A Guide to the Office of the President (Volpe) Records, 1976-2000


Archives & Special Collections
College of Staten Island Library, CUNY
2800 Victory Blvd., 1L-216
Staten Island, NY 10314

2005 The College of Staten Island, CUNY

Finding Aid by Catherine N. Carson


     

Overview of the Collection

Collection No. :CM-5
Title:Office of the President (Volpe) Records
Creator:President Edmond L. Volpe and the College of Staten Island
Dates:1976-2000
Extent:2 Linear Feet
Abstract:The records of the Office of President Volpe include material related to his service at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. The subject files and book drafts also include historical material on the College of Staten Island. There is no material on Dr. Volpe's personal life or civic, professional and scholarly activities that do not relate to the College of Staten Island or the City University.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

College of Staten Island - Office of the President Records, Archives and Special Collections, Department of the Library, College of Staten Island, CUNY, Staten Island, New York.

Acquisition

Most records were donated either by Dr. Volpe or Lisa Reyes, his college assistant. Others were collected as part of the institutional record of the College of Staten Island.

Processing Information

Collection processed by staff.

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Restrictions

Access

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Notice

The researcher assumes full responsibility for compliance with laws of copyright. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections.

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Biographical Sketch

Dr. Edmond L. Volpe was born on November 16, 1922. After receiving a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1943, Volpe served in the United States Infantry from 1943-1946. He earned a master's degree (1947) and a doctorate (1954) at Columbia University, where his scholarship focused on the literature of Thomas Wolfe and Henry James.

Dr. Volpe began his teaching career as an Instructor at New York University in 1949. Upon completing his doctorate, Dr. Volpe joined the faculty of City College. While at City College, Dr. Volpe served as a Professor of English and American Literature and later as a Chair of the English Department (1964-1970). He also spent a year as a Fulbright Professor to France, during this period.

Dr. Volpe's scholarship has focused on American Literature, and he is well known as a Faulkner scholar. His textbook, A Reader’s Guide to William Faulkner has been translated and published in several editions. First published in 1964, it continues to be reprinted and remains a standard in the field.

Dr. Volpe was appointed a City University college president at Richmond College, an upper division college, in 1974. After Richmond College merged with Staten Island Community College to form the College of Staten Island in 1976, Dr. Volpe became the first president of the new institution. While President of the College, Dr. Volpe oversaw the merger of the two schools and their development into a single, comprehensive four-year institution. His efforts not only included the unification and development of a single faculty, curriculum and administration, but also extended to the creation of a single campus for the College. Ultimately, the College created a consolidated campus at the former site of the Willowbrook State School. The new campus officially opened in 1993.

Dr. Volpe was also involved in the community, the City University and professional organizations in higher education. He served on several University committees and represented the University in delegations from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities selected to explore international exchange agreements with foreign universities, including China, the Soviet Union and Egypt. Locally, Dr. Volpe was involved in education, civic communities and social service organizations.

Dr. Volpe retired from the College in 1994. He continues to publish, and his recent works include Comprehensive College: Heading toward a New Direction in Higher Education (2001), Creating a College: State of the College 1976-1993 (2003) and Reader's Guide to William Faulkner: The Short Stories (2004).

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Scope & Content Note

The records of the Office of President Volpe include biographical files, annual reports and statements, outgoing correspondence files, clippings and subject files related to his service at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. The subject files and book drafts also include historical material on the College of Staten Island. There is no material on Dr. Volpe's personal life or civic, professional and scholarly activities that do not relate to the College of Staten Island or the City University.

Records created prior to September 1, 1976, such as chronological files, are filed with the records of Richmond College, except for a few items that were part of a larger set of subject files labeled with Roman Numerals. Dr. Volpe was President of Richmond College from 1974 until its merger with Staten Island Community College to form the College of Staten Island, which legally occurred on September 1, 1976.

Coverage is not comprehensive. The records include a set of chronological outgoing correspondence files, but it is unlikely that these include all outgoing correspondence for the office. There is also a good collection of news clippings for 1977-1989, although coverage extends beyond Dr. Volpe's activities into issues related to higher education, the College and the City University. There are biographical statements that cover much of Dr. Volpe's career at the College, but the only available curriculum vita is from 1975.

Coverage of incoming correspondence, schedules, appointment books, photographs and memoranda is poor. There are no incoming correspondence files, and the existing files contain very little incoming correspondence.

Dr. Volpe donated drafts of Comprehensive College: Heading toward a New Direction in Higher Education (2001), as he felt that the drafts included important historical information about the College of Staten Island that he did not include in the published version. Copies of the published book, and many of Dr. Volpe's other works, are available in the book collection of Archives & Special Collections.

There is additional material related to Dr. Volpe in the records of Richmond College and the College of Staten Island.

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Arrangement

The Office of the President (Volpe) Records are divided into seven series:

PERSONAL FILES
ANNUAL REPORTS
CORRESPONDENCE, MEMORANDA & SPEECHES
MEDIA FILES
EVENTS & TRIPS
BOOK DRAFTS
SUBJECT FILES

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms. Manuscipt collections are not included in the College of Staten Island's library catalog at this time.

College of Staten Island -- Archives
Universities and Colleges -- Staten Island (New York, N.Y.)
Volpe, Edmond Loris, 1922-

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Series Descriptions & Container Listing

                                   
Series 1: Personal Files, 1975-1994. 3 Folders.
This series contains biographical items and awards.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 Awards, 1976-1987, 1993-1994
1 2 Biographical Statements & Curriculum Vitae, 1975-1990
1 3 Signature, n.d.
                                   
Series 2: Annual Reports, 1975-1993. Linear Foot.
This series consists of short yearly reports or statements issued by the President's Office. During the first few years, these were issued in the form of short reports. After 1980, they are clearly copies of the annual State of the College Address, but continue with the same title and essentially the same function. The annual addresses were collected and published as Creating a College: State of the College 1976-1993 (2003), available in the book collection in Archives & Special Collections.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 Annual Report - In Our Year One, October 1976
1 2 Annual Report - In Our Year Two, September 1977
1 3 Annual Report - President's Report, December 1978
1 4 Annual Report - In Our Year Four, September 25, 1979
1 5 Annual Report - In Our Year Five, September 23, 1980
1 6 Annual Report - In Our Year Six, October 1981
1 7 Annual Report - In Our Year Seven, September 1982
1 8 Annual Report - In Our Year Eight, September 1983
1 9 Annual Report - In Our Year Nine, October 1984
1 10 Annual Report - In Our Year Ten, October 1985
1 11 Annual Report - In Our Year Eleven, October 1986
1 12 Annual Report - In Our Year Twelve, September 1987
1 13 Annual Report - In Our Year Thirteen, October 1988
1 14 Annual Report - In Our Year Fourteen, October 1989
1 15 Annual Report - In Our Year Fifteen, October 1990
1 16 Annual Report - In Our Year Sixteen, October 1991
1 17 Annual Report - In Our Year Seventeen, September 1992
1 18 Annual Report - In Our Year Eighteen, October 13, 1993
                                   
Series 3: Correspondence, Memoranda & Speeches, September 1976-1994. Linear Foot.
This series contains President Volpe's chronological outgoing correspondence files for September 1976-1993. The series also contains other memoranda and correspondence with individuals that were not included in the chronological files. There is also one folder of speeches.
Other speeches may be found in Series 2: Annual Reports and Series 5: Events & Trips.
Additional correspondence and memoranda may be found in Series 6: Subject Files.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 Correspondence, September-December 1976
1 2 Correspondence, 1977
1 3 Correspondence, 1978
1 4 Correspondence, 1979
2 1 Correspondence, 1980
2 2 Correspondence, 1981
2 3 Correspondence, 1982
2 4 Correspondence, 1983
2 5 Correspondence, 1984
2 6 Correspondence, 1985
2 7 Correspondence, 1986
2 8 Correspondence, 1987
2 9 Correspondence, 1988
2 10 Correspondence, 1989
2 11 Correspondence, 1990
2 12 Correspondence, 1991
2 13 Correspondence, 1992
3 1 Correspondence, 1993
3 2 Correspondence - Ann Merlino, 1978-1993
3 3 Memoranda, September 1976-1982, 1987, 1989
3 4 Speeches, 1976-1994, n.d.
                                   
Series 4: Media Files, 1977-1987. 4 Folders.
This series consists of news clipping files created for Dr. Volpe. These consist of news clippings related to Dr. Volpe, the College and the City University.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 News Clippings, 1977-May 1982
1 2 News Clippings, June 1982-1987
1 3 News Clippings - Human Rights Community Council, 1987-1989
1 4 News Clippings & Press Releases, 1977-1989
                                   
Series 5: Events & Trips, 1977-1994. 10 Folders.
This series contains folders on international trips to foreign universities made by Dr. Volpe and on visits made by foreign delegations to CSI. There is also one folder on Dr. Volpe's efforts to help a local high school student obtain funding to travel to Russia as part of the Initiative for Understanding: American-Soviet Youth Exchange Program.
Box# Folder# Title
Oversized 1 1 Events - Inauguration, 1977
1 1 Events - 10th Anniversary as College President, 1983-1984
Oversized 1 2 Events - Convocation & New Campus Dedication Ceremony, October 14, 1993
1 2 Events - Testimonial Dinner, 1994
2 1 Events - Testimonal Dinner Program, 1994
2 2 Trips - India, 1981
2 3 Trips - China, 1985
2 4 Trips - Russia, 1987-1988
2 5 Trips - Russia (Mustillo), 1987
2 6 Trips - Soviet Delegation Visits CSI, 1988
                                   
Series 6: Book Drafts, c. 2000. 2 Floppy Disks & Approximately Linear Feet.
TThis series contains the original version and a subsequent version of Comprehensive College: Heading toward a New Direction in Higher Education. Dr. Volpe printed out the original version and noted that it should be saved in the College Archives because it contains historical material related to the development of CSI that is not in the final (published) version. Although Dr. Volpe states that the title is The Other Ninety-Two Percent, the work was published under the title Comprehensive College: Heading toward a New Direction in Higher Education.
There are also two 3.5" computer disks containing drafts. The first disk contains a "first version" which appears to be the same text as the original version that Dr. Volpe printed out for the College Archives. The second disk contains "varying versions" of the work, and the Archives staff printed this version to be kept as a second draft. The second draft contains the text of the entire work, with two versions of Chapter 5. The original files on both disks were readable in Microsoft Word at the time of processing in June 2005, although it appears that some of the original files were created in another format.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 The Comprehensive College - Computer Disks, c. 2000
1 2 The Comprehensive College - Original Version, c. 2000
1 3 The Comprehensive College - Appendix & Drafts, c. 2000
1 4 The Comprehensive College - Varying Versions, c. 2000
                                   
Series 7: Subject Files, September 1976-1997. ⅓ Linear Foot.
Dr. Volpe donated all files in this series except for "Volpe-Protest." These files consist of correspondence and other college material on subjects such as funding, morale and degree programs.
The files have been separated into three main groupings based upon Dr. Volpe’s folder titles:
The first group consists of files that Dr. Volpe labeled with an alphabetical subject heading. These files are arranged alphabetically.
The second group consists of files that Dr. Volpe labeled with a date heading. There is also one untitled folder that has been placed with this group. These files are arranged chronologically.
The third group consists of files that Dr. Volpe labeled with a Roman numeral. These might correspond to chapter numbers in his book, but this is unclear. These files are arranged numerically.
Box# Folder# Title
1 1 [Equity?] Center, 1986-1988
1 2 Historical Material - CSI, 1977-1994, n.d.
1 3 International, 1984-1987
1 4 Salary, 1996-1997
Oversized 1 3 Volpe - Protest of Dismissal, 1993-1994
1 5 [Untitled], November 1976-1980
1 6 86, 1986
1 7 87-88, 1987-1988
1 8 Action 8/23/93, February-September 1993, n.d.
1 9 Chapter I, 1990, 1993
1 10 Ch[apter] III & IV, 1972-1976
1 11 V, 1976-1980
1 12 VI, 1980-1981, 1984-1987
1 13 VII, 1979, 1982-1984
1 14 VIII, 1984-1988
1 15 VIII Material, 1981-1987

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