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President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr, 1907-1964

By Finding aid prepared by Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr, 1907-1964

Predominant Dates: 1907-1940

ID: RG 013 - SG 07

Primary Creator: Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947

Extent: 1.75 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The President's Office records of William Jasper Kerr are arranged into eleven series: I: General Reference File, 1922-1940; II: Correspondence, 1907-1935; III: Clippings, 1908-1935; IV: Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, 1925-1941; V: Resolutions Adopted by the State Board of Higher Education, 1935; VI: Biography of William Jasper Kerr; VII: Publications, 1908-1964; VIII: The OSC - U of O Controversy, 1937; IX: Reports to the Board of Regents, 1909-1929; X: Reorganization, 1931-1932; XI: College Surveys, 1928-1930. Materials within series are arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr document Kerr's presidency of Oregon Agricultural College between 1907 and 1932 and include materials from his tenure as Chancellor of Oregon's higher education system. The collection includes general reference files, correspondence, newsclippings, assorted reports and publications, and materials generated for the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the Board of Regents. The collection contains materials relating to the college's educational mission, organizational structure, budget, attendance, and curricular offerings, the state of education in Oregon, and the reorganization of the Oregon educational system.

Scope and Content Notes

The President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr are comprised of materials from Kerr's tenure as President of Oregon Agricultural College. The collection include a general reference file, correspondence, newspaper clippings, communications with the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, publications, reports to the Board of Regents, survey materials, and biographic materials. The collection contains extensive material relating to the physical and curricular growth of the college, the controversial reorganization of OAC and the University of Oregon, and the state of higher education in Oregon in the early 20th century.

Biographical / Historical Notes

William Jasper Kerr was born November 17, 1863 in Richmond, Utah. At a young age, Kerr dropped out of school in favor of a position on his father's railroad construction crew. He later returned to school, earning a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Utah in 1885. Following graduation, Kerr accepted a position teaching in Smithfield, Utah. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to Superintendent of the Smithfield district. Between 1887 and 1894, Kerr taught mathematics at Brigham Young College and the University of Utah. In 1894, Kerr was appointed President of Brigham Young, a position he held until 1900 when he became President of Utah State Agricultural College. In 1907, Kerr resigned his position at Utah and became President of Oregon Agricultural College.

Kerr's presidency at OAC was defined by a period of prolonged and aggressive growth. During his tenure, the college constructed more than twenty buildings, including the Memorial Union, and more than doubled the total size of the campus to 555 acres. He tightened admissions requirements, expanded curricular offerings, and added talented staff to the college's ranks. Kerr resigned from his post in 1932, ending the longest reign of any OSC president.

After leaving the college, Kerr became the first Chancellor of Oregon's system of higher education. He held this position for three years before retiring. William Jasper Kerr died in 1947 at the age of 83.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 5 boxes, including 1 oversize box; 5 microfilm reels

Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: These records were transferred to the University Archives by the OSU President's Office. The collection is now held by the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center.

Related Materials: Content related to the Kerr presidency can be found in the Edwin T. Reed Papers (MSS Reed) and Subgroup 12 of the President's Office Records (RG 013). Additional materials relating to the presidents of Oregon State University include the President's Office Records (RG 013), Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection (P 001), President's Office Photographs (P 092), President's Office Motion Picture Film and Videotapes (FV 092), Board of Regents Records (RG 008), Board of Trustees Records (RG 033), and the OSU Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC).

Preferred Citation: President's Office Records of William Jasper Kerr (RG 013 - SG 07), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947
Oregon State Agricultural College. Board of Regents
Oregon State Agricultural College. Office of the President
Oregon State College. Office of the President
Reed, Edwin Thomas (1872-1948)
United States. Bureau of Education

People, Places, and Topics

Association of American Universities
College presidents--Oregon--Corvallis.
Education, Higher--Oregon.
Kerr, William Jasper, 1863-1947
Oregon Agricultural College
Oregon State Agricultural College
Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula
Oregon State College. Office of the President
Oregon State System of Higher Education
Universities and colleges--Curricula--Oregon--Corvallis.
Universities and colleges--Law and legislation--Oregon.
University History

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: General Reference File, 1922-1940
Series I contains reports, correspondence, notes, and clippings related to agriculture in Oregon. The material spans the latter portion of Kerr's career at Oregon Agricultural College and his time as the state's Chancellor of higher education. Subjects referenced in this series include agricultural and industrial production, marketing and sales, construction, public works, agricultural sciences, college and government employees, trade law, and government organizations.
Reel-Folder 80.1: Oregon Production Statistics, 1933-1937
Reel-Folder 80.2: Production in Oregon and Washington, 1934-1936
Reel-Folder 80.3: Oregon Private Marketing Firms, 1937
Reel-Folder 80.4: Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 80.5: Cauliflower Marketing Agreements - Oregon, 1937
Reel-Folder 80.6: Hops Stabilization Program, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 80.7: Walnut Control Board, 1936
Reel-Folder 80.8: Marketing Cooperative, 1932-1938
Reel-Folder 80.9: Oregon Agricultural and Industrial Marketing Study, 1938
Reel-Folder 80.10: Marketing Organizations in Oregon and Washington, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 80.11: Cooperative Organizations - Summary Agriculture and Lumber, 1935-1938
Reel-Folder 80.12: Hood River Apple Growers Association, 1934-1937
Reel-Folder 80.13: Interstate Associated Creameries, 1934-1938
Reel-Folder 80.14: Northwest Dried Food Association, 1937
Reel-Folder 80.15: Oregon Growers Union, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 80.16: Oregon Prune Control Board Incorporated, 1936
Reel-Folder 80.17: Oregon-Washington Pear Bureau, 1936
Reel-Folder 80.18: Oregon-Washington-California Pear League Inc., 1937
Reel-Folder 80.19: Pacific Cooperative Poultry Producers, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 80.20: Pacific Wool Growers, Portland, Oregon, 1937
Reel-Folder 80.21: Southern Oregon Sales Inc., Medford, Oregon, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 80.22: Tillamook County Creamery Association, 1935-1937
Box-Folder 1.18: "Oregon's Problem in Maketing Agricultural & Industrial Products", 1938
Alternate Format: Also in reel 80.23

Reel-Folder 80.24: Research Production and Marketing - Reports, Correspondence, Memoranda and other material, 1936-1939
Reel-Folder 80.25: Report of Agricultural Investigating Committee - Governor Martin, 1937-1939
Reel-Folder 80.26: Oregon Marketing, 1939-1940
Reel-Folder 81.27: Agricultural and Industrial Marketing, 1937-1939
Reel-Folder 81.28: Marketing Miscellaneous, 1937-1940
Reel-Folder 81.29: Services of Oregon State Agricultural College in Marketing Oregon Products, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.30: Marketing Report Miscellaneous Editorials, 1935, 1938
Reel-Folder 81.31: Marketing Report Miscellaneous News Stories, 1935-1939
Reel-Folder 81.32: Marketing - Chancellor Hunter, 1938
Reel-Folder 81.33: Marketing Report Oregon Journal Editorials, 1935-1939
Reel-Folder 81.34: Marketing Report Oregon Journal News Stories, 1935-1939
Reel-Folder 81.35: Marketing Report The Oregonian Editorials, 1935-1939
Reel-Folder 81.36: Marketing Report The Oregonian News Stories, 1937-1939
Reel-Folder 81.37: "What the State Does in Educational Preparatin for Marketing", 1939
Reel-Folder 81.38: Division of Marketing State Board of Higher Education, 1938
Reel-Folder 81.39: By-products - Culls, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 81.40: Cooperative Organization Problems, 1930-1937
Reel-Folder 81.41: Farm Purchasing Associations, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 81.42: Food Preparation, 1935-1936
Reel-Folder 81.43: Brand Names, undated
Reel-Folder 81.44: Flax Seed and Flax Fiber Possibilities, 1936-1940
Reel-Folder 81.45: Industrial Uses for Farm Products, 1934-1938
Reel-Folder 81.46: Industrial Uses for Farm Products - Power Motor Alcohol, 1934-1937
Reel-Folder 81.47: Irrigation, 1934-1938
Reel-Folder 81.48: "Possibilities for Livestock Fattening in Oregon", 1936
Reel-Folder 81.49: Merchandising, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 81.50: Milk Distribution Problems, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.51: Other Domestic Market Outlets, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.52: Packaging, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 81.53: Processing, 1934-1938
Reel-Folder 81.54: Producer - Consumer Sales Campaigns, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.55: Prune Industry in Oregon - Governor Sprague, 1939-1940
Reel-Folder 81.56: Special Prune Committee - Glenn Hogg, Chairman, 1939-1940
Reel-Folder 81.57: Marketing Conference State System of Higher Education - Governor Sprague, 1939-1940
Reel-Folder 81.58: Marketing Oregon Prunes, 1931, 1938-1940
Reel-Folder 81.59: Grading of Agricultural Products, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.60: Sugar Beet Industry, 1936-1940
Reel-Folder 81.61: Transportation, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.62: Unfair Trade Practices, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 81.63: Agricultural Engineering Foundation - San Francisco, California, Oswold Wilson, Mngr., 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 81.64: Ashland Chamber of Commerce, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.65: Bonneville Dam Project, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 81.66: Cooperative Grange League Federation Exchange, Inc. Ithaca, New York, 1936
Reel-Folder 81.67: Dairy Cooperative Association, Portland, Oregon, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.68: Eugene Fruit Growers Exchange, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 81.69: Farm Security Administration (Resettlement Administration), 1937
Reel-Folder 81.70: Federal Farm Board, 1930
Reel-Folder 81.71: Fruit Growers League, Medford, Oregon, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.72: Winter Pears--Henry Hartman, 1935-136
Reel-Folder 81.73: Idaho Department of State, Boise, Idaho, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.74: National Emergency Council, 1936
Reel-Folder 81.75: National Farm Chemurgic Council, Dearborn, Michigan, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.76: National Youth Administration, 1935-1936
Reel-Folder 81.77: Oregon State Planning Board, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 81.78: Pacific Northwest Advisory Board, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 81.79: Pacific Northwest Regional Planning Commission, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 81.80: Portland Chamber of Commerce - Lumber Products, 1935
Reel-Folder 81.81: Social Science Research Council, undated
Reel-Folder 81.82: U.S. Forest Service, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 81.83: Population Developments, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.84: General Correspondence, 1933-1938
Reel-Folder 81.85: J.R. Beck, 1936
Reel-Folder 81.86: H.K. Benson, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.87: "Preliminary Study for Proposed Bonneville Industries", undated
Reel-Folder 81.88: A.G.B. Bouquet, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.89: W.D. Bristol, 1937
Reel-Folder 81.90: L.R. Breithaupt, Extension Agricultural Economist, 1935-1938
Reel-Folder 81.91: Gordon G. Brown, Hood River Experiment Station, 1935
Reel-Folder 81.92: W.S. Brown, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 81.93: Paul Carpenter, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 82.93: Paul Carpenter (continued), 1936
Reel-Folder 82.94: R.L. Clark, Bodine and Clark Commission Company, 1936
Reel-Folder 82.95: Berkeley Davis, 1937
Reel-Folder 82.96: William Einzig, Great Western Malting Company Inc., 1938
Reel-Folder 82.97: A.E. Engbretson, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 82.98: Eric Englund, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 82.99: A.C. Forrester, Industrial Distilleries, 1935-1937
Reel-Folder 82.100: Dan D. Freeman, Oregon Manufacturer's Association, 1936
Reel-Folder 82.101: O.G. Hughson, 1935-1936
Reel-Folder 82.102: G.R. Hyslop, 1936-1938
Reel-Folder 82.103: E.R. Jackman, Oregon State College, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 82.104: Arthur S. King, 1937
Reel-Folder 82.105: George M. Knox, Hood River County Assessor, 1937
Reel-Folder 82.106: L.L. Laws, 1940
Reel-Folder 82.107: Earl G. Mason, 1937
Reel-Folder 82.108: Victor P. Morris, 1937
Reel-Folder 82.109: Harry L. Riches, Marion County Agent, 1936
Reel-Folder 82.110: J. L. Taylor, Vale Chamber of Commerce, 1937-1938
Reel-Folder 82.111: I. H. Vanwinkle, Attorney General, 1938
Reel-Folder 82.112: E.H. Wiegand, 1936-1937
Reel-Folder 82.113: Walter C. Winslow, 1938
Reel 180: American Association of University Women, 1922-1927
Box-Folder 1.1: Emergency Board Request for Extension Service & Experiment Station, 1930
Box-Folder 1.2: Statement of Services Lost to the Institution & State for the Year 1931-32, December 1931
Series 2: Correspondence, 1907-1935
Series II includes correspondence relating to the management and operation of Oregon Agricultural College. The series contains correspondence between William Jasper Kerr, OAC faculty, the Association of American Universities, students, figures associated with the institution, and the general public. Topics include equipment and materials for college use, reports from faculty members, the donation of a McCormick Reaper replica, legislation impacting OAC, Extension Service programming, faculty appointments, and budget matters.
Reel 82: Microfilmed Correspondence, 1907-1929
Box-Folder 1.3: General Correspondence, 1907, 1930-1935
Series 3: Clippings, 1908-1935
Series III is comprised of newspaper clippings relating to Oregon Agricultural College. Subjects include state educational funding, college attendance, faculty activities and research, development of the campus, and OAC's curricular offerings. The series contains both photocopies and a selection of original clippings.
Box-Folder 1.4: General, 1908-1909
Box-Folder 1.5: General, 1910
Box-Folder 1.6: General, 1911
Box-Folder 1.7: General, 1912
Box-Folder 1.8: General, 1913
Box-Folder 1.9: General, 1932
Box-Folder 1.10: General, 1935
Box-Folder 1.11: General, undated
Box-Folder 5.3: Selected originals of newspaper clippings, 1909-1911, 1932
Series 4: Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, 1925-1941
Series IV contains official reports and statements made by Oregon Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula between 1925 and 1941. The series also contains an outline of a plan for dividing programmatic efforts between the University of Oregon and OAC.
Box-Folder 1.12: Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Curricula, May 18, 1925
Box-Folder 1.13: Outline of a Suggested Division of Work Between University of Oregon and Oregon State Agricultural College, June 5, 1925
Box-Folder 1.14: Report to the Board of Higher Curricula, April 27, 1928
Box-Folder 1.15: "Statement of Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Curricula", May 2, 1928
Box-Folder 1.16: "Statements by Representatives of Oregon State College Before Curricula Committee of State Board of Higher Education", December 8, 1941
Series 5: Resolutions Adopted by State Board of Higher Education, 1935
This series is comprised of a document entitled "Resolutions Adopted July 22, 1935, by the State Board of Higher Education Regarding Dr. Kerr, Retiring Chancellor."
Reel 82
Series 6: Biography of William Jasper Kerr
This series is comprised of an excerpt from Edwin T. Reed's William Jasper Kerr, A Biography.
Reel 82
Series 7: Publications, 1908-1964
Series VII contains publications authored by William J. Kerr and members of Oregon Agricultural College between 1908 and 1964. Topics include the importance of Home Economics during wartime, the construction of the Memorial Union, higher education in Oregon, and the state of land grant institutions. The series also contains programs and materials from the dedication of the Kerr Library.
Reel-Folder 82.1: OSC - Illustrated Booklets, 1929-1930
Reel-Folder 82.2: Relations of Land-Grant Colleges to State University, 1908
Reel-Folder 82.3: OAC - Sources of Income and Departments of Instruction, 1908
Reel-Folder 82.4: National Education Association - Session at Harvard, 1910
Reel-Folder 82.5: Some Land Grant College Problems, 1910
Reel-Folder 82.6: Education and the World War, 1917
Box-Folder 1.17: The Spirit of the Land Grant Institution, 1931
Alternate Format: Also in Reel 82.7

Reel-Folder 82.8: Recent Experiences - Centralized Control of Higher Education in Oregon, 1933
Reel-Folder 82.9: Phi Kappa Phi Journal, 1934
Box-Folder 1.18: Oregon Problems in Marketing Agriculture and Industrial Products, 1938
Alternate Format: Also in Reel 82.10

Reel-Folder 82.11: William Jasper Kerr - dedication of Library address, 1964
Reel-Folder 82.12: Letter to State Board of Higher Education, 1931
Box-Folder 1.19: Administrative Regulations, 1921
Series 8: OSC - U of O Controversy, 1937
Series VIII is comprised of a memo drafted by Godfrey Vernon Cospon regarding the reorganization of Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Oregon and the ensuing controversy.
Reel 82
Series 9: Reports to the Board of Regents, 1909-1929
This series contains reports to the Board of Regents summarizing the state of Oregon Agricultural College between 1909 and 1914. The series also contains a report for 1929.
Reel 82: Reports, 1909-1914
Box-Folder 1.20: Report to the Board of Regents, 1929
Series 10: Reorganization, 1931-1932
This series is comprised of materials relating to the reorganization of Oregon Agricultural College and the University of Oregon in 1931-1932. The contents of this series relate to the reassignment of subject specialities, programs, faculty, and funding between the two universities.
Reel-Folder 82.1: Agriculture
Reel-Folder 82.2: Architecture - Landscape
Reel-Folder 82.3: Art
Reel-Folder 82.4: Brief - Educational Survey
Reel-Folder 82.5: Budgetary Material
Alternate Format: Also found in Box 5

Reel-Folder 83.5: Budgetary Material (continued)
Reel-Folder 83.6: Building Projects - Self-financing
Reel-Folder 83.7: Commerce
Reel-Folder 83.8: Cost data
Reel-Folder 83.9a: Curricula
Reel-Folder 83.9b: Curricula Committee
Reel-Folder 83.10a: Dormitories
Reel-Folder 83.10b: Director of Dormitories
Reel-Folder 83.11: Education
Reel-Folder 83.12: Enrollment
Reel-Folder 83.13: Extension - Radio, Summer School, Research
Reel-Folder 83.14: Extra Compensation for Staff Members
Reel-Folder 83.15: Field of Higher Education Developed in Oregon
Reel-Folder 83.16: Graduate Work
Reel-Folder 83.17: High School Relations
Reel-Folder 83.18: Home Economics
Reel-Folder 83.19: Journalism and News Service
Reel-Folder 83.20: Library
Reel-Folder 83.21: Lower Division
Reel-Folder 83.22: Military
Reel-Folder 83.23: Miscellaneous
Reel-Folder 83.24: Mines
Reel-Folder 83.25: Music
Reel-Folder 83.26: Normal Schools
Reel-Folder 83.27: Personnel (Deans and Directors) and Location of School
Reel-Folder 83.28: Pharmacy
Reel-Folder 83.29: Physical Education
Reel-Folder 83.30: Press Bureau and Editor's Office
Reel-Folder 83.31: Public Speaking
Reel-Folder 83.32a: Budgetary and Financial
Reel-Folder 83.32b: Attitudes of University People
Reel-Folder 83.32c: Executive Secretary's Prerogatives and Authority
Reel-Folder 83.32d: Methods of Procedure
Reel-Folder 83.32e: Miscellaneous
Reel-Folder 83.33: Research
Reel-Folder 83.34: Rural Organization - College, University
Reel-Folder 83.35a: Salary Analysis and Personnel
Reel-Folder 83.35b: Salary Cuts
Reel-Folder 83.36: Science
Reel-Folder 83.37: Social Science
Reel-Folder 83.38: Student Welfare - Housing, Deferred Pledging
Reel-Folder 83.39: U of O
Box-Folder 2.1: Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Regarding the Survey of Oregon State Institutions of Higher Learning, April 18, 1931
Box-Folder 2.2: Supplementary Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Education, In Reply to the Twelve Briefs of the University of Oregon Dated April 20, 1931, April 27, 1931
Box-Folder 2.3: Second Supplementary Brief, Oregon State Agricultural College to the State Board of Higher Education, In Reply to the Eleven Resolutions Proposed by the University of Oregon, May 1, 1931, May 13, 1931
Box-Folder 2.4: Reply to Dean Faville's Brief on the Commerce School Problem from Oregon State Agricultural College to Oregon State Board of Higher Education, May 24, 1931
Box-Folder 2.5: Joint Statement to the State Board of Higher Education Submitted by the Presidents of the State University and the State College, May 27, 1931
Box-Folder 2.6: Survey of Public Higher Education in Oregon, 1931
Box-Folder 2.7: Course Changes Proposed for 1931/32 Catalog, 1931
Box-Folder 2.8: Survey Commission Working Documents, 1931-1932
Box-Folder 2.9: Survey Commission Working Documents, undated
Box-Folder 2.10: "A Study of Facts and Figures Bearing on Music", 1932
Box-Folder 2.11: "Basic Data Showing Existing Conditions in the Science Departments of Oregon State College", 1932
Box-Folder 2.12: "Revised Budgetary Estimates for Eighteen Month Period July 1, 1931 to December 31, 1932", 1931
Box-Folder 2.13: Institutional Budget, 1932-1933
Box-Folder 5.2: Science Departments, Oregon State College, Cost of Instruction per Course and by Departments, 1931-1932
Box-Folder 5.1: Report to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education Curricula Committee on Vocational Education and Teacher Training, February 1932
Series 11: College Surveys, 1928-1930
This series is comprised of four bound volumes relating to surveys of land grant institutions conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Education. It includes one volume of completed portions of the survey for Oregon Agricultural College, one volume providing a detailed report of the state of higher education in Oregon, and two volumes of results of the survey from other institutions across the United States.
Box-Item 3.1: Oregon State College to U.S. Bureau of Education: Land-Grant College Survey., 1928
Box-Item 3.2: Survey of Oregon State Institutions of Higher Learning as Made by the United State Office of Education, Department of the Interior., 1930
Box-Item 4.1: Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 1., 1930
Box-Item 4.2: Survey of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of the Interior Bulletin. Volume 2., 1930

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