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Malcolm Macdonald Willey papers

Identifier: ua-00980

Scope and Content

This collection of personal papers reflect Malcolm Willey's interests and activities and consist of letters on the subject of capital punishment, correspondence regarding Dr. Willey's personal interests and articles, manuals and speeches he wrote while head of the Ford Foundation at the University of Calcutta. Of particular note is the correspondence documenting the building of a house for Dr. Willey and his wife Nancy at 255 Bedford Street in Southeast Minneapolis by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Also contained in the collection is the manuscript of an article by Wright titled "The City of the Future."


  • 1926-1971


Language of Materials


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.

Biographical Sketch of Malcolm Macdonald Willey (1897-1974)

Malcolm Willey was born on November 13, 1897 in Portland, Maine. He received a B.A. degree in 1920 from Clark University and his M.A. (1921) and Ph.D. (1926) from Columbia University. He served on the faculty of Dartmouth (1923-1927) and Syracuse Universities (1926-1927) before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1927. Dr. Willey was appointed the position of associate professor of sociology (1927-1929) at the University of Minnesota and became a full professor in 1929. Dr. Willey was promoted to assistant to the President in 1932 and University dean in 1934. In 1943 he became the first Vice President of Academic Administration and remained in that position until his retirement in 1963.

One of Dr. Willey's most notable contributions to the University of Minnesota was his authorship of the first faculty tenure code, approved by the Board of Regents' in 1938. The code stated that faculty had the freedom to write and speak about any issue outside of the University. Dr. Willey's decision to include a statement on academic freedom was directly linked to the dismissal of William Schaper from the faculty in 1917 after he publicly criticized the United States involvement in World War I. The writing of the tenure code by Dr. Willey corresponded with the reinstatement of Dr. Schaper to the academic staff of the University as professor emeritus.

After Dr. Willey's retirement, he went to the University of Calcutta as head of a Ford Foundation team to reorganize the educational and administrative structure of that institution. Upon returning to the United States from India in 1968, Dr. Willey joined the faculty as head of the Sociology Department at Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee. He served as academic executive officer from 1969-1971, and was on the faculty there until his death from cancer on February 12, 1974.

For more complete biographical information, see Who Was Who in America,volume 6.


1 Cubic Feet (4 boxes (2 hollingers, 1 1/2 hollinger, 1 oversize))


Collection contains correspondence, photographs, reports and notes regarding the personal and professional activities of Malcolm Willey, professor of sociology and vice president for academic administration at the University of Minnesota.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged in four groups of materials:

  1. Correspondence Regarding Electrocution
  2. NROTC Orientation Course
  3. Correspondence, 1936-1971 and undated
  4. Frank Lloyd Wright Collection

Source of acquisition

Donated to University Archives from 1951-1968.

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Archives

Ignatius Donnelly papers

Guy Stanton Ford papers

William A. Schaper papers

Office of the Vice President for Academic Administration papers

James Lombard papers

  1. Contain a photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright

Related Materials in University of Minnesota Manuscripts Division

Malcolm McDonald Willey papers, 1715-1952.

  1. Collection contains correspondence and other materials regarding whaling.
Malcolm Macdonald Willey papers, 1926-1971
Karen Klinkenberg
May 1977; January 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