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President's Office Records - Powell


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Detailed Description

Council on Higher Education




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President's Office Records - Powell, 1938-1986 | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

By Charles Hay

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Collection Overview

Title: President's Office Records - Powell, 1938-1986Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Powell, Julius Cherry (1926-1988)

Extent: 80.3 Cubic Feet

Date Acquired: 05/21/2002

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Julius Cherry Powell served as Eastern Kentucky University's seventh president from 1976-1984. These 183 boxes reflect Powell's influence on the historical development of the institution during a period of declining enrollment and diminished state appropriations. This set of records also include the last few years of the administration of Robert R. Martin and thus make up the official records of the office of the president.

The papers are divided into four series: Council on Higher Education, General, Personnel, and Subject. The Council on Higher Education Series documents official actions taken by the Council and Eastern's involvement with the state agency. The General Series bridges the gap between official and personal correspondence, especially invitations received by presidents Martin and Powell. The Personnel Series, due to provisions of both federal and state laws regarding privacy, remains closed to researchers. The Subject Series divides into a general Subject-Sub Series and seven additional sub-series--Academic Affairs, Administrative Affairs, Business Affairs, Committees, President's Office, Student Affairs, and University Relations and Development--which correspond basically to the University's organizational structure and documents the official policies and decisions emanating from the president's office.

This collection of records should be used in conjunction with several other record groups. Specifically, the photographic collection from the Office of Public Information has numerous negative and some prints on the Powell administration. A series of oral history interviews with Dr. Powell, regarding a variety of subjects, and with faculty and alumni can provide useful supplementary material to the papers. The Board of Regents minutes offer an invaluable source of information about Powell and his presidency. Unless otherwise stated the records are open for research.

Collection Historical Note

Julius Cherry Powell was born on January 23, 1926, in Harriman, Tennessee, the only child of Julius K. Powell and Lucille Cherry Powell. When he was young his family moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky where his father served as superintendent of public schools. Powell graduated from Harrodsburg High School in June, 1944. Later his father served as President of Campbellsville College (Kentucky).

Following two years in military service he continued his education at the University of Kentucky where he was graduated in June, 1950 with a degree in mathematics. In 1952 he received a Master's of Education degree from the University of Louisville and in 1970 received the Doctor of Education degree from the University of Kentucky. His dissertation title: Financing Public Higher Education Plant Expansion in Kentucky reflected a long term interest and responsibility during his years at Eastern. Before coming to Eastern he was employed as a mathematics teacher at Atherton High School in the Louisville public school system from September, 1950 until January, 1953. Between January, 1953 and July, 1957 he served successively as Assistant Director of Curriculum, Director of Instructional Services, and Assistant to Superintendent of the Louisville Public Schools. From 1957 to 1960 he was employed as divisional director of the Kentucky Department of Education. The primary responsibilities with this later position concerned calculating the distribution of public school funds under the Foundation Program.

In 1960 he joined the staff of Eastern Kentucky State College as Executive Assistant to the new College president, Robert R. Martin. Between 1962 and 1976 he served successively as Dean of Business Affairs, Executive Dean, and Vice-President for Administration. In addition, he served as secretary to the Board of Regents during most of that time. He assumed the presidency of the University on October 1, 1976, and served as Eastern's seventh president until he retired on December 31, 1984. After that time he became president emeritus.

During Powell's tenure as president the rapid growth years of the Martin era subsided. Powell worked on internal consolidation and the strengthening of academic programs in a quest for quality in order to maintain Eastern's position as a nationally recognized regional public university. He continued Eastern's commitment to career-oriented programs, together with a balanced emphasis on general education. He instituted a systematic planning process to provide a sense of direction and order in a period of diminishing federal and state appropriations. The Margin for Excellence Fund established in 1981, was initiated to lead Eastern into the area of private fund raising. Although little physical plant construction occurred during Powell's presidency, the addition of the Carl D. Perkins Building and Hummel Planetarium in 1979 signaled Eastern's growing commitment to public service.

Dr. Powell married Elizabeth D. Case in 1950. They had two daughters; Karen Elizabeth Knezevich born in 1954, and Julia Ann born in 1957 and one grandson. Powell was a member of numerous educational organizations and associations. In addition, he was a member of Phi Delta Kappa fraternity and the Richmond Rotary Club. He attended the First Baptist Church in Richmond. Dr. Powell died after a long bout with cancer on May 16, 1988. Less than a year later, March 4, 1989, Elizabeth Powell passed away. The Powells are buried at the Richmond Cemetery.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Council on Higher Education],
[Series 2: General],
[Series 3: Personnel],
[Series 4: Subject],