Collection inventory

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Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC) Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: -
Date: Oct 1976

Biographical History

The Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC) -- which changed its name in 1973 to the Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) -- was founded in 1939 in New York by the directors of twenty-seven evening college programs who were affiliated with the American Association of Urban Universities. Originally known as the Association of Deans and Directors of University Evening Schools, its purpose was "the study of the problems of the evening college and the mutual interchange and stimulation of ideas on the part of the members," providing a forum for administrators of university evening programs, and focusing public attention on, and encouraging acceptance and understanding of, the aims of collegiate education of adults. The objectives expanded through the years and, while the AUEC still aimed at providing a "clearinghouse" of information for administrators, it recognized the importance of encouraging public understanding and support of the values of adult continuing education, especially in cooperation with other organizations. Adult collegiate education is considered a primary responsibility of institutions of higher learning, and the AUEC was concerned specifically with the place of the evening division within the university, improvement in instruction and course offerings, and standards for faculty and administration.

Its membership categories were institutional, associate, association, and personal. Its standing committees were: Evening Student Personnel, Legislative, Local Arrangements, Membership, Membership Promotion, Nominating, Program, Public Relations, Regions, Relationships With Other Associations, Research, and Resolutions. It had such special committees as Finance and Liberal Education. Over the years, its regular publications have been Newsletter (quarterly), Proceedings (annual), and "From the Dean's Desk" (occasional).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of the Association of University Evening Colleges consist of correspondence, printed matter including ditto, mimeograph, and photocopy material, published material, photographs, phonotapes, and typescript copy for AUEC publications and addresses. Because the organization does not have a general headquarters, this collection is drawn from the files of the officers, notably the presidents and executive secretaries, and from the personal files of Bernard Reed, Newsletter editor from 1956 to 1962 and AUEC historian, who collected the papers of the organization in preparation for a dissertation. The inclusive dates of the collection are 1927 to 1969, but the bulk of the material is dated from 1956 to 1967. The earliest material is a group of enrollment statistics collected later for AUEC files.

Major correspondents include members of the Executive Committee, editors of AUEC publications, AUEC committee chairmen, and staff members of other adult education organizations. Significant correspondents, selected because of the amount of their correspondence and the importance of their position in AUEC or other groups working in the continuing education field, and the inclusive dates of their correspondence are:

The collection has been divided into two series: AUEC files and material relating to other adult education organizations.

AUEC files are arranged by subject and includes the following major subheadings: Committees, Conventions, Correspondence, Enrollment, History, Membership, Newsletter, Personnel, Regions, Studies, and "Who's Who in the AUEC."

Committees is arranged alphabetically by committee title. Within each folder material is arranged chronologically. These papers consist primarily of correspondence, stated purposes, minutes, and findings of committees. The papers of joint committees of AUEC and other organizations are arranged within the files of the other organizations. Executive Committee material is listed separately under "Correspondence."

Conventions includes correspondence relating to the annual conventions, the published proceedings of the conventions, newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, and agendas, all chronologically arranged. Since the annual convention of the AUEC was the only meeting of the entire membership, all business and activities throughout the year were reported, and new plans were made. Taken together, therefore, the proceedings represent an outline history of the AUEC. Each includes the final program of the convention, an attendance roster, the budget, lists of officers and committees, minutes of Executive Committee meetings and business sessions, formal ad-dresses, reports of workshops and problem clinics, and various appendices.

Correspondence consists mostly of routine correspondence among AUEC officers that deals with AUEC policies, projects, conferences, plans, and membership. In addition to incoming and out-going mail from 1939 to 1969, there are dittoed memoranda, some statistical reports, book reviews, mimeographed reports of committee meetings, subscriptions to AUEC publications, and a notebook of comments on "Who's Who in the AUEC". Folders of corres pondence relating to specific subjects or with particular correspondents also are located in this subsection. Additional correspondence is located elsewhere in the collection, as indicated in the shelf list. Enrollment statistics are mimeographed reports on enrollment and administration in evening divisions from 1927 to 1962. Although small, this section could be valuable when used with the more extensive AUEC-NUEA statistical reports in Boxes 27-34.

The six phonotapes found in the History subsection are oral interviews of AUEC staff members concerning AUEC history. They contain detailed accounts of the formation of AUEC, opinions about the AUEC and adult education groups in general, and reminiscences of AUEC personnel.

Membership files are arranged by institutional and personal names. More than half of the files contain only a few routine letters from the AUEC. Larger files usually contain press releases for the Newsletter; descriptions of evening college programs or new courses, changes in staff or administration, special conferences, studies, and newspaper clippings; writings by evening college directors; or correspondence about AUEC programs and philosophy. These provide information on specific evening programs and the relationships of member institutions to the AUEC. The following files contain other than routine material. The largest files and those which contain the most significant material are Brooklyn College; CSLEA; Drexel Institute of Technology; Marquette University; Northwestern University; Rutgers, the State University; Syracuse University; University of California; University of Chicago; University of Cincinnati; University of Toledo; Washington University.

The AUEC Newsletter was issued eight times a year, which summarized new courses and programs in continuing education, noted convention plans, new administrators and policies, published contributions of AUEC members and officers, and served as a month-to-month study of AUEC activities. Newsletter comprises copies of the Newsletter from 1940 to 1967 and folders of correspondence concerning the Newsletter, costs of its publication, and other data.

Personnel contains vitae of various individuals and correspondence on employment. The AUEC, through the Newsletter and by word of mouth, provided an executive placement service for adult educators. In the Regions series are the reports of several regional meetings and a statement of the purpose of the regional organizational arrangement.

Most of the Studies are mimeographed questionnaires that provide information on specific programs of member institutions. These studies can have value either in compiling in-formation about member institutions as a whole, or in comparing their programs. The studies fulfill one of the AUEC's basic purposes, to serve as a clearinghouse of information.

Subject files on other adult education organizations contains material relating to other adult education organizations with which AUEC had some level of working relationship. The Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults folders contain notebooks and reports of the annual Chicago Leadership Conference, as well as programs, addresses, work-shop ideas, and correspondence. Much of the joint work of the AUEC and CSLEA was begun or discussed at these conferences.

The folders on evening colleges contain miscellaneous material on joint problems, functions of deans, terms and phrases used, and influences on adult education. There is correspondence, as well as mimeographed and dittoed materials and some hand-written notes. A number of ideas and philosophies of adult collegiate education are reflected in these folders, valuable in any overall study of continuing education. The NUEA subsection (boxes 27-34) comprises a large collection of reports; these AUEC-NUEA statistical reports were designed to provide quantitative information about the class offerings, conferences, institutes, workshops, correspondence courses, academic programs, and registration in evening colleges of universities throughout the country.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection has been divided into two series: AUEC files and material relating to other adult education organizations. Within each series a subject arrangement is used, with folder titles usually identical to those used by the AUEC archivist. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject, alphabetical by folder titles within subheadings, and chronological where bulk makes it necessary. Within each folder, material is arranged chronologically. Incoming letters are attached to the front of outgoing ones, even in cases where an incoming letter is a response. Individual folders usually contain correspondence for at least three months. Undated material is located at the end of a folder. Where there is more than one folder on a specific subject, the number of folders is indicated in parentheses in the shelf list.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of all adult education collections.

See in particular:

The relationship with the NUEA has been particularly close, with much overlapping of memberships and many common concerns, particularly the devising of comparable statistical reporting.

Subject Headings


Abercrombie, Gurth I.
Brandenburg, E.
Charters, Alexander N.
Deters, Richard T.
Holsapple, Cortrell K.
Kendall, Ralph C.
Lang, Daniel R.
Liveright, A. A. (Alexander Albert), 1907-
Love, Robert A.
Matre, Richard A.
McGee, Howell.
McMahon, Ernest Edward.
Mumma, Richard A.
Neuffer, Frank R.
Parkinson, George A.
Reed, Bernard W. (Bernard Webster), 1916-1962.
Riddle, Kenneth W.
Spengler, Edwin Harold.

Corporate Bodies

Association for Continuing Higher Education (U.S.) -- Records and correspondence.
Association of Continuing Higher Education (U.S.) -- Records and correspondence.
Association of Deans and Directors of University Evening Colleges (U.S.) -- Records and correspondence.
Association of University Evening Colleges (U.S.) -- Archives.
Association of University Evening Colleges (U.S.) -- Records and correspondence.


Adult education -- United States.
Educators -- United States.
Evening and continuation schools -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Minutes (administrative records)
Oral histories (literary works)


Adult education

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC) Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Association of University Evening Colleges, 1966-1970.

Table of Contents

AUEC files

Subject files on adult education organizations