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Personal papers of James R. Surface

 Collection — Box: 1
Call Number: PP 144


Surface taught in the School of Business at the University of Kansas from 1957-1970. This collection consists of speeches given between 1968 and 1969.


  • Creation: 1968 - 1969


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of James R. Surface

James Surface received his A.B. in 1942 and his M.A. in 1948, both from the University of Kansas, his studies interrupted by service in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He received his M.B.A. in 1950 and his D.C.S. in 1956, both from the Harvard Business School. He taught at Harvard for eight years.

Surface joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in 1957 as a Professor of Business Administration and as the Dean of the Business School. In 1962 he was also named Vice Chancellor, Dean of Facilities, and Provost. He retired from KU in 1970 to found the Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.

At Vanderbilt, Surface was promoted to executive vice chancellor in 1972 and then provost and executive vice president in 1975. In 1978 he returned to teaching full-time before retiring from Vanderbilt in 1986.

James R. Surface married Mary, with whom he had 5 children: Mary Lu, Richard, Daniel, John, and Tom. After his first wife died in 1995, Surface married Fifi, who passed away in 2006. James Surface died August 1, 2013.

[Information retrieved from KU University Archives morgue files and Vanderbilt University, "Surface, Original Faculty Member of Owen Graduate School of Management, Dies," August 2, 2013, available online at]


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 144

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the James R. Surface Collection
Personal papers of James R. Surface
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of James R. Surface, University Archives, PP 144, 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