Constantine W. Curris Papers, 1983-2017

Collection Overview

Title: Constantine W. Curris Papers, 1983-2017

Record Series: 02/07/01 [Box 1-6]

Record Group:

02/07 Constantine W. Curris

Creator: Curris, Constantine W.

Date: 1983-2017

Extent: 6 boxes (3.67 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Historical Note

Constantine Curris was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1940. He attended the University of Kentucky, where he majored in political science and graduated in 1962. Curris then attended the University of Illinois, earning his master's degree in political science in 1965 before receiving his Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Kentucky. Curris and his wife, Jo, had two children.

Curris worked in a variety of higher education administrative positions throughout his career. He first served as vice president and dean of the Midway College (Kentucky) faculty in 1965. Curris became director of academic programs for the West Virginia Board of Education in 1968 before serving as dean of student personnel programs at Marshall University (West Virginia) from 1969-1971. He then spent two years as West Virginia Institute of Technology's vice president and dean of the faculty. In 1973, he was named the president of Murray State University.

Curris became president of the University of Northern Iowa in 1983, Curris' goals while leading UNI were "to improve the physical environment of the campus [and] the quality of undergraduate education and student faculty relations." For example, he supported "campus beautification projects," and various buildings were constructed including the business building (later named in his honor), Kamerick Art Building, ROTH, the Center for Energy and Environmental Education, and the Visitor and Information Center.

Additionally, under Curris' administration, UNI experienced a rise in enrollment, stronger enrollment requirements, working towards a "comprehensive strategic planning process" for the university as a whole, and a retooling of its General Education program. He also worked "to gain accreditation for business students." Related to this, UNI garnered national attention for its business and education programs.

Curris left UNI in 1995 to become president of Clemson University in South Carolina.

Outside of his administrative duties, Curris strongly advocated for public higher education and its students, looking at how those fit in the 21st century. He became president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in 1999. His professional experiences included membership or leadership roles in: the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, the Iowa Board of Economic Development, the Sigma Chi Foundation, and the Iowa Task Force on Teacher Education and Certification.


Scope and Content

This relatively small collection contains information about Dr. Curris's information, but little biographical material. The last two boxes received, 5 and 6, have not yet been processed.


Box 1

  • Folder 1: Certificates and letter from Iowa State Historical Department showing Central Hall entered into The National Register of Historic Places

Box 2

  • Folder 1: AASCA
  • Folder 2: Addresses
  • Folder 3: Admissions
  • Folder 4: Art & Architecture Committee
  • Folder 5: Athletic Director Search, 1983-1984
  • Folder 6: Athletics
  • Folder 7: Board of Regents
  • Folder 8: Burroughs Grant
  • Folder 9: Commissions on Enhancing Education Leadership in Iowa, 1990
  • Folder 10: Communications Arts Center
  • Folder 11: Dancer Hall Fire, July 2, 1980
  • Folder 12: Dancer Hall Fire, November 26, 1980
  • Folder 13: Elena Diane Curris obituary
  • Folder 14: Enrollment Ceiling
  • Folder 15: Faculty Constitution
  • Folder 16: Founders Day, 1990
  • Folder 17: Funding Inequity
  • Folder 18: Gifts to UNI
  • Folder 19: General Assembly
  • Folder 20: Governor Branstad

Box 3

  • Folder 1: Governor’s Task Force on Efficiency and Effectiveness, 1983-1985
  • Folder 2: Health and Safety
  • Folder 3: Highways and Roads
  • Folder 4: Higher Education Task Force, 1989
  • Folder 5: Honorary Degrees
  • Folder 6: Marshall Center Schoolhouse
  • Folder 7: Museum
  • Folder 8: Naming of Facilities
  • Folder 9: Nursing Studies
  • Folder 10: Old Administration Building, 1984
  • Folder 11: One-Room Schoolhouse Committee Final Report, 1987

Box 4

  • Folder 1: Price Laboratory School reports and recommendations
  • Folder 2: ROTC, 1968-1981
  • Folder 3: ROTC, 1982-1986
  • Folder 4: Schindler Education Center Dedication, 1990 (Note, for 2017 Rededication, see Programs and Events, 13/00/17)
  • Folder 5: State Task Force on Teacher Education & Certification, 1984
  • Folder 6: Teacher Education
  • Folder 7: “Teachers for the New World:  A Statement of Principles”, The Renaissance Group, 1989
  • Folder 8: UNISA
  • Folder 9: “Continuity and Change: President Curris’ Annual Address to the Faculty, 1983-1993”
  • Folder 10: Doctor of Humane Letters Reception, 2017

Box 5 - Not processed yet

Box 6 - Not processed yet


Processing Information

Collection processed by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson and updated by Peterson May 3, 2016. Updated, April 4, 2017, Adjunct Special Collections and University Archives Librarian Rachael Acheson; Library Associate Dave Hoing, October 2017 and February 2018; and Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, March 2020. Linear feet updated August 8, 2017.