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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois in the Cold War Era 1945-1975: Surveillance, Discipline and the University of Illinois

Surveillance, Discipline and the University of Illinois

The Regulations for Undergraduate Women attempted to dictate women's hours and relationships with other students, circa 1968

Drawing on the traditions of English common-law, American colleges and universities in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century acted in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) for their students.  The English model of schooling included not only educational but also moral instruction for students, which was understood as equivalent to parental authority.  Well into the twentieth century, courts permitted extensive authority to schools and exhibited antagonism to the claims of student plaintiffs.  At the University of Illinois, student handbooks and regulations codes explicitly spelled out campus rules.  For example, the handbook for freshmen women listed regulations for female students on male callers, car riding permissions, and curfews.

Changes in U.S. education, concurrent with a broader reading by courts of the rights of students, began bringing the theory of in loco parentis into disrepute by the 1960s.  The momentum of the Civil Rights movement touched nearly every facet of American life, and students demanded broader discretionary rights. 

During the 1960s, the courts gradually abandoned in loco parentis in favor of due process in disputes between students and educational institutions.  In response to student free speech movements, other transformations came as courts established that students at public colleges and universities did not surrender their First and Fourth Amendment rights upon entering schools.


University of Illinois Sources:

Operation and Maintenance Division Annual Reports, 1971- (RS: 37/3/801): Includes Annual reports of the Department of Campus Security

Dean of Students Annual Reports, 1934-1980 (RS: 41/1/30)

Illini Wise 1944, 1946, 1949-1960 (RS: 41/3/810): A handbook for freshman women containing descriptions of student regulations.

Student Guides and Handbooks, 1944, 1953, 1961, 1968-70 (RS: 9/1/804)

Student Handbook, 1961-1971 (RS: 41/3/805)

Illini Guide Handbooks, 1948-1967 (RS: 41/3/806): In 1960, the men’s and women’s advisor programs were combined.

Office Dean of Student Personnel and Dean of Women Student Records, 1958-1968 (RS: 41/3/4): Includes folders on regulations for undergraduate women.

Dean's Subject File, 1943-1963, 1973-1988 (RS: 41/2/31): Dean's Subject File of the Dean of Men's Office includes policy statements relating to conduct and student discipline.

Committee on Student Discipline Records, 1932-89 (RS: 4/2/22): This series has access restrictions; contact an archivist.

Committee on Student Discipline Publications, 1931- (RS: 4/2/822): Includes annual reports describing disciplinary policy, handbooks on student discipline and documents relating to disciplinary questions.

Administrative Subject File, 1963-85 (RS: 7/1/7): Includes information on the Senate Committee on Student Discipline, and disciplinary hearings in connection with campus disturbances (1966-70).

Chancellor's Office Committee File, 1960-74 (RS: 24/1/8)

Disciplinary Hearings Transcripts and Reports, 1970-1974 (RS: 37/4/10)

Campus Security Office Campus Unrest File, 1968-1972 (RS: 37/4/9)

Office of the Dean of Students Student Discipline File, 1953-1981 (RS: 41/2/44): Includes information regarding discipline and security matters and organizational charts for discipline procedures.

W. Thomas Morgan Papers, 1954-1982 (RS: 41/2/23): Papers of W. Thomas Morgan, Security Officer (1954-1970), and Executive Director of Office of Student Discipline (1970-1982).  Contains information concerning student conduct, demonstrations, and the administration of the campus judicial system relating to water fights (1955-1958), raids on Kam's to find driver's license falsifications (1966), political demonstrations (1963, 1968-1971), and operation of the Senate Committee on Student Discipline.

David Eisenman Papers, 1965-74 (RS: 41/2/25): Includes information on how students were being handled by the disciplinary system

Conference on Conduct Governance File, 1957-1991 (RS: 41/2/32): Includes minutes of meetings drafts, reports and correspondence related to the revision of the Student Regulations Handbook and campus policy. It includes extensive rewriting of Handbook chapters dealing with everything from use of university facilities to discrimination, alcohol policy to pets on campus.

Faculty for University Reform File, 1968-1970 (RS: 48/1/10): Includes information relating to university policies, educational priorities, student and faculty governance, student disturbances, and political events.

Men's Residence Hall Association File, 1954-1966 (RS: 41/62/8): Residence Hall publications include discussions of in loco parentis and other discipline issues.


Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Campus Life: Undergraduate Cultures from the End of the Eighteenth Century to the Present (New York: 1987).

Daniel Walker Howe, The Unitarian Conscience: Harvard Moral Philosophy, 1805-1861 (Cambridge, MA: 1970).

D.E. Meyer, The Instructed Conscience: The Shaping of the American National Ethic (Philadelphia: 1972).

Frederick Rudolph, The AmericanCollege and University: A History (1962)

Frederick Rudolph, Curriculum: A History of the American Undergraduate Course of Study Since 1636 (San Francisco: 1977).

John Thelin, A History of American Higher Education (Baltimore: 2004).

William W. van Alstyne, “The Tentative Emergence of Student Power in the United States,” The American Journal of Comparative Law 17 (Summer, 1969), 403-417.

Laurence Veysey, The Emergence of the ModernUniversity (Chicago: 1965).