Chancellor's Office fonds

Compiled by Victoria Kendall Blinkhorn (1987)


Table of Contents


Fonds Description

Chancellor's Office fonds. - 1960-1974; predominant 1967-1971.
1.9 m of textual records.

The 1908 University Act, slightly amended in 1912 for the official incorporation of the University of British Columbia, articulates the legislated duties of the Chancellor, elected by the convocation, as a member of the Board of Governors and a member of the Senate. Over the years, the official functions of the Chancellor have evolved to also include the duty of conferring all degrees granted by the University, to serve as chair of convocation, and to undertake the unofficial honour of representing the University on social and ceremonial occasions. The Chancellor is elected by members of the Convocation to hold the office for a three year term and may be re-elected but may not hold office for more than six consecutive years. The Chancellor serves as the ceremonial head of the University. Since 1912, the Chancellors of UBC have been Francis Lovett Carter-Cotton (1912-18), Robert E. McKechnie (1918-44), Eric W. Hamber (1944-51), Sherwood Lett (1951-57), Albert E. Grauer (1957-61), Phyllis Ross (1961-66), John M. Buchanan (1966-69), Allan M. McGavin (1969-72), Nathan T. Nemetz (1971-75), Donovan F. Miller (1975-78), John V. Clyne (1978-84), W. Robert Wyman (1984- 87), Leslie R. Peterson (1987-93), Robert H. Lee (1993-96), William Sauder (1996-2002), and Allan McEachern (2002- ).

Fonds consists of correspondence, clippings, speeches, minutes, financial records and subject files created by the Chancellor's Office in the process of carrying out of its administrative and ceremonial functions as well as in the Chancellor's role as a member of the Senate. In addition, the fonds includes personal papers created by John M. Buchanan, Allan M. McGavin and Nathan T. Nemetz while holding the position of Chancellor.

Title based on the contents of the fonds.

File List available. Short biographies of the three Chancellors whose personal papers are included in the fonds are also available in hard copy.

Other records relating to the governance of the University can be found in the Senate, Board of Governors, and President's Office fonds.

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Series Descriptions

John M. Buchanan Personal Files series. - 1966-1969.
7 cm.

Series consists of correspondence, including press clippings and printed material, relating to Buchanan's tenure as Chancellor between 1966 and 1969. It includes routine letters and invitations as well as speeches, addresses, and letters discussing university politics. Records are arranged alphabetically by correspondent's name, then chronologically by date. One file includes Buchanan's personal correspondence with Hon. Chief Justice Colin Campbell McLaurin, first Chancellor of the University of Calgary.

Allan M. McGavin Personal Files series. - 1969-1971.
6 cm.

Series consists of biographical data on McGavin, including press clippings and printed material for inclusion in Who's Who in Canada; his Chancellor's entertainment budget and correspondence files; correspondence with University offices, Canadian and international academics and officials, students, government, and members of the public; and drafts of speeches and addresses and printed invitations for social and ceremonial occasions. Records are arranged chronologically.

Nathan T. Nemetz Personal Files series. - 1969-1974.
3 cm.

Series consists of biographical information compiled for inclusion in Who's Who In Canada; one file of press clippings related to Nemetz's career; correspondence written while Nemetz served on the Board of Governors and Senate; and Chancellor's correspondence. Included in the latter files are printed material, incoming and outgoing letters, and written and printed invitations extended and received for various social and ceremonial functions. Records are arranged chronologically.

Subject Files series. - 1960-1974.
1.7 m.

Series consists of correspondence, minutes, printed material, photographs, legal documents, published and unpublished reports, invitations, maps, speeches and addresses, notes, photographs, mailing lists, and notes, arranged alphabetically by subject then chronologically by date. The records were created both by the Chancellor and his office staff in the course of activities associated with the Chancellorship, and range from routine affirmations of appointments and schedules to documents revealing unique and valuable aspects of University events. The majority were generated between 1969 and 1971, although some documents date back to the tenure of Chancellor Phyllis Ross, 1961-1966. Few files contain records created during Nemetz's tenure, 1967-1974, the majority of the files having been generated by Chancellors Buchanan and McGavin. Of particular interest are the ceremonies files which trace the evolution of projects such as Cecil Green Park and Acadia Park from the planning stage to the opening ceremonies, congregation files which reveal the social and diplomatic traditions demanded by the event, and the Koerner Foundation records which present the extent of the Foundation's assistance to the University. Numerous other files attest to the scope and variety of the Chancellor's duties, both legislated and unofficial, and reveal the function of the Chancellor as unofficial political mediator.

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File List


University Archives Inventories