Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Council of the Princeton University Community.
Council of the Princeton University Community Records
Princeton University Archives
Permanent URL:
1965-2016 (mostly 1969-1976)
15 boxes and 2 items
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-15


The Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC) was born out of the Special Committee on the Structure of the University established by President Robert F. Goheen in May 1968. CPUC is primarily a deliberative and consultative body, with the authority to "consider and investigate" university policy, governance, and any general issue related to the welfare of the University. Much of the work of the Council takes place through its standing committees: the Executive Committee, the Committee on Rights and Rules, the Committee on Governance, the Committee on Priorities, the Committee on Resources, and the Judicial Committee.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Material in the collections consists of minutes of meetings, reports, and correspondence produced by CPUC and its subsidiary committees. In addition, transcripts of judicial hearings as well as accompanying audio tapes of the hearings are included.

Collection Creator Biography:

Princeton University. Council of the Princeton University Community.

In the tumultuous decade of the 1960s, the fight for civil rights and the escalating war in Vietnam dominated the American sociopolitical landscape. The college campus was but one stage on which these issues played themselves out. In 1964, student activists at the University of California, Berkeley came into conflict with administration officials over what they saw as their right to conduct civil rights and antiwar campaigns on campus. The confrontations that ensued began a wave of student protests intent on asserting the right to free speech. In December 1964, some 800 students were arrested for occupying the UC Administration building.

In the years that followed, student unrest gripped campuses across the country, including Princeton's. The 1967-68 academic year was particularly tense. A number of issues were being hotly debated on campus: the future of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program and military recruitment, counseling students about the draft, the rule regarding women visitors in dormitories, and the relationship of the University to the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA). On May 2, 1968, demonstrators marched on campus to the rallying cry "Community Control of Community Affairs" and demanded that the administration change its policies on all of these issues. In the largest demonstration in Princeton's history, more than 1,100 people marched on Nassau Hall to protest the exclusion of students and faculty from university decision-making. Peter Kaminsky, president of the Undergraduate Assembly (UGA), criticized University Trustees and administrators for what he called an "arrogant dismissal of student and faculty demands." The University, in the view of demonstrators, should be "a community of students and faculty, not businessmen." Their primary demand was a complete break with IDA. IDA, a Washington-based nonprofit research organization whose principal customer was the Department of Defense, was under the direction of retired General Maxwell D. Taylor, who also served as a special presidential assistant on Vietnam. Concerned members of the Princeton community expressed that association with IDA suggested a corporate stand on political issues, something that the University had traditionally avoided. "Change and advance in the university," observed University President Robert F. Goheen, "must always be pursued by argument and debate, by reasoning rather than force." In May 1968, Goheen established the Special Committee on the Structure of the University to be the agent of change for Princeton University.

In May 1969, the Committee publicized its final plans for a university-wide senate to be called the Council of the Princeton University Community (CPUC). Providing a forum through which all the major groups of the University could address problems and reach consensus, the first meeting of the Council took place on October 27, 1969.

The membership of CPUC is comprised of the University President, the Provost, and five representatives chosen by the President from among the Financial Vice President, the Treasurer, the Secretary of the University, the General Counsel, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of the College, and the Dean of Student Life. One member of the Library Staff, Administrative Staff, Research Staff, Technical Staff, and Office Staff also serves, in addition to fifteen faculty members, twelve undergraduate students, seven graduate students, and four alumni.

CPUC is primarily a deliberative and consultative body, with the authority to "consider and investigate" university policy, governance, and any general issue related to the welfare of the University. Recommendations are then made to the appropriate decision-making bodies, or to the appropriate officers, of the University. Typically the Council meets once a month, October through May, with special meetings as needed. Moreover, all Council meetings are open to the public. Much of the work of the Council is conducted through its standing committees. When first established in 1969, CPUC consisted of six such committees: Rights and Rules, Governance, Plans and Resources, Trustee Relations, External Relations, and Community Relations. Reflecting two of the most explosive issues on campus at the time, the committees on Trustee Relations and External Relations were established to ensure that the make-up of the University's Board of Trustees was less exclusive and to review Princeton's association with outside organizations to avoid the conflicts that grew out of the relationship with IDA.

Five years later, in 1974, CPUC issued a new charter that dismantled the Trustee Relations and External Relations Committees. The Committee on Priorities was established to review the budget and consider any issues that surfaced during budget preparations. The Committee on Community Relations became the Committee on Relations with the Local Community, but the focus was the same: ensuring a productive relationship between the University and the surrounding community. The Judicial Committee was established to hear cases of misconduct that involved alleged violations of the established rules and regulations of the University, such as infringements against the Honor System. When individuals contended that the proceedings against them were not conducted fairly, the Judicial Committee agreed to consider appeals.

The charter underwent a third revision in 1977, and the committees underwent their third and final evolution. The Committee on Relations with the Local Community was dropped, leaving only the Executive Committee, Committees on Rights and Rules, Governance, Priorities, Resources (formerly the Committee on Plans and Resources), and the Judicial Committee. In this final arrangement, the Executive Committee continued to set the annual agenda for CPUC committees. The Committee on Rights and Rules contemplated the fairness and effectiveness of rules of conduct within the university community, making recommendations to amend or reconsider regulations as appropriate. The Committee on Governance continued to manage concerns related to university authority and, in consultation with the Committee on Honorary Degrees of the Board of Trustees, offer advice on the awarding of honorary degrees. While the Committee on Priorities continued to review budgetary matters, the Committee on Resources concentrated on questions of general policy concerning the procurement and management of the University's financial resources. Finally, the Judicial Committee continued to hear and rule on cases of alleged violations of university regulations.

Special committees also have been established from time to time. For example, in 1970, the Special Committee on Sponsored Research was charged with an examination of Princeton's unwillingness to accept any outside funds for weapons-related research. In 1969, the Subcommittee on the Operation of the University Store examined the need for a new store to serve a growing student body with an eye toward profitability. The Subcommittee issued its report in 1970 recommending that the store not exist as a passive resource for books and supplies, but should rather proactively influence the community through a wider selection of books, parking options, a new and larger location, and the addition of lines of merchandise that "appeal[ed] to the changing composition of the University," i.e., women.

Collection History


Donated to the Archives by the Council of the Princeton University Community.


Appraisal has been conducted according to University Archives policies and procedures.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Susan Hamson and Hiroko Hosaka '03 in September 2002. Finding aid written by Susan Hamson and Hiroko Hosaka '03 in September 2002.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use with the exception of the group and individual case files of CPUC's Judicial Committee concern persons who were the focus of investigative or disciplinary action. These files (Box 7, folders 6-15, Box 8, Folders 1-11, and Box 15), together with Judicial Committee material in Box 6, Folders 4-12, and Box 7, Folders 1-2, are therefore closed for the lifetime of the persons to whom they relate.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Council of the Princeton University Community Records; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-15