M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives
Inclusive Date: 1964-2000
23.4 cubic ft.
The School of Social Welfare Records document the history and day-to-day operations of the School at the University at Albany since its first full year of operation in 1964 through 2000.
Processed in 2013 by Kate Morris.
The materials are located onsite in the department.
The Board of Trustees of the State University of New York established the School of Social Welfare in December of 1963. Impetus for creation of the School came as a result of two reports, the Moreland Commission Report in January of 1963 and the New York State Committee Report on Medical Education in June of 1963. Both reports concluded that the State of New York faced critical shortage of social workers. As one means of alleviating this shortage, a new School of Social Welfare was proposed situated on the campus of the State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA).
In 1964, Dr. Richardson L. Rice was appointed the school's first dean and began efforts to establish a two-year master's program in social welfare. The first class of twenty-seven students entered the master's program in the fall of 1965 and graduated on June 11, 1967. The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) granted accreditation for the master's program in 1969.
1968 saw the founding of the associated Institute of Gerontology. The study of aging would later develop into a major research and teaching emphasis of the School of Social Welfare. From 1981 to 1997, in recognition of the support received from Rhoda and Stan Ringel, the Institute was called the Ringel Institute of Gerontology.
In 1970, the University Senate approved the bachelor's degree program in Social Welfare and initial consideration was given to a proposal for a Ph. D. program. The undergraduate course offerings began in the 1970-1971 school year, and the Schools' master's program was reaccredited. A broadening of the curriculum also occurred with the addition of required courses in geriatrics, social policy analysis, and program development. Social policy analysis became a formal area of concentration and the School added a new concentration in Social Welfare Administration to the curriculum.
The early 1970s saw a rising chorus of demands for SUNYA to become active in working for social change. The School of Social Welfare responded to this demand by continuing its pursuit of minority students and faculty, and creating a number of programs that focused on social problems. A Social Service Study Unit was created to refer student volunteers to local agencies. A Neighborhood Services Unit (renamed the Neighborhood Outreach Unit in 1973) was also created to provide assistance to inner city residents. Stationed in Arbor Hill, this unit functioned as a clinical teaching facility, providing counseling to married couples and aid to senior citizens. Together these two programs constituted the Community Service Program, designed to involve enrolled students in volunteer social work.
Despite the decline in federal support and the precarious nature of state finances during the early 1970s, the School launched a number of new initiatives. In the fall of 1972, a full undergraduate major was offered leading to a B.S. degree. By the spring of 1973 the undergraduate degree program was accredited. The School introduced field instruction in 1973-1974 with courses offered in state and private agencies where staff and personnel supervised and instructed enrolled students. The 1972-1973 school year saw the newly created Institute of Gerontology collaborate with the State Office for the Aging in research projects.
In the face of continued fiscal strain, the School launched new programs in continuing education during 1974-1975. These included an extended study management program and a comprehensive education program for child welfare workers. Both concentrated on problems associated with child abuse and were designed to allow part-time study toward a professional degree. By 1976 these programs enrolled 750 county and state agency personnel. The relationships established between the School and outside community agencies and institutions helped the School obtain $1.3 million dollars in grants.
The State of New York, as well as the various regional agencies, sought to use the School's expertise to solve pressing social problems. In 1976, the State requested services to aid with the Temporary State Commission on Child Welfare. The State wanted to develop a new legal service manual for child welfare workers, overhaul state laws concerning child welfare and institute new training programs for social workers. The School contributed to these goals by creating the Continuing Education Project, later renamed the Continuing Education Program (CEP), during 1975-1976 to extend educational opportunities to state and local social service agencies and by sponsoring numerous educational conferences.
The creation of the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in 1981-1982 and the incorporation of the School of Social Welfare into the College signaled renewed growth for the School. The first evidence of this development was the establishment of an accelerated bachelor's/master's degree program offering a shortened program (12 months instead of 18). The school also implemented program changes to meet the needs of part-time students. The SUNY Board of Trustees approved the long-planned Ph. D. in Social Welfare in 1982, and the program accepted its first doctoral candidates in 1984.
The creation of Rockefeller College provided impetus for the School of Social Welfare to pool its resources with other schools in the College. By the mid-1980s the School cooperated in a number of endeavors with the Schools of Criminal Justice, Public Administration, and Public Policy. Plans were also made to create a graduate program incorporating Health Policy and Management.
Currently, the School of Social Welfare offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees with B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the national accrediting body. There continues to be a strong emphasis on community engagement at the local level, and research and field work opportunities are now global in scope with international programs in Ireland, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Peru, and other countries.
In line with community engagement, the School maintains a commitment to investigation of the evolving human needs of the 21st century. To achieve this goal the School offers a broad spectrum of research opportunities through various research centers and institutes, including the Center for Excellence in Aging Services and Community Wellness, the Center for Human Services Research, the Center for Innovation in Mental Health Research, the Institute of Gerontology, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, and the New York State Social Work Education Consortium.
The records of the School of Social Welfare span from the School's first full year of operation in 1964 to 2000. Early records relating to the founding of the School include annual reports from 1967-1968 through 1977-1978, accreditation reports and internal self-studies from 1966-1975, proposals for the bachelor's, master's, and the Ph. D. programs, faculty meeting minutes from 1965-1971, and various School of Social Welfare bulletins from the 1960s and 1970s. The bulk of the materials, however, document the day-to-day operations of the School from 1990-2000, during Lynn Videcka-Sherman's tenure as dean. There is little correspondence or other communication from deans prior to Videcka-Sherman. A significant portion of the records consist of publications from the Resource Guide Series produced by the Continuing Education Program, ranging from 1973-1990.
Related collections include Maureen C. Diedier, School of Social Welfare 25th Anniversary Oral History Collection (UA-902.019) and the Ringel Institute for Gerontology Records (UA–690.015).
Photographs of faculty and students from the School of Social Welfare from the University Archives Photograph Collection are available for viewing online from the University at Albany Libraries' Digital Collections database.
The collection is organized into the following series:
All series are arranged chronologically with the exception of Series 5 and Series 6, which are arranged alphabetically.
Access to this record group is unrestricted with the exception of the folders marked on the inventory below.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, School of Social Welfare Records, 1964-2000, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the School of Social Welfare Records).
Inclusive Date: 1984-1999
Inclusive Date: Undated
Most materials from this series relate to the period from 1990-2000, during which time Lynn Videcka-Sherman was dean of the School of Social Welfare. These materials represent the day-to-day files from the dean’s office, and include correspondence and other communication throughout the series. There is a sizeable amount of materials relating to the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work (NADD), including agendas and planning documents for annual meetings. Lynn Videcka-Sherman acted as president of NADD from 1993-1995 and the materials reflect her time with the organization. Other associations represented include the New York State Association of Deans of Social Work Schools and the New York Chapter of the National Association of Social Work.
Inclusive Date: 1965-2000
Inclusive Date: Undated
The majority of the Administrative series includes annual reports for the School of Social Welfare and the Continuing Education Program, and a variety of budgetary reports for programs within the School of Social Welfare. Correspondence and memoranda relating to administrative and budgetary issues are also included, with a large portion relating to the executive order for a hiring freeze by Governor George Pataki in January 1995 in response to the 1995-1996 New York State budget deficit. These documents and communication outline contingency plans and scenarios for budget cuts and the affect those cuts would have on the School of Social Welfare.
Inclusive Date: 1965-1995
Inclusive Date: Undated
The Accreditation series is composed primarily of reports created by the School of Social Welfare for use in the accreditation and reaccreditation processes. These reports include information on courses, faculty member curriculum vitae, data about the school, and self-study reports. Also included in the series are correspondence, memoranda, and other communications primarily directed to and from the current dean relating to the school’s accreditation process. Other materials include accreditation manuals and guidelines from the accrediting body, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Inclusive Date: 1965-1997
Inclusive Date: Undated
The bulk of the records consist of faculty meeting minutes and agendas from 1965-1996 with a gap in records from 1972-1976. Also included are copies of minutes and agendas that are annotated by the current dean. Minutes and agendas include supporting documents used in the meetings, as well as correspondence and memoranda from the dean relating to issues raised in meetings or to be considered at future meetings. Other materials include yearly faculty activity reports that outline scholarship and service completed by faculty as well as materials related to summer faculty retreats including correspondence, planning documents, and materials generated at the retreat.
Inclusive Date: 1964-1999
Inclusive Date: Undated
Subject Files contain the day-to-day working files of the School of Social Welfare. Correspondence and memoranda, primarily from the dean at the time relating to various topics within the files, are interspersed throughout. Included among the materials are enrollment and admissions data, three and five year plans on the development and management of the school, publications, bulletins, commencement programs and speeches, grant proposals, committee membership and reports, and year-end reports from programs within the School of Social Welfare. Grant proposals include information relating to the proposed Social Work Research Development Center. School Bulletins range from 1965 through 1979. Materials relating to the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) include statistical reports and the involvement of Lynn Videcka-Sherman as a board member on the council. Also included are scrapbook materials containing newspaper clippings, information on alumni and student achievements, and a few photos, primarily taken of faculty members. General files from the Continuing Education Program (CEP) are included within this series as well. Please note that not all dates are inclusive.
Inclusive Date: 1973-1990
Inclusive Date: Undated
Publications within this series are products of the Continuing Education Program (CEP). These publications represent a major function of the CEP through its development of instructional resources for use in social welfare agencies and educational institutions. Topics covered within these publications include income maintenance, education, health and fitness, rehabilitation, corrections, child welfare, gerontology, staff development, public housing, employment, and industrial social work. Please see box 3 folder 16 for the Guide to Continuing Education Program Publications, which lists all publications created up until ca. 1980. This guide also contains additional information about the functions and goals of the CEP. Please note that this series contains only CEP publications; general files relating to the Continuing Education Program are located in the Subject Files series.
Inclusive Date: 1997 June 16-2016 September 17