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Guide to the New School central administration collection, 1928-2012

Collection Overview


New School Collections

Collection Identifier



Hovde, Brynjolf Jakob, 1896-1954


Johnson, Alvin Saunders, 1874-1971


New School (New York, N.Y.).


Simons, Hans, 1893-1972


New School central administration collection, 1928-2012


3.3 linear ft: 3 boxes

Language of Materials



This collection brings together material related to the overall administration of The New School from 1928-2008. It includes reports, financial information, board of trustees meeting agenda and minutes, and documentation prepared for accrediting through the Middle States Association of Colleges and School. The bulk of the material dates from the late 1940s-early 1960s and the 1990s-2000s. Of particular note is the report "The New School Study" of 1952, also known as the "Swift Report," which was among the first to undertake wholesale evaluation of the New School for Social Research, the name of the university at that time.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School central administration collection, NS.01.01.05, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical Note

The New School for Social Research was founded in 1919 as an institution of higher education devoted to adult learning. As the school grew into a university, this original division was alternately known as the "Founding Division" or the "Adult Division." In 1943, the school was divided into two schools, the School of Politics, and the School of Liberal Arts and Philosophy. At this time, in response to the needs of returning veterans wishing to take advantage of the GI Bill, the school began a program called Senior Year at the New School. Geared toward adults who had previously completed some coursework, the program offered undergraduate credits for some courses and awarded bachelors' degrees. However, the majority of students continued to take non-credit courses.

Although The New School offered some undergraduate credits beginning in the 1940s, the first full-time day program was not established until 1972. Called the Freshman Year Program, it initially focused on college-level courses for high school students or recent high school graduates, who would then matriculate elsewhere. The program expanded as the Seminar College in 1977 and further grew in 1985 with a large donation and new name, Eugene Lang College.

In 1933, the New School for Social Research established the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science. Also known as the "University in Exile," the division was founded in order to host German and other European scholars who left their countries of origin to escape political and racial persecution. The Board of Regents of the State of New York granted a provisional charter in 1934, allowing the Graduate Faculty to confer Master of Social Science and Doctor of Social Science degrees. This was the first time the New School for Social Research offered credits leading to a degree to students in any of its programs. In 2005, the Graduate Faculty changed its name to The New School for Social Research, reclaiming the founding name of the entire institution, which had been dropped eight years before.


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Scope and Contents note

The New School central administration collection consists of reports, surveys, budgets, board and committee meeting minutes. This material was primarily created or commissioned by The New School President's office, administrators, department chairs, and the board of trustees. While the collection contains material from the late 1920s through the early years of the twenty-first century, the bulk of the contents are from the late 1940s-1950s and from the 1990s.

A large part of the collection consists of reports, written for both internal and external audiences. These reports, which span from 1928 to 2003, provide valuable insight into the programs, student body, faculty, administrative structure, and finances of The New School at various points in its history. The reports also often contain reflections on the past and future of The New School, with recommendations for new directions and strategies. Among the most significant reports in this collection is the The New School Study of 1952, also known as the "Swift Report," after the director of the study, sociologist Arthur Swift. The Swift Report was one of the first attempts at a comprehensive understanding of The New School's structure, programs, mission, and future. It led the administration and board to reevaluate many aspects of the university. The collection contains drafts of the Swift Report, supplementary information, and a report from the board of trustees on actions taken in response. Other reports include those on specific programs and departments and those related to particular aspects of the administration of the school including finances, affirmative action, and exploratory reports on the creation of new programs.

The reports contain extensive information on the 1963 budget crisis, and the resulting fundraising campaign. Also in the reports are court documents related to the 1970 student occuption of The New School's Graduate Faculty building in protest of the Vietnam War.

Material from the board of trustees includes meeting minutes, agendas, memoranda, statements from the board, and additional reports. The years 1955-1960 are particularly well covered by these records. Additionally, the board of trustees series contains agendas, minutes, and memoranda from a number of committees. Of note are the responses from an Evaluation Committee survey of New School lecturers. This 1948 survey questioned lecturers on what they believed to be the strengths and weaknesses of the university.

The series "Middle States Association" consists of accreditation reports prepared by The New School from the 1960s through 2003. These reports contain detailed study body statistics, overviews of the university's mission and history, and descriptions of specific schools and programs.

The 1990s and 2000s at The New School are represented in the series "University Discussion Papers," also known as Seminar Papers. These papers present information "about important aspects of the University and overviews of current issues and topics of interest to the University community." The topics were sometimes reports from specific departments or committees, or presentations on general trends in higher education. The program seems to have been initiated in the fall of 1994 and continued at least through 2008, though sometimes under the title "Seminar Papers." These should not be confused with the popular academic lectures, called "General Seminars," at which Graduate Faculty members presented papers.


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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged chronologically in 4 series

  1. General, 1928-2012
  2. Board of Trustees, 1943-1960
  3. Middle States Association, 1960-2003
  4. University Discussion Papers, 1994-2008

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New School Collections - November 1, 2018

66 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School central administration collection, NS.01.01.05, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

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.

Custodial History note

Provenance of annual reports and Middle States Association series: The circumstances under which and by whom they were transferred to the Kellen Design Archives are unknown by processing archivist. Files were formerly part of a record group titled, "Minutes and reports," which was divided in 2011 into two "Records of oversight" record groups--one for The New School and one for Parsons School of Design. The present collection is the former.

Provenance of Board of Trustees series: Transferred from New School Publicity Office records when that record group was being processed, 2012.


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The staff of The New School Archives and Special Collections assembled this collection from multiple office transfers.

Processing Information note

This collection was formerly titled, "New School records of oversight."

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • New School (New York, N.Y.).
  • New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997). Graduate Faculty.
  • Parsons School of Design.


  • Annual reports.
  • Minutes.
  • Reports.


  • Universities and colleges -- Accreditation.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.
  • Universities and colleges -- Trustees.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the New School central administration collection, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NS010105.


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Collection Inventory

Series I. General 1928-2012 

Box Folder
"Report of the Director, 1927-1928," 1928 
1 1
"Report of Committee on a Five-Year Program," 1929 
1 2
Presentation of 66 West 12th Street bond offering for Dr. Beatrice Hinkle, 1930 Feb 3 

A sample of the bond offering for the construction of The New School's flagship 66 West 12th Street building.

1 3
"Report of the Director," 1934 Jan 15 
1 4
Alvin Johnson letter regarding labor unions, 1935 Jan 21 
1 5
Pettit, Walter W. and Arthur L. Swift, Jr. "The Interrelation of Social Work with Other Professions," 1938 Mar 4 

Includes proposal for research project by Siegfried Kracauer.

1 6
Bloch, Marc, 1941 

Contains a letter from Alvin Johnson confirming Bloch's two-year contract at The New School as Associate Professor of Medieval History.

1 7
Financial Reorganization (excerpt from Bilheimer Report), 1942 

Regarding mortgages on the 66 West 12th Street building.

1 8
Notes on a preliminary meeting for the labor college, 1942 Mar 18 
1 9
Johnson, Alvin. "Origin and Development of the New School for Social Research," 1943 Dec 8 

Includes budget and organizational chart.

1 10
Appeal for suppport for 1944-1947 to William C. Whitney Foundation, 1944 
1 11
Rubinow, Raymond S. "Effort at Planned Fund Raising," 1946, 1952 
1 12
Haber, William. "Report Concerning Proposed International Academy Project--New School," 1947 Nov 8 
1 13
Accreditation report submitted to College Entrance Examination Board, 1948 Oct 27 
1 14
"Report of the New School for Social Research," circa 1948 

This report is an analysis of the New School by an outside body, possibly the College Entrance Examination Board.

1 15
Bryn Hovde correspondence, 1948 
1 16
Report of Bryn Hovde, 1948 Feb 6 
1 17
Departmental reports, 1949 

Includes reports of School of Philosophy and Liberal Arts; School of Politics; Graduate Faculty; Treasurer; Development, Public Relations, Fund raising, Press Publicity, and the New School Associates.

1 18-19
"Budgets for Summer 1949 and Fiscal Year 1949-1950," 1949 Apr 29 
1 20
Hula, Erich. "Report on the B.A. Program," 1949 
1 21
"Annual Report for the School of Politics," 1949-1959 
1 22-23
Goodstein, Jack, David Weingard, and Arthur Swift. "A Preliminary Study of The New School," 1950 
1 24
Survey on student counseling project, 1950-1952, undated 
1 25
Johnson, Alvin. "The School of Political Science, Columbia University," 1951 Sep 7 
1 26
The New School Study [the "Swift Report"], 1952 

Sometimes referred to as the "Swift Report," this report was undertaken at the request of the New School Board of Trustees following a preliminary study made in 1950 by Arthur L. Swift, Jack Goodstein, and David Weingard. The Swift Report was funded by private donations and a grant from the Marshall Field Foundation. One copy with extensive editorial marks.

"A Tentative and Confidential Report on the New School of [sic] Social Research," 1952 
1 27-28
"Director's Report," 1952 
1 29-30
Documentation for Swift report, 1948-1952 
1 31
Draft manuscript, 1952 
1 32-33
"Summary and Committee Recommendations," 1952 Dec 22 
1 34
Graduate Faculty self-survey and documentation for Swift report, 1942-1952 
1 35
Simons, Hans. "Preliminary Actions Taken on Some of the Recommendations Submitted to the Board of Trustees," 1953 Jan 7 
1 36
Simons, Hans. "The New School's Development Program," 1954 Apr 6 
1 37
Budgets, 1957-1961 
1 38-40
Swift, Arthur file on Isidore Cooperman, 1957-1959 

Includes correspondence between Isidore Cooperman and Arthur Swift, receipts of payment, and reference letters. Swift was Cooperman's reference for his applications for a fellowship and for admission into several universities.

1 41
Simons, Hans. "Future of the New School," 1958 Sep 18 

This report is related to a similar document in the New School Publicity Office records in which Hans Simons responds to the "McGrath Report."

1 42
De Lima, Agnes, A.A. Liveright, Helen E. Williams. "Report on adult education at the New School," circa 1959 
1 43
"Report of the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Presidential Successorship," circa 1960 

A short report with the Committee's recommendations for a new president of The New School.

1 44
Nelson Associates Management Consultants reports, 1960 

Study about New School Adult Division conducted on behalf of trustee J.M. Kaplan.

1 45
Faculty letter to Henry David regarding Clara Mayer, probably 1961 
1 46
Financial crisis documents, 1963 

Primarily relates to the Endowment Fund Campaign. See also the New School Adult Division records and the Graduate Faculty collection.

1 47
Harold L. Oram, Inc. Public Relations & Fund Raising. "Study of Fund-raising Potentials for the Board of Trustees," 1964 Apr 11 
1 48
Supreme Court of the State of New York documents related to student occupation of Graduate Faculty building, 1970 
1 49
Job descriptions and materials relating to a reorganization of New School offices and staff, 1975 
1 50
New School Mission Statement, after 1985 
1 51
"The New School: Five Year Plan, 1996-2000," 1996 Oct 4 
1 52
Affirmative action and diversity plans 1997-2000, 1997 Jun 

Includes plans from the New School for Social Research (university), as well as the following colleges: The New School, Mannes College of Music, Eugene Lang College, and the Graduate Faculty.

1 53-54
"Report of the Activities of the University Ombuds for 1998/1999," 1999 Sep 1 
2 1
"Planning for Growth: New School Campus Planning," 2005 Feb 23 
2 2
Draft of "The New School 2010: A Five Year Academic Plan," 2005 Dec 2 
2 3
Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility annual reports, 2010-2013 
2 4

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Series II. Board of Trustees 1943-1960 

General includes agendas, minutes, statements to the board, reports to the board, and resolutions. [The rationale here is that many of the other reports and budgets in the General series also most likely were attachments or addenda to committee or Board of Trustees minutes.

Unlike the rest of the collection, the folders in the committee subseries are arranged alphabetically.


General, 1949, 1955-1960 
2 5-13
Educational Policy Committee, 1953-1959 

Scope and Content of Collection

Later minutes in Clara Mayer papers.

2 14-16
Evaluation Committee minutes, 1948-1949 

Includes minutes from committee meetings and self-study replies, which are replies to a letter sent by Bryn Hovde to visiting lecturers asking about their experience at the New School and what they would change and improve about the school. Later committee minutes in Clara Mayer papers.

2 17
Evaluation Committee Self-Survey replies, 1948-1949 
2 18-19
Executive Committee minutes, 1956-1959 
2 20
Executive and Finance Committee minutes, 1943 
2 21
Executive Personnel Committee minutes, 1958 
2 22
Faculty Committee minutes, 1958-1960 
2 23-24
Faculty Library Committee minutes, 1958 
2 25
Fund-raising Committee minutes, 1947 
2 26

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Series III. Middle States Association 1960-2003 

Box Folder
"A Self-Study of the New School for Social Research," 1960 Jan 15 
2 28-29
"Report of the Evaluation Committee," 1960 Feb 14-17 
2 27
Assorted papers related to Middle States accreditation, 1960-1961 
2 30
"Report Prepared for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools," 1970 Jan 
2 31-32
"Institutional Summary," 1979 
2 33
"Self-Study Report: New School for Social Research and Parsons School of Design," 1981 Feb 

Dated February 1981, this 187-page report was submitted to the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Evaluation Team by John R. Everett, President of the New School for Social Research. Parsons School of Design forms one chapter in the report, with other chapters dedicated to the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Adult Divisions and the School of Management and Urban Professions. For a more comprehensive draft of the report, consult the Records of the Dean, New School for Public Engagement. However, it should be noted that the report included here features a Parsons-specific appendix that is missing from the report in the Dean's Office records.

2 34-37
"Final Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of New School for Social Research and Parsons School of Design by an Evaluation Team Representing the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools," 1981 May 13 
2 38
Institutional Profile, 1990 
3 1
"Self-Study Report of the New School for Social Research," 1991 Jan 
3 2-3
Report and follow-up, 1991-1992 
3 4
Periodic review report, 1996 
3 5
Informational materials, 1997 
3 6-7
"New School University Self-study Design," 2001 Aug 22 
3 8
"Self-study Report," 2003 Apr 6-9 
3 9-10

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Series IV. University Discussion Papers 1994-2008 

From 1994 to Spring 1999, the papers were called "Discussion papers." The name changed to "University Seminar Papers" in Fall 1999 until Spring 2004. In Fall 2004, the name was changed back to "Discussion papers." In 2007, the name changed again to "University Seminar Papers."

Unable to determine the exact dates of the name changes. The names of the components correspond with the name of the papers.


Box Folder
New School Discussion Papers, 1994-2003 
3 11
New School Discussion Papers 1-39, 1994-1999, 2004 
3 12-13, 15
University Seminar papers, 1999-2008 
3 14, 16

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 11/26/2018

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