Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: UC San Diego. Office of the Chancellor. Administrative Files for John S. Galbraith
Identifier/Call Number: RSS 0004
5.1 Linear feet
(4 archives boxes and 4 oversize folders)
Date (inclusive): 1964 - 1971
Abstract: Administrative files created by John S. Galbraith, the second chancellor (1964-1968) of UCSD. The collection includes correspondence
relating to matters of personal concern to Galbraith, including his relations with members of the campus and San Diego communities,
relations with his professional colleagues, the "Flag Incident" of 1967, and issues such as campus drug use and Galbraith's
two resignations. Included are correspondence between Galbraith and U.C. President Clark Kerr and materials documenting their
conflict over funding for the UCSD Library. The collection is arranged in three series: 1) PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE, 2) SUBJECT
FILES, and 3) SCRAPBOOKS.
UC San Diego. Office of the Chancellor. Administrative Files for John S. Galbraith, RSS 4. Special Collections & Archives,
UC San Diego Library.
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
John S. Galbraith succeeded Herbert F. York as chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, in 1964. He quickly
became a popular and respected administrator and continued the UCSD tradition of finding outstanding people to fill academic
and administrative posts. Galbraith involved himself in a wide array of San Diego community affairs and thereby helped promote
better relations between the University and the San Diego's political and social leaders.
Dr. Galbraith, like other UCSD Chancellors, had ambitious plans for the campus. Among Galbraith's highest priorities was
the development of the University Library. Because of his background as an academic historian, he understood the importance
of large and comprehensive collections for scholarly research -- especially for research in the humanities. He had discussed
this subject with President Kerr prior to assuming the chancellorship, and Kerr had assured Galbraith that UCSD would eventually
have the third greatest library in the U.C. system, with an acquisitions rate equal to those in Berkeley and Los Angeles.
However, Kerr was slow in fulfilling this committment, and this caused Galbraith to postpone the UCSD inauguration, originally
scheduled for September 1965, to November of that year.
The library issue and other administrative matters created friction between Galbraith and Kerr. On February 18, 1966, Galbraith
and UCSD Vice Chancellor Robert Biron submitted their resignations to the U.C. President. Precipitating the resignations was
Kerr's failure to add to the Regents' agenda the approval of the design of the UCSD Medical School. Although the resignations
were later withdrawn, relations between Kerr and Galbraith improved little.
Like other college campuses in the 1960s, UCSD witnessed the growth of what would eventually become a nation-wide student
movement organized, in part, as opposition to U.S. military involvement in Indochina. In November 1967, during Dr. Galbraith's
administration, one group of students who had set up an informational table in Revelle Plaza began flying the North Vietnamese
flag in protest of the U.S. military effort. The flag angered Leucadia assemblyman John Stull, and Stull demanded that Galbraith
have the flag forcibly removed. Galbraith, after consulting with the U.C. legal counsel, declared that the university had
no legal basis for removing the flag. Stull then called for Galbraith's suspension, among other measures. However, Galbraith
successfully defended his stance on the issue, and he argued that the university administration, as well as the students,
must abide by the rule of law. Dr. Galbraith handled this "Flag Incident," as he handled other such controversies, in a thoughtful
and diplomatic way, earning him the respect of students, administrators and community members.
Dr. Galbraith had never planned on an administrative career, and in 1968 he resigned the UCSD chancellorship to return to
teaching and scholarship.
Scope and Content of Collection
The ADMINISTRATIVE FILES FOR JOHN S. GALBRAITH represent only a small portion of the materials created in the Office of the
Chancellor during the Galbraith term. Most of the files created during that term were probably retained by the Office and
augmented during the terms of subsequent chancellors. Many of the files retained by the Office probably found their way into
the files of the Administrative Records office when that office was created in the 1970s.
Most of the records transferred to the Library -- and now included in the present collection -- relate to matters of personal
concern to Chancellor John S. Galbraith. These matters include Galbraith's relations with members of the campus and San Diego
communities, relations with his professional colleagues and issues such as library funding and Galbraith's two resignations.
The collection is arranged in three series: 1) PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE, 2) SUBJECT FILES and 3) SCRAPBOOKS.
SERIES 1: PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE
The title of the series PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE was provided by the Office of the Chancellor on the original file folders.
This correspondence is not truly personal, in the sense that it does not relate to private or family matters. Rather, the
materials concern Galbraith's personal relations with colleagues and members of the campus and local communities and system-wide
administrators. Of special interest is a letter from Galbraith to U.C. President Clark Kerr, dated September 3, 1964, in which
Galbraith delineates the conditions upon which he will assume the UCSD Chancellorship. The first condition relates to increased
funding for the UCSD Library. A number of handwritten notes from President Kerr can be found in the correspondence, as well
as communications between Galbraith and members of the UCSD faculty and administration. Also included is a large quantity
of letters relating to Galbraith's historical scholarship.
SERIES 2: SUBJECT FILES
Among the SUBJECT FILES are clippings and other information relating to the Byrne Report, a general reassessment of the U.C.
system organization in the wake of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. The files titled "Drugs" reveal the growing concern
over this subject by the U.C. administration in the mid-1960s. The "LSD Report," prepared by Mary Avery of UCSD, is a compendium
of published reports and laws surrounding a drug then gaining popularity on college campuses.
The so-called "Flag Incident" of 1967 is documented in one of the subject files. Included in this file are clippings from
local papers, statements by members of the campus community and statements by state assemblyman John Stull. A number of clippings
relating to this incident can also be found in the scrapbooks.
Chancellor Galbraith's active interest in library funding is reflected in two files on this subject. Documented here are
the chancellor's efforts to convince U.C. administrators of the need for a third great library for the system. Related to
this issue are the files on two statewide ballot initiatives from 1964 and 1966 (both were "Proposition 2"). These initiatives
asked voters to approve greater funding for higher education. The 1966 initiative involved a bond issue, which would help
to pay for UCSD's new library.
The letters in the "Resignation" files reveal the strong support that Chancellor Galbraith received from members of the campus
and local communities. A good example of this support can be seen in the letter from Professor Walter Munk of Scripps Institution,
sent to Galbraith during the crisis over Galbraith's 1966 resignation. Of historical importance is a hand written draft, undated,
of a resignation letter from Galbraith to President Kerr. In the letter Galbraith specifically mentions Kerr's failure to
support funding for the UCSD Library.
SERIES 3: SCRAPBOOKS
The SCRAPBOOKS contain clippings relating to all aspects of Chancellor Galbraith's administration, including many news stories
featuring Mrs. Laura Galbraith and her active community involvement.
MSS 41 - JOHN S. GALBRAITH PAPERS
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Students -- California -- San Diego -- Archival resources
Students -- Political activity -- Archival resources
Universities and colleges -- California -- San Diego -- Archival resources
Kerr, Clark, 1911-2003