M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
DONALD M. BLINKEN
PAPERS,
inclusive dates, 1969-2003; bulk dates, 1977-1993
(APAP-080)

For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Michelle M. Powers
March 2003
Sarah Kim
January 2005



 
 
 
 
 
 

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 5.95 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Donald Blinken via Jane Graham of the SUNY Central Archives in January 1997. An additional 1 cubic foot of material received in September 2003 was arranged and described in January 2005.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Biographical Sketch

Scope and content note

Series Descriptions

Box and Folder List:


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Biographical Sketch[1]

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Donald M. Blinken was born in New York in 1925. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944. In 1948 he graduated magna cum laude in economics from Harvard. After 10 years in the retail business, including two in the United Kingdom with Marks & Spencer, he joined the investment firm of E.M. Warburg Pincus, the largest venture capital firm in the United States. He continued to be associated with Warburg Pincus as a managing partner until taking up government service.

In January 1977, Governor Hugh L. Carey appointed Blinken to the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York and subsequently appointed him chairman in July of 1978. He was re-appointed to that office by Governor Mario M. Cuomo and served until 1990. The State University of New York is the nation's largest institution of higher education. It serves nearly 400,000 students on 64 campuses throughout New York. It awarded Mr. Blinken an honorary degree in 1993.

Donald Blinken was sworn in as Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary by Vice President Al Gore on March 29, 1994 and served until 1997.

In addition to his services in education and government, Ambassador Blinken has dedicated his time and energy to the arts. He was named President of the Mark Rothko Foundation in 1976. In recent years, Mr. Blinken has also served as vice- chairman of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Society, as a member of the executive committee of the New York Public Library, as a board member and chairman of the Commentary Publication Committee, as a trustee of the Institute of International Education, as overseer of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, and as a member of the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art.


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Notes

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1. Embassy of the United States of America, Budapest Hungary, Donald M. Blinken U.S. Ambassador to Hungary 1994-1997, http://www.usembassy.hu/blinkenb.htm (accessed 20 March 2003). Also from Series 3, Box 1, Folder 1, Donald Blinken Papers, 1969-1993, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Blinken Papers).


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Scope & Content Note

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This collection documents the activities and concerns of Ambassador Blinken as a board member of the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York in 1976 and subsequently as chairman of the Board from 1978 through 1990. The bulk of the papers consists of correspondence between Blinken and members of the Board, the Chancellor, the campus presidents, and New York State government officials. There are also a number of reports regarding the SUNY system or individual SUNY campuses. Prominent topics of concern were the future of the SUNY system (Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, 1983-1985), relations with independent colleges and universities in New York (Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, 1978-1984), upgrading intercollegiate athletic competition (Intercollegiate Athletic Board regarding SUNY Buffalo upgrade to Division II, 1985-1986), SUNY and CUNY relations (1976-1989), and concerns about teaching controversial subjects and academic freedom (Dube controversy at SUNY Stony Brook, 1983-1990). SUNY's financial position in both challenging and stable economic times, SUNY's growth as a state wide educational system, and the changing role of the individual campuses are recurring topics.

Although the collection does contain information regarding SUNY campuses, not all of them are represented in this collection. There is little material regarding curriculum other than a 1982 proposal for a degree in Arts Management. There is also little documentation related to student life or faculty at the SUNY schools. There are no personal papers or papers related to other professional, civic, or government positions Ambassador Blinken has maintained.

Additional material acquired in 2003 contains documents related to the individual SUNY campuses, including campus brochures, statements of inauguration, and correspondence between Blinken and members of the Board, the Chancellor, the campus presidents, and the professors of each campus.

Related materials in the University Archives include: the records of the State University of New York, Board of Trustees (APAP-098); the records of the Office of the President (UA-000); and the records of the Student Association of the State University of New York (SASU) (APAP-046).


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: SUNY Schools, 1976-1991, 2.32 cubic feet. Organized alphabetically.

Blinken maintained a small group of files related to specific SUNY schools. The files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the school. The files in Box 5 were accessioned later and processed separately from Box 1, 2, 3, and 4. The files in Box 5 are also arranged alphabetically by the name of the school. Materials within the files are arranged chronologically. They include reports, correspondence, and news clippings regarding a variety of topics.

There are some files that contain material regarding a specific event or situation. In 1986 the Board of Trustees voted to lift the ban on athletic grant -in-aid at SUNY Buffalo. This change allowed the athletic department to upgrade to Division II in basketball and football with the possibility of upgrading to Division I in subsequent years. Reports from the Intercollegiate Athletic Board are included. Also included is correspondence among the Board members. There are two folders of community correspondence, these include letters from parents, alumni, and members of the community requesting the Board vote to lift the ban and allow the athletic department to upgrade. There are some, though few, requests that the ban not be lifted.

The Dube Controversy at SUNY Stony Brook, 1983-1990, concerns Professor Ernest Dube who was accused of teaching that Zionism is equivalent to racism. Materials consist of editorials, news clippings, statements from the Dean and other faculty members, correspondence from government officials and members of the Jewish community, and memorandum from the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities group. The issue raised questions of academic responsibility and academic freedom in the teaching of controversial subjects. The controversy continued for several years and Dube's tenure appeal prompted the involvement of the American Association of University Professors in 1986.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1976-1990, .66 cubic feet. Organized by subject and chronologically.

The bulk of this series is correspondence between Donald Blinken and the other members of the SUNY Board of Trustees, Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., presidents of different SUNY campuses, New York government officials, and parents of students. The main subjects of the correspondence include responses to news articles, appointments or reappointments made to the Board, or SUNY related institutions such as the creation of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the proposal to award a degree in Arts Management in 1982, and materials from symposiums and meetings related to education and budget concerns. There are also news clippings and some information related to state-wide school systems outside of New York. There are some biographical sketches and resumes of Board members. Correspondence in 1979 includes debate about the site of the Utica/Rome campus. There are memos and correspondence related to lawsuits, though there are no details or legal papers in the series or collection.

Trustee-NY State Legislative correspondence is between Blinken or other members of the Board and members of the New York State Assembly. The main topics of the correspondence are financial matters, reappointments, and new appointments to the Board.

Correspondence with individuals including Senator Javits, Senator D'Amato, then Congressman Shumer, Governor Carey, Governor Cuomo, and others is mainly related to SUNY budget and financial matters.

Series 3: Subject Files, 1969-2003, 2.64 cubic feet. Organized alphabetically.

The Subject Files contain material related to SUNY organizations, institutions, personnel, and activities, as well as Board activities and responsibilities. The earliest item in the series is from 1969. There is some material regarding a proposed 1976 SUNY/CUNY merger. Files contain reports and correspondence related to this issue and financial concerns for both SUNY and CUNY. However the bulk of materials begin in 1977. The files include correspondence, reports, memorandum, and news clippings. There are a number of files on Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), the Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, and SUNY/CUNY relations.

Clifton Wharton Jr., former president of Michigan State University, became SUNY Chancellor in 1977. Early files include evaluations by Board members, biographical information about Mr. and Mrs. Wharton, and information about Wharton's accomplishments as an educator and administrator. After Wharton became Chancellor the files include correspondence between him and Blinken as well as other members of the Board, reports related to the SUNY system and individual campuses, memorandum, and news clippings related to higher education. Chancellor Wharton resigned in 1987 to become Chair and CEO of TIAA-CREF.

The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) files include correspondence between Blinken and the commission and reports regarding SUNY financial matters.

The Donald M. Blinken Academic Administration Fellowship was established in 1981. It was first called the Administrative Internship. The objective of the program was to allow a senior SUNY faculty member to gain experience in administrative matters within the University, to look at some of the problems facing SUNY as a whole rather than only from the perspective of a particular campus, and to gain insight into the operations of SUNY central.[1] Reports were issued annually in the spring. The report's title and author appear in the finding aid.

The Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY was established in 1983. Its purpose was to go beyond faculty, staff, and SUNY officials to evaluate SUNY's role and investigate "how its mandate may be discharged more effectively, efficiently, and with greater benefit to citizens and institutions of the state and nation." Their report issued in January of 1985 recommended that SUNY be established as a "public benefits corporation" in order to be extricated from what the commission found to be overregulation from the state government. The recommendation was denied.

In 1976 there was discussion about SUNY merging with the City University of New York (CUNY) system. Files contain reports and correspondence related to this issue and financial concerns for both SUNY and CUNY.

Series 4: SUNY Publications, 1985-1990, .33 cubic feet. Organized chronologically.

This series consists of publications about SUNY. Topics include the cost of higher education, SUNY's history, the Nelson A. Rockefeller School of Government, and other related matters. Any material related to a report, such as correspondence, is identified in the folder title.


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Notes

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1. Articulation Among Some Science Based Programs in SUNY Units In Western New York. Blinken Papers, Series 3, Box 3, Folder 3.

2. Proposal for an Independent Commission on the Future of the State University of New York (SUNY). Blinken Papers, Series 3, Box 4, Folder 6.


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: SUNY Schools, 1976-1991

Box 1
Folder

1. SUNY Buffalo (Upgrading Intercollegiate Athletics), 1985-1986
2. SUNY Buffalo (Upgrading Intercollegiate Athletics Community Correspondence), April 1986
3. SUNY Buffalo (Upgrading Intercollegiate Athletics Community Correspondence), April-May 1986
4. SUNY Old Westbury, January-August 1980
5. SUNY Old Westbury, September 1980-September 1981
6. SUNY Old Westbury, January 1982-March 1983
7. SUNY Old Westbury, April 1983-March 1984

Box 2
Folder

1. SUNY Old Westbury, April-May 1984 (Includes material related to a controversial visit on campus by Louis Farrakan in April 1985.)
2. SUNY Old Westbury, June 1986-June 1991
3. SUNY Plattsburg, 1979-1981
4. SUNY Plattsburg, 1982-May 1984
5. SUNY Plattsburg, September 1984-1988
6. SUNY Potsdam, 1980-1983
7. SUNY Potsdam, 1984-1985
8. SUNY Potsdam, 1986-1991
9. SUNY Purchase, 1979-1981
10. SUNY Purchase, 1982-1983

Box 3
Folder

1. SUNY Purchase, 1984-April 1985
2. SUNY Purchase, May 1985-April 1986
3. SUNY Purchase, July 1986-1988
4. SUNY Purchase, 1989-1991
5. SUNY Stony Brook (Dube Controversy), 1983
6. SUNY Stony Brook (Dube Controversy), 1984-May 1986
7. SUNY Stony Brook (Dube Controversy), June 1986-1987
8. SUNY Stony Brook (Grenada Internship Project), 1984
9. SUNY Utica/Rome, 1977-August 1978
10. SUNY Utica/Rome, September 1978-1979

Box 4
Folder

1. SUNY Utica/Rome, 1979-1980
2. SUNY Utica/Rome, January-February 1981
3. SUNY Utica/Rome, March 1981
4. SUNY Utica/Rome, April-May 1981
5. SUNY Utica/Rome, June 1981-March 1982
6. SUNY Utica/Rome, April 1982-1989

Box 5
Folder

1. SUNY Albany, General Office File, 1980-1982
2. SUNY Albany, General Office File, 1983-1984
3. SUNY Albany, General Office File, 1985-1989
4. SUNY Binghamton, General Office File, 1979-1981
5. SUNY Binghamton, General Office File, 1982-1984
6. SUNY Binghamton, General Office File, 1985-1989
7. SUNY Brockport, General Office File, 1976-1989
8. SUNY Buffalo, General Office File, 1980-1986
9. SUNY Buffalo, General Office File, 1987-1988
10. SUNY Buffalo, General Office File, 1989-1991
11. SUNY Buffalo Foundation Inc., General Office File, 1980-1986
12. SUNY Cortland, General Office File, 1980-1988
13. SUNY Empire, General Office File, 1980-1984
14. SUNY Empire, General Office File, 1985-1989
15. SUNY Fredonia, General Office File, 1980-1988
16. SUNY Geneseo, General Office File, 1981-1990
17. SUNY New Paltz, General Office File, 1980-1983
18. SUNY New Paltz, General Office File, 1984-1989
19. SUNY Oneonta, General Office File, 1980-1982
20. SUNY Oneonta, General Office File, 1983-1989
21. SUNY Oswego, General Office File,1978-1989
22. SUNY Stony Brook, Dube Controversy, 1983-October 1987
23. SUNY Stony Brook, Dube Controversy, November 1987-1990
24. SUNY Stony Brook, General Office File, 1987-1989


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 2: Correspondence, 1976-1990

Box 1
Folder

1. Trustee Correspondence, 1976
2. Trustee Correspondence, 1977-July 1978
3. Trustee Correspondence, August 1978-1979
4. Trustee Correspondence, 1980-1981
5. Trustee Correspondence, 1982
6. Trustee Correspondence, 1983
7. Trustee Correspondence, 1984
8. Trustee Correspondence, 1985
9. Trustee Correspondence, 1986

Box 2
Folder

1. Trustee Correspondence, 1987-1990
2. Trustee and New York State Legislative Correspondence, 1979
3. Trustee and New York State Legislative Correspondence, 1980-1981
4. Trustee and New York State Legislative Correspondence, 1982
5. Trustee and New York State Legislative Correspondence, 1983-1985
6. Trustee and New York State Legislative Correspondence, 1986-1989
7. Carey, Governor Hugh Correspondence, 1982
8. Cuomo, Governor Mario M. Correspondence, 1978, 1980, 193-1986, 1988-1989
9. Correspondence: Senator Moynihan, Senator D'Amato, Senator Javits, Sheldon S. Goldstein, Congressman Shumer, John J. Mather, 1982-1987
10. Department of Education Correspondence, 1980,1985


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 3: Subject Files, 1969-2003

Box 1
Folder

Blinken, Donald M. Academic Administrative Fellowship--see Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship

1. Blinken, Donald M., 2003
2. Boyer, Ernest L., 1978-1987
3. Budget, 1988-1989
4. Campus Related Foundations, 1984
5. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., July-October 1977
6. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., November-December 1977
7. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., 1978
8. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., 1979-1982
9. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., 1983-1986
10. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr., 1987-1992
11. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr. (Speeches and Writings), 1971-June 1978
12. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr. (Speeches and Writings), September 1978-1979

Box 2
Folder

1. Chancellor Clifton Wharton Jr. (Speeches and Writings), 1980-1986
2. Chancellor's Public Higher Education Fund, Inc., 1986
3. Chancellor's Public Higher Education Fund, Inc., 1987-1990
4. Chancellor Search, February-April 1977
5. Chancellor Search, April-May 1977
6. Chancellor Search, June 1977
7. Chancellor Search, July-November 1977
8. College Teaching, 1985
9. Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, 1978, 1981
10. Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, 1982

Box 3
Folder

1. Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, January 1983
2. Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, March 1983-1984
3. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1981
    Articulation Among Some Science Based Programs in SUNY Units in Western New York, Robert circa Stein
4. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1982
    A Study of Academic Placement Processes for High-Risk Students Among Selected Colleges of the
    State University of New York: With a Review of Related Literature
, Dennis Callas
5. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1983
    Paths For Excellence: A Study of Honors Programs, Honor Societies, and Academic Distinctions in the
    State University of New York
, Mark A. Anderson
6-7. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1984
    Measuring the Use of Library Materials and Services In the Libraries of the State University of New York,
    Robert E. Burton
8. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1985
9-10. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1986
    Current Issues in Transfer and Articulation: Impact of General Education Requirements,
    Joint Admissions And Services for Transfer Students
, Marjorie W. Lavin
11-12. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1988
    The Invisible Minority: American Indian Students in the State University of New York, William A. Starna
13. Donald M. Blinken Academic Administrative Fellowship, 1990
    SUNY's Opportunity Programs: A Research Agenda for the 1990's, Peter R. Barcher

Box 4
Folder

1. Energy Conservation Symposium, 1980
2. Engineering and Technology Proposals, 1983
3. Exchange, Association of Council Members and College Trustees of SUNY, 1977-1979
4. Governor's Symposium on International Trade and Finance, 1978
5. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, 1983
6. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, circa 1984
7. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, January-February 1984
8. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, February-May 1984
9. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, June 1984
10. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, June 1984
11. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, June-July 1984

Box 5
Folder

1. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, July 1984
2. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, August-October 1984
3. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, October-December 1984
4. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, January 1985
5. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, January-February 1985
6. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, March 1985
7. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, March-April 1985
8. Independent Commission on the Future of SUNY, May-July 1985

Box 6
Folder

1. International Programs, China, 1980-1983
2. Investment Planning Review, 1981-1982
3. Jewish Forum, December 1984-January 1985
4. Jewish Forum, February-June 1985
5. Legislative Proposal for Public Corporation, 1985
6. Moore, Elizabeth, 1969, undated .
7. New York Times Luncheon Meeting, 1987-1988
8. National Commission on Higher Education Issues Report, undated
9. Podhortz, Norman, 1985
10. Religious Holidays, 1978-1985
11. Report of Chancellor's Task Force on Community Colleges, July-September 1986
12. Rockefeller Institute for Government, 1980-1988
13. Rockefeller Institute for Government, 1989-1990
14. Rockefeller Institute for Government, 1992-1993

Box 7
Folder

1. Salary Issues, 1978-1987
2. State University Plaza (Building Dedication), 1978
3. State University Plaza (Building Dedication Programs), 1978
4. SUNY Correspondence, 1976-1977
5. SUNY Correspondence, 1978-1992
6. SUNY/CUNY, January-October 1976
7. SUNY/CUNY, November-December 1976
8. SUNY/CUNY, January 1977
9. SUNY/CUNY, February-April 1977
10. SUNY/CUNY, May-November 1977
11. SUNY/CUNY, January-September 1978

Box 8
Folder

1. SUNY/CUNY, General Office File, October-December 1978
2. SUNY/CUNY, General Office File, 1979-1982
3. SUNY/CUNY, General Office File, 1983-1989
4. SUNY and New York State Legislation (Regulation), 1982-1986
5. System Business Development Service Office Report, by John Mather, 1987
6. Trustee Meetings, 1978-1987
7. Trustee Policies and By-Laws, 1978-1979
8. Trustee Policies and By-Laws, 1980-1984
9. Trustee Policies and By-Laws, 1986-1988
10. Trustee Policies (Sexual Orientation and Discrimination), 1980-1983
11. Tuition Tax Credits, 1981-1982
12. Warren, James J. (Retirement), 1982


Donald M. Blinken Papers
Box and Folder List

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Series 4: SUNY Reports, 1985-1990

Box 1
Folder

1. The Challenge and the Choice, undated
2. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 1985
3. SUNY: A Historical Perspective (Correspondence), 1988-1989
4. SUNY: A Historical Perspective, 1989
5. The Cost of Higher Education: An Essay on the Comparative Financing of Universities, 1989
6. SUNY Profiles, 1990
7. SUNY, 2000


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Last updated August 29, 2005