Skip to main content

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education records

Identifier: AC-0437

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of records kept by the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from circa 1970-2012.


  • Creation: 1970 - 2012
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1985 - 2012


Conditions Governing Access

This collection requires permission for access. Records are restricted for 75 years from the date of creation. Contact Distinctive Collections for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical Note

The Office of the Dean for Student Affairs was established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1902 as the Office of the Dean by a vote of the faculty. Alfred E. Burton was appointed dean and reported directly to the president. The dean was responsible for all students; his duties included cooperating with the president in all matters regarding discipline and the general welfare of the student body; acting as chairman of advisors; generally overseeing first year instruction, student self-government, social centers, residences, and supervising of first year students.

In 1920 the name of the office was changed to the Office of the Dean of Students (ODS) with Burton’s responsibilities including housing, freshman advising and activities, student government, and the Department of Physical Training. In 1921 Burton was succeeded by Acting Dean H. P. Talbot and the office was no longer responsible for the Department of Physical Training. The jurisdiction of the ODS was again changed in the 1927-1928 academic year. The ODS was made responsible solely for undergraduate students when the Office of the Dean of Graduate Students was created.

In the 1954-1955 academic year, both the Dean of Students’ Council and the Liaison Council were established. Also during that year, the Dean of Students ceased to serve as chair of the Faculty Committee on Discipline and was replaced by a faculty member.

In 1962 the ODS began reporting to the vice president for academic administration. That same year its name was changed to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (ODSA) to reflect more accurately the expanding areas of responsibility which resulted from the rapid growth of the Institute’s overall educational program during the previous few years. In 1968-1969 the ODSA was renamed Office of the Dean for Student Affairs (also ODSA) and, the following year, was reorganized into six functional program areas, each headed by an associate dean.

A review of the operations of the Freshman Advisory Council in 1975-1976 led to the creation of the Office of Freshman Advising, whose director reported to the ODSA. In 1977, the vice president in the Office of the President, to whom the ODSA reported, undertook a review of the ODSA’s organizational structure. In 1980 Vice President Constantine Simonides’s suggestions were implemented and, as a result, the office was divided into five “service components."

In 1982-1983 the residence programs and student activities were merged under the Office of Residence and Campus Activities. In 1985 the Office of Minority Education began reporting to the Dean for Student Affairs,and the ODSA began to report to the Associate Provost for Educational Programs and Policy. In 1985-1986 the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (ODUE) was established “To promote and guide Institute-wide review of academic program, educational content and rationale, balances of emphasis between research and instructional activities and between undergraduate and advanced education activities.” The ODUE and the ODSA undertook some joint activities.

During the 1991-1992 academic year the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs (ODSA) and the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (ODUE) were merged to become the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs (ODUESA).

MIT History, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education, 2013.


33.3 Cubic Feet (33 record cartons, 1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed collection inventory is available to staff in the MIT ArchivesSpace staff interface.

Processing Information

In spring 2021, this finding aid was revised as part of a project to publish previously unpublished finding aids. The finding aid was brought up to minimum description standards and any personally identifying information in the description was removed.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements and to remove personally identifying information from the description.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US