Clifford, Earle W., Jr., 1925-1988

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Earle Winchester Clifford, Jr. was born in Rutland, Vermont, on September 12, 1925, the son of Earle Winchester Clifford, Sr. and Florence U. (Phillips) Clifford. He attended the University of Maine for the fall semester in 1943 before joining the army. From 1943 to 1946 he served with the 86th Infantry as a rifleman and later as a noncommissioned officer with an Engineer Depot Company in the Southwest Pacific. (13) In 1946 Clifford returned to the academic world, which he remained a part of until 1982. Clifford received an Associate in Arts degree with highest honors from Rutland Junior College in 1948. From Rutland, Clifford transferred to Syracuse University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with an AB in 1950 and received an MS in 1951. On November 15, 1952, he married Marie T. Mondella with whom he had two children: Karen and Philip.

Clifford began his professional academic career at Syracuse University in 1949 as a Resident Assistant. He also served as Administrative Assistant, and Assistant Dean of Men, prior to becoming the Dean of Men at the University of Vermont in 1957. In 1961 Clifford returned to Syracuse to become the Dean of Men. This was his last position before joining the administrative staff of Rutgers University.

On July 1, 1963 Earle Clifford began his career as the Dean of Student Affairs, a position that had existed off and on in the past as University Director of Student Life, and had been combined with the office of Dean of Men prior to his arrival. (16) In this position Clifford was "responsible for all aspects of the university's educational program outside of the classroom." The following offices reported to the Office of the President of the University through the Dean of Student Affairs: Dean of Men, Rutgers College; Dean of Students, Douglass College; Dean of Students, Rutgers College of South Jersey; Dean of Students, Rutgers-Newark Colleges; Dean of Students, University College; Graduate Schools Student Personnel Programs; Office of Student Financial Aid; University Health Service; University Placement Service; Office of the University Chaplain; The Psychological Service Center .(17) In addition to his responsibilities as dean, Clifford was a member of the Rutgers College Sociology Department. Effective October 1, 1970 Clifford was promoted to Vice President of Student Affairs, a position that included membership on the Provost's Cabinet.

Clifford oversaw and witnessed great changes during his time at Rutgers. When Clifford first came to Rutgers, he was responsible for the students of four campuses: two single-sex residential campuses in New Brunswick (one male, one female); and two coeducational commuter campuses, one in Newark and one in Camden. By the time he left, Camp Kilmer had been purchased and developed into Livingston College as the first coeducational, liberal arts college of Rutgers University to study issues of diversity; and plans had been made to create Cook College. In a letter to Mr. George W. Kelsey, Chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Trustees of State Colleges dated December 2, 1966, Clifford refers to his "unique opportunity to participate in the planning of experiments with educational innovations that, if successful, have the potential for major impact on the field itself." (19) The Board of Governors agreed to one such innovation March 14, 1969. It was at this meeting that they decided to "open the doors of Rutgers University in Newark, Camden and New Brunswick to all economically and educationally deprived students who graduate from high schools in these three cities and have taken the college preparatory course."

Clifford's career at Rutgers coincided with many social struggles, which he became involved in due to his responsibilities. The subject of coeducation was debated on more than one occasion. The racial issues of the African American and Puerto Rican Rutgers students became tense at times, including a series of demands issued by the Black Student Unity Movement. Drug use and legalization are other issues raised by students throughout Clifford's Rutgers career.

Clifford was active in professional organizations, including: American Council on Education; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, including a term as the Region II Vice President; American Personnel and Guidance Association; American College Personnel Association; National Education Association; American Association for Higher Education; and Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity for which he served six years on the national executive board. Clifford was one of the national draftsmen of the American Association of University Professors' Joint Statement on the Rights of Students. He has also published several articles and presented many papers at conferences. In addition to the professional associations, Clifford was also civic minded. New Brunswick Mayor Patricia Sheehan requested that Clifford participate in the Citizen's Advisory Committee on Recreation. He promptly accepted the invitation and served as committee chairman in 1967 and 1968. Other civic minded organizations in which Clifford participated include; Advisory Board of Directors, Saint Peter's Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Board of Directors, New Brunswick Chapter Red Cross; and United Hospitals Appeal, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Clifford was highly regarded outside the Rutgers community as well. He was considered for and offered positions with several other universities. Prior to 1972 he turned all of them down, opting to remain with Rutgers in the position that he found both rewarding and challenging. On January 15, 1968 Clifford was awarded an "Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa" from Saint Peter's College "in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of student personnel."

Clifford retired from Rutgers, effective June 30, 1972, but remained in academics for several years. Upon his retirement, the position of Vice President of Student Affairs was dissolved at Rutgers, with the responsibilities taken over by a Presidential Assistant. From 1972 to 1974 Clifford served as the President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey. His next position was as Fairleigh Dickinson University's Vice President of University Resources and Public Affairs from 1974 to 1978. Clifford's final academic position was as the Executive Assistant to the President of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He served in this position from 1978 to 1982 before moving on to the banking industry.(20) Clifford died on December 15, 1988.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers University Dean of Student Affairs (Earle W. Clifford, Jr.), 1952-1973 Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Academic freedom


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