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Willard L. Boyd Papers

Identifier: RG05.0001.013

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Scope and Contents

Since the Walter Jessup administration in 1916, the President's Office has maintained an index of Presidential Correspondence in the form of a Kardex file to which name and subject entries are posted. A new alphabetical sequence is begun approximately each fiscal year. These cards files have been photocopied and a bound copy is available in the University Archives; these primary files are not yet available on-line. They are, clearly, essential to tracing correspondence on specific subjects.

The Kardex entries consist of the name or subject and reference to a folder number (which may change from year to year for a particular subject although in a short span of years it often remains the same). To find the current physical location of the referenced folder, readers must consult the photocopied Kardex entries, note the number of any folder they wish to review, and then determine from the list which follows the number of the storage box in which the folder has been placed.


  • Creation: 1969 - 1976


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

"Willard Lee ('Sandy') Boyd served as the fifteenth president of the University of Iowa, from 1969 to 1981.

In 1969, at age 42, Boyd became one of the youngest University of Iowa presidents to assume office. He did so during one of the most tumultuous periods of student unrest in the history of the school.

Boyd received the Bachelor of Science degree in law from the University of Minnesota in 1949 and the L.L.B. in 1951. He received the L.L.M. from the University of Michigan in 1952 and the S.J.D. in 1962. After practicing law in Minneapolis, he became a professor of law at Iowa in 1954, serving on the faculty until 1964, at which time he was named vice president for academic affairs. As president of the university, Boyd supported increased funding for the institution, including higher faculty salaries. During the student unrest of the early 1970s, Boyd was credited with maintaining dialogue between the administration and student leaders. An advocate of human rights, he was appointed in 1962 as the first chair of the university's Human Rights Committee.

From 1981 to 1996, Boyd was president of the Field Museum in Chicago. In 1996, he returned to Iowa to teach law. Among his many honors, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000. In 2002, he was named acting president of the university following the resignation of Mary Sue Coleman, who accepted the presidency of the University of Michigan. In 2003, he received the Rawlings-Miller professorship, the highest honor for a University of Iowa faculty member.

Boyd was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 29, 1927. He married Susan Kuehn on August 28, 1954, and they have three children.


108.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



President of the University of Iowa, 1969-1981.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the University Archives from the Office of the President at various times. Partial inventory by Xuefan Sun, July 16, 1996. Guide posted to the Internet December 2006.

Related Materials

Green, Judith, and Roxanne T. Mueller. "A Portrait of the Artist--and the Subject." Iowa Alumni Review 35, no. 2 (February-March 1982): 10-12, illus. Portraits of Willard L. Boyd and other UI presidents.

Boyd, Willard. "Oral History Interview." Iowa City, 1981. 16 pp. Concerns Iowa Child Welfare Research Station. Oral History Collection, University Archives.

Biographical file in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files, University Archives

Boyd is the author of numerous monographs and articles. Subjects include legal responsibilities and management of non-profit organizations, and museum administration.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242