New University Conference Records
Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.
Scope and Contents
The collection documents the activities and history of the University of Iowa chapter of the New University Conference (September 1968-June 1972) and the National Organization Office (22-24 March1968-10 June 1972) which was located on the campus of the University of Chicago.
The NUC was founded in 1968 at a Chicago conference called by Noam Chomsky and Tom Hayden; approximately 350 were in attendance from some 85 campuses across the country.
An excerpt for from the NUC Constitution Preamble (June 1969): “The NUC is a national organization of radicals who work in, around, and in spite of institutions of higher education. Formed in a time of imperialist war and domestic repression, the NUC is part of the struggle for the liberation of all peoples. It must therefore oppose imperialism, racism, economic exploitation, and male supremacy.
We believe that institutions derive legitimacy and have the right to exist only to the extent that they serve the people. We see campuses not as havens, but as the immediate, though not exclusive settings for most of our activities.
We join all those committed to struggle politically to create a new, American form of socialism and to replace an educational and social system that is an instrument of class, sexual, and racial oppression with one that belongs to the people.”
After the 1968 Chicago conference UI professors Howard Ehrlich and Robert Sayre and Ed Hoffmans began formally organizing the University of Iowa chapter of NUC in September of 1968. And a year later, in September of 1969, Professor Ehrlich reported that the UI chapter had “…built a cohesive, politically aware group that was able to engage in relevant social action.” The UI group established a Women’s Caucus and a “caucus for working class college persons so that they might have a significant voice in our organization.” Professor Ehrlich further reported that the UI chapter “took part in every major event (and some minor ones) of radical concern. Many of them we initiated.”
During the three years following Professor Ehrlich’s report, the UI/NUC chapter continued to focus on various ‘radical’ issues on campus in concert with the larger movement at Iowa and across the nation. While the UI chapter underwent one important change in its leadership during this period with the departure of Professor Ehrlich in August of 1971, it continued to function until the national organization, at its June 1972 convention in Bloomington, Indiana, passed a motion to dissolve NUC as a national organization. Just prior to that meeting, Professor Peter Larmour, then apparently one of only two faculty members of the UI chapter, reported that “The difficulty with the Iowa City chapter is that though it has always been a strong chapter, it is not composed of the same people most other chapters are. There are only two faculty and no TA’s, and even a fair number of non-students. So that it is quite hard to identify with many of the national programs.” As the collection of materials here organized also ends at that time, it is assumed that the UI chapter ended in the summer of 1972.
The collection is organized into the following sections:
Series One: Administrative materials to include organizational history and governance, correspondence, meeting agendas, mailing lists and so on. There is no record of any meeting minutes.
Series Two: Publications to include the national NUC newsletter, various local newsletters, and many flyers, posters, and handbills. This section contains also a large and unorganized miscellany of ‘working papers’ consisting of locally written pieces and reprints of pamphlets and journal articles, used principally for ‘internal education’.
Series Three: Subject Files: Here are files on major issues of interest to the UI/NUC chapter, to include the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), feminism and women’s rights, the New American Movement (NAM), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and racism. The subject files include a mix of various materials to include correspondence, flyers, ‘white papers’, organization agendas, minutes, reports and publications.
Series Four: Newspaper clippings of interest to the University of Iowa Chapter of the NUC from 1967 through 1971, from the University’s Daily Iowan, the Iowa City Press Citizen and the Des Moines Register.
- Creation: 1968-1972
- New University Conference (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information. The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.
6.50 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement. Acquisition and Processing Information: The NUC materials were donated by Professor Peter Larmour and Ronda Larmour to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in September 1974 and were in April 1975 transferred by that organization to The University of Iowa Libraries Archives. This Guide was created by Wayne Rawley III, March 2014.
- Language of description
- Script of description