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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Provost, records of Special Assistant to the Provost Louis Menand

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0078

  • Staff Only
  • Select item to request

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Records received in 1980

The records of the Special Assistant to the Provost Louis Menand III, consist of 16 cubic feet of administrative files reflecting the activities of that office primarily falling under Menand's supervision, for the years 1968 to 1978. Not included in the collection are Menand's personal files or papers related to his teaching activities in the Political Science Department. The records include not only Menand's files, but also those maintained by three of his assistants, Timothy Bird, Richard Pu, and John Terry. Bird was an Institute Fellow whose position was funded by the Mellon Fund to develop new leadership in university administration. He served on the Technical Training Advisory Committee, directed the Student Summer Projects, and was an organizer of the MIT Legislative Service, among other responsibilities. Pu was a coordinator of the Student Summer Projects and worked as a student fieldwork assistant. Terry directed the MIT Wellesley Upward Bound program and also coordinated the Teaching Intern Program. All of these files have been integrated into one alphabetical arrangement.

The original folder titles have largely been retained. The files have been arranged in a strictly alphabetical arrangement. Within each group of folders on a particular subject, for example the Independent Activities Period, the arrangement is chronological. However, in the course of interfiling the Bird, Pu, and Terry files, some of the dates overlap from folder to folder.

The bulk of the records relates to the administration of student fieldwork programs at MIT. In most cases the students were working in the Boston Cambridge area. These records consist of correspondence, memoranda, minutes of meetings, working notes, proposals for projects, reports prepared for funding agencies, and reports by the participants. Together, they document in considerable depth the concerns of higher education in the late 1960s and early 1970s, namely the trend toward greater relevancy of class subject matter to everyday life concerns. Some of the projects, such as the Urban Legal Studies Program, were student initiated, illustrating that students were demanding changes in university curriculum to make their educational experience more "relevant." Strengths in this group of records include the Student Summer Projects, the Urban Legal Studies Program, the Teaching Intern Program, Upward Bound, and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Also well documented in the collection are the diverse committee assignments held by Menand while working as Assistant to the Provost. Examples here include the files of the MIT Facilities Use Committee, the Interdisciplinary Environmental Council, the Law Related Studies Group, and the Technical Training Advisory Committee. Documentation of the review and funding processes of these programs is also fairly complete. Menand compiled the report to the Ford Foundation for the use of the grant funds. (see Ford Foundation files) The Mellon Fund files contain minutes from meetings of the President's Fund for Community Affairs and all appear under the heading "Mellon."

With the exception of files from special research projects and investigations done by Menand for the President, such as the "Taiwan Spy" investigation and the investigation of January 1970 events (see "Taiwan" and "January Events"), inter office relationships are infrequently documented. The last group of files in the collection, "Louis Menand Chronological," is probably the source which best reflects the daily routine workings of the office and outlines Menand's responsibilities.

Records received in 1983

The records consist of alphabetically arranged administrative files reflecting activities in the Office of the Provost primarily under Menand's supervision. Includes correspondence, memoranda, and reports pertaining to committee assignments, such as ROTC; MIT Interdisciplinary Environmental Council; student fieldwork programs, such as Upward Bound and Community Service Fund; and teaching activities in the Department of Political Science.


  • Creation: 1953 - 1981


Access note

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Conditions Governing Use

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30 Cubic Feet (30 record cartons)

Language of Materials



Louis Menand became assistant to the provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968 with the responsibility to supervise several programs, including the MIT student-operated tutoring program at Rindge Technical School in Cambridge, Mass., and the Upward Bound program. He chaired the Law-Related Studies Committee and served on the Interdisciplinary Environmental Council. He also worked on university-community relations. In 1974 he became special assistant to the provost and senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science, where he remained until his retirement in 1989.


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

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Office of the Provost
Records of Special Assistant to the Provost Louis Menand, 1953-1981
Preliminary Inventory
Language of description
Script of 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