Administrative Correspondence, 1936-69
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Brief Description: Administrative Correspondence of Division heads with president, provost, deans, department heads, committee chairmen, faculty and students, concerning organization of the Division, general education programs at Illinois and other universities, committees, curriculum, recruitment, budget, assistantships, space and equipment, room assignments, program evaluation, division self study and honors.  The series also includes annual reports, bulletins, statistical reports, publicity, course outlines and sample materials for verbal communication, history of civilization, biological sciences, physical science, social science, literature and fine arts, philosophy and psychology, history of DGS.  Includes news clippings on DGS.  Begun in 1940, the Division of General Studies offered a four year program until 1950, when it became a two year program offering seven courses designed to introduce areas of general learning before specialized study.  Division discontinued 1968-69 (Board of Trustees, 54th Report, 1966-68, p. 996).
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 15/31/1
Created by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of General Studies
Volume: 5.3 cubic feet
Acquired: 4/28/1964; 6/23/1969; 7/24/1969; 8/26/69; 2/23/78
More information is available at
Arrangement: Alphabetical
Biographical Note for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of General Studies :

As approved by the Trustees on June 8, 1939,1 the Division of General Studies was established in 19402 to offer undergraduates a four-year "non-departmental" program in liberal education, with a provision that the curriculum be regarded as "tentative and subject to continuous study and possible revision."3 The division's purpose was to promote the ideal of the "well-rounded man" by offering a balanced program in the sciences and humanities to those students who wished to have a general introduction to learning and culture before entering upon more specialized training or who had conflicting inclinations toward different professions.4 The freshman and sophomore curriculum consisted of seven general courses, whereas juniors and seniors chose one of four fields of concentraion for a total of 32 semester hours in the chosen field, (15 semester hours in one department of that field.)5  Those students who met the requirements and had a minimum of 120 semester hours of credit received a B.A. degree from the division.6 In 1945, upon a recommendation made in 1943, the Trustees reduced the program to a two year course of study aimed at setting up a curricula of basic, general well-balanced courses for students who have never completed college, or thos desiring a preliminary orientation before entering another division, college, or professional school.7 Major revisions were introduced into the program in 1961,8 and in 1962 the certificate of Associate in Arts was discontinued "because of lack of interest."9 In 1968, the division was discontinued entirely due to a serious problem of "self-identity" and its courses and functions made a primary administrative responsiblity of the Committee on General Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The College offered instead a two-year general curriculum in which freshmen and sophomore students could register according to their own option rather than select a departmental major.10 Operations were terminated in 1969.

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 40th Report, June 8, 1939, p. 349.

2. University of Illinois Annual Register, 1940-41, pp. 262-63.

3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 40th Report, June 8, 1939, p. 347.

4. University Archives, RS 15/11/24, Harold R. Wanless Papers, 1916-1970, Box 4, "A Well-Balanced Program," p. 2.

5. "A Well-Balanced Program," pp. 2, 5.

6. "A Well-Balanced Program," p. 6.

7. Board of Trustees Transactions, 43rd Report, June 30, 1945, pp. 513-14, and November 23, 1945, p. 918.

8. Board of Trustees Transactions, 51st Report, September 21, 1961, pp. 1087-88.

9. Board of Trustees Transactions, 51st Report, April 18, 1962.

10. Board of Trustees Transactions, 54th Report, April 17, 1968, p. 996.

Subject Index
General Education
Liberal Arts
Teacher Education
Teaching Methods
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]