This collection is comprised of professional materials, periodicals, ephemera, correspondence and photographs documenting
Norman O. Gunderson's significant career as dean of School of Engineering at San Jose State University (1955-1970), as director
of Masters Degree Program in Cybernetic Systems (1970), and as a legislative and educational consultant to Santa Clara County
Director of Transportation after his retirement from academia (1975-1991). The bulk of this collection (1967-1984) contains
primary and secondary sources that delineate Norman O. Gunderson’s role in the conception, establishment and expansion of
SJSU’s Masters Degree Program in Cybernetic Systems. In 1970, Gunderson resigned as dean to direct the establishment and development
of SJSU’s Masters Program in Cybernetic Systems, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on technology-oriented problem solving
methodologies within political, economic, social, and moral systems. Included in these files are curriculum proposals, course
description, lecture notes, correspondences, event brochures, newspaper clippings, and compiled course and research readings.
Other significant parts of the collection include documents related to Gunderson’s effort to help SJSU School of Engineering
obtain its state accreditation to offer graduate degree engineering programs and to provide research opportunities for faculty.
The collection also contains personal effects and memorabilia, e.g., awards, honorable mentions, and miscellaneous biographical
This collection focuses primarily on Norman O. Gunderson’s (1918-1996) academic career at San Jose State University. Born
in Laramie, Wyoming in 1918, Gunderson obtained a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming in 1939.
After graduation, he worked for U.S. Soil Conservation Service Bureau of Reclamation (1939-1941), then he entered U.S. Army
and retired as Lieutenant Colonel (1941-1946). In 1942, Gunderson married Bonne Jeane Davis. In 1947, Gunderson received a
M.A. in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming. Immediately afterwards, Gunderson was offered the position as assistant
professor of Engineering at San Jose State College. In 1955, Gunderson was promoted to Dean of SJSU School of Engineering.
During his tenure, he directed an effort to challenge the state-imposed restrictions on engineering education at the state
college level, and successfully helped SJSU School of Engineering obtain its accreditation to offer graduate degree engineering
programs and to provide research opportunities for faculty. Notably in 1966-1967 academic year, Gunderson had the honor of
inviting and accommodating the incessant futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) as SJSU’s first “Distinguished
Scholar in Residence.” In 1970, Gunderson resigned as dean to direct the establishment and development of SJSU’s Masters Program
in Cybernetic Systems, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on technology-oriented problem solving methodologies within
political, economic, social, and moral systems, which he had previously conceived during his deanship. After his retirement
in 1983, Gunderson served as a legislative and educational consultant for Santa Clara County Transportation and supervised
University Fellowship Program.
1.25 linear feet
Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions
also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational
The collection is open for research.