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Guide to the Allen Austill records, 1957-1989

Collection Overview

Repository

New School Collections

Collection Identifier

NS.02.01.03

Creator

Austill, Allen

Title

Allen Austill records, 1957-1989, (Bulk, 1970-1980)

Extent

3 linear ft: 3 boxes

Language of Materials

English

Summary

Allen Austill (1927-2016) joined the New School in 1962. In 1965 he was appointed dean of the Adult Division and remained in this position for most of his career at the institution. In 1987, he was named chancellor of the university and held this position until 1989, when he retired. The Allen Austill records are a small but significant set of materials largely relating to Austill's participation at the New School in activities that fell outside of his primary role as dean of the Adult Division, including new program initiatives and the administration of Parsons School of Design in the decade after it became part of the New School. Some documents in this collection are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Allen Austill records, NS.02.01.03, box __, folder __, New School Archives, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical note

William Allen Austill (1927-2016), the son of a Methodist minister, was born in Newton, Massachusetts. He earned a BA in 1948 and an MA in 1951, both from the University of Chicago. Austill began his career as a research assistant for the Council of State Governments on a project that produced the publication, Higher Education in the Forty-Eight States. Austill returned to the University of Chicago to serve as director of student housing, then moved on to St. John’s College as director of admissions and placement. In 1957, he served as chief administrator for the State University of New York, establishing SUNY's new Stony Brook campus.

Austill joined the New School in 1962 and remained at the institution in a range of roles until his 1989 retirement. He started out as associate dean of the New School (known as the Adult Division), in charge of the newly-developed Office of Educational Advising. In 1964, Austill was appointed acting dean of the Adult Division following the depature of William Birenbaum, and became dean in 1965. He remained in this position for the next fourteen years. In the fall of 1979, Austill was asked to take on concurrent positions as executive dean and vice-president of the New School. During this same period he also stepped in as dean of the Graduate Faculty (now, The New School for Social Research). In the spring of 1981, Austill resumed his former position as dean of the Adult Division. In 1987, he was named chancellor of the university and held this position until 1989, when he retired.

Austill made significant contributions to the New School, including more than doubling enrollment in the Adult Division, championing the Institute for Retired Professionals, and fostering the growth of credit-based programs at the institution. This latter activity included helping to develop the long-running undergraduate studies program to offer a fulltime day program for college-age students, the New School College. While the New School College was shortlived, it provided a framework for expanding the New School later realized in the four-year liberal arts division, Eugene Lang College. Austill also ushered Parsons School of Design into the New School in 1970, was an early supporter of the Media Studies program, and helped establish the Jazz and Contemporary Music program as a separate division in 1986.

Perhaps Austill’s most challenging moment at the New School came in 1979, when he was asked to lead the Graduate Faculty through a division-wide crisis. Longtime, core faculty were departing, retiring, and dying. The Sociology and Political Science Departments were losing accreditation. The short-staffed Philosophy Department was threatened, as well. As dean, Austill assessed the departments and solicited support from the Board of Trustees. He strengthened the Psychology Department, helping it to earn APA clinical accreditation. He saw that faculty was hired for the Economics Department, and reconstituted the Philosophy program. For the de-accredited departments, Austill helped in establishing consortial arrangements with local schools, allowing the programs at the New School to remain active until accreditation could be reestablished.

When Allen Austill arrived in 1962, the New School was comprised of two divisions. When he retired twenty-seven years later, he left behind a university with five divisions. Austill played a key role in developing the shape and substance of the enlarged institution. His goal, keeping an eye on economic viability, was always to protect and strengthen the New School's core values, building a dynamic institution with a commitment to intellectual curiosity, creative pursuit, and engagement with pressing social issues.

Allen Austill died in 2016.

___

Source: Hendershott, Carmen. "Allen Austill." The New School History Project (2015). http://thenewschoolhistory.org/?ppl=allen-austill.

More...

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Scope and Contents note

The Allen Austill records are a small but significant set of materials largely relating to Austill's participation at the New School in activities that fell outside of his primary role as dean of the New School's Adult Division. The collection is comprised of two series. Series I. New initiatives, documents Austill's role in executive-level decision-making related to mergers and new programs across the New School in the 1960s and '70s. Series II. Parsons School of Design administrative files, covers the decade after Parsons became part of the New School. Material here pertains to educational collaborations, the initiation and closure of programs and departments, faculty matters, and the process of establishing Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles as a branch of Parsons. Most of this latter series consists of copies of the correspondence of Parsons dean, David C. Levy. The records here contain no substantive material related to Austill's role as dean of the New School's Adult Division.

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Arrangement note

  1. New Initiatives
  2. Parsons School of Design administrative files

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New School Collections - March 16, 2017

66 Fifth Avenue
lobby
New York, NY, 10011
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Allen Austill records, NS.02.01.03, box __, folder __, New School Archives, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Several files with faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, hiring information or grievances are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for details.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Allen Austill records were transferred to the New School Archives in 2015 as part of a larger accession of records from The New School President's Office.

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Related Materials

The New School Archives holds the records of the New School Adult Division Office of the Dean records, (NS.02.01.01), encompassing the years in which Austill was dean; and the Schools of Public Engagement Executive Dean's Office records (NS.02.01.04). Other related collections include the Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.03.01.01); David C. Levy records (PC.01.04.01); Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research collection (NS.02.02.01); and the Albert Landa records (NS.03.02.07).

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Escuela de Diseño (Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic).
  • Mannes College The New School for Music.
  • Mills College of Education.
  • New School University. Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science.
  • Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
  • Parsons Paris.
  • Parsons School of Design.

Genre(s)

  • Administrative records.
  • Curricula.
  • Financial records.
  • Reports.

Personal Name(s)

  • Levy, David C.

Subject(s)

  • Adult education.
  • College administrators -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.

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Collection Inventory

I. New initiatives, 1957-1989 

This series documents Austill's role in planning a number of new programs at the New School. Several files relate to undergraduate programs at the New School: New School College, the Freshman Year Program, and the Seminar College. New School College was the first fulltime day school at the New School, operating from around 1966 through 1970 as a two-year college for students who had completed two years of college coursework elsewhere, and awarding a BA in Humanities or Social Sciences. The Seminar College was established in 1975 or 1976, at first as an expanded program within the Senior College offering a path for college-age students to earn a BA degree. In 1985, the Seminar College was renamed Eugene Lang College. The Freshman Year Program opened in 1972, providing courses to students in their final year of high school (or recent graduates) who would then matriculate elsewhere. According to New School course catalogs the Freshman Year Program ran until at least 1980. Also documented here is the New School's relationship with Mills College, a teacher-training school for women that began leasing part of its 66 5th Avenue building to the New School after the Parsons merger in 1970, and folded soon thereafter. The series also documents early discussions about Mannes College of Music merging with the New School, as well as the finalizing of the merger in 1989.

Box Folder
Faculty organization, 1962-1964 

Includes meeting minutes and memoranda regarding the status of faculty and hiring policies.

1 1
Freshman Year Program, 1972-1974 
1 2
Graduate Faculty, 1958, 1971-1981 

Includes a flier calling students to join a general strike.

1 3-6
Library consortium, 1968-1980 

Includes documents addressed to Allen Austill as vice president of the Graduate Faculty. According to a note on the original folder, the file was passed along to the provost, Judith Walzer.

1 7-8
Mannes College of Music merger, 1971-1989 

Material regarding an early discussion about Mannes College of Music joining the New School. At the time, Mannes was also considering a merger with Manhattan School of Music.

1 9-12
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) early history, 1964-1967 
1 13
Mills College, 1969-1976 

Mills College of Education, a teacher-training school for women, began leasing part of its 66 5th Avenue building to the New School in 1970 after Parsons became part of the institution. Mills was struggling financially and by 1973 the New School and New York University School of Education were enabling enrolled Mills students to finish their degrees. In 1975, Mills College closed permanently. Thereafter, Parsons occupied the entire 66 5th Avenue building. Files include contracts, memos, and correspondence. The file also includes an issue of The Chain,, the bulletin of the Alumnae Association of Mills Collage of Education, Vol. XI, No. 3 - November 1963.

1 14-17
n_10 7
New School College, 1957-1958, 1963-1970 

Includes correspondence, planning, reports and memoranda regarding the short-lived New School College and its early history. Documents a 1957-1958 proposal for a day college, and later realization of the program.

General, 1965-1970 

The file documents a protest in 1970 where student activists occupied a New School building. Many of the memoranda, meeting minutes and announcements, as well as a letter from students, deal with the ongoing discontent of students with the education at the New School College. Includes Austill's address to the first class of the New School College in 1966.

1 18-19
Early history, 1957-1958, 1963-1965 
1 20-21
Examination policies, 1968-1970 
1 22
Individual Study, 1968-1969 
1 23
Seminars, 1969-1970 
2 1
Social Sciences staff, 1968-1969 
2 2-3
Students, 1967-1970 

Includes a statement by New School President John Everett about the institution's stance relative to the involvement of the United States in Vietnam.

2 4
Seminar College, 1975-1978 

This files is connected to the Seminar College, a unit of the New School Senior College created for college-age students. A preliminary 1976-1978 course catalog for the Seminar College has been transferred to the New School course catalogs and bulletins collection (NS.05.01.01).

2 5-6
"Undergraduate Education at the New School for Social Research," Elizabeth Coleman report, 1977 Apr 
2 7

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II. Parsons administrative files, 1969-1980 

Box Folder
Alumni, 1970 
2 8
Apprenticeship Program, 1977-1980 
2 9
Bank Street College collaboration, 1976-1980 

The correspondence in this file relates to Parsons's collaboration with Bank Street College of Education to supervise the art education curriculum at Parsons.

2 10
Bachelor of Arts, 1970-1980 
2 11
Board of Overseers, 1970-1971 
2 12
Correspondence, 1977-1980 
2 13
Crafts program, 1976-1980 
2 14-15
Design Correlations Department, 1970-1972 

This folder contains correspondence regarding the termination of the Design Correlations Department in 1971. Some documents in this file are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 16-18
nr_3 18
Dormitory, 1979 
2 19
Edward Swayduck Graphics Art Gift, 1970 

This folder contains correspondence regarding the Swayduck Grant to establish a Graphic Arts Collection in the library.

2 20
Environmental Design Department, 1970-1972 

Some documents in this file are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 21
nr_3 18
Ethan Allen Inc. collaboration, 1978-1979 

Documents a cooperative educational program offering a path to an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Interior Design for Ethan Allen employees.

2 22
Faculty matters and meeting minutes, 1967-1981 

Some documents in this file are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 23
nr_3 18
Fashion Design Department fashion shows, 1970-1973 
2 24
Fashion Illustration Department, 1970-1979 

A document in this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 25
nr_3 18
Financial, 1969-1973 
2 26-27
Fine Arts Department, 1971-1978 

Includes correspondence regarding launching a new MFA program in Fine Arts, specifically in painting, sculpture and printmaking, in 1978, as well as correspondence about a possible merger with the New York Studio School.

2 28-29
Graphic Design Department, 1970-1972 
2 30
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), 1977-1979 
2 31
Keagy, Ann, 1970-1977 

The files include minutes of several Chairmen's Council meetings.

2 32
Levy, David, 1970-1978 

A document in this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

2 33
nr_3 18
Otis Art Institute merger 

These files contain correspondence, financial reports, and memos regarding the merger of Parsons and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

General, 1978-1979 
3 1
Budgets, 1978-1980 
3 2
Early history, 1978 
3 3-5
Gimbel Library: Christiane Collins, 1972-1980 
3 6
Parsons Paris, 1977-1980 

This file includes documents reestablishing a full Parsons program in Paris and planned collaboration with the American College in Paris. Also includes correspondence regarding the Parsons Apprenticeship Program, and a joint grant proposal with the Cooper Union.

3 7
Placement, 1970-1976 

A document in this file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

n_10 8
nr_3 18
Registration statistics and income, 1972-1976 
3 8
Staff, 1970-1973 
3 9
State Education Department, 1970-1980 
n_10 9
Textile Design Department proposal, 1969-1970 
3 10

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 04/12/2017

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