Robert F. McClellan papers
Univ Series-001

Summary Information

Repository
Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives
Creator
McClellan, Robert F., 1934-
Title
Robert F. McClellan papers
ID
Univ Series-001
Date [inclusive]
1963 - 1985
Extent
5.0 Cubic feet
Language

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Biographical Note

Dr. Robert McClellan was a professor of history from 1966 unti his retirement in 1994. Dr. McClellan was a dedicated member of the faculty and an Episcopal priest with a strong commitment to social activism. He personified his generation’s antipathy toward authority and their resistance to injustice. McClellan brought this philosophy and a strident personality to the classroom in ways that challenged and provoked his students and colleagues.

In 1967, President Edgar Harden summarily dismissed McClellan because of his public challenge of the University's expansion plans. Hoping to expand the university northward beyond Wright Street, the administration devised a plan that required the relocation of numerous homes and families in the area. The neighborhood was largely working class and poor, and McClellan interpreted Harden’s expansion plan as an elitist abuse of power and unfair to the residents of the area. As a class exercise, he involved his students in a campaign to educate the residents of their rights and encourage them to resist the University. McClellan’s actions enraged Harden, who interpreted it as a usurpation of his presidential authority.

McClellan’s colleagues and students responded to his termination with indignation and rebellion. For his part, McClellan fought back and enlisted the legal support of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Education Association. Faculty and students organized rallies and marches supporting McClellan and attacking the administration and Board of Control. Their activities culminated in the fall semester of 1968 with “McClellan Week,” a 16-point program that included a boycott of classes, marches through town, a mock funeral, the burning of effigies, and numerous sit-ins throughout campus. Interpreting McClellan’s dismissal as an affront to academic freedom and a violation of the university’s termination policies and regulations, the faculty joined students in class boycotts and marches; they passed resolutions of condemnation, and the Faculty Senate resigned en masse.

Despite the protest, the Board of Control refused to rescind McClellan’s termination. In response, 137 members of the faculty, in addition to the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University, filed a lawsuit against the administration for violation of McClellan’s civil and academic liberties. Incoming President John X. Jamrich settled out-of-court and reinstated McClellan, but the action came too late to heal the open wound now festering between the faculty and administration.

The McClellan Controversy was the spark that pushed the faculty toward unionization. Dr. McClellan led this effort initially as a proponent of the National Education Association and later as a leader of the American Association of University Professors. For the later, he served as the first chief negotiator for the union's first contract.

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Scope and Content Note

The McClellan papers offer an excellent documentation of the faculty organization and agitation for union recognition in the early 1970s. The collection also offers insight into the establishment of the AAUP after becoming the collective bargaining unit for the faculty at Northern Michigan University. McClellan was the informal faculty of advisor of the black student union, and his papers include records documenting the black student sit-in of the dean of students office in 1969. Records include, but are not limited to, correspondence, memorandum, reports and students, and union grievance material.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives 10/1/2010

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette, Michigan, 49855
906-227-1225
archives@nmu.edu

Access Restrictions Note

The records of union grievances are restricted from public access. For more information, please contact the university archivist.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials Note

American Association of University Professors (AAUP) - NMU Chapter, records, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives.

John Watanen papers, Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Association of University Professors. Northern Michigan University Chapter.
  • Northern Michigan University--Faculty.
  • Northern Michigan University. Faculty Council.
  • Northern Michigan University. Faculty Review Committee (FRC).

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Collection Inventory

Box 1 of 5 1963 - 1985 

Box
34-01-01 LRC

AAUP -- Michigan Conference 1974 - 1982 

AAUP -- Michigan Technological University (MTU) 1977 - 1979 

AAUP -- National 1967 

Athletic Programs 1974 

Collective Bargaining 1972 - 1979 

Committees -- Miscellaneous 1976 - 1980 

Conflict of Interest Committee 1978 - 1979 

Contract Changes 1977 

Educational Policy Committee 1977 - 1980 

Enrollment 1979 - 1985 

Executive Committee 1978 - 1981 

Faculty Adjudication Committee 1971 

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Box 2 of 5 1963 - 1985 

Box
34-01-02 LRC

Faculty Adjudication Committee -- Grievance Report to NMU-AAUP Executive Committee 1979 - 1980 

Faculty Advisory Budget Committee 1974 - 1976 

Faculty Review Committee 1976 - 1980 

Faculty Salaries 1969 - 1976 

Faculty Salaries 1977 

Faculty Salaries 1978 - 1979 

Faculty Salaries 1979 - 1980 

Faculty Salary Equity Suit 1979 - 1980 

Faculty Strike 1977 

Financial Information -- Miscellaneous 1972 - 1979 

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Box 3 of 5 1963 - 1985 

Conditions Governing Access note

AAUP Subseries. This box is RESTRICTED. Consult with Archivist.

Box
34-01-03 LRC

Grievances -- Individual Case, B 1975 - 1977 

Grievances -- Individual Case, H 1978 - 1979 

Grievances -- Individual Case, J 1976 - 1978 

Grievances -- Individual Case, L 1975 - 1979 

Grievances -- Individual Case, M 1979 - 1980 

Grievances -- Individual Case, W 1976 - 1980 

Grievances -- Individual Cases, A-B 1977 - 1980 

Grievances -- Individual Cases, C-S 1977 - 1980 

Grievances -- Individual Cases, T-Z 1977 - 1980 

Grievances -- Miscellaneous 1978 - 1980 

Grievances -- Prior Service Grievances 1977 - 1978 

Grievances -- Promotion Grievances 1978 - 1979 

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Box 4 of 5 1963 - 1985 

Box
34-01-04 LRC

Health Insurance 1976 - 1977 

Leave 1976 - 1977 

Miscellaneous -- NMU-AAUP 1963; 1974 - 1980 

NMUFA (NMU Faculty Association) 1970 - 1971 

NMUFA -- Collective Bargaining 1971 

Non-Reappointment of Non-Tenured Faculty 1969 - 1970 

Personnel Files 1968 - 1970 

Retirement 1975 - 1979 

Salary Committee 1978 - 1980 

Tenure 1970 - 1972 

Tenure and Staffing Materials 1976 - 1979 

Tenure and Staffing Materials 1979 - 1980 

Travel Advance 1978 - 1979 

Black Student Sit-in, Trial, etc. 1969-1970 

Course Materials -- Minorities in American History (HS293) n.d. 

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Box 5 of 5 1963 - 1985 

Box
34-01-05 LRC

Fred Harris Case 1971 - 1972 

Fred Harris Case 1972 

Fred Harris Case 1972 - 1973; 1977 

History Department 1976 

McClellan Case 1967 - 1968 

McGoff-Panax Case 1969 - 1970; 1977 

Michigan Council on Postsecondary Education 1979 

Michigan Indian Education Advisory Council 1973; 1978 - 1980 

Mini-Dome 1977 

Women's Job Corps Center (NMU) 1965 - 1966; 1969 

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