SCUA

UMass Amherst. Public Affairs

UMass Amherst. Public Affairs, 1866-2007.

(73.75 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 5

Public relations efforts at UMass have shifted over the years from an early emphasis on education in agriculture and home economics to contemporary efforts to manage the torrent of information generated by a research university. The first news editor at UMass was not appointed until 1948, and as late as 1961, the entire central Public Relations staff consisted only of a news and publications editor, although the College of Agriculture hosted a separate staff of five. Since the 1960s, however, the public relations efforts have expanded as rapidly as the University as a whole. The position of Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Development was created in 1983, (called Vice Chancellor for University Advancement after 1993) to oversee public affairs, alumni relations, and development activities.

This record group consists of materials from the several offices concerned with the production of University publications and publicity. The records include press releases, brochures, guidebooks, newsclippings, newsletters, bulletins, weekly newspapers, semi-monthly feature publications, special publications and photographic negatives. Also included in this group are the following publications: Chancellor’s Monthly Press Briefings, Chancellor’s Annual Review of NewsClips, Commonwealth Research Reports, Campus Guidebooks, University Newsletter, Weekly Bulletin, Executive Bulletin, University Bulletin, brochures, Contact, UMass, Science Journal, University Notebook, Tips, News Summary, and the Commonwealth Journal.

Historical Note

The early years of publicity for Massachusetts Agricultural College focused primarily on agriculture and home economics. During the Massachusetts State College period, new public relations programs were proposed in an attempt to broaden coverage of the entire college. Robert McCartney served as the first UMass News Editor (1948-1953) and as Director of Publications and News (1953-1956). In 1961, the entire central Public Relations staff of the University of Massachusetts consisted of a news and publications editor; however, the College of Agriculture had its own staff of publicity professionals (director, news, radio, television and publications editors).

In 1961, President Jown W. Lederle authorized the position of Assistant News and Publications Editor based on the assumption that there would be need for more publications and greater publicity as the University prepared for its centennial year in 1963. Over the next five years, the University’s public relations program grew as the University expanded at a rate of approximately 1500 students per year. The two members of the News and Publications office divided their functions into news and publications. The staff in the agricultural communications area was incorporated into the University’s public relations area with subsequent personnel shifts. All of these units reported informally to the Secretary of the University. Robert McCartney (who had taken a position as Director of University Relations) at the University of Maryland) returned to UMass in 1964 as Secretary of the University of Massachusetts and Director of University Relations.

In a major reorganization in 1969, Joseph Marcus was made Vice Chancellor, with responsibilities for Public Relations, Alumni, Special Programs, and Continuing Education. Marcus left the position after one year and the concept of a vice chancellor to manage the public relations area was abandoned. After Oswald Tippo became chancellor in 1970, he named Daniel Melley as Director of Public Affairs, with responsibility for news, publications, the Photo Center, and managerial responsibility for WFCR radio.

In the fall of 1973, the Public Affairs Office completed a total reorganization, which separated the editorial and design/production duties within publications. In 1983 the position of Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Development was created. This name changed in 1993 to Vice Chancellor for University Advancement to oversee public affairs, alumni relations and development.

Scope and Contents

This record group consists of materials gathered from several offices whose purpose has been (and continues to be) production of broad, University-based publications and publicity; these are primarily represented by news clippings, press releases, brochures, guidebooks, newsletters, bulletins, weekly newspapers, semi-monthly feature publications, special publications and photographic negatives. Also included in this group are the following publications: Chancellor’s Monthly Press Briefings, Chancellor’s Annual Review of NewsClips, Commonwealth Research Reports, Campus Guidebooks, University Newsletter, Weekly Bulletin, Executive Bulletin, University Bulletin, brochures, Contact, UMass, Science Journal, University Notebook, Tips, News Summary, and the Commonwealth Journal.

The most fully documented series of this record group are:

  • News Bureau (News Office) (1922-2007)
  • Campus Chronicle (1985-2007)
  • UMass Magazine (1903-2007)
  • Publications Office (1946-2007)
  • Photographic Services (1962-2004)

The Photo Center negative collection (1956-2004) is listed on a searchable database in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.

00. Publications (except as noted below) 1962-1991
1. Campus Guidebooks 1927-2007
2. University Newsletter 1968-1970
3. Weekly University Executive Bulletins 1912-1985
4. Brochures 1916-2007
5. Contact 1975-1989
6. University Bulletin 1973-1977
7. UMass 1983 and 1984 1983-1984
8. Newsclips 1984-1988
9. Massachusetts Gazette 1970
10. Campus Chronicle 1985-2007
11. Massachusetts 1990-1996
12. UMASS 1996-2007
1. Director of Public Affairs 1933-1980 (bulk 1933-1955)
3. Office of Public Information (OPI)/News Bureau 1922-2007
1. Science Journal 1979-1994
2. University Notebook 1980-1981
3. Tips 1987-1988
4. News Summary 1993-2007
4. Publications Office 1946-2007
5. Speakers Bureau 1935-2007
6. Radio, TV 1952-2007
7. Photo Center/Photographic and Motion Picture Services 1962-2007
8. Creative Services 1975-2007
10. Publicity about UMass 1866-2007

Subjects

  • Public relations--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Office of Public Affairs
Special Collections and University Archives logo