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Records regarding University of Kansas Governance

 Record Group
Call Number: RG 3


This collection includes records of the six constituent governance senates at the University of Kansas: University Senate, Faculty Senate, Student Senate, Unclassified Professional Staff Senate, University Support Staff Senate, and Staff Senate. Records for any of the individual governance bodies may include meeting minutes, scrapbooks, handbooks, budgetary and financial documentation, news releases and clippings, case files, correspondence, and subject files. The best documented organization in the record group is the Student Senate, and there are a wide variety of records from several committees and boards spanning the governance groups.


  • Creation: 1880s-2021 (bulk 1970s-2000s)


Conditions Governing Access

Some series in this record group will require permission from the office of origin before use. Personnel files, student records, and legal case files are closed in accordance with applicable law. All requests are subject to review by the Archives staff to determine accessibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of governance at the University of Kansas

Student governance at the University of Kansas began in 1909, when Chancellor Strong organized student councils to resolve disputes between the freshman and sophomore classes. The first student government was separated into a Men’s Council and Women’s Council, with the Women’s Council being extremely active in allocating money to student efforts throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In 1943, students demanded more influence and voted to combine the Men’s and Women’s councils into an All Student Council.

When the 1960s saw increased student activism at KU, students began to agitate for more democratic control of the university, and a committee of students and faculty voted to change the All Student Council to the KU Student Senate and almost triple the number of Senators, from 35 to 95. The Student Senate would also be able to send members to sit on the University Senate alongside faculty and staff. In 1980, the Classified Senate was established to advocate for faculty concerns especially as they pertained to salaries, and a similar organization was established for Unclassified staff in 1988. Both organizations began independently of KU but would work more and more closely with University governance over time, eventually becoming the Staff Senate.

Additional historical information about all the governance bodies can be found elsewhere in this finding aid.


272 Linear Feet (319.5 boxes + 28 volumes, 3 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The majority of records found in this record group pertain to the Student Senate of the 1970s through the 1990s. These records include subject files, correspondence, and meeting records, including minutes and agendas. The record group also contains correspondence and subject files for specific Student Body presidents and their staff. Additionally, the record group contains extensive documentation of the activities of specific committees operating under the Student Senate, especially meeting records and procedures documents. These records cast light on the responsibilities and initiatives of organizations operating under the auspices of the Student Senate over the years. The record group includes limited documentation from other KU governance organizations, including the Classified and Unclassified Senates. These records are mostly procedural documents and meeting records. Also of note are records related to several different committees and boards operating under the University Senate.

Physical Location

RG 3


University Archives continues to add material to this record group on a regular basis. Information in this finding aid is updated as of summer 2022.

Guide to the Records of the University of Kansas
Records regarding University of Kansas Governance
Finding aid prepared by jtf, 2006. Finding aid encoded by jtf, 2006. Finding aid revised by lmb, 2010; mwh, 2016; jb and mwh, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for inventorying of this record group was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Records regarding University of Kansas Governance, University Archives, RG 3, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States