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Waseca Technical College records

Identifier: ua00168

Scope and Content

The records of the Waseca Technical College include correspondence, audio-visual materials, class schedules, memorandums, clippings, minutes, reports, course descriptions, letters, membership lists, budget materials, photographs, policies, and publications that document the University of Minnesota Waseca Technical College (UMW). Since the collection covers UMW from its beginning until the date it was closed, the collection is strong in historical information of UMW, administrative information, student activities and academic programs.

Campus policies and history of the Waseca Campus are reflected in the folders filed under the heading of Waseca Historical Documents. Of note are the operating letters compromising 10 folders. The Operating Letters represent guidelines and policies for recurring responsibilities ranging from appointments to building permits - they occur throughout the collection. This set was originally kept in ring binders. It is not complete but a list of titles prepared in 1982 is in the first folder. The Operating Letters were created as a result of a management scheme called Full Circle Management. The components and an article about the scheme are also included in the first folder. One other point of interest for information regarding the campus is the self study reports (1975, 1977/1978, 1983, 1988/1989) completed for accreditation from North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The transitional period from the Southern School of Agriculture to the Waseca Technical College is documented (Box 1). Of note are the 41 folders regarding Norman Feet's work with UMW from 1969 to 1978. Feet was hired in November 1969, by Edward C. Frederick as a consultant for the Technical College to develop the curriculum, programmatic areas, faculty planning and general philosophy of the Technical College. For 36 years, he was on the staff of the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College, Farmingdale, N.Y. The folders contain reports by Feet to Frederick giving his impressions, ideas and recommendations regarding the development and progress of the Technical College.

The Provost/Chancellor was the chief administrative officer of UMW. Edward C. Frederick, who had been Superintendent of SSA and became Provost in 1971. The title was later changed to Chancellor in accord with administrative changes within the University. In 1990, Frederick resigned because of differences between himself and the faculty and staff. Keith McFarland, former Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics, was appointed Deputy Chancellor in March 1990. He had served previously as acting dean of General College. McFarland in turn was replaced by Thomas Lindahl who had been UMW's Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Lindahl left in April 1991, a few months after the decision to close UMW was announced. Nancy Ryan Wilhelmson, Director of Human Resources Center, became the Acting Chancellor in August 1991. She had the responsibility for leadership during the period when the campus was closing. Each Provost/Chancellor's personal/professional correspondence and activities are represented in the collection (Box 5).

The Administrative Committee/Provost's Group/Council/Chancellor's Council section serves as a chronological overview of the history of the campus. The chronological breakdowns are as follows: Administrative Committee, October 1970-1983; Provost Group/Council, September 1983-March 1984; Chancellor's Council, March 1984-1991. The files contain minutes and related material (Boxes 11-15).

The Student Development Transcripts were the official record of student participation in the involvement curriculum at UMW. The involvement curriculum included activities such as intercollegiate athletics, clubs, committees, student leadership, judging teams, honors, awards, services and training programs. The Transcripts were administered by the Office of Student Development. They documented student involvement in transcript form and served to supplement resumes which were generally limited to academic endeavors and work experience. They intended to provide a more complete summary of the student's total educational development, training and achievements (Boxes 25-26).

The Waseca academic programs section was assembled from boxes or individual files found throughout the collection. Some academic programs are not represented and there are gaps in all programs. The arrangement is based on information derived from tables of organization and bulletins. The programs in place in 1992 were: Pre-Occupational Preparation (POP) Programs; Centers; Arts and Sciences; Agricultural Business; Agricultural Industries and Services; Agricultural Production; Food Industry and Technology; Home and Family Services; Horticultural Technology; Veterinary Technology.

Throughout the twenty years of the Technical College's existence, there has been a number of changes in names and content of the programs. The bulletins are the best source for tracing changes. Course descriptions are filed elsewhere and curriculum proposals may be found in the records of the Curriculum/Educational Policy Committee. Files found in this section on specific areas of study general reflect administrative rather than course content. The Programs were further organized into three divisions: Agricultural Production, Agricultural Industries and Services; Agricultural Business, Food Industry and Technology, Home and Family Services; and Related Education, Animal health Technology, Horticultural Technology. These divisions remain relatively unchanged until 1989, when Related Education becomes Arts and Sciences and the Animal Health Technology Program became Veterinary Technology. (Boxes 45-49).


  • 1967-1995


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

Access to Materials

This collection is stored at an off-site facility and requires 3-5 business days for retrieval. Email to request access. Do not make travel arrangements or plans to visit Andersen Library without making prior arrangements with University Archives staff.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Historical Note

The Waseca Technical College was originally established as the Southern School of Agriculture in 1953. In 1969, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill to phase out the School of Agriculture and establish a two-year collegiate level program in its place. In 1971, the Technical College was dedicated and the first class graduated in 1973. The first provost was Edward C. Frederick. Waseca was organized to reflect the course work available at the Crookston Technical College. The mission of the new technical college was to prepare graduates for mid-level positions in agribusiness and other career options available in rural Minnesota.

As early as 1973, there was a movement in the state legislature to close the campus. Although Waseca had an excellent placement record for its graduates, it was unable to demonstrate a steady growth rate in enrollment. Although the college provided the only regional opportunities in areas such as veterinary technology and horse management, the debate to close the college heightened in the 1990s. The University of Minnesota was in a period of financial difficulties and one option under examination by the administration was to close a campus.

When President Hasselmo announced that the University might have to close UMW on October 31, 1990, there was a strong reaction from the public, alumni and the student body. Letters were sent to the President, Regents, and Legislators by former graduates, rural businesses, farm organizations, and townspeople. The South Central Education Association also launched an effort to save the campus. On campus, the College Restructuring Task Force was formed to study ways in which the campus could be organized to remain open. It organized idea sessions which offered a forum for input into the planning process. Students organized a trip to the legislature to hold a rally in support of keeping the campus open. All protests were futile as the Regent's voted to close the campus in March 1991. The final graduation ceremony was held June 6, 1992.


98.75 Cubic Feet (79 boxes)


The collection consists of records of the University of Minnesota Waseca Technical College from its inauguration in 1967 through the closing stages of the college in 1992.


The collection was broken down into the following series:

  1. Transition Period: Includes work of Norman Foote, consultant, who assisted in the transition from school to technical college.
  2. Office of the Chancellor: Administrative documents for chancellors and acting chancellors. Includes relations with other campuses, International Agricultural Program, and planning documents.
  3. Administrative Committee/Provost’s Group/Council/Chancellor’s Council: Advisory committee consisting of the Chancellor and administration officers, 1970-1991.
  4. North Central Association of College and Schools: Material collected for accreditation of college
  5. Advisory Committees: Overall and program advisory committees
  6. Ad Hoc and Standing Committees: Includes campus assembly committees, arranged alphabetically
  7. Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: Includes sports, enrollment, financial aids, placement and scholarships
  8. Student Development Transcripts: Documents involvement in student activities
  9. Intercollegiate Athletics
  10. Student Organizations/Clubs/Committees: Includes student committees
  11. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: Second to the chancellor in administrative importance; includes internal administrative files
  12. Curriculum/Educational Policy Committee
  13. Course Descriptions
  14. Texts and Related Material
  15. Class Schedules: Only revised schedules retained; Printed class schedules are cataloged
  16. Waseca Academic Programs: Assembled from files found throughout collection. (Not all programs are complete or represented)
  17. Continuing Education and Extension
  18. Rural Family Life Center: Created to improve the quality of life for rural farm women and farm families
  19. Southeastern Minnesota Education Consortium (A.K.A. Rochester Consortium): Composed of several educational institutions to better serve educational needs of people in southeastern Minnesota
  20. Library/Learning Resources Center: After the campus was closed, the library holdings were dispersed to University libraries or sold
  21. Staff: Includes collection bargaining, grievances, Waseca staff policies and organizations
  22. Vice Chancellor for Operations and Finance
  23. Plant and Support Services
  24. Audiovisual Production (See also Waseca videos)
  25. Institutional Advancement: Development and University Relations; Includes news releases, daily bulletin and Ram Post
  26. Events: Includes regular and special events such as commencements and dedications
  27. Waseca Publication (Not comprehensive)
  28. Closing of UMW: Protests and campus planning for closing
  29. Waseca Historical Documents: Includes histories, statistics regarding students, and operating letters which represent policy and guidelines for administration of the campus
  30. Nancy Ryan Wilhelmson Files: Includes correspondence regarding disposition of library materials, correspondence with consultants, program information for staff on job transitioning, and announcements concenring celebrations, commemorations and final campus Commencement

One box of alphabetical files of children enrolled in the childcare laboratory have been removed from the collection. Files to be disposed of in 2013. See Transition, Box 74 under Archival Materials.

Physical Location

Off-site (WBOB)

Source of acquisition

Several small deposits were made from 1978 to 1984 by Edward C. Frederick. The bulk of the collection was made in three major deposits in 1992. An additional deposit was made in 2014 by Nancy Ryan Wilhelmson.

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Archives

Southern School of Agriculture records

Processing information

A grant was received from central administration as part of the transition funding made available for expenses due to closing the campus.

Waseca Technical College records, 1967-1995
Archives Staff; updated by Karen Spilman
Updated May 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area