Guide to the Auburn University Board of Trustees Records, RG 521

Listed by: Dieter C. Ullrich
Date: June 2003

Date Span:

26.0 cubic feet

Number of Boxes:
10 Record Container Boxes, 7 Letter Document Boxes + 1 1/2 Letter Document Box

Historical or Biographical Sketch:
What is now Auburn University originated as the East Alabama Male College in 1856, under a charter from the state of Alabama. By 1859, the Methodist Conference extended its support to the college. Closed between 1861 and 1866 by the Civil War, the school reopened and was placed under provisions of the Morrill Act for land-grant institutions in 1868. In 1872, the school became officially the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. Another name change occurred in 1899 when the school became the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Sixty years later, on January 1, 1960, the present name of Auburn University was adopted.

During the development and expansion through these phases, the University has been controlled by a Board of Trustees, usually a relatively small body of members in comparison to those of many such institutions in the State. Although a University President has always provided the supervision and executive direction for regular activities, the Board has often been involved with detailed problems of academic administration. Generally, its areas of major activity have been those of expansion of academic programs; academic standards; building programs; fiscal policy and administration; and inter-collegiate sports programs.

Organizationally, the Board includes the Governor as an ex officio member. He also makes appointments to the Board, with the advice and approval of the Faculty Senate. The Board has traditionally held its annual meetings in June. Most official business is conducted by the full membership, and usually the Governor does not attend. The trend has been to conduct quarterly meetings. Committees have been used to handle specific areas of action. Some have been long-standing, such as the Executive Committee, other have short term or intermittent duration; for example, the naming of Buildings Committee and the Budget Committee. Actions taken by the Board have been recorded in official minutes, taken by the Executive Secretary. Meetings have generally been held on the campus, but occasionally at the Governor's office or elsewhere.

Since 1961, as stated in the statutory laws of Alabama, the Board of Trustees consists of one member from each congressional district within the state, the State Superintendent of Education, the Governor and two members at large.

  • A List of Members of the Board of Trustees of Auburn University from 1857 to 2002

    Scope and Content:
    Contains the minutes, correspondence, agendas, reports, memorandums, resolutions and other materials produced by the Board of Trustees of Auburn University and its predecessor institutions from 1856 to the present. Includes biographical information on members, committee data and historical documentation of the Board's activities.

    The heart of the collection is the minutes of the Board of Trustees covering the period from 1856 to 1967. Those for the early period, 1856 to 1920, are available in both manuscript and typescript in bound volumes. Those subsequent to that date are in typescript, generally filed in folders organized by dates of meetings of the trustees.

    Supporting the minutes for each meeting are related correspondence, official meeting notifications to and responses by board members, drafts of resolutions, notes, related data and statistics, agendas, and miscellaneous materials. The minutes for formal meetings of Board committees are similar in nature.

    A limited amount of what the Board termed "Exhibit Materials" is included. This consists principally of collected information used by the Board in its deliberations. It is principally historical, biographical, and statistical information pertaining to Auburn University. The files contain scattered annual reports by the University President, and reports on various subjects. Considerable correspondence between the University Presidents and Board members is included, much of it being of administrative nature.

    The greatest strength of the collection is in providing the official record of deliberations by the institution's policy making body. This provides the documentary explanations and viewpoints

    Accession Number: 1979
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 91-58
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 91-88
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 94-17
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 95-39
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 00-091
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 01-022
    Item list:

    Accession Number: 02-047
    Item list: