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Medical School records

Identifier: ua-00947

Scope and Content

This collection contains the administrative files of the Medical School of the University of Minnesota. The materials include general correspondence, reports, minutes from committee and council meetings, documents on facilities for the Medical School, curriculum information, correspondence and information from outside organizations or foundations, and documents from individual departments within the medical school.

The collection is arranged into eight series:

  1. Administrative Files
  2. Committees and Meetings
  3. Correspondence
  4. Curriculum
  5. Departments and Divisions
  6. Facilities
  7. Foundations and Organizations
  8. Publications


  • 1883-2000


Language of Materials

Collection material 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

The 1851 territorial legislative act establishing the University of Minnesota provided for a Department of Medicine. This department, as originally instituted, was not an educational department but rather a credentialing board that provided examinations and conferred degrees upon physicians who had learned to practice medicine by studying with a preceptor. In April 1887, Percy Millard, Charles Hewitt, D. Hand, and President Cyrus Northrop petitioned the Board of Regents to abolish the existing department and replace it with a new department that would consist of the College of Medicine and Surgery, the College of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, and the College of Dentistry all reporting to a single dean. The Regents approved their proposal for a new Department of Medicine in February 1888, establishing what would become the University of Minnesota Medical School. The first class of medical students entered in October 1888.

In 1892, the three separate colleges of the Department of Medicine, the College of Medicine and Surgery, the College of Dentistry, and the College of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery, were restructured to each have its own dean, faculty, and curriculum. The College of Pharmacy was added as the fourth college organized under the Department of Medicine. By 1909 the College of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery had closed and the remaining colleges no longer resided under the administrative structure of the Department of Medicine. In 1913, the College of Medicine and Surgery was renamed the Medical School after a reorganization of the clinical and laboratory faculty under then President George Vincent. In 1931 a new position was created for a dean of Medical Sciences. This position oversaw the dean of the School of Medicine and the directorships for Nursing and the Hospitals. Beginning in 1936, the deanships for Medical Sciences and the School of Medicine were held by the same person, the dean of the College of Medical Sciences. In 1943, the Medical School's Department of Preventative Medicine became the School of Public Health with an administrative director who reported to the dean of the College of Medical Sciences along with the directors of the School of Nursing and the University Hospitals.

In 1970, after the completion of an external review of the health sciences, the Board of Regents adopted a new mission statement for the health sciences and proposed a new structure and governance. The Medical School became one of six schools and colleges to report to a newly formed administrative office, the Vice President for Health Sciences. These schools and colleges, the Medical School, the School of Nursing, The School of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Dentistry, and the College of Veterinary Medicine, comprised the Health Sciences Center, and later, the Academic Health Center. Each dean of the six schools and colleges, including the dean of the Medical School, reported to the Vice President. In 2009, the duties of the dean of the Medical School were incorporated into the role of the Vice President, who took on both titles of Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Sciences.

Medical School Deans:

  1. Percy H. Millard, 1892-1897
  2. H. M. Bracken, Acting Director, 1896-1897
  3. Parks Ritchie, 1897-1906
  4. Frank W. Wesbrook, 1906-1913
  5. Elias P. Lyon, 1913-1936
  6. Richard E. Scammon, Dean of Medical Sciences, 1931-1935
  7. Harold S. Diehl, 1935-1958
  8. Robert B. Howard, 1958-1970
  9. Neal L. Gault, Jr., 1971-1985
  10. David M. Brown, 1985-1993
  11. Shelley N. Chou, Interim Dean, 1993-1995
  12. Frank Cerra, 1995-1996
  13. Alfred Michael, Interim Dean, 1996-1997
  14. Alfred Michael, 1997-2002
  15. Deborah Powell, 2002-2009
  16. Frank Cerra, Dean and Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, 2009-2010
  17. Aaron Friedman, Dean and Vice President for Health Sciences, 2011-2014
  18. Brooks Jackson, Dean and Vice President for Health Sciences, 2014-


36.25 Cubic Feet (29 record boxes)


Collection contains records of the University of Minnesota Medical School, including correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, and other administrative files.


Much of the collection has been put into new folders, though the titles were retained. The general subjects into which the collection has been sorted were provided by University Archives, not the Medical School.

Source of acquisition

This collection was transferred to the University Archives by various faculty and staff members periodically since 1941.

Related Materials in University Archives

Department of Anatomy

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology records

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation records

Department of Surgery records

School of Nursing records

School of Public Health records

College of Pharmacy records

School of Dentistry records

College of Veterinary Medicine

University Hospitals records

Richard E. Scammon papers

Harold S. Diehl papers

Neal L. Gault, Jr. papers

Shelley N. Chou papers

Frank B. Cerra papers

Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences

Office of the President records


  1. University of Minnesota. Medical School -- Archives.
  2. University of Minnesota. Academic Health Center.
  3. University of Minnesota. College of Medicine.
  4. University of Minnesota. College of Medicine and Surgery.
  5. University of Minnesota. College of Medical Sciences.
  6. University of Minnesota. Medical Center.
  7. University of Minnesota. School of Medicine.
  8. Medical Education.
Medical School Records, 1883-2000
Jenny Filipi
January 2012
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