Skip to main content

College of Forestry records

Identifier: ua-00942

Scope and Content

The College of Forestry records contains materials dating from 1898, when forestry courses were offered as part of the College of Agriculture’s general course offerings, up to 2005. The bulk of the collection covers 1945 to 1973, coinciding with the elevation of the department to the level of school in 1949, and the renaming of the school to the College of Forestry in 1970 within the Institute of Agriculture. Materials in the collection include those generated after the college was renamed the College of Natural Resources in 1988. The collection is primarily administrative materials: the current arrangement of administrative content into alphabetical and chronological subseries reflects the original order of the papers when received by University Archives. Materials in the collection include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, budgetary and scholarship information, building plans, historical materials, field data and test results, work plans, course notes and materials from classes and workshops.

The collection is organized into five series: Talks, Writings and Publications; Photographs; Research; Instruction; and Administration. The Administration series is further subdivided into seven subseries.

Series 1, Talks and Writings, includes a substantial number of talks and writings by former directors of the college, Henry Schmitz (1925-1947) and E.G. Cheney (1910-1925). Subject matter includes Minnesota forestry histories, forest management and economic and forest products.

Series 2, Photographs, consists of photographs of individuals and faculty groups, Minnesota and national forest locations, and forestry-related subjects, including wood types and treatments and logging activities, and selected aerial photographs. The bulk of the photographs in the series pre-date WWII. Inclusive dates are 1902 to 1987.

Series 3, Research, contains research results of numbered projects carried out by department faculty between 1910 and 1940 on a range of forestry subjects; results of studies done on tree types (principally aspen and red and jack pine), and tree growth (referred to as DBH, or Diameter Breast Height on folder titles); data concerning Minnesota tree plantations (particularly Vadnais Heights, Vadnais Lake and the Chapman Plantation), and forestry concerns and related research particular to the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs Park areas.

Series 4, Instruction, contains course notes, lectures and miscellaneous course materials generated for the Introduction to Forestry course offered the mid-1940s to mid 1950s, as well as course materials for continuing education classes and workshops in on forestry subjects and issues.

Series 5, Administration, is divided into seven subseries:

  1. The Alphabetical subseries contains an alphabetical list of correspondence, reports, minutes, memos, maps, radio broadcast transcripts and biographical and scholarship information arranged alphabetically by proper name and subject;
  2. the Chronological subseries is arranged by year between 1953-1954 and 1972-1973, and within each year alphabetically;
  3. the Departments subseries contains correspondence and reports between the College of Forestry administrative offices and department s within the college, primarily the departments of Forest Products and Fish and Wildlife.
  4. Experiment and Research Stations subseries contains correspondence, memos, minutes and building plans. Because the college played a major role in the work carried on at the Itasca Biological Laboratory and the Cloquet Forestry Center, these two experiment stations constitute the bulk of the subseries.
  5. Organizations and Groups consists primarily of correspondence and jointly issued reports from the College of Forestry alumni group; industry (Boise Cascade, Blandin); foundations (Hill, Weyerhauser); government ( Minnesota DNR and the USDA Forest Service) and professional organizations (Society of American Foresters). The Organizations subseries contains one subdivision for Minnesota chapter of Tau Phi Delta forestry fraternity.
  6. Quetico-Superior contains reports, minutes, correspondence, studies and compendiums of legislative materials relating to the establishment of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Quetico Park. The College had an advisory role in legislation concerning the area, particularly related to logging and forest management.
  7. Miscellaneous materials are listed alphabetically, and include building plans and facilities reports, college committee and curriculum materials , dean’s office and executive committee correspondence and minutes, faculty meeting minutes, forestry program reviews, materials concerning the colleges relationship with the University, the Institute of Agriculture and various state agencies.

User of the collection should also search the finding aid for the College of Agriculture collection for additional administrative materials concerning the College of Forestry.


  • Creation: 1898-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within ( 1945-1973)


Language of Materials

Collection materials in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


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

Forestry was first listed as a College of Agriculture collegiate-level course in the 1889-1890 University Bulletin. The 1902-1903 College of Agriculture Catalogue introduced Forestry as a full course of study, explaining that Forestry was established “in response to urgent calls for instruction in this subject. Forestry is a branch of general agriculture and means cultivation of forest crops…the object is to produce the greatest amount of serviceable material on the soil in the shortest time. It is a business and contemplates business methods.”

At its May 13, 1910, meeting, the Board of Regents voted to establish “a new special department, to be known as the Department of Forestry; to be presided over by a person to be known as the Dean of the Forestry Department, who shall be in charge of the forestry instruction and experiment work at the University.” At the same meeting, the Regents appointed Samuel B. Green as Dean of the Department of Forestry.

Terms for academic units were often interchanged during this time, so the Department of Forestry is also referred to as the College of Forestry in University publications. Within the academic organizational structure, Forestry, whether referred to as a department or college at this time, was a part of the Department of Agriculture.

Professor Green died on July 11, 1910, and Edward G. Cheyney was named Dean of the Department of Forestry.

The 1911-1912 President’ Report noted that the Department of Forestry “trains men along technical forestry lines, for private forest administration, government forest positions, and special related industries, combines a broad collegiate training with technical work” and that the “time has come when the forest lands of the State ought to be put under forest management and made productive. The College of Forestry trains men to handle this work.”

In 1918, R.W. Thatcher became Dean of the Department of Agriculture and enacted several administrative changes. The changes were outlined in the Department of Agriculture section of the 1917-1918 President’s Report. The collegiate-level instruction in the Department of Agriculture was grouped into one college within the Department – College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics – so Forestry became a Division of the newly formed College.

The curriculum for the Division of Forestry focused on general forestry, commercial lumbering, forest technology, grazing, game and wildlife management, and forest science during the 1920s and 1930s. In the late 1940s, wood technology was added to the curriculum.

At their June 16, 1949, meeting, the Regents voted that the “present Division of Forestry…be designated as the School of Forestry” and that the present Chief of the Division be given the title of Director of the School of Forestry.

At December 4, 1970 Board of Regents meeting, upon recommendation of the Vice President for Academic Administration and the President, the Board voted to “approve the establishment of three collegiate units within the administrative structure of the Institute of Agriculture: College of Agriculture, College of Forestry, and College of Home Economics, each to be headed by a Dean responsible to the administrative head of the Institute of Agriculture.”

When the College of Forestry was established, core curriculum areas included forest resource development, forest science, forest products, and recreation resource management.

At the August 12, 1988, Board of Regents Educational Planning and Policy Committee meeting, committee members reviewed a proposal to change the name of the College of Forestry to the College of Natural Resources. The proposed change had been initiated by the college faculty. The Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the change, and the Board approved the name change. In addition to forest products, forest resources, and recreation resource management, the College of Natural Resources included fisheries and wildlife and urban forestry in its curriculum.

In September 2004, President Robert Bruininks announced the launch of a systemwide self-assessment and planning process known initially as "strategic positioning." The goal was to make the University of Minnesota "one of the top three public research universities in the world within a decade." Among the President’s recommendations for this initiative was a proposal to reduce the total number of colleges on the Twin Cities campus by three which would realign their departments and programs into “stronger collegiate wholes.” The May 6, 2005, recommendations executive summary stated, “The integrated colleges will offer students and faculty broader, interdisciplinary options for study and research; generate cost savings that can be reinvested in the academic enterprise; and create the potential for global leadership.” The President’s academic recommendations included integrating the College of Natural Resources with the academic units of the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences (COAFES) “to create a new, expanded college focused broadly on food systems, environmental science, policy, and renewable resources.”

At their June 10, 2005, meeting, the Regents approved the recommendations for the strategic positioning process, and on July 1, 2006, the College of Natural Resources merged with COAFES and the College of Human Ecology’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition to form the new College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and ceased to exist as an independent collegiate structure.

Heads of Department/Division/College

Department of Forestry

  1. Samuel B. Green, Dean, 1910
  2. Edward G. Cheyney, Dean, 1911-1918

Division of Forestry

  1. Edward G. Cheyney, Chief, 1918-1925
  2. Henry Schmitz, Chief, 1925-1947
  3. Frank H. Kaufert; Chief, 1947-1949

School of Forestry

  1. Frank H. Kaufert, Director, 1949-1970

College of Forestry

  1. Frank H. Kaufert, Acting Dean and Dean, 1970-1974
  2. Richard A. Skok, Dean, 1974-1988

College of Natural Resources

  1. Richard A. Skok, Dean, 1988-1993
  2. Alfred D. Sullivan, Dean, 1993-2002
  3. Susan Stafford, Dean, 2002-2006


83.75 Cubic Feet (67 boxes, 2 map drawers)


The College of Forestry collection contains primarily administrative materials, including correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, budgetary and scholarship information, and building plans. Also included are photographs, talks and writings, field data and test results, and historical materials.

Source of acquisition

The collection was originally transferred to University Archives on July 29, 1957, with the last deposit being made on December 20, 2005.

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Archives

Cloquet Forestry Center records

Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories records

College of Agriculture Records

Processing Information

This collection was processed with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Please help us improve access to the archival collections - take our five question survey

College of Forestry records, 1898-2005
Karen Spilman
September 2005
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