Skip to main content

RIT Policy Council records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0500

Scope and Contents

RIT Policy Council collection are records found in multiple locations within the Archives stacks. They have been organized in chronological order for the majority of the collection with the exception of Box 1 which was left in its original order. Most of the records are the official meeting minutes for the Council spanning decades of development of the university. The earliest records begin in 1922 when then President Randall began formalizing policies and procedures for the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute.

In addition to the general minutes of the Council from 1922-2006, there are also steering committee minutes, long-range planning committee records, and by-laws.


  • Creation: 1968-2005


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Historical Information: RIT Policy Council

The history of RIT's policy structures and processes under the leadership of the past five presidents reflects the remarkable growth and development of the university over the past ninety years. It also provides important insights on the increasing commitment among university leaders to shared governance over time.

The directors from the four academic departments (equivalent of deans today) and a director of course development reported to Randall; they formed the Directors Committee. With the addition of senior instructors from the departments, the Directors Committee became the Policy Committee which first met in September 1922. The Policy Committee initiated a planning process with all members of the faculty to develop the identity and educational objectives for the institute that, when integrated with those of President Randall, resulted in the final statement of institute objectives in 1931.

In 1942, the Policy Committee initiated an extensive planning process, involving fifteen committees to examine almost every aspect of the institute’s activities over the next two years. President Ellingson used the committee reports to finalize a post-WWII plan that he presented to the board of trustees in 1944. A notable and immediate result of the plan was the change of the name Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute to the Rochester Institute of Technology. The most significant outcomes of the post-war plan included the move to add more general or liberal education to supplement the technical training being offered and the acquisition of the School for American Craftsmen (now the School for American Crafts), which led to the granting of degrees in 1953-1954.

Anti-war protests in 1970 led to students challenging President Paul Miller to give them more voice in the institute's governance. Miller committed to changing the structure of the Policy Committee, which led to a new composition of its membership in 1971 of one-third students, one-third, faculty, and one-third administrators, as well as new by-laws. At a later date, the name of the Policy Committee was changed to Policy Council.

The first evidence of the issuance of policy manuals occurred under Miller. The Educational Policies and Procedures Manual and Faculty Manual and Personnel Policies were published and updated throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

Acting on his belief that the work of administration and faculty could not exist without the strong allegiance of the staff, President Simone created a staff council in 1992 to represent the concerns of staff, comparable to the faculty, student and administration councils. The first by-laws for Staff Council were approved in September 1993.

Policy Council became Institute Council in February 1996. Institute Policies and Procedures Manual (IPPM), was released in 1997. It replaced the Educational Policies and Procedures Manual and the Faculty Manual and Personnel Policies, the contents of which were fully included in the new manual, as well as some widely applicable policies from the Personnel Policies Manual. The IPPM, for the first time, documented the date (or approximate date) when each individual policy was first approved and its last formal revision, whether by Institute Council or Academic Senate, or the Personnel Office (now Human Resources) in the case of policies or procedures issued by that office.

The first electronic version of the IPPM was made available in AY 1997-1998. The last printed updates to the hard-copy manual were issued in November 2006. -


21 Box(es) (Document boxes, cartons & binders)




RIT Policy Council records include memos, minutes, bulletins and various proposals for programs, policies, and rules for the university from the early 1920’s until 2007. The collection also contains materials that may have been shown at or during meetings of the Policy Council committee and other committees related to the Policy Council.


The collection is housed in boxes and binders. Box 1-2 are committee records in no particular order. Boxes 3-21 all contain binders and folders of Policy Council meeting minutes in chronological order. Binders 1-4 contain historical records related to policies and procedures at the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute in chronological order from 1922-1935.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

RIT Policy Council records

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in February 2014.

RIT Policy Council records
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
14 March 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA