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University of Chattanooga Board of Trustees minutes

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA-02-01-01

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the minutes of Board of Trustees for the University of Chattanooga and its predecessor, Grant University. Comprised of 19 volumes spanning 80 years, these minutes document the growth and development of the University of Chattanooga from a small Methodist academy into a respected private metropolitan university capable of merging with the University of Tennessee land-grant institution.

With the exception of a gap during 1890-1896 (the minutes and other records were destroyed by fire) and 1923 (minutes were noted to have been misplaced) there is a complete record of the annual meetings and special meetings for the Board of Trustees. The continuity of this corpus provides an invaluable insight into the Board's decison-making process throughout its history. Topics of particular importance covered in the minutes include campus construction, curriculum development, fundraising, financial planning, admissions policies, and enrollment records.

In addition to the minutes themselves, numerous other documents are appended to or inserted in the meeting records including agendas, lists, commencement programs, reports, resolutions, statements, and executive summaries. Also found within the volumes of this series are minutes from two meetings of the Board of Trustees Executive Committee meetings (one in 1907 and one in 1911) as well as some newspaper clippings and faculty biographies from 1913.

The minutes, charters, resolutions, and probate certificates in the first volume are are handwritten, but beginning in the second volume, the minutes are typed with occasional handwritten annotations and signatures. For some of the meetings between 1933-1935, there are two copies of the minutes: the original signed versions and paginated transcripts that are retyped and compiled versions of the originals.


  • Creation: 1889-1969


Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright status of this collection has not been evaluated.

Biographical / Historical

The original 1889 charter for U.S. Grant University (a consolidation of Chattanooga University and East Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, Tennessee) established a 17 member Board of Trustees responsible for "the maintenance of a University of Christian Learning, under the patronage control, and regulation of the Methodist Episcopal Church." The Board's authority consisted of the power to elect administrative leaders, hire faculty members, to determine salaries, to purchase real estate, and to establish bylaws and other rules and regulations as necessary. The charter also specified that the Board of Trustees was a "self-perpetuating" entity with term lengths set at three years and the stipulation that at least two-thirds of the board members also be members of good standing in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Board of Trustees functioned as the governing body of the university from 1889-1969, and oversaw many important changes as the institution reorganized from Grant University to the University of Chattanooga in 1907 and continued to grow and develop throughout the early to mid 1900s.

Following the University of Chattanooga merger with the University of Tennessee System in 1969, the Board of Trustees for the former became the Board of Trustees for the University of Chattanooga Foundation, with the new purpose of managing the private endowment of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


6.25 Linear Feet (4 containers)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was deposited with the University of Chattanooga on an unknown date by an unknown source.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically at

Processing Information

The processing of this information is complete.

University of Chattanooga Board of Trustees minutes
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collection Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collection Area

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Library
c/o Special Collections
600 Douglas Street
Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 United States