of Income and Departments of Instruction, 1908
82.4 National Education Association - Session at Harvard, 1910
82.5 Some Land Grant College Problems, 1910
82.6 Education and the World War, 1917
82.7 The Spirit of the Land Grant Institution, 1931
Also in Box 1
82.8 Recent Experiences - Centralized Control of Higher Education in Oregon, 1933
82.9 Phi Kappa Phi Journal, 1934
82.10 Oregon Problems in Marketing Agriculture and Industrial Products, 1938
Also in Box 1
82.11 William Jasper Kerr - dedication of Library address, 1964
82.12 Letter to State Board of Higher Education, 1931
1 Administrative Regulations, 1921

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Series VIII:  OSC - U of O Controversy, 1937

Series VIII is comprised of a memo drafted by Godfrey Vernon Cospon regarding the reorganization of Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Oregon and the ensuing controversy.


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Series IX:  Reports to the Board of Regents, 1909-1929

This series contains reports to the Board of Regents summarizing the state of Oregon Agricultural College between 1909 and 1914. The series also contains a report for 1929.

82 Reports, 1909-1914
1 Report, 1929

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Series X:  Reorganization, 1931-1932

This series is comprised of materials relating to the reorganization of Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Oregon in 1931-1932. The contents of this series relate to the reassignment of subject specialities, programs, faculty, and funding between the two universities.

82.1 Agriculture
82.2 Architecture - Landscape
82.3 Art
82.4 Brief - Educational Survey
82.5 Budgetary Material
Also found in Box 5
83.5 Budgetary Material (continued)
83.6 Building Projects - Self-financing
83.7 Commerce
83.8 Cost data
83.9a Curricula
83.9b Curricula Committee
83.10a Dormitories
83.10b Director of Dormitories
83.11 Education
83.12 Enrollment
83.13 Extension - Radio, Summer School, Research
83.14 Extra Compensation for Staff Members
83.15 Field of Higher Education Developed in Oregon
83.16 Graduate Work
83.17 High School Relations
83.18 Home Economics
83.19 Journalism and News Service
83.20 Library
83.21 Lower Division
83.22 Military
83.23 Miscellaneous
83.24 Mines
83.25 Music
83.26 Normal Schools
83.27 Personnel (Deans and Directors) and Location of School
83.28 Pharmacy
83.29 Physical Education
83.30 Press Bureau and Editor's Office
83.31 Public Speaking
Reports - General
83.32a Budgetary and Financial
83.32b Attitudes of University People
83.32c Executive Secretary's Prerogatives and Authority
83.32d Methods of Procedure
83.32e Miscellaneous
83.33 Research
83.34 Rural Organization - College, University
83.35a Salary Analysis and Personnel
83.35b Salary Cuts
83.36 Science
83.37 Social Science
83.38 Student Welfare - Housing, Deferred Pledging
83.39 U of O
2 Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Regarding the Survey of Oregon State Institutions of Higher Learning, April 18, 1931
2 Supplementary Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Education, In Reply to the Twelve Briefs of the University of Oregon Dated April 20, 1931, April 27, 1931
2 Second Supplementary Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Education, In Reply to the Eleven Resolutions Proposed by the University of Oregon, May 1, 1931, May 13, 1931
2 Joint Statement to the State Board of Higher Education Submitted by the Presidents of the State University and the State College, May 27, 1931
2 Reply to Dean Faville's Brief on the Commerce School Problem from Oregon State Agricultural College to Oregon State Board of Higher Education, 27 May 1931
2 Survey of Public Higher Education in Oregon, 1931
2 Course Changes Proposed for 1931/32 Catalog, 1931
2 Survey Commission Records, 1931-1932
2 Survey Commission Records, undated
2 "A Study of Facts and Figures Bearing on Music", 1932
2 "Basic Data Showing Existing Conditions in the Science Departments of Oregon State College", 1932
5 Science Departments, Oregon State College, Cost of Instruction per Course and by Departments, 1931-1932
5 Report to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Curricula Committee on Vocational Education and Teacher Training, February 1932

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Series XI:  College Surveys, 1928-1930

This series is comprised of four bound volumes relating to surveys of land grant institutions conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Education. It includes one volume of completed portions of the survey for Oregon Agricultural College, one volume providing a detailed report of the state of higher education in Oregon, and two volumes of results of the survey from other institutions across the United States.

3 Oregon State College to U.S. Bureau of Education: Land-Grant College Survey., 1928
3 Survey of Oregon State Institutions of Higher Learning as Made by the United State Office of Education, Department of the Interior., 1930
4 Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 1., 1930
4 Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 2., 1930

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    • Corporate Names :
    • Association of American Universities.
    • Oregon Agricultural College.
    • Oregon State Agricultural College.
    • Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula.
    • Oregon State System of Higher Education.
    • University of Oregon.
    • Subject Terms :
    • College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
    • Education, Higher--Oregon.
    • Universities and colleges--Curricula--Oregon--Corvallis.
    • Universities and colleges--Law and legislation--Oregon.
      • Other Creators :
      • Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947.
      • Reed, Edwin Thomas, 1872-1948.
      • Oregon State Agricultural College. Board of Regents.
      • Oregon State College. Office of the President.
      • United States. Bureau of Education.

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