Ruthven, Alexander Grant, 1882-1971

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1882-04-01
Death 1971-01-19
US
English

Biographical notes:

President of University of Michigan, 1929-1951.

From the description of Alexander Grant Ruthven papers, 1901-1961. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34423262

Epithet: President University of Michigan Ann Arbor

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001240.0x00010a

Alexander G. Ruthven was born April 1, 1882 in Hull, Iowa. He received his BS degree in 1903 from Morningside College and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Michigan. As a zoologist, Ruthven's major interest was in reptiles and amphibians - snakes, lizards turtles, frogs, etc. He wrote extensively in his disciple and also directed various scientific expeditions in North, South and Central America. Also, before assuming the presidency, Ruthven was chief field naturalist with the Michigan Geological and Biological Survey (1908-1912).

Ruthven's entire career was spent at the University of Michigan where he was successively instructor of zoology and curator of the Museum of Zoology (1906-1911); assistant professor and curator of the Museum of Zoology (1911-1913); assistant professor and director of the Museum of Zoology (1913-1915); profess and director of the Museum of Zoology (1915-1929); director of University Museums (1922-1936); chairman of the department of zoology and director of the Zoological Laboratories (1927-1929); and dean of administration (1928-1929). Upon President Little's resignation, Ruthven was named to a committee of three to administer the affairs of the University. With administrative skills demonstrated in this position, Ruthven in October 1929 was selected by the regents as president of the University of Michigan. He served in this position until 1951 when Harlan Hatcher assumed office.

Upon assuming office as president, Ruthven worked to reform the administrative structure of the university. He believed that the university must distribute authority and responsibility among the many units and officers which make up the total structure. Early on he selected two vice-presidents, one in charge of business affairs and the other in charge of educational investigations. He also appointed a director of plant extension, and some time later, a vice-president in charge of university relations outside the campus. In 1944, the university's administrative structure included a provost, two vice-presidents, and a secretary. Deans and directors of schools, colleges, and other educational units were given authority commensurate with their responsibilities. Usually, advisory or executive committees were set up to aid unit heads with their duties.

During Ruthven's tenure, the School of Music was formally affiliated and integration with the university. In 1941, the School of Public Health was established; and in 1951, the School of Social Work was established. Other important developments during his tenure were the creation of an Institute of Public Administration and the reorganization of the School of Forestry as the School of Natural Resources.

Ruthven died January 19, 1971.

From the guide to the Alexander G. Ruthven Papers, 1901-1961, 1906-1951, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)

Alexander G. Ruthven was born April 1, 1882 in Hull, Iowa. He received his BS degree in 1903 from Morningside College and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Michigan. As a zoologist, Ruthven's major interest was in reptiles and amphibians - snakes, lizards turtles, frogs, etc. He wrote extensively in his disciple and also directed various scientific expeditions in North, South and Central America. Also, before assuming the presidency, Ruthven was chief field naturalist with the Michigan Geological and Biological Survey (1908-1912).

Ruthven's entire career was spent at the University of Michigan where he was successively instructor of zoology and curator of the Museum of Zoology (1906-1911); assistant professor and curator of the Museum of Zoology (1911-1913); assistant professor and director of the Museum of Zoology (1913-1915); profess and director of the Museum of Zoology (1915-1929); director of University Museums (1922-1936); chairman of the department of zoology and director of the Zoological Laboratories (1927-1929); and dean of administration (1928-1929). Upon President Little's resignation, Ruthven was named to a committee of three to administer the affairs of the University. With administrative skills demonstrated in this position, Ruthven in October 1929 was selected by the regents as president of the University of Michigan. He served in this position until 1951 when Harlan Hatcher assumed office.

Upon assuming office as president, Ruthven worked to reform the administrative structure of the university. He believed that the university must distribute authority and responsibility among the many units and officers which make up the total structure. Early on he selected two vice-presidents, one in charge of business affairs and the other in charge of educational investigations. He also appointed a director of plant extension, and some time later, a vice-president in charge of university relations outside the campus. In 1944, the university's administrative structure included a provost, two vice-presidents, and a secretary. Deans and directors of schools, colleges, and other educational units were given authority commensurate with their responsibilities. Usually, advisory or executive committees were set up to aid unit heads with their duties.

During Ruthven's tenure, the School of Music was formally affiliated and integration with the university. In 1941, the School of Public Health was established; and in 1951, the School of Social Work was established. Other important developments during his tenure were the creation of an Institute of Public Administration and the reorganization of the School of Forestry as the School of Natural Resources.

Ruthven died January 19, 1971.

From the guide to the Alexander G. Ruthven speeches, articles, pamphlets, reprints, 1929-1944, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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Subjects:

  • Education--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • African Americans
  • World War, 1939-1945--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945.
  • Child welfare.
  • Religion
  • Dormitories--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • Education
  • Refugees
  • Conservation of natural resources.
  • Anti-Nazi Movement--United States.
  • Women's rights--United States.
  • Indians of North America
  • Antisemitism--Michigan.
  • Nazis
  • Draft--Michigan.
  • Weddings.
  • World War, 1939-1945--Education and the war.
  • Elections--1948
  • Refugees.
  • Athletics--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • Elections--Michigan--1948.
  • Reptiles
  • Baccalaureate addresses.
  • Drugs
  • Drugs--Michigan.
  • Women's rights
  • Pacifism
  • Radicalism--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • Indians of North America--Michigan.
  • New Deal, 1933-1939--Michigan.
  • New Deal, 1933-1939
  • Labor and laboring classes
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Working class--Education--Michigan.
  • Draft
  • Prohibition--Michigan.
  • Prohibition
  • Radicalism
  • Athletics
  • Child welfare
  • Antisemitism
  • African Americans--Michigan.
  • Greek letter societies--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
  • Peace--Societies, etc.

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Soviet Union (as recorded)
  • Spain (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union. (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • Isle Royale (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Philippines (as recorded)
  • Isle Royale (Mich.) (as recorded)
  • Palestine. (as recorded)
  • Michigan (as recorded)
  • Palestine (as recorded)
  • Spain (as recorded)