4D/1979-1984 Dean of Students (Florence C. Ladd)

14 linear feet, including approximately 3 linear feet of restricted material

Click here to see the box list for this collection.

Restrictions: An effort has been made to keep as much material open as possible, hence the separation of portions of folders rather than restricting the whole folder. The following types of materials are restricted:

  • 1. Student records generated and maintained by the college cover by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act): grades, work, faculty/class evaluations, questionnaires, recommendations, et cetera. Information will be released only if permission is granted by the office, which created the documents.
  • 2. Minutes and other records of the Board of Trustees. Access to this material is granted only through the Trustees. Requests for access should be directed to the Clerk of the Board of Trustees. Members of the Wellesley College Senior Staff may have access when the information is necessary for their work.
  • 3. Information relating to specific salaries, pensions or financial transactions between the College and individual employees. Access to this material must be granted by the President’s Office.
  • 4. Materials relating to reappointment, promotion and tenure are restricted. Access must be granted by the President’s Office.
  • 5. Recommendations and performance evaluation of individual employees are restricted, as are evaluations of candidates for College positions. Access must be granted by the President’s Office.
  • 6. Materials published by consortia of colleges and universities, specifically the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) and the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS), which conduct surveys of various institutes promising confidentially. Members of Senior Staff may have access when the information is necessary for their work.
History of the Office
  • Lucy Wilson, Dean of Students, 1939-1954
  • Teresa C. Frisch, Dean of Students, 1954-1966
  • Jean V. Crawford, Dean of Students, 1966-1968
  • Joan Melvin, Dean of Students, 1968-1971
  • Katherine R. Peebles, Acting Dean of Student Activities, 1971-1972
  • Maud Chaplin, Dean of Studies, 1971-1974
  • Susan Fedo, Coordinator Student Services, 1971-1979
  • Elizabeth Blake, Dean of Academic Programs, 1974-1978
  • Lucetta Mowry, Acting Dean of Academic Programs, 1978-1979
  • Florence Ladd, Dean of Students, 1979-1984

Florence C. Ladd became Dean of Students in August 1979. Ladd received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Rochester. She came to Wellesley from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she was Associate Dean for Academic Administration at the School of Architecture and Planning.

Ladd’s arrival at Wellesley brought to an end a period of constant reorganization of the Dean of Student’s office prompted by the Commission on the Future of the College's 1971 recommendations for an improved counseling program. The Commission's subcommittee on counseling believed that academic and personal counseling should be divided because the personnel providing these services required different training and skills. The report acknowledged that there might be some problems dividing the two, but that in the long run the benefits would be greater. The suggested structure was as follows: a Dean of Studies would oversee a staff of academic counselors and a Coordinator of Students Activities would oversee a staff of personal counselors. The Dean of Studies would report to the Dean of the College. The report suggests that these divisions would require good communication and collegiality.

An August 6, 1971 memo from President Ruth Adams to the Wellesley College Student Body described the reorganization of the office of the Dean of Students. It noted that the Dean of Studies would supervise the Class Deans, the Dean of Foreign Study and all academic counseling. The Dean of Student Activities would supervise all non-academic aspects of student life. She would supervise the work of the directors of Residence and Health Services as well as Schneider Center, the Chaplaincy and the Office of Personal Counseling.

In June 1972 the structure was modified somewhat. The Acting Dean of Student Activities resigned and the title was dropped. The new title for the person who oversaw non-academic life was Coordinator of Student Services and Director of the Schneider College Center. The other offices, which fell under the Dean of Student Activities, were more loosely grouped under the new coordinator. The Office of Personal Counseling became the Counseling Office.

In 1974 there was another reorganization in the Deans Office. The Dean of Studies was renamed the Dean of Academic Programs, and continued to report to the Dean of the College. The Dean of Academic Programs oversaw the work of the Class Deans, who in turn covered both continuing education, academic assistance and foreign study as well as their individual classes.

According to a 1978 Summary Report of the Dean of Academic Programs the position would be phased out as soon as a Dean of Students was named. During this period of time the Dean of Academic Programs was responsible for academic and career advising, including the Offices of Class Deans, Continuing Education and Career Services. The Coordinator of Student Services continued to cover the non-academic aspects of student life. Both the Dean and the Coordinator report to the President of the college.

Throughout her deanship, Ladd’s primary goals were improved communication, increased visibility, great efficiency and effectiveness, more teamwork, closer community and higher morale. When the college opened for the 1979-1980 academic year she was pulling together a variety of student services and academic programs, trying to clarify roles and improve communications. Her first year focused on gaining a better understanding of the role of Class Deans and advisory services, and making sure the rest of the Wellesley community understood those roles as well. She believed that the Continuing Education program was in need of careful planning for the future with an increased financial base and new programs. She believed more financial resources were needed to support foreign study so that it was available to a greater number of students. She wanted to raise awareness of Wellesley’s offerings in exchange programs and increase the Wellesley students’ awareness of the international and diverse quality of the student body.

During the 1980-1981 year a number of changes in the staff created another period of bringing different offices together to build a team. Efforts to respond to student concerns became a clear focus. Students felt a need for a greater sense of community and a closer relationship with the faculty.

With the arrival of President Nannerl Keohane, the Academic Assistance program gained a full time director in Shirley Quinn and space was found for it in Clapp Library. The college held its first “Town Meeting” and a Committee on Creative Possibilities was instituted as a gathering for administrative, faculty and student proposals.

During the next few years student services offices moved ahead with no dramatic changes. A new Dean of Continuing Education was chosen. The Chaplain reported to the President rather than the Dean of Students and the Dean of the College became the Chair of the Academic Review Board rather than the Dean of Students, although the latter remained on the board.

Florence Ladd left Wellesley the summer of 1984 in order to explore her continuing interest in international education, particularly in Africa.

Scope and Content Note

The Ladd records date from July 1979 through June 1984. The 14 linear feet of materials were transferred from the Dean of Students Office in several accessions (see list below).

This group of accessions included quite a bit of material that did not belong with the Ladd records (material from Deans of Academic Programs and the Coordinator of Student Activities, as well as material that belonged with the deanship of Molly Campbell). In addition, files belonging to Molly Campbell in her various roles of Class Dean, Assistant to the President and chair of several committees during the years of 1979-1984 were moved to another series. All this material was removed from the Ladd collection. In addition a group of “day files” or chronological files were removed.

The records are arranged alphabetically in a single subject file. In instances of more than one file per subject, the files are arranged chronologically. Restricted materials were removed from the main sequence. Notice of removal and the new location is given.

The files relate to all aspects of student life and are generally filed by the name of the office: Career Services/Office for Careers, Chaplaincy, Continuing Education, Deans, Exchanges/Transfers, Food Services, Health Services, Residence, Schneider Center, Slater Center, Social and Cultural Centers, Stone Center, Student Services and Study Abroad/Foreign Study. Also included are budget files and senior staff agendas, minutes and background information. Annual reports are generally filed with their office or program, but there is a small group filed under Annual Report. This was the original order and I did not change it. Many files contain materials in various formats: brochures, correspondence, minutes, notes, questionnaires and reports.

Ladd had a particular interest in Black students, Wellesley’s social and cultural centers, Harambee House Intercultural Awareness Now (I CAN), and women’s higher education in general. In addition, Ladd provided encouragement and directions for women seeking jobs in higher education (see Vitae files). Some of these materials are restricted because they contain recommendations, but the files do indicate Ladd’s interests and connections.

In most cases the original titles have been retained. In instances where the office title changed or was called by different titles an attempt was made to group them together (examples: Career Services and Careers, Office for or Study Abroad/Foreign Study).

Duplicates beyond three copies have been removed as have routine office expenses, photocopy slips, telephone bills, etc.

Ladd’s Annual Reports of the Dean of Student provides a sense of her concerns and suggestions about the role of Dean and the future of Student Services.

Click here to see the box list for this collection.

Accession Numbers: A83-013, A83-036, A84-013, A84-018, A85-028, A86-025, A87-032, A87-040, A87-066, A88-040 & a/o, A92-058, A93-082, A96-014, A96-014, A99-026

Produced: February 3, 2005 by Mary Bicknell

Created By: Dorothy Brown '09 || Maintained By: Jane Callahan and Ian Graham || Date Created: January 10, 2008 || Last Modified: October 15, 2012