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.
Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oregon Production Statistics, 1933-1937
Production in Oregon and Washington, 1934-1936
Oregon Private Marketing Firms, 1937
Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1936-1937
Cauliflower Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1937
Hops Stabilization Program, 1935-1937
Walnut Control Board, 1936
Marketing Cooperative, 1932-1938
Oregon Agricultural and Industrial Marketing Study, 1938
Marketing Organizations in Oregon and Washington, 1936-1937
Cooperative Organizations - Summary Agriculture and Lumber, 1935-1938
Hood River Apple Growers Association, 1934-1937
Interstate Associated Creameries, 1934-1938
Northwest Dried Food Association, 1937
Oregon Growers Union, 1937-1938
Oregon Prune Control Board Incorporated, 1936
Oregon-Washington Pear Bureau, 1936
Oregon-Washington-California Pear League Inc., 1937
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.
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.
Selected originals of newspaper clippings, 1909-1932
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.
Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, May 18, 1925
Outline of a Suggested Division of Work Between University of Oregon and Oregon State Agricultural College, June 5, 1925
Report to the Board of Higher Curricula, April 27, 1928
"Statement of Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Curricula", May 2, 1928
"Statements by Representatives of Oregon State College Before Curricula Committee of State Board of Higher Education", December 8, 1941
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.
OSC - Illustrated Booklets, 1929-1930
Relations of Land-Grant Colleges to State University, 1908
OAC - Sources of Income and Departments of Instruction, 1908
National Education Association - Session at Harvard, 1910
Some Land Grant College Problems, 1910
Education and the World War, 1917
The Spirit of the Land Grant Institution, 1931
Also in Box 1
Recent Experiences - Centralized Control of Higher Education in Oregon, 1933
Phi Kappa Phi Journal, 1934
Oregon Problems in Marketing Agriculture and Industrial Products, 1938
Also in Box 1
William Jasper Kerr - dedication of Library address, 1964
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.
Architecture - Landscape
Brief - Educational Survey
Also found in Box 5
Budgetary Material (continued)
Building Projects - Self-financing
Director of Dormitories
Extension - Radio, Summer School, Research
Extra Compensation for Staff Members
Field of Higher Education Developed in Oregon
High School Relations
Journalism and News Service
Personnel (Deans and Directors) and Location of School
Press Bureau and Editor's Office
Reports - General
Budgetary and Financial
Attitudes of University People
Executive Secretary's Prerogatives and Authority
Methods of Procedure
Rural Organization - College, University
Salary Analysis and Personnel
Student Welfare - Housing, Deferred Pledging
U of O
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
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
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
Joint Statement to the State Board of Higher Education Submitted by the Presidents of the State University and the State College, May 27, 1931
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
Survey of Public Higher Education in Oregon, 1931
Course Changes Proposed for 1931/32 Catalog, 1931
Survey Commission Records, 1931-1932
Survey Commission Records, undated
"A Study of Facts and Figures Bearing on Music", 1932
"Basic Data Showing Existing Conditions in the Science Departments of Oregon State College", 1932
Science Departments, Oregon State College, Cost of Instruction per Course and by Departments, 1931-1932
Report to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Curricula Committee on Vocational Education and Teacher Training, February 1932
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.
Oregon State College to U.S. Bureau of Education: Land-Grant College Survey., 1928
Survey of Oregon State Institutions of Higher Learning as Made by the United State Office of Education, Department of the Interior., 1930
Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 1., 1930
Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 2., 1930