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Vernon I. Cheadle Papers
UArch FacP 22  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related Materials
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Vernon I. Cheadle Papers
    Dates: 1925-2000
    Collection number: UArch FacP 22
    Creator: Cheadle, Vernon Irvin, 1910-1995
    Collection Size: 6 linear feet (15 boxes).
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Dept. of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, CA 93106
    Abstract: The Vernon I. Cheadle Papers contain biographical material, correspondence, subject files, and academic files from Cheadle's time as a faculty member before and after his days as Chancellor.
    Physical location: Annex 2.
    Languages: English

    Access Restrictions

    Box 15 closed until 2025 A.D. Collection is stored off-site; advance notice required for retrieval.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Vernon I. Cheadle Papers. UArch FacP 22. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Mary Cheadle 1995.


    Vernon Irvin Cheadle was the Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara campus from 1962 to 1977. During this time, he oversaw the growth and development of the campus from a small, local college to an internationally recognized university. Cheadle strengthened ties between the university and the surrounding community. He also steered the campus through the turbulent period of protests and riots in the late 1960s and 1970s. As Chancellor, Cheadle made many contributions to UCSB, and he continued to serve the university following his retirement.
    Vernon Cheadle was born on February 6, 1910 in Salem, South Dakota, and was raised on a farm. He attended Miami University and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in botany. He went on to graduate study at Harvard University, earning a Ph.D. in botany in 1936. In the same year, Cheadle began his career by teaching botany at the University of Rhode Island. His research focused on the water conducting cells in plants. During the next 16 years, he was promoted to Professor and Chairman of the Botany Department, as well as director of the Graduate Division. From 1944 to 1946, he served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy in the Pacific. In 1952, Cheadle moved to the University of California at Davis, where he collaborated with Dr. Katherine Esau on studies of the phloem of dicotyledons. He was Chairman of the Botany Department at Davis from 1952 to 1962, and Acting Vice Chancellor from 1961 to 1962.
    University of California President Clark Kerr appointed Vernon Cheadle to be Chancellor of the Santa Barbara campus in 1962. During his 15 year tenure, UC Santa Barbara experienced rapid expansion in both its physical campus and its research and academic programs. Twenty-five new buildings were constructed. Student enrollment increased from 5,000 to 13,000 and faculty positions more than doubled. The number of masters degree programs rose from 15 to 42 and Ph.D. programs increased from two to 27. Cheadle's work laid the foundations for UCSB's transformation into a world-class university, recognized by its election to the prestigious Association of American Universities in 1995.
    The most difficult period for Chancellor Cheadle came during the years from 1968 to 1975, when sometimes violent student protests erupted over a variety of social and political issues. Cheadle had worked to achieve closer ties between the university and the community of Santa Barbara, but this relationship soured when student protests spilled over from the campus to the streets of Isla Vista and Santa Barbara. The burning of the Bank of America building by protesters in 1970 briefly made Isla Vista one of the most notorious college towns in the country. Cheadle withstood pressure from all sides during this time. He acquiesced to student demands for a Black Studies program and created the first Chicano Studies program in the nation. Thus UCSB emerged from this difficult period strengthened and improved by a more diverse program of studies.
    Cheadle retired from the Chancellorship in 1977, but he remained active in campus and community affairs. He returned to his laboratory and continued his botanical research. He assumed the role of elder statesman and counselor to campus leaders. He assisted the university in fund-raising efforts, and served on the boards of local organizations such as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. Vernon Cheadle died in Santa Barbara on July 23, 1995.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Vernon Cheadle papers are divided into two parts. The first part covers the years 1962 to 1977, when Cheadle was Chancellor of the University of California Santa Barbara campus. These papers are located in the Office of the Chancellor, Chancellors' records, UArch 17, along with the papers of the other Chancellors. There is a separate finding guide to these papers. The Chancellors' records include correspondence, memos, and official reports of the Cheadle administration.
    The second part of the Cheadle collection covers the years before and after Cheadle was Chancellor. This collection is part of the Faculty Papers section of the University Archives. It is divided into five series. The organization is based on Cheadle's own filing system. The files came from Cheadle's office on campus. Although there are two series that are exclusively devoted to correspondence and speeches, these items can be found sprinkled throughout all of the series.


    The first series contains biographical material covering Cheadle's entire life. It includes short biographies, curriculum vitae, and a complete list of publications. The second series is devoted to correspondence. There is personal correspondence from 1937 to 1979, and personal and administrative correspondence from 1980 to 1995. Administrative correspondence from 1962 to 1977 is located in the Office of the Chancellor collection. The third series is composed of subject files which Cheadle kept from 1978 to 1995. These files contain mostly professional and administrative correspondence, and include material related to Lotusland in Montecito and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden as well as the university. The fourth series concerns Cheadle's academic work throughout his career, from 1933 to 1995. This includes articles, reviews and books published by Cheadle; research grant reports; research notes; course manuals; and speeches and papers presented at professional conferences. These is also a section devoted to Cheadle's sabbaticals in Australia and South Africa. Cheadle's academic files include correspondence with his publishers and peers. Finally, the fifth series contains Cheadle's personal letters of recommendation for his students and fellow academicians. As this material is confidential in nature, these files are not available for use until the year 2025.
    • VIC = Vernon I. Cheadle

    Related Materials

    The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) has their own Cheadle collection, comprised mainly of plant specimens collected by Cheadle during his career, his xylem article collection, and memorabilia/artifacts. For more information, see: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt296nd7m9 
    The Katherine Esau collection in the Faculty Papers section (UArch FacP 23) of the University Archives contains many documents and correspondence relating to her work in collaboration with Cheadle. See also Esau's collection at CCBER: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt1s20304s/  Katherine Esau's oral history, entitled Katherine Esau: A Life of Achievements, also includes comments on her work with Cheadle (OH 3).
    The Office of the Chancellor, Chancellors' records (UArch 17) of the University Archives contains a large collection from the Cheadle administration, as mentioned above. This collection includes audio tape recordings of some of Cheadle's speeches as Chancellor, which are located in the University Archives Audio Recordings section. For a more detailed description of these other holdings, see the guide: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3t1nf0xm/ 
    Many photographs of Cheadle can be found in the University Archives Photographs Collection (UArch 112).
    Chancellor Vernon Cheadle section in UCSB History and Antecedents collection, UArch 100.
    Biographical information and photos of Cheadle in Office of Public Information biographical files, UArch 11.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Cheadle, Vernon Irvin, 1910-1995
    University of California, Santa Barbara. Dept. of Physics
    University of California, Santa Barbara. Dept. of Biological Sciences