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Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Records of the Committee on Human Rights
RG 05.03.40
Collection Dates: 1952-
3.0 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives at various times. Processed by David McCartney and guide posted to the Internet in 2002; revised December 2006.










Scope and Contents

The records of the Human Rights Committee date from 1952 to 1986 and measure about 3.0 linear feet (six boxes). They are arranged in 11 series: Minutes and Agendas, Committee Member Lists, Policies, Annual Reports, Administrative, Printed Matter, News Clippings and Releases, Student Organizations, Inter-University Relations, Correspondence, and Memoranda.

Topics addressed in the collection include issues of discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity in the areas of housing, admissions, and access to other educational opportunities at the University.

Organizational History

In January 1963, President Virgil Hancher established the University Committee on Human Rights to implement the newly-adopted University Policy on Human Rights set forth in the Code of Student Life. The policy and committee were established in part as a response to the problem of off-campus housing discrimination against students on account of race.

Multi-faceted in its functions, the committee in its first year included six subcommittees: consumer service, employment, education, public affairs, housing, and legal procedures. Members of the full committee during the 1963-1964 academic term included Sara Brogan, Edward Bennett, Michael Carver, Philip Hubbard, Donald Johnson, William Nusser, and chairman Willard Boyd.

Throughout its existence, the Committee has formulated or influenced the University’s official policies with respect to discrimination and equal opportunity. In 1972, with the establishment of the Office of Affirmative Action, the function of receiving, hearing and resolving complaints of discrimination was gradually transferred from the Committee to the OAA.

As a Charter Committee of the University, the Human Rights Committee reports directly to the Office of the President. Its administrative officers during the 2002-2003 academic term consisted of the Director of Student Services, the General Counsel, and the Director of the Office of Affirmative Action.

Series Description

Series I: Minutes and Agendas (1963-1983). This series documents meeting activity of the full committee and some of its subcommittees. Because minutes were kept only sporadically during various times, this is an incomplete record of committee activity.

Series II: Committee Member Lists (1965-1968, 1977, 1979, 2002; many undated).

Series III: Policies (1958-1986; undated).

Series IV: Annual Reports (1963- ; incomplete). See also folder “Monographs – The First Ten Years of the University of Iowa Human Rights Committee [1975]” in Printed Matter series for a full set of annual reports to 1974.

Series V: Administrative (1962-1981; undated). Includes surveys, public statements, and reports.

Series VI: Printed Matter (1952-1986). Includes brochures, booklets, pamphlets, newsletters, articles, reports, and monographs.

Series VII: News Clippings and Releases (1956-1979).

Series VIII: Student Organizations (1963-1980).

Series IX: Inter-University Relations. Includes cooperative activity with other Big Ten conference institutions.

Series X: Correspondence (1953-1981; undated). Consists mainly of correspondence to and from the Committee chair.

Series XI: Memoranda (1963-1979; undated). Consists mainly of communications within the committee and with other University offices.

Related Materials

Papers of Philip G. Hubbard (RG 99.0248)

Records of the Office of Student Life (RG 05.03.19)

Records of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Union (RG 02.03.18)

Records of Students Against Sweatshops (RG 02.06.06)

Florman, Jean C. "Traces: Personal Accounts of a History Nearly Lost." Iowa City Magazine 6, no. 1 (January 1995): 14-21, illus. Includes black student housing. 

Hubbard, Philip G. New Dawns: A 150-Year Look at Human Rights at the University of Iowa. Iowa City: Sesquicentennial Committee, University of Iowa, 1996. 210 pp., illus., notes. 

"The Iowa Federation Home." In Lifting as They Climb, by Elizabeth Lindsay Davis, pp. 151-155. Washington, D.C.: National Association of Colored Women, 1933; New York: G.K. Hall, 1996. Also, as "A Home for Black Women at the University of Iowa, 1908-1929." In Black Women in Higher Education: An Anthology of Essays, Studies, and Documents, edited by Elizabeth L. Ihle, pp. 93-97. New York: Garland, 1992.

Box Contents List

Box 1

 Series I: Minutes and Agendas

Minutes and Agendas – Other Committees – 1963-1976

Minutes and Agendas – 1963-1971

----. 1972-1973

----. 1977

----. 1978

----. – Colleen Jones – 1978-1979

----. 1979

----. 1980

----. 1983

----. n.d.

Series II: Committee Members

Committee Members – various dates

Series III: Policies

Policies – 1958-1986

----. n.d.

Series IV: Annual Reports

Annual Reports – 1963-1967; 1992- (incomplete)


Box 2

Series V: Administrative

Administrative – 1962-1981

----. n.d.

Series VI: Printed Matter

Publications – including “The Fraternity Way” [1963]

----. – on discrimination in higher education – 1952-1963

Booklets – American Council on Education Studies; Proposals for state civil rights statutes

Pamphlets and Brochures

Newsletters – including Iowa City Human Rights Commission, Iowa Defender

Articles – Newspaper, journal, magazine


Box 3

Series VI: Printed Matter (cont’d.)

Reports – external


Monographs – “Educational Directions for Student Services” by Philip Hubbard – 1978

----. “Case Study in Educational Decision-Making” by Will McCarther – 1974

----, “The First Ten Years of the University of Iowa Human Rights Committee” – 1975

Series VII: News Clippings and Releases

News clippings – scrapbook [fragile] – 1956-1964


Box 4

 Series VII: News Clippings and Releases (cont’d.)

News clippings – 1960s; n.d.

----. 1961-1964

----. 1964-1979

News releases – 1956-1965

Series VIII: Student Organizations

Student Organizations

Series IX: Inter-University Relations

Inter-University Relations – Southern University Exchange – 1963-1964

----. Committee on Institutional Cooperation – 1962-1964


Box 5

Series X: Correspondence

Correspondence – n.d.

----. 1953-1962

----. 1963, f. 1

----. 1963, f. 2

----. Willard Boyd, chair – 1963

----. 1964

----. 1965

----. 1966

----. 1967

----. 1968

----. 1971

----. 1972

----. 1978

----. Colleen Jones, chair –1978-1980

----. 1979

----. 1980

----. 1981


Box 6

 Series XI: Memoranda

Memoranda – 1963

----. 1964-1965

----. 1966-1969

----. 1971

----. 1972

----. 1973-1974

----. 1978-1979

----. n.d.