Archives and Special Collections
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

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Collection Overview
Title: Irene A. Nichols papers
Date: n.d., 1958-2001
Location Code: 58/2
Reference Code: M135
Extent: 5.75 cubic ft (6 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract: The collection documents Irene Nichols's involvement with Northeastern University's students, faculty, and curriculum as well as her work outside the University on radical student activity, educational theory, and organizations like the Urban Schools Collaborative and UNICEF. The collection documents issues at Northeastern including the unionization and tenure of faculty members, student behavior during the 1960s and 1970s, and radical faculty activity during the same period. The collection also reflects Nichols's non-teaching activities including involvement with student activism on campus and the publication of the “THORN” newsletter. Records include minutes, agendas, correspondence, reports, and notes that document Nichols's involvement in a variety of groups including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the Northeastern University Committee on Academic Honesty, the University Affirmative Action Advisory Committee, and the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Education.
Historical Abstract: Professor Irene Nichols was an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Education in the Foundations of Education program at Northeastern University from 1964 to 1969, Associate Professor of Psychology in Education from 1969 to 1986, and Associate Professor of Education from 1986 to 1999. In 1972, Nichols was elected the first woman chair of the Agenda Committee of the Faculty Senate at Northeastern. She also chaired several other University committees, including the Faculty Senate Academic Policy Committee, and she was a marshal during student protests to prevent police from clashing with students. Outside of her University responsibilities, Nichols was involved with organizations such as the New England Educational Research Organization and the Urban Schools Collaborative.
Language and Scripts: The collection is entirely in English.
System of Arrangement: Organized in four series: 1. American Association of University Professors; 2. Northeastern University Faculty Senate; 3. Northeastern University Committees and Activities; and 4. Subject Files.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Nichols, Irene A.
  • American Association of University Professors
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Committees
  • Urban Schools Collaborative

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- College of Education
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass) -- Administration
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass) -- Faculty

  • Education--Study and teaching (Higher) -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.) -- Urban Schools Collaborative
  • School integration
  • Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements
  • College teachers' unions
  • College teachers -- United States
  • College teachers -- Tenure
Conditions Governing Access: Files containing staff and student information are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation. For more information, see the University Archivist.
Immediate Source of Acquisition: This collection was received as part of the College of Education records deposit starting in 1997.
Finding Aids: College of Education records (A39); Faculty Senate records (A35); Boston Bouvé College records (M41).
Processor: Finding aid prepared by Ellen Lassiter, May 2007; updated by Hanna Clutterbuck, August 2008.
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Series:

1. American Association of University Professors, n.d., 1959-1996
Volume:1.25 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical
Summary:

This series documents Irene Nichols's involvement with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an organization described on its website as being dedicated to “protecting the rights of faculty and other higher education professionals.” Of special interest is material documenting Nichols's involvement in the attempt to unionize Northeastern University's faculty during the 1970s. Materials include minutes, agendas, reports, newsletters, and committee proposals.
BoxTitleDate
1Advocates for a Professional Facultyn.d., 1975-1976
1Affirmative Action (2 folders)1980-1981
1Correspondence1962-1975
National
Committees
1C - Teaching, Research, and Publication1960
1R - Governance and Ethics1961
1T - College and University Government1960-1962
1W - Women (10 folders)1971-1983
1Meetings1960-1966
Northeastern University
1General (3 folders)n.d., 1964-1975
Committees
1Faculty Status Reportn.d.
1-2W (4 folders )1971-1980, 1996
2Z - Economic Status of the Profession1959-1969
2Comparative Work Load Studyn.d., 1962
2Constitution and By-laws1960-1964, 1972
2Correspondence (2 folders)1969-1983
2Faculty Load1967-1969
2Faculty Participation in Academic-Administrative Appointmentsn.d., 1967
2History1960
2Meeting Minutes and Agendas (3 folders)1959-1974
2Membership (2 folders)1965-1975
2NU Faculty Organization1973-1975
2“NUAAUPdate” Newslettern.d., 1988
2Proposal for Revision of Calendar1962-1969
2Resolution on Cultural Atmosphere1961
2Retrenchment Policy1980
2Statement on the Student Newspaper1964
2Student Faculty Relationship1968-1969
2Unionization1975-1976
State
2Conference1968-1971
2Committee W1971-1972
2Executive Committee (2 folders)1974-1976
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Series:

2. Northeastern University Faculty Senate, 1972-1977
Volume:1.00
Arrangement:

Chronological
Summary:

This series contains material from the Northeastern Faculty Senate during the time Professor Nichols was a Senate member and during her time as chair of the Agenda Committee. Records include minutes, agendas, memoranda, reports, proposals, and correspondence. Researchers should note that there is a separate Faculty Senate (A35) collection containing similar material.
BoxTitleDate
2-3Faculty Senate (14 folders)1972-1977
3Faculty Senate Agenda Committee (5 folders)1972-1974
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Series:

3. Northeastern University Committees and Activities, n.d., 1964-2002
Volume:2.25 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical
Summary:

This series documents Nichols's professional life at Northeastern University, including her participation in University committees, such as the Campus Curriculum Committee and the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee. Non-teaching activities are also reflected, particularly in the “Protests and Activism” files. Records include minutes, reports, notes, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. Researchers should note that there is also material relating to Northeastern University in Series 1 of the collection.
BoxTitleDate
3Campus Campaign1987-1988
3Carnegie Foundation1984
3Center for Collaborative Education1999-2000
3Center for Effective University Teaching (2 folders)1994-2002
3Center for Innovation in Urban Education: “Innovation in Urban Education: The Impact of Research on Practice in Schools”1994
3Collective Bargainingn.d., 1975
Committees
3Academic Honesty: Russell B. Stearns Study1964-1965
3Ad Hoc on Faculty Center1973-1974
3Affirmative Action Advisory (2 folders)1977-1985
3Black Student Attrition and Retention1981-1983
3Campus Curriculum Committee1967
3Committee on Teaching Assistant Training1975
3Compensating Education1981-1984
3Day Care Committee (3 folders)1969-1988
4Goals Committee1974-1977
4Library Advisory Committee1985-1989
4Library Operations (5 folders)1964-1985
4Reconciliation1976
4Sabbatical Leave1987-1988
4Test Library Committee1964
4University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (4 folders)1986-1988
4Community Criminal Justice Forums1980-1981
4Concerned Faculty Group (2 folders)1969-1970, 1996
4Co-op Task Force (4 folders)1990-1991
4Correspondencen.d., 1968
4Course Listings and Memoranda (2 folders)1992-2002
5Cutbacks (Restricted)1986-1991
5Educational Council1996-1998
5Enrollments and Statistics1976-1981
5Environmental Problems in Cushing Hall1984-1985
5Federation of Teachers1969
5Interdisciplinary Colloquium1969-1971
5Local 925 Union 1980
5Office of the Registrar (3 folders)1998-2002
5Part Time Teaching Faculty1998-2001
5Phi Delta Kappan.d., 1985
5Phi Kappa Phi1973-1985
Protests and Activism
5Bill of Student Rightsn.d., 1967-1968
5Faculty Association to Provide Educational Opportunityn.d., 1968
5Gulf War1991
5March 4: Strike Petition1969
5Northeastern University Peace Group1988-1989
5“RADFAC”n.d., 1969
5Reserve Officer Training Corps 1968-1972
5Strike: May 19701970
5Student Concern Committeen.d.
5THORN: Student Discipline (restricted)n.d., 1967-1970
5Vietnam War Draft Resistance: Boston Area Faculty Group on Public Issues Meetingn.d., 1967-1969
5Psychology Department: Elimination of Personalized System of Instruction1981
5Research Task Force1978-1979
5Resource People Program1987-1988
5Salary Reports and Equity1995-1997
5Sexual Preference Coalition (7 folders)1983-1986
5Student Council: Experimental College1968
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Series:

4. Subject Files, n.d., 1972-1998 (bulk 1972-1990)
Volume:1.25 cubic ft.
Arrangement:

Alphabetical
Summary:

This series contains material gathered by Nichols in the field of education and includes reports, notes, and conference materials from organizations such as the American Educational Research Association, the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Education, and UNICEF. Of particular note is the material concerning the Urban Schools Collaborative and Phase II of the Boston public schools' desegregation in the late 1970s, including reports and newsletters on the project.
BoxTitleDate
5American Educational Research Association : Program Committee1972-1973
5“The Boston Compact: An Operational Plan for Expanded Partnerships with the Boston Public Schools”1982
5Boston Globe Editorials198?
5“Boston's Lewenberg Middle School Delivers Success” by Mark D. O'Donnelln.d.
5“Charting the Course: Public School Options in the 1990s, An Invitational Conference on Charter Schools”1993
5Colloquium: Early Childhood Program Center and Irish Studies Committee1982-1983
5The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education: Teacher Certification1986
5Compensatory Education Conference1981
5Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Education (6 folders)1979-1982
6International Year of the Child (10 folders)n.d., 1979-1982
6“Negro History Week Needs Assessment: A Program to Create Awareness and Arouse Interest in Black History”1975
6New England Educational Research Organization 1975
6“Report of the Conference on Strategies and Options for Achieving Educational Equity Under Desegregation in Boston”1975-1976
6Society for Research in Child Development 1980-1981
6“Struggling Yet 'In Freedom's Birthplace': The Civil Rights Movement in Boston, 1955-1965” by Gerald Gill1993
6UNICEF Conference1983-1984
Urban Schools Collaborative
6Phase II / Urban Schools Collaborative Newsletters1976-1979
6“Pilot Programs: District VII/Northeastern University Pairing,” Final Report (4 folders)1977, 1982
6“Multiethnic Social Science Curriculum Packet” (4 folders)ca. 1980
6Northeastern University (2 folders)1975-1998
6Women's Coalition1973-1974
6Workshops: Sexuality1978
6Work Options1982-1984
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