John Lederle played a large role in shaping the Amherst campus as it looks today, transforming UMass Amherst into a nationally respected research university and “great public center for excellence in higher education.” Born in Royal Oak, Michigan, Lederle received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1942. Admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1936, he worked with a Detroit law firm from 1936 to 1940 before joining the political science department at Brown University from 1941 to 1944. He returned to the University of Michigan in 1944, filling a number of positions until 1960, when the University of Massachusetts elected him President. Under Lederle’s leadership, the Amherst campus enjoyed its greatest period of growth. From 1960 to 1970, student enrollment more than tripled and faculty salaries nearly doubled. The academic program expanded greatly, particularly at the graduate level, and under his watch, the university instituted an academic press, a public radio station, and collaborative arrangements between the local colleges. The University system also evolved in the Lederle years, with the establishment of the Boston campus in 1964 and the medical school in Worcester in 1962.
The Lederle Papers include professional correspondence, administrative records, subject files, committee notes, reports, and clippings; Extra-University records that document Lederle’s involvement and interactions with governmental and non-governmental organizations at the state, regional, and national levels; personal correspondence, speeches, bibliographies of his writings, biographical information, a transcript of an oral history describing his administration, and materials relating to his professional activities that followed his presidency; and a series of confidential records.
Born May 26, 1912 in Royal Oak, Michigan, Lederle received his A.B., 1933, A.M., 1934, LL.B., 1936, and Ph.D., 1942, all from the University of Michigan. He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1936, working with a Detroit law firm from 1936 to 1940. Lederle was at Brown University from 1941 to 1944, serving as a professor of political science and assistant dean. He returned to the University of Michigan in 1944, filling a number of professional roles there, and was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court in 1947. Lederle remained at the University of Michigan until 1960.
The Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts elected Lederle President of the University in 1960. Upon his resignation in 1970, the Board appointed him the Joseph B. Ely Professor of Government at the Amherst Campus, the position he presently holds.
Dr. Lederle holds honorary degrees from Amherst, Holy Cross, Boston University, Hokkaido University of Japan, University of Massachusetts, Northeastern, and Lowell State College. He has served on a number of U.S. Congressional special committees, and Massachusetts educational boards.
University Landmarks During Lederle’s Presidency (1960-1970)
- Enrollment increased from 6495 in 1960 to projected enrollment of more than 21,000 in Fall 1969.
- Average faculty salary increased from $7528 a year to $13,500 a year.
- Number of faculty increased from 366 at Amherst to 1157 by Fall 1969 and another 233 at Boston.
- Increase in number of graduates from 901 in 1960 to 2240 in Amherst in June 1969 and another 525 in Boston.
- Number of students in graduate programs grew from 768 to 3500; doctoral programs grew from 16 to 44.
- Seventy buildings were built in Amherst in these years and another eight under construction in 1970.
- In 1962 the Medical School was established in Worcester; first class entered in 1970.
- In 1964 the Boston Campus was established; first class entered in 1965.
- Establishment of: Polymer Research Institute, Labor Relations and Research Center, Water Resources Research Center, Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Overseas programs in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France, Committee for the Collegiate Education of Black Students.
|1936-1940||Lawyer, Detroit firm of Luking, Van Auken and Sprague|
|1944, 1946||Consultant, Special Campaign Expenditures Committee, U.S. Senate|
|1945-1948||Staff Attorney, Michigan Municipal League|
|1948-1951||General Counsel, Michigan Municipal League|
|1950||Consultant, Special Campaign Expenditures Committee, U.S. House of Representatives|
|1951-1952||Consultant, Committee on Rules and Administration, U.S. Senate, Sub-Committee on Privileges and Elections|
|1952||Public Administration Consultant, Mutual Security Agency|
|State of Michigan|
|1953-1954||Controller and Head of Department of Administration|
|1953-1954||Secretary, Michigan State Administrative Board|
|1953-1954||Secretary, State Building Commission|
|1953-1954||Chairman, Michigan Commission on Interstate Cooperation|
|1954-1955||Secretary, Governors Committee on Intergovernmental Relations|
|1949-||State Chairman, YMCA Youth and Government Committee|
|1957-||Member, State Committee, YMCA of Michigan|
|1958-1959||Collaborator, U.S. Forest Service|
|1958-1959||Consultant, National Committee on Government and Higher Education|
|1970-||Chairman, University Pre-Law Advisory Committee.|
|1972-||Master of Public Administration Committee.|
|1973-||Campus Presidential Internship Recommendation Committee.|
|1973-1976||Chairman, Amherst Campus Bicentennial Committee|
Member, University Athletic Committee.
Doctoral and MPA committees.
|1977||Representative of Social Science Division, Provost’s Self-Evaluation Committee Concerning the Handicapped.|
|1977-||Member, Advisory Council, Institute of Governmental Services.|
|1977-||Member and Treasurer, Equine Center Council (Fund raising for improved University horse facilities.|
|1979-||Member, Sub-Committee on the Physical Environment of the Chancellors Committee on the Environment.|
|1980||Chairman, Chancellors Ad Hoc Committee on Higher Education Reorganization Legislation.|
|1980||Member, Trustee Healey Dinner Committee.|
|1960-1970||Member, Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges Member, Massachusetts Board of Educational Assistance|
|1961-1973||Member, New England Board of Higher Education|
|1970-1971||Member, Advisory Committee for Student Internships in Economic Development|
|1961||Board of Trustees, Eastern States Exposition|
|1962-1965||Member, Massachusetts Advisory Board of Higher Education Policy|
|1966-||Chairman, Advisory Commission to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education|
|1972-1973||Advisor, Committee for Economic Development, Sub-Committee on Management and Financing Higher Education|
|1977-||Member, Education Compact Council of Massachusetts|
|1977||Chairman, Governors Special Committee on Local Government Management Capacity|
|1962-1966||Member, National Commission on Accrediting|
|1962-1964||Member, Blue Cross-Blue Shield Special Commission on Nonprofit Hospital and Medical Service Corporations and the Rising Cost of Hospital and Medical Care to the Public|
|ca. 1965||Commission on Accreditation of Service, American Council on Educational Experiences (renewed for another year in 1965)|
|1966||Local Advisory Committee, 72nd National Conference on Government for the National Municipal League|
|1967-1970||Member, Executive Council, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges|
|1966-1969||Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Department of Agriculture and Land-Grant Universities on Education for Government Service|
|1968||Board of Visitors, Air University (USAF)|
|1960||Consultant to the International Cooperation Administration of the U.S. Department of State to consider the feasibility of establishing an Institute of Public and Business Managerial Sciences at Taipei, Formosa for the Nationalist Republic of China.|
|1967||Consultant, Proposal for Master of Arts Program in Government, University of Illinois, Edwardsville Campus (through The Council of Graduate Schools in the U.S.).|
|1968||Evaluation, Graduate School of Public Affairs, State University of New York, Albany.|
|1970||Planning Workshop on Executive Development sponsored by New York State Institute for Governmental Executives, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.|
|1970||Advisor, Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on reorganization of the Executive Branch under National Academy of Public Administration Control.|
|1970-1971||Chairman, Accreditation Commitee, N.E. Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, to review the Portland–Gorham Campus of the Maine System of Higher Education.|
|1971-1974||Consultant and Advisor to Governor William Milliken of Michigan on the organization and administration of the Michigan System of Higher Education.|
|1971||Consultant, Indiana Commission on Higher Education.|
|1972||Consultant, Committee on University Governance, West Virginia University.|
|1973||Consultant, Council of Graduate Schools, assigned to University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee to evaluate graduate offerings in political science.|
|1973-||Consultant, Massachusetts League of Cities and Towns.|
|1974||Evaluation Consultant, HEW, Program on Education for Public Administration.|
|1979-||Consultant, Massachusetts Municipal Association.|
|1979||Member, Review Panel, Office of Education, HEW, on grant requests for public administration schools and departments.|
The papers of John W. Lederle document chiefly his tenure as the University of Massachusetts’ sixteenth president from 1960-1970, a decade of rapid growth resulting in dramatic increases in the number of the University’s physical structures; in the variety of its academic programs and offerings; and in the size of its staff, faculty, and student body. The collection spans the years 1947-1983, with the majority of materials dating from the period of Dr. Lederle’s presidency, and includes professional correspondence, administrative records, subject files, committee notes, reports, and clippings. Administrative records document the operation of the Amherst Campus as well as the development of two new campuses: the Boston Campus and the Medical School Campus in Worcester. These records provide details about the University’s buildings, accreditation, finances, colleges and schools, faculty governance, campus newspapers and radio, cooperation with the Five Colleges, and students, including information on student unrest during the 1960s.
Extra-University records document Dr. Lederle’s involvement and interactions with governmental and non-governmental organizations at the state, regional, and national levels. In particular, Dr. Lederle was involved with the Board of Higher Education, the Higher Education Facilities Commission, state agencies such as Administration and Finance, the New England Center for Continuing Education, and federal agencies such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The collection also contains Dr. Lederle’s personal correspondence, speeches, bibliographies of his writings, biographical information, a transcript of an oral history describing his administration, and materials relating to his professional activities that followed his presidency.
Finally, the papers include a series of confidential records consisting mainly of personnel files. These materials are restricted and there is no container list for the series in this finding aid.
The papers include a series of confidential records consisting mainly of personnel files. These materials are restricted and there is no container list for the series in this finding aid.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: John W. Lederle Papers (RG 3/1-1960). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Processed by Virginia Conrad, 1985.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst. President
- Lederle, John William, 1912-