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Robert A. Clarke, Dean of Faculty papers

Identifier: 19-00---001

Scope and Contents

The Dean of Faculty papers document an era of great growth and change for Weber State College, 1947-1967.
Since the Dean of Faculty served mainly as an assistant to the President and handled routine administrative matters, at least until 1962, the bulk of material mainly reflects this orientation.
The papers assume a more policy-making orientation after the reorganization of 1962, when the Dean of Faculty assumed direct supervision of academic deans and directors.


  • Creation: 1933-1967
  • Other: Date acquired: 1976 (WA 9-1).


Biographical / Historical

Dr. Robert Alma Clarke was born in American Fork, Utah on June 26, 1911 to James Hill and Bertha Jackson Clarke. He was the eighth of eleven children. After earning both B.S. and an M.S. degree from Brigham Young University in 1932-1933 respectively, Robert Clarke enrolled at California Institute of Technology. He was a graduate assistant until he earned his PhD in Physics in 1937. He married Margaret Davis on November 6, 1936, and had five children.
Robert joined the Weber College as a faculty member in 1937 and taught mathematics and physics. In the following years Dr. Clarke held several administrative positions. From 1940-1945 he directed the vocational program and the Technical Education Division, guiding the war training programs funded by government and stimulated by WWII. The year following the war, 1945-1947, Dr. Clarke served as Veterans Coordinator, organizing programs for the influx of students following the war. President Dixon offered him the position of Dean of Faculty which he accepted in 1947 and held until 1967. In this position, Dr. Clarke served as an administrative assistant to the president and later as functional vice president and was closely involved in daily college administration affairs. The 1967 reorganization saw his responsibilities divided between his new position as Administrative Vice-President and a new Academic Vice-President. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 1976. He continued to teach at least one physics and math class each year throughout his tenure. After retiring Robert remained on campus to teach physics and write the history of Weber State College during its formative years. He received the H. Aldous Dixon award in 1972.
While at Weber Dr. Clarke served as President of the Northwest Association of Junior Colleges in 1950, member of the Governor's Committee on Education Training, and President of the Curriculum Sub-Committee from 1957-1959. He also served as the first secretary of the Board of Trustees and the Institutional Council from 1961 until his retirement. Activities in higher education had included service on the boards of the Utah Education Association, Academy of Sciences, Arts, Letters, and Vocational Education Association. He has also been active in civic, church, and other professional groups throughout his career.
Margaret passed away on February 21, 1999. Robert passed away March 25, 2003 at McKay-Dee Hospital from complications of pneumonia at the age of 91.


27.5 Linear Feet (64 Hollinger boxes and 2 RC cartons.)

Language of Materials



Reocrds of the Dean of Faculty contain information related to the general administration of the college during the period of its most rapid growth, 1947-67. Many routine administrative activities are documented in the files with particular emphasis on curriculum development and personnel management. Transfer of the records to the ARchives occured in 1967. Processing of the collection was begun in November 1979 and completed in April 1980. Annual office files were integrated into three divisions: 1947-58, 1958-62, and 1962-67. Separate subject series exist for the Technical Education Project carried out from 1956 through 1958 and fo rth Curriculum Study done in 1952-53. The Dean of Faculty papers are open to general use with permission of the Archivist. No restricted materails have been identified. The collection consists of sixty-five boxes, holding 1,649 folder items,a nd occupies 27.5 linear feet. Published materaisl were removed and sent to Library Acquisitions for disposal; a list is available in the processing file of the Clarke Papers in the Archives. Materials related to cirriculum development have been placed in the Four-Year Planning Committe Papers (WA/9/3).


The arrangement selected for the Dean of Faculty papers includes both chronological and subject series. The annual office files are divided into three divisions: 1947-1958, 1958-1962, and 1962-1967, which are arranged alphabetically. Since the Dean of Faculty served on all administrative committees, minutes and material from these can be found scattered throughout the chronological series. Included are records from the Faculty Rank and Salary Committee, Scholarship Committee, Curriculum Committee, Union Building Planning, and Student Housing Committee, among others. After the dean of Faculty became the Vice President with supervisor responsibilities more materials relating to faculty management appear. Included are faculty ranking, teaching load, and travel practices in all divisions. Many routine administrative and housekeeping functions are also well documented. Summer School administration is well documented in the first chronological series.
Subject series are the Curriculum Study (1952-1953) and the Technical Education Project (1956-1958). Both of these exemplify the major areas of interest and responsibilities of the Dean of Faculty. In 1952, under the direction of President Dixon, a curriculum study was begun that was designed to evaluate each course against the objectives of the college. The objectives themselves were based upon the liberal philosophy of general education popularized by the Truman Commission after World War II. As a result of the study core courses in basic subject fields involved. Both faculty and students evaluated the entire curricula and the papers consist of the completed questionnaire divided by division with statistical analysis of the results.
Further curriculum development activities were stimulated by the state government through the organization of the Utah Committee on Industrial and Employment Planning in 1956. Dr. Clarke served on this state committee and task force, which studied technical requirements in industry for technical employees. The studies produced by this effort document skill and personnel requirements of a growing Utah industrial base. Weber Technical Education changed as a result of the studies, but most of the papers in this section deal with activities on a state level.

Custodial History

Material was acquired from Administrative Services (1976).

Separated Materials

Published materials were removed and sent to Library Aqcuisitions. Materials related to curriculum development have been placed in the Four-Year Planning Committee papers (WA 9-3).

Publication Rights

Materials may be used for non-profit and educational purposes, please credit the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University. Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the University Archives, Stewart Library, Weber State University.


The Dean of Faculty was essentially the first full-time vice-president of Weber State College, inheriting responsibilities that had been exercised by a part-time Dean of Instruction. The position functioned as an assistant to the president with few line responsibilities. Initially, the Dean of Faculty served on all administrative committees and the Board of Control, and was generally responsible for the organization and supervision of the committees. Most problems of routine nature in the faculty management area were handled by this office. An important function of the office was to act as liaison with only the veteran's advisor reported directly to the Dean, Division heads on matters of curricula and classroom utilization.
In 1948, responsibility for the summer school was assumed by the office, but until the 1962-1963 reorganization into a four year college the other responsibilities remained unchanged. Beginning in the year 1962-1963, the Dean of Faculty assumed full line responsibilities for all division chairmen, librarian, and Director of the evening and summer school. Functional responsibilities increased as well. The Dean of Faculty served as secretary to the Board of Trustees and assumed more direct responsibility for faculty and personnel management. Responsibilities for the Student Service officer were assumed by the Dean of Students.
In 1967, in response to the Long Range Planning Committee recommendations, the office was abolished and responsibilities split between the Vice President for Administrative Services and Academic Vice President. All responsibilities for faculty selection, work loads, evaluations, etc., curriculum development, and line responsibility for all deans and director of academically related officers were put under the supervision of the Academic Vice President.
The Administrative Vice President retained responsibility for administrative committees, assumed supervision of all student service offices, and buildings and grounds.

Steven R. Wood
April 1980
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Weber State University Archives Repository

3921 Central Campus Drive Dept 2901
Ogden UT 84408