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Southeastern Massachusetts University, Board of Trustees records

Identifier:  URC-003


  • 1960-1991


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is public record and unrestricted, with the exception of personal information per exemptions, outlined in the Massachusetts Public Records Law.

Biographical / Historical

On July 7, 1960, at the recommendation of the governor, the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted legislation creating Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institution from the merger of the Bradford Durfee College of Technology in Fall River and the New Bedford Institute of Technology in New Bedford (Chapter 543 of the Acts and Resolves of Massachusetts, 1960). The Act also provided for the appointment of a board of 15 trustees by the governor with the “advice and consent of the council and the commissioner of education.” After the initial appointment, each trustee selected was to serve a term of 3 years. SMTI was to be maintained by the Commonwealth for the purpose of “giving instruction in the theory and practical arts of engineering and science, the liberal arts, and other appropriate curricula which shall be established from time to time to include such scientific, technological, and other studies as may be deemed desirable by the board of trustees (Chapter 75B, section 1).” The General Court appropriated $1.5 million dollars in 1960 to acquire land for a campus site and for development of the initial architectural plans. 700 acres in North Dartmouth were acquired, architect Paul Rudolph was hired to design the campus, and ground was broken for the first building June 14, 1964. Group I was dedicated June 5, 1966 and opened for classes that fall. Group II, Research, and the Textile Technology Building were completed in 1969; the Administration building was completed in 1970, and the Campus Center and Athletic Center were completed in 1971. Between 1960 and 1966 campuses were maintained as SMTI in both New Bedford and Fall River, at the facilities of the merged schools.

The name of SMTI was changed in 1969 to Southeastern Massachusetts University (Chapter 396 of the Acts of 1969) when the institution received formal university status from the Commonwealth, recognized as an independent unit within the state system consisting of five undergraduate colleges - Arts and Sciences, Business and Industry, Engineering, Nursing and Fine and Applied Art- and one graduate school - Engineering. SMU joined the 5 campus system of the University of Massachusetts, which came into existence on September 1, 1991, under the name University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The other campuses are Lowell, Boston, Amherst, and Worcester (Medical). In 1991 SMU’s independent Board of Trustees was abolished in favor of a single board and one university President with oversight at all five campuses. Records of the Trustees are now kept by the President’s office on Tremont Street in Boston. The last regular meeting of the SMU Board of Trustees was July 19, 1991.

See the General Information section of the 1964-1965 catalogue of SMTI for a more detailed history; a copy is attached). For a complete list of building construction and dates, see URC 12. For historical background on Bradford Durfee College of Technology see URC 2 and for the New Bedford Institute of Technology see URC 1. For documentation on the acquisition of land see A8, and for records of the Office of Buildings and Grounds during construction, see B9. For information on the creation of the 5 campus system, see A1 of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth records.


21.3 Linear Feet (31 volumes and 20 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred prior to 1995 from the Trustees Office by Cecelia Denwood, assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees.

Processing Information

Processed prior to 1995 by Helen Koss; finding aid by Judy Farrar, July 1998. Originally catalogued as B1 and B2.

Southeastern Massachusetts University, Board of Trustees records
Judy Farrar
July 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition 1998

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA