These records cover the two-year period during which Arthur G. Hansen was President of Georgia Tech (1969-1971), as well as the last three to five year period of the administration of President Edwin D. Harrison. These papers include administrative and personal correspondence as well as financial files.
(60 document cases)
A file in Series 1 is restricted. Apart from that, there are no restrictions on access to this collection.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
24 Linear Feet
This collection contains the Presidential papers of Arthur G. Hansen, the seventh President of the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as papers he inherited from Edwin D. Harrison, his predecessor in that office. These papers include administrative and personal correspondence as well as financial files.
Series 1, General Administrative Files, documents the day-to-day operations of the president's office. Files cover issues such as the approaching sale of the WGST radio station, as well as the campus' changing relationship with the YMCA.
Series 2, Committees and Organizations, documents the President’s involvement with different faculty committees and national professional organizations, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Sigma Xi: the Scientific Research Society of America, and the American Association of University Women.
Series 3 includes correspondence between the President and the Vice President for Business and Finance, Ewell I. Barnes, as well as correspondence between Barnes and other individuals and organizations, regarding the finances of the Institute. Topics covered in this series include insurance, payroll and salary information, and the campus budget, among others.
Series 4 contains correspondence between the President and the Dean of Students, James E. Dull, as well as correspondence between Dull and other individuals and organizations, regarding such topics as dormitories, student organizations, student behavior, and foreign students. Of particular interest are the materials on the new Student Center as well as student activism during this time period.
Series 5 includes correspondence between Harrison and Hansen and the Vice President for Development, Joe W. Guthridge, as well as correspondence between Guthridge and other individuals and organizations. Topics covered in this series include public relations, gifts and grants, scholarships, and the Alumni Association.
Series 6 contains correspondence between the President and the Vice President of Planning, Clyde D. Robbins, as well as correspondence between Robbins and other individuals and organizations. Topics covered in this series include real estate, campus planning, campus construction, and urban renewal in the vicinity of the campus.
Series 7 includes correspondence between the President and the Vice President for Research, Robert E. Stiemke, as well as correspondence between Stiemke and other individuals and organizations. Topics covered in this series include environmental resources, biomedical engineering, the Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the Engineering Experiment Station.
Series 8, Vice President for Academic Affairs, is this collection's largest series. It contains correspondence between the President and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, E. Arthur Trabant, and later, Vernon D. Crawford, as well as correspondence between these Vice Presidents and the heads of the academic departments at Georgia Tech. All of the colleges are represented in this series, which is divided into 5 subseries (General Administrative Files; College of Sciences; College of Engineering; College of Architecture; and College of Management). The files on Computing Services (Subseries 1) and those on Information and Computer Sciences (Subseries 2) may be of particular interest, as they document the early years of computing at Georgia Tech.
In Series 9, President's Office Cabinet, this two-folder series contains the minutes from one staff meeting in October 1970. Series 10, American Society for Engineering Education, contains a small amount of correspondence relating to the American Society for Engineering Education and its president, Joseph Pettit, who would later become President of Georgia Tech.
Series 11, Board of Regents, contains correspondence relating to the other universities and colleges within the University System of Georgia, and collaborative projects with these colleges. Series 12, Athletic Association, includes correspondence relating to sports and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets' intercollegiate athletics program, as well as the NCAA. The Annual Reports of the President of Georgia Tech from 1945 to 1971 are contained in Series 13. Series 14 includes the biennium budgets for Georgia Tech from 1966 to 1971.
Arthur Gene Hansen (known as "Art") was born on February 28, 1925 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. After his graduation as valedictorian from his high school in Green Bay, Wisconsin, he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves. As part of his training for the Marines, Hansen was sent to West Lafayette, Indiana to participate in the Navy V-12 program at Purdue University. After completing his training there, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1946. He also became a member of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta during his undergraduate years. Two years later, Hansen earned a Master of Science degree in Mathematics, also from Purdue.
In 1948, Hansen became a research scientist for the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory (now known as the NASA Glenn Research Center), in Cleveland, Ohio. He worked there for eleven years. During his time at the Lewis Lab, he also worked on his Ph.D., receiving his doctoral degree in Mathematics from Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), also in Cleveland. He then served as the head of the Nucleonics Research Division at the Cornell University Aeronautics Laboratory in Buffalo, New York.
Hansen was hired by the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he became a professor of Mechanical Engineering, and later, Chairman of that department. In 1965, he served as a visiting scholar at the Tuskegee Institute (now University) in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Hansen joined the Georgia Institute of Technology faculty in 1966, when he was hired as the Dean of the College of Engineering. As Dean, Hansen urged the faculty to implement a core curriculum common to all engineering majors, as well as a reduction of hours required to graduate and a more flexible curriculum, allowing students to have a more well-rounded education. According to Engineering the New South: Georgia Tech, 1885-1985, "the new core curriculum encouraged, but did not mandate, the study of technology as a historical-cultural subject and of the interaction between science and society."
In 1969, after the president of the Institute, Edwin Harrison, abruptly retired, Hansen was named as his replacement. During his time as president of Georgia Tech, "the affable, pipe-smoking Hansen was readily accessible to students (more so than to faculty, some complained) and shared with many of the student leaders a concern about contemporary social problems" (Engineering the New South, p. 379). He was also instrumental in instituting many administrative changes, consolidating many offices of the Institute and abolishing others, as well as expanding campus, purchasing land to the north and west of its original location.
Hansen only served as president of Georgia Tech for two years, for in 1971, he was named president of his alma mater. Hansen became the first Purdue alumnus to serve as president, and he held that position until 1982, when he left to become chancellor of the nine-institution Texas A&M University System, headquartered in College Station, Texas. He was chancellor for four years before retiring in 1986.
Hansen briefly served as the Director of Research for the Hudson Institute, a conservative political think-tank in Washington, DC, but soon retired from academia altogether, moving with his wife, Nancy Tucker Hansen, to Zionsville, Indiana. After her death in 2003, he moved to Fort Myers, Florida, where he married Marilyn White Hansen.
Dr. Arthur G. Hansen died on July 5, 2010, at the age of 85, at the HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers. He was survived by his wife, five children (Geoffrey, James, Paul, Ruth, and Christine), two stepchildren (Polly and James), and five grandchildren.
The Arthur G. Hansen Life Science Research Building on the Purdue University campus is named in his honor.
Arranged into 14 series:
A print copy of this finding aid is available on request in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
Transfer (accession number 1986.0501).
Visual materials will be separated and processed separately as VAUA005.
(60 document cases)
Christine de Catanzaro, Lindsay Resnick, and Germaine Schanzmeyer processed these papers in June 2013.
Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository