Materials in this collection primarily relate to the research of the Duke University Academic Council’s Subcommittee on Library Relations, which was formed in September 1981 as part of a faculty initiative to study the potential impact of locating the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on the university campus. Materials also include research of the Academic Council’s Subcommittee on Governance, formed at the same time, which was to examine the authority of the university president and the faculty’s role in making decisions at the university.
The materials include correspondence from Duke President Terry Sanford, faculty, and trustees; press clippings; minutes of Academic Council meetings between August-November 1981; research, drafts, and the final report from the Library Subcommittee; and research and reports related to the Governance Subcommittee. The collection also contains documents regarding the Faculty Compensation Committee and some press coverage of the opening of the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, in 1990.
In early August 1981, Duke University President Terry Sanford told Duke faculty that he had opened negotiations to house the Presidential Library of Richard Nixon – a Duke Law School alumnus – on the Duke campus. In response, Duke’s Academic Council, which represented faculty interests, formed two major committees to discuss how the decision was made and to propose the direction of future negotiations regarding the Nixon Library: the Subcommittee on Governance and the Subcommittee on Library Relations.
Philip Stewart, then a professor in the Department of Romance Studies, served on the Academic Council’s Subcommittee on Library Relations, charged on September 17, 1981, to answer the question: “Can a Nixon Presidential Library be developed at Duke that does not compromise the integrity of Duke University?” The subcommittee examined several areas of Duke’s intersection with the proposed library, including use of land, the library’s potential scholarly value, and whether the library would have a museum component. The Library Subcommittee submitted its report to the Academic Council on October 21, 1981, with recommendations on conditions to be met in order for negotiations to proceed.
Philip Stewart was born May 21, 1940. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1967, and came to teach at Duke in 1972. Stewart’s books include Imitation and Illusion in the French Memoir-Novel, 1700-1750 (1969), Engraven Desire: Eros, Image, and Text in the French Eighteenth Century (1992), and Editer Rousseau: Enjeux d'un Corpus, 1750-2012 (2012). He has also produced and edited a number of translations and critical editions in the field of French literature. Stewart is a former president of the American Association of Teachers of French and was selected for membership in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, a French society that honors educators in French language and culture. As of August 2016, he is Benjamin E. Powell Professor Emeritus of Romance Studies at Duke University.