Scope and Contents note
The records of Milton S. Eisenhower's interim presidency and the transition to Steven Muller's administration, 1971-1972.
A great administrative transition took place in 1971-1972 at the Johns Hopkins University. Lincoln Gordon's abrupt resignation in early 1971 forced the selection of an interim president who would serve until a new, full-time president was chosen. Milton S. Eisenhower reluctantly agreed to accept the interim presidency. Even as he did so, however, he urged that a permanent president be chosen quickly.
Eisenhower rapidly assumed a close working relationship with the new Provost, Dr. Steven Muller. Muller, formerly Vice President for Public Affairs at Cornell University, had arrived at Hopkins shortly before Gordon resigned. Many of the papers associated with Eisenhower's interim presidency have hand-written notes to Muller on the corners or on attached memoranda. It is obvious that Muller took an active role in leading the university from his arrival, especially in terms of leadership of the Medical Institutions.
The search for a permanent successor to Lincoln Gordon is not documented in the papers of the Office of the President. Eisenhower took no part in the deliberations, nor did Steven Muller. However, in January 1972 the Board of Trustees announced that the new president of the Johns Hopkins University (and simultaneously of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions) would be Steven Muller. Muller was inaugurated tenth president on Commemoration Day, February 22, 1972.
The response to Muller, from faculty, alumni and administrators alike, was immediately favorable. Parts of his inaugural speech were printed in The Wall Street Journal, and many people wrote commending him and asking for copies of the whole text. He established a good rapport with students, and campus unrest was reduced to a minimum.
The primary concern of the year 1971-1972, for both Eisenhower and Muller, was the budget deficit which was over four million dollars per annum by 1970. By careful trimming of administrative overlap and by making other "unpopular decisions," in Eisenhower's words, they were able to cut the deficit in half the first year, with projections of eliminating it in 1974. How the budget-balancing was done is not well-documented in the records. Many of the decisions must have been made in meetings and by personal contact.
Muller was also responsible for initiating the massive Centennial Capital Campaign, a fundraising drive associated with the university's centennial. The beginnings of this project are documented in files marked Centennial. Attempts to receive funds from the Seeley G. Mudd Foundation for a new building can be found under Mudd, Seeley G. Another event of importance in the year 1971-1972 should also be noted. 1971 was the first year undergraduate women were admitted to the School of Arts and Sciences, and some information on this transition can be found in files marked Student Affairs.
The president's records for 1971-1972 are kept as an independent series because the correspondence is divided almost equally between Milton S. Eisenhower and Steven Muller. Thus, it would be inappropriate and misleading to file these papers with the following series, which is devoted exclusively to Muller's administration. Separating the year 1971-1972 from the later years of Muller's presidency highlights the transitional nature of the year and illustrates how Steven Muller began his long association with the Johns Hopkins University.
Conditions Governing Access
All records in this series are subject to the University's standard 25-year restriction for access and are therefore open. However, some folders may have a "Closed until 2021" sticker fixed to them. This references a now-discontinued access restriction policy; therefore, these labels should be ignored.
From the Collection: 328.93 Cubic Feet (148 record center cartons, 373 letter size document boxes, 4 letter half-size document boxes, 2 legal size document boxes, 1 flat box (19 x 14.75 x 3 inches))
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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