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Guide to the David C. Levy records, 1952-1990, undated

Collection Overview

Repository

Parsons Institutional Collections

Collection Identifier

PC.01.04.01

Creator

Levy, David C.

Creator

Parsons School of Design. Office of the Dean.

Title

David C. Levy records, 1952-1990

Extent

7 linear ft: 7 boxes, 1 oversize folder

Language of Materials note

English

Summary

David Corcos Levy served as dean of Parsons School of Design from 1970 until 1989. The bulk of these records were generated between 1970 and 1984, after the merger of Parsons and the New School for Social Research, and consist of memos, correspondence, reports, and subject files related to Levy's administrative tenure. Correspondents include a range of New School and Parsons administrators, including New School president John R. Everett; New School dean Allen Austill; Albert Landa; Oscar Kolin, chair of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation and a member of the Parsons Board of Overseers; and Neil Hoffman, dean of the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. Frequent faculty correspondents include Martica Sawin, Mary Ann Scherr, John Russo, and Irwin Touster. Categories and subjects represented herein include developing and implementing new degree programs; the process of merging academic institutions, including the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles; faculty relations and unionization; accreditation; program and department establishment and design; and fundraising activities. Also found here are materials created by the Parsons Board of Trustees and, after the merger, the New School Board of Overseers.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], David C. Levy records, PC.01.04.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical note

David Corcos Levy served as dean of Parsons School of Design from 1970 until 1989. He had been employed by Parsons since 1961, and in the late 1960s guided the institution through a financial crisis that resulted in Parsons' affiliation with the New School for Social Research. Levy left a significant imprint on Parsons, relocating the campus, establishing new degree programs, expanding to campuses outside of Manhattan, increasing enrollment, and attracting new faculty.

Levy is the son of artists Edgar Levy and Lucille Corcos Levy. He earned a bachelor's degree in aesthetics from Columbia College in 1960. He then studied art history at both Columbia, from which he graduated in 1960, and at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Levy went on to earn masters and doctorate degrees in 1967 and 1979, respectively, in organizational theory from the Department of Organizational Studies at New York University. His dissertation, Anatomy of a Merger, explores the affiliation between Parsons School of Design and the New School for Social Research, orchestrated in part by Levy between the final weeks of 1969 and the early part of 1970.

Levy initially joined the administration of Parsons School of Design in 1961 as assistant director of admissions. At that time, Parsons was an independent educational institutional overseen by a Board of Trustees and a school president. He was promoted to the position of director of admissions in 1963, and later became vice president for planning during the presidency of Francis A. Ruzicka (1963-1970). Levy acted as vice president until 1970, at which point he became the dean of Parsons School of Design in conjunction with his successful brokering of a merger with the New School for Social Research in the face of Parsons' impending bankruptcy.

John R. Everett, president of the New School for Social Research, appointed Levy to the position of dean of Parsons School of Design in 1970. He served in this capacity until 1989, when he succeeded Allen Austill as chancellor of the New School. Levy was succeeded as executive dean of Parsons by Charles S. Olton.

Under Levy's administration, Parsons School of Design experienced a number of substantial developments and enrollment grew enormously. Parsons relocated from a rented space on East 54th Street to its own building at 66-70 Fifth Avenue, which it continues to occupy as of 2016. Parsons began awarding Associates of Applied Science (AAS), Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees under Levy's leadership. A Foundation curriculum modeled on the Bauhaus was instituted, as well as the reinstatement of a continuing education program.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Dean Levy presided over the establishment of new degree programs such as fine arts and photography, which until then had been offered as courses for Communication Design students. His administration oversaw the launch of a graduate degree program in 1978, allowing students to earn a masters degree in sculpture, painting, and printmaking, as well as the option to gain a masters of science in art education and administration in conjunction with Bank Street College of Education. A collaborative effort with the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution was established in 1981, enabling students to earn a master of arts degree in the history of decorative arts. During the mid-1980s, the graduate program expanded to include master of fine arts degrees in architecture, design criticism, and lighting design.

Levy also strengthened existing degree programs by establishing new curricula, and by insisting that the majority of Parsons instructors remain active in their professional fields to ensure that programs would stay current with industry trends and innovations. In 1978, under Levy's direction, Parsons established an affiliation with the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, which was renamed the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. He was also able to reinstitute a permanent study abroad program in France and establish an affiliation with Escuela Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic. This led to Levy’s appointment as executive dean, a title that reflected his role as chief administrative officer of all Parsons School of Design-affiliated institutions.

Although no records of the initiative have yet been transferred to the New School Archives and Special Collections, Levy was also largely responsible for the establishment of the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the New School, now called the New School for Jazz. A musician himself, he chaired the New School BFA program in Jazz and Contemporary Music and advised the university during the merger with Mannes College of Music in 1989. That year Levy was appointed to serve concurrently as chancellor of the New School for Social Research and chancellor of the arts for the New School.

Levy left the New School in 1991 to become director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Adapted from text written by Jillian Cuellar and Anne Kumer, 2005.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The records of Dean David C. Levy are part of the Parsons Institutional Collections, Office of the Dean records. They were created, received, or otherwise incorporated into office files by David C. Levy during his term as dean of Parsons School of Design (1970-1989), or during his earlier positions as director of admissions and vice president for development in the decade prior to Parsons' affiliation with the New School for Social Research.

Correspondents include a range of New School for Social Research and Parsons School of Design administrators, including New School president John R. Everett; New School dean Allen Austill; Albert Landa; Oscar Kolin, Chair of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation and a member of the Parsons Board of Overseers; and Neil Hoffman, dean of the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. Frequent faculty correspondents include Martica Sawin, Mary Ann Scherr, John Russo, and Irwin Touster. Activities include developing and implementing new degree programs, the process of merging academic institutions, establishing affiliations between academic institutions, faculty relations, and security issues.

The bulk of the records were generated between 1970 and 1984, and consist of memos, correspondence, reports, and subject files related to Levy's administrative tenure. A number of financial records pre-date Levy's arrival at Parsons. This may be because they were transmitted to Levy as historical reference materials, or because the files were transferred from his predecessor's offices and incorporated into his working files. Levy may also have used these records for his 1979 doctoral dissertation, An Historical Study of Parsons School of Design and Its Merger/Affiliation with the New School for Social Research, available for onsite consultation in the New School Archives. Records of this nature have been placed in the Dissertation series.

The records are divided into ten series.

The first, General administration, ranges primarily from the late 1960s through the late 1970s, and consists of memos, reports, correspondence, and printed material relating to the general administrative aspects of the Office of the Dean during Levy’s tenure, including school finances, art and exhibitions, public relations, student affiars, and facilities. Of particular interest are various reports written by Levy that express his views on education, memoranda and correspondence related to the creation of the College Council, correspondence concerning the East Coast Art Schools consortium, and items containing information on scholarships and fundraising.

The bulk of the Correspondence series is from the 1970s to the 1980s, and includes letters and memoranda generated and received by the Office of the Dean during Levy's tenure. Included is correspondence between Levy and other school administrative officials, acknowledgments of contributions to Parsons School of Design, letters of appreciation and recognition from Levy, and correspondence related to administrative duties and concerns.

Ranging from the mid-1960s to the 1980s, the Accreditation and memberships series consists of memoranda, reports, evaluations, applications, and correspondence necessary for Parsons' degree accreditation applications and membership in inter-collegiate organizations. The materials pertain to degrees such as the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and various university art and design school associations.

The Affiliate schools series documents the administration of schools that merged or were affiliated with Parsons, including La escuela de diseno de Altos de Chavon in the Domincan Republic, the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, and the American College in Paris, also referred to as Parsons Paris. Materials include memos, reports, correspondence, and printed material. Also included here are correspondence and memos relating to Parsons' un-realized affilitation with the New York-Phoenix School of Design.

Departments and programs contains the administrative materials of various departments, programs, and courses at the Parsons School of Design. Items include correspondence, course and program descriptions and proposals, reports, and budget information for departments such as Environmental Design, Photography, Crafts, Architecture, and Fine Arts, as well as projects within individual departments. Also located here are Adam L. Gimbel Library materials.

Develoment holds materials relating to fundraising efforts at Parsons from the 1950s to the 1980s, including correspondence, grant applications, and endowment and scholarship information. Much of the material originates in, or is directed to, the Parsons Development Office.

Containing items related to the governance of Parsons and the New School, the eighth series, Governance, encompasses records created by both the the Board of Trustees--Parsons's governing body prior to its 1970 merger with the New School--and its replacement by the Board of Overseers circa 1974. The Boards ofTrustees and Overseers sections contain items on both individual councils and comittees, as well as correspondence and memos relating to individual members and Parsons presidents. There is similar, though more limited, material in the section relating to the New School.

Dissertation research contains materials consulted by Levy while researching and writing his dissertation. Items include transcripts of interviews and questionnaires with New School trustees, administrators, and faculty, as well as correspondence, meeting minutes, and clippings. Additional materials concerning the merger, when not directly related to Levy's dissertation, can be found throughout the collection.

Items pertaining to faculty, staff, and other personnel at Parsons can be found in the Personnel series, ranging largely from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s. The majority of the items document the unionization efforts of the staff and faculty in the 1970s and 1980s.

Finally, this collection contains a very small biographical series, consisting of a memorial book for Levy's parents, and materials from a conference attended by Levy.

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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject in 10 series.

  1. General administration, 1956-1990
  2. General correspondence, 1967-1982
  3. Accreditation and memberships, 1965-1985
  4. Affiliate schools, 1970-1987
  5. Departments and programs, 1955-1989
  6. Development, 1953-1988
  7. Dissertation research, 1973-1977
  8. Governance, 1952-1988
  9. Personnel, 1972-1988
  10. Personal, 1973-1982

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Administrative Information

New School Archives staff; initial processing and description by Matt Eberhart, Jillian Cuellar and Anne Kumer, 2005. Additional processing and description supplied by Jenny Swadosh and Aaron Winslow.

Publication Information

Parsons Institutional Collections - May 31, 2016

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], David C. Levy records, PC.01.04.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research use, although certain files identified within this collection guide are restricted for reasons of student and employee privacy. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment, or to inquire about access restrictions and the New School Archives and Special Collections' access policies.

Use Restrictions

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Records transferred to the New School Archives from the Office of the Dean, Parsons School of Design, 1995.

External Support

The processing of these records was supported in part by a grant from the J. Paul Getty Trust.

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Related Materials

Records generated by David C. Levy as director of admissions and vice dean for development prior to Parsons School of Design's affiliation with the New School for Social Research will be found in the Parsons School of Design Office of the President records (PC.01.01.02).

Levy is depicted in multiple photographs in the Parsons School of Design photograph collection (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.04.01.01).

Levy's dissertation, which examines the merger between Parsons and the New School, may be accessed online via the Proquest database.

An oral history project conducted in 1994 by Martica Sawin includes an interview with David C. Levy, and can be found in the Parsons School of Design Centenary oral history project (PC.07.01.01). A follow up interview was conducted in 2011 by the director of the New School Archives, Wendy Scheir, with a particular focus on the transition from the teaching of interior design to environmental design in the late 1960s and 1970s--it can be found in the Radical Shifts: Reshaping the Interior at Parsons, 1955-1985 oral history project collection (PC.07.01.04). These collections also include recordings of faculty members discussing their experiences teaching at Parsons under Levy's leadership.

Additional minutes of the Board of Overseers will be found in the Parsons School of Design records of oversight collection (PC.01.01.01).

Finally, artwork created by Levy's parents and four other artists in 1934 is held at the New School Archives as Etching in Six Panels by Edgar Levy, Adolph Gottlieb, Esther Gottlieb, Lucille Corcos, David Smith and Dorothy Dehner (KA.0087).

The records of the Oram Group, including its work for Parsons School of Design, are held by Indiana University.

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Separated Materials

A copy of a 1955 self critical study was transferred from the Levy records to the Parsons Records of Oversight as the existing copy in that collection was a photocopy provided by Yale University.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • American College in Paris.
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (U.S.).
  • New School (New York, N.Y.).
  • Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
  • Parsons School of Design. Board of Overseers.
  • Parsons School of Design. Board of Trustees.
  • Parsons School of Design. Design Correlations Department.
  • Parsons School of Design. Environmental and Interior Design Department.

Genre(s)

  • Administrative records.
  • Annual reports.
  • Correspondence.
  • Memorandums.
  • Minutes.
  • Reports.

Personal Name(s)

  • Austill, Allen
  • Cadman, Lesley A.
  • Callisen, Sterling A., 1899-1988
  • Everett, John Rutherford, 1918-1992
  • Landa, Albert
  • Oram, Harold L., 1907-1990
  • Paget, Richard M.
  • Ruzicka, Francis A., 1924-2003
  • Tate, Allen, 1930-

Subject(s)

  • Fund raising.
  • Universities and colleges -- Accreditation.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.
  • Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae.
  • Universities and colleges -- Curricula.
  • Universities and colleges -- Trustees.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the David C. Levy records, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/PC010401.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. General administration 1956-1990 

Link to selected images from this series.  

Ranging largely from the late 1960s through the late 1970s, this series consists of memos, reports, correspondence, and printed material relating to the general administrative aspects of the Office of the Dean during Levy’s tenure. The contents are wide-ranging in subject, and include materials pertaining to school finances, art and exhibitions, public relations, student affiars, and facilities.

Of particular interest are various reports written by Levy that express his views on education, memoranda and correspondence related to the creation of the College Council, correspondence concerning the East Coast Art Schools consortium, and items containing information on scholarships and fundraising. Additionally, there is a cache of items concerning a crisis surrounding the 1989 Shin Matsunaga exhibition.

Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Box Folder

Exhibitions and artwork, 1967-1990 1967-1990 

The material in this section relates to the art collections and exhibitions in the Parsons gallery space and exhibition center, and the New School Art Center. Included is correspondence, memoranda, and listings of art holdings. Also included is documentation on what became a controversial exhibition of the Japanese graphic designer Shin Matsunaga's work at the Parsons Exhibition Center, as well as a 1977 inventory of works of art owned by the New School, and materials related to the 1983 Annual Student Exhibition.

Box Folder
Annual student exhibition, 1983 
1 1
Artistic properties owned by New School, 1977-1978 
1 2
Exhibition information, 1967-1990 

Contains correspondence and printed material related to various exhibitions held at the New School.

1 3-5
Matsunaga, Shin, exhibition, 1989 

Contains memos, correspondence, printed materials, and flyers regarding the exhibition of work by Japanese graphic designer Shin Matsunaga. Much of the material documents the controversy surrounding the exhibition, due to Matsunaga's use of a derogatory African American stereotype in an advertisement design.

1 7
Mocsanyi, Paul, correspondence, 1973-1975 

Paul Mocsanyi was the curator of the New School Art Collection and longtime director of the New School Art Center.

1 6

Facilities, 1972-1981 1972-1981 

Work orders, equipment and furniture orders, budgets, memoranda, and correspondence related to facilities and building maintenance at the Parsons and New School New York campus. Also includes correspondence with facilities staff.

Box Folder
Equipment and construction, 1972-1981 
1 8-11
p_6 8
Furniture, 1979-1980 
1
Staff, 1972-1975 
Vinnie Licause, 1972-1975 
1 13
Frank Vanecek, 1973-1975 
1 14

Finance, 1956-1977 

Box Folder
Chatham Management Services agreement, 1977 
1 16-20
Financial statements, 1956-1974 
1
Hahn, Ray, correspondence, 1975-1977 

This file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details. Hahn was vice president of Finance. File contains correspondence and memoranda relating to budget and finance, including pension and salary information information regarding identified faculty members.

pr_1 1-2
Hosiosky, Issai, correspondence, 1970 
1 21
Pre-merger operating budgets, 1957-1971 
1 22
Tuition income reports, 1970-1972 
1

Public relations, 1969-1983 

Box Folder
Alumni and external relations, 1970-1983 
1 24
American Institute of Graphic Arts Certificate of Excellence, 1974 
1 25
Bedell and Palitz Associates, 1969-1977 
1 26
p_6 7
Klein, Hal, 1972-1975 

Klein was the New School for Social Research's director of public relations. Contains correspondence and press releases.

1 27
Merger press releases, 1970 
1 28
National Association of Display Industries Certificate of Appreciation, 1987 
p_1 7

Student affairs, 1960-1985 

Concerns the student body of Parsons School of Design, particularly registration. Records include memoranda concerning graduation, drafts of invitation letters for commencement, and reports from the Student Services Group.

Some files in this category are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

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Box Folder
Admissions reports on entering, 1960-1976 
1 29
Commencement, 1970-1982 

Contains correspondence regarding commencement exercises and drafts of commencement programs. Consult record group PC.05.03.01 for commencement programs.

1 30-31
Description of student services, 1980s 
p_6 9
Financial aid, 1972-1976 

Correspondence with Jeffrey Wendt of Tuition Systems, Inc.

1 32-33
Form letter templates, 1977-1981 

Includes file maintenance sheets, probation letters, and acceptance letters, signed by Vieri R. Salvadori, Dean of Students.

1 34
Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) tuition and enrollment statistics, 1963-1964 
1 35
Lugsdin, Roger (Registrar), 1972-1976 
1 36
Parsons Student Council, 1969-1981 
2 1
Registration, 1968-1983 
1 37-39
2
Student Services Group, 1978-1985 

Draft policy for student code of conduct, disciplinary, and judicial processes, as well as reports, memos, correspondence and draft policy and protocol for the creation of a student academic advising position and office.

2 2-4

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Series II. General correspondence 1967-1982 

Correspondence includes letters and memoranda generated and received by the Office of the Dean during Levy's tenure. Included is correspondence between Levy and other school administrative officials, acknowledgments of contributions to Parsons School of Design, letters of appreciation and recognition from Levy, and correspondence related to administrative duties and concerns. This series contains little correspondence pre-dating the New School-Parsons merger. Items are arranged both alphabetically by recipient, and chronologically by year, with the latter set being entirely outgoing.

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Box Folder
Alphabetical, 1967-1982 

These files cover the late 1960s through the 1970s, alphabetized by sender or recipient. Not all letters of the alphabet are represented--it is unclear if they ever existed or were lost over time. Includes incoming and outgoing correspondence.

2 5-24
p_6 11
Chronological outgoing correspondence, 1974-1982 
2 25-39
p_6 10

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Series III. Accreditation and memberships 1965-1985 

Ranging from the mid-1960s to the 1980s, this series consists of the memos, reports, evaluations, applications, and correspondence necessary for Parsons' degree accreditation applications and membership in inter-collegiate organizations. The materials pertain to degrees such as the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and various university art and design school associations. Also included here is the typescript of a speech given by Levy at the Kansas City annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Art in 1981.

Box Folder
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, 1975 
2 40
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, 1965-1968 
2 41
Consortium of East Coast Art Schools, 1976-1983 
2 42
3 1-5
Middle States Association correspondence, 1974-1976 
3
National Association of Schools of Art (NASA), 1965-1985 1965-1983 

Founded in 1944, the National Association of Schools of Art (later amended to add "and Design"), NASA(D) provides standards and accreditation to schools offering art and design degrees. These materials include memos, correspondence, applications, reports, and evaluations regarding Parsons' application for, and renewal of, accreditation with NASA(D).

General, 1970-1982 
3 7-8
Annual reports, 1975-1985 
3 9
Caucus of Independent Art Schools, 1982 
3 12
Conference paper, 1977 
3 13
Correspondence, 1973-1984 
3 10-11
Directories, 1967-1979 
3 14
Evaluation, 1965-1966 
3 15
Faculty data sheets, 1980-1983 
3 16
Kansas City meeting speech, 1981 
3 17
Self-study, 1971 
3 18
New York State Art Deans, 1977 

Memoranda, correspondence, and draft reports from annual meeting.

3 19
New York State Education Department fees, 1971-1976 

Includes "Law Pamphlet 9, SED, 1971-1976" .

3 20

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Series IV. Affiliate schools 1970-1987 

This series documents the administration of schools affiliated with Parsons, including La escuela de diseno de Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, and the American College in Paris, also referred to as "Parsons Paris." Materials include memoranda, reports, correspondence, and printed material. Also included here are correspondence and memoranda relating to the unrealized affilitation between Parsons and the New York-Phoenix School of Design.

The section relating to the Otis Art Institute is the most comprehensive, and contains information on the logistics involved in the affiliation, including detailed reports and evaluations of facilities and buildings, accreditation documents, Articles of Incorporation, and meeting minutes and notes from New School Board of Overseers meetings regarding the merger.

The series is arranged alphabetically by school.

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Box Folder
Box Folder

Altos de Chavon, 1981-1984 

La escuela de diseno de Altos de Chavon is an art and design school located in Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, which had an affiliation with Parsons from its founding in 1984.

3 21

American College in Paris 1970-1985 

Contains correspondence and memos regarding the budget, courses, and faculty at the American College in Paris during its affiliation with Parsons.

Box Folder
Correspondence, 1970-1985 
General, 1978-1984 
3 22-24
Jann, Margaret, 1983-1985 

Margaret Jann (aka Margit Jann) was principal of the Poetic License architectural firm. She was on staff at Parsons and at American College in Paris, and worked as a consultant on the development of the Environmental Design program.

3 25
Senter, Enid, 1981-1985 

Enid Paul (E. P.) Mayberry Senter was director of administration for Parsons School of Design at the American College in Paris beginning in 1983.

3 26
Shepherd, Roger, 1970-1983 
3 27
Paris Inside Out guide by Stephen Plummer, 1982 
3 28
Periodic Review Report, 1983 
3 29
The Planet, 1981 

Student newspaper of American College Paris.

3 30
Box Folder

New York Phoenix School of Design, 1969-1975 

Correspondenc and memos documenting several unrealized attempts to affiliate Parsons with the Phoenix School of Art, first in 1969 and, later, in 1975.

3 31

Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, 1977-1987 

Contains correspondence, reports, evaluations, and memos regarding the merger of Parsons with Otis, applying for accreditation, and the ongoing affiliation between the schools. Subjects include the accreditation process, faculty relations, student life and services, course and program design, and information on buildings, spaces, and facilities on the Otis campus.

Founded in 1918, Otis Art Institute (now the Otis College of of Art and Design) was the first independent art school in Los Angeles. From 1978 to 1991, Otis was affiliated with Parsons, during which period it was called the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.

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Box Folder
General correspondence, 1978-1980 
3 32
Accreditation, 1977-1986 
General, 1977-1986 
3 33-34
4 1-2
Self-Study Report presented for review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges & National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 1985 
4 3-4
Articles of Incorporation, 1979 
4 5
Board of Governors, 1983 

Contains roster of members, minutes from meetings, and correspondence pertaining to the Otis/Parsons Board of Governors.

4 6
Building and campus space planning, 1979-1987 

Materials include memos, correspondence, and reports regarding space and facilities utilization at the Otis campus. Topics include use of space in the period immediately after the merger, as well as hiring an architect to design and construct a new building in the mid-1980s. Also includes correspondence, memos, insurance agreements, and lease information related to Parsons-Otis leasing of space in the Elks Club building adjacent to the Otis campus. The space was leased temporarily to accomodate increased enrollment after the merger.

4 7
Facilities and services, 1979-1981 

Includes correspondence, plans, and memos regarding Otis facilities, such as the physical plan, and services such as telephone, security, and maintenance.

4 8
Library, 1987 
4 9
Merger, 1978 

Photocopies of correspondence from Parsons to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed merger with Otis, as well as the decision from the Board approving the merger.

4 10

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Series V. Departments and programs 1955-1989 

Link to selected images from this series.  

This series documents the administrative aspects of various departments, programs, and courses at Parsons School of Design. Items include correspondence, course and program descriptions and proposals, reports, and budget information.

The Environmental Design Department occupies the largest presence in this series. Also included are records concerning the development and implementation of new degree programs such as the Clay, Fiber and Metal Design program and the Photography BFA program, as well as materials relating to major projects within particular departments, such as the "Union Square project" organized by the Architecture Department. Also found here is material relating to the Adam L. Gimbel Library. Files are arranged alphabetically by program.

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Box Folder
Adam L. Gimbel Library, 1974-1981 
4 11
Apprenticeship Program, 1976-1978 
4 12
Architecture, 1970-1987 
General, 1972-1975 

Memos, correspondence, draft curriculum, and reports regarding the expansion of the architecture program.

4 13
Frank, Ed, 1970-1974 

Contains correspondence, article transcripts, and reports relating to the expanded curriculum.

4 14
Master of Architecture Degree Program, 1987 
4 15
Art Education/Bank Street College, 1968-1984 
General, 1972-1983 
4 16-20
p_6 13
Supplementary materials, 1968-1984 
4 21-23
Artists for Environment, 1979-1981 
4 24
Communication Design, 1970-1979 
General, 1970-1979 
4 25
Coronagraphics exhibition, 1974 

Printed flyers, press releases, and photographs of student art featured in the Coronagraphics exhibition of typewriter art.

4 26
Crafts, 1975-1985 
General, 1975-1980 
4 27-30
Scherr, Mary Ann, 1977-1985 

Contains correspondence and program development materials from Mary Ann Scherr, who became chair of the Crafts Program in 1980 after serving in an advisory role to the department since 1977.

4 31
Computer graphics programs, 1979-1981 
4 32
Design Correlations, 1968-1971 
Budget documents, 1970-1971 
4 33
Katavolos, William, 1968-1971 

File contains correspondence and program material concerning William Katavolos, chair of the Design Correlations program. Also found here are reports and evaluations of Katavolos and the program's controversial curriculum written by architect James Marston Fitch. Much of this material details and documents the decline and termination of the Design Correlations program. Also includes faculty salary information. This file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

pr_1 3
Environmental Design, 1966-1984 
General, 1966-1979 
4 34-36
Calabrese, Fred, 1981-1983 

Includes correspondence from Fred Calabrese, chair of the department, following Allen Tate, and a report entitled "Report to the Executive Dean and Environmental Design Faculty of Parsons Concerning Department of Environmental Design and a Proposed Curriculum."

4 37
p_6 12
Faculty evaluations, 1983 

File contains detailed assessments of identified faculty members. This file is restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

pr_1 4
Tate, Allen, 1967-1981 

Contains correspondence, memoranda, and program development materials by Allen Tate, chair of the Environmental Design department.

5 1-2
Wines, James, 1982-1984 

Contains CV, correspondece, press releases, and memos regarding Wines and his appointment as chair of the department in 1983.

5 3
Extension Division, 1972-1974 
5 4
Fashion Design, 1955-1982 
5 5
Fine Arts, 1971-1983 
5 6
Growth and Change at Parsons, 1981 
p_6 14
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), 1970s 
5 7
History of Decorative Arts, circa 1980 
5 8
Illustration, 1984-1988 
p_6 15
Liberal Studies, 1979-1989 
5 9-10
Marketing and Merchandising, 1982-1983 
5 11
Photography, 1970-1982 
5 12
Pre-College Program, 1969-1972 
5 13

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Series VI. Development 1953-1988 

This series contains materials relating to fund raising and development at Parsons, primarily from the late-1960s through the 1970s, including correspondence, grant applications, and endowment and scholarship information. Much of the material originates in, or is directed to, the Parsons Development Office. The series is arranged alphabetically by office and subject.

Box Folder
American Express grants, 1977 
5 14
Andrew Mellon Foundation grant proposal, circa 1976 
5 15
Correspondence, 1967-1978 
Albert W. Landa, 1970-1978 

Office of the Vice President for Development and Public Relations, New School for Social Research. Landa was the school’s public relations director from 1960 to 1975 and, for the following ten years its executive vice president for development and public affairs.

5 16
Franklin, Gordon (Saks Fifth Avenue), 1969-1971 
5 17
Oram, Harold (public relations consultant), 1968-1969 
5 18
Sylvia Spencer (Director of Development), 1967-1968 
5 19
Questionnaire, 1970 
5 20
Dana Foundation, 1984-1988 

Contains information regarding student internships and scholarships sponsored by the Dana Foundation.

General, 1985-1988 
5 21-22
Grant proposal, 1984-1985 
5 23
Reports, 1985-1987 
5 24
Design Resource Center, 1971-1979 

Correspondence, memoranda, and contracts regarding Parsons products and the licensing agreements made between Parsons and external corporations and design firms. Also included are photographs and clippings pertaining to the "Slices of Light" lamp series designed by Parsons students Gloria Rubino and Kenneth DeFalco.

5 25-28
Parsons Development Office, 1963-1983 

Contains correspondence, research materials, memos, scholarship information, and fundraising and development plans and reports.

5 29-31
Van Day Truex endowment, 1976-1977 
5 32

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Series VII. Dissertation research 1973-1977 

Levy's 1979 doctoral dissertation, entitled An Historical Study of Parsons School of Design and Its Merger/Affiliation with the New School for Social Research, concerns the merger between the two schools, in which Levy himself played a major role as an administrator. This series includes materials consulted by Levy while researching and writing his dissertation. Items include transcripts of interviews and questionnaires with New School trustees, administrators, and faculty, as well as correspondence, meeting minutes, and clippings. The correspondence here concerns Levy's questions regarding different aspects of the merger, both the specific New School-Parsons merger, and the general concept of a corporate merger. Additional materials related to the merger, when not directly connected to Levy's dissertation, will be found throughout the collection. A copy of his dissertation is available for onsite consultation in the New School Archives, as well as through Proquest.

Box Folder
Clippings, 1977 
6 1
Correspondence, 1976-1977 
Greenberg, Lester, 1977 

Letter in response to request for legal advice.

6 2
Houghton, Arthur, 1976-1977 
6 3
Minutes of the New School Board of Trustees regarding Parsons merger, 1970 
6 4
Survival crisis transcripts, 1977 

Contains typed draft transcripts of interviews conducted by David C. Levy with New School dean Allen Austill (d. 2016); president of Parsons Sterling Callisen (1899-1988); president of the New School John Everett (d. 1992); New School public relations director Albert Landa (1927-2008); Orin Lehman (1920-2008) of the New School Board of Trustees; Parsons School of Design Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Paget (d. 1991), president of Parsons Francis A. Ruzicka (1924-2003); and Jack Shea. Also includes a synopsis of a conversation with New School treasurer Issai Hosiosky (1906-1998) and a letter from former Parsons School of Design Board of Trustees chairman Arthur A. Houghton, Jr. (1906-1990), outlining his relationship to the school. This file was originally located in another collection and added to this collection during processing.

6 5

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Series VIII. Governance 1952-1988 

This series includes memos, correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports, encompassing materials created by both the Board of Trustees, which was Parson's governing body prior to its 1970 merger with the New School for Social Research, and its replacement by a Board of Overseers. The Trustees and Overseers sections include materials on councils and committees, as well as correspondence and memos relating to individual board members and Parsons presidents. There are similar, though more limited, materials in this series relating to the New School.

The arrangement reflects the reorganization of Parsons and New School governance after the merger. Prior to the merger, Parsons was governed by a strong Board of Trustees and a school president who was selected by, and reported to, the Board. Shortly after the merger, circa 1974, the Board of Trustees as a governing body was discontinued and replaced by a Board of Overseers, which functioned as more of an advisory council with fund raising responsibilities.

More...

Box Folder
Board of Overseers, 1975-1987 

Minutes and additional documentation generated by the Parsons Board of Overseers will be found in the Parsons' Records of Oversight (PC.01.01.01).

6 6-14
Board of Trustees, 1952-1974 
General correspondence, 1968-1969 
6 15
Chairmen's Council meeting minutes, 1972-1974 
6 16
College Council, 1984-1988 
6 17-22
Commencement address by Fred E. Crossland, 1968 

Entitled "To Change by Design."

6 23
Members, 1952-1969 
Grady, Henry W., 1966-1969 
6 24
Paget, Richard, 1952-1968 
6 25
Presidents, 1963-1969 
Callisen, Sterling Adolph, 1963-1966 
6 26
Ruzicka, Francis A., 1965-1969 
6 27
Reports, 1968-1969 

Contains reports and documentation related to "Shape and Content for the 1970s"; reports by Albert Christ-Janer, before 1970; a William E. Parker curriculum report; and a financial report drafted by Fred Crossland, 1968.

6 28
p_6 16
Faculty Council, 1977 
6 29
New School, 1970-1984 
Austill, Allen, 1974-1982 
6 30
Board of Trustees roster, 1983 
6 31
Everett, John R. (President of the New School for Social Research), 1970-1975 
6 32
Gideonse, Harry D. (Chancellor of the New School for Social Research), 1972-1984 
6 33
Proposal for Pierre Bedard to serve as consultant, 1970 
6 34

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Series IX. Personnel 1972-1988 

Materials pertaining to faculty, staff, and other personnel matters at Parsons can be found in this series, ranging largely from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s. While the series contains correspondence, resumes, and insurance information, the majority of the items pertain to the unionization of the staff and faculty.

Box Folder
Agreement with Teamsters (clerical union), 1975 
6 35
Collective bargaining articles, 1974 
6 36
Faculty, 1977-1987 
Rosters, 1980-1982 
6 37
Committee on Grading, 1977 
6 38
Union campaign, 1982-1987 
6 39
p_6 17
Job descriptions, 1975-1981 
6 40
Medical insurance, 1972-1976 

Additional documentation will be found in Finance: Ray Hahn.

6 41
Resumes for catalogue, 1987-1988 
6 42

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Series X. Personal 1973-1982 

Link to selected images from this series.  

This small series contains several items of a biographical nature, including a memorial book for Levy's parents, a handmade book, and materials from a conference attended by Levy.

Box Folder
Bureaucracy conference, 1982 

Materials relating to Levy's attendance of the First International Conference on Comparative and Critical Analysis of Bureaucracy.

6 43
Handmade book of illustrations from "Hearst's" magazine by Ray Gould, 1973 
p_OSx-1 13
Memorial book for Edgar Levy and Lucille Corcos Levy, 1975 
Memorial book for Edgar Levy and Lucille Corcos Levy, 1975  
6 44

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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