UR.03.02 Office of the Provost records, 1985-2006.

UR.03.02 Office of the Provost records, 1985-2006.

Summary Information

Title: Office of the Provost records, 1985-2006.
Number: UR.03.02
Creator: University of the Arts. Office of the Provost.

Collection Dates [bulk]: 1987-2000
Collect Dates [inclusive]: 1985-2006
Extent: 2.08 linear feet (3 boxes)
Location: Row 1, Column 2, Shelves 3 & 4
Language: English

Files created and compiled by the Office of the Provost of the University primarily during the tenures of Edward Colker and Virginia Red (1987-2004).

Preferred Citation
Office of the Provost records, 1985-2006. The University of the Arts, University Libraries and Archives.

Biographical and Historical Notes

At the University of the Arts the provost is the “chief academic and administrative officer after the president and is responsible for all academic policies and activities throughout the University” (UArts website). The office was formed by President Peter Solmssen after the 1985 merger of the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA) and the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (PCPA). Ed Colker (1927- ) was appointed the first provost of the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts in 1987. This first year of his tenure would also see the pivotal moment when the PCA was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. Colker was an alumnus of the University, having graduated in 1949 when it was still the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. In the years before his appointment, he also served as instructor, division director, and visiting critic. In addition to his work as an administrator, Colker has remained an active artist and poet throughout his life and was also the founder of the non-profit fine art publisher Haybarn Press studio. The records in this collection are of a professional nature only. Colker’s collection of personal papers are housed at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/ed-colker-papers-10840). Colker left office in 1992 after receiving the appointment of provost at Cooper Union, New York. In March of that year he was replaced by Virginia Red, “a historical music researcher who was dean of the arts and director of the Davis Center at the City College of New York, CUNY” (“University Appoints new Provost, Virginia Red”. The Columns 7:1, March 1992, page 1). Upon her retirement in 2004, she was replaced by Dr. Terry L. Applebaum in the following year.

Collection Scope and Contents Note

Collection is composed primarily of the records created or compiled by Edward Colker (1987-1992) and Virginia Red (1992-2004) while they occupied the Office of Provost at The University of the Arts (formerly the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts). Also included are proposals submitted for the Provost’s Interdisciplinary Initiative in 2006 during the term of Dr. Terry L. Applebaum. Records are largely in the order in which they were received by the Archives, with the exception of Series III. Edward Colker, which was unorganized. In this instance, records were organized chronologically. Series II. is comprised of alphabetized subject files compiled primarily by Ed Colker. However, the inclusion of records created by Virginia Red suggest they were maintained across administrations. Similarly, records pertaining to Commencement exercises (Series I) were received as one unit despite spanning both administrations. This arrangement was kept intact.


Arranged into five series

I.   Commencement records, 1991-2004

II.  Subject Files, 1987-1994

III. Edward Colker, 1987-1992

IV. Virginia Red, 1992-2004

VI. Provost’s Interdisciplinary Initiative, 2006









Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of the Arts. University Archives, 2015.

The University of the Arts University Libraries & Archives
320 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102

Access Restrictions 

Some folders marked confidential. Please consult Processing Archivist.

Use Restrictions

Possession of a digital reproduction of University of the Arts Libraries and Archives materials does not constitute permission to publish or exhibit. The University of the Arts holds literary rights only for material created by University staff for official institutional purposes or else legally transferred to the University by the copyright owner. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and related purposes.



University of the Arts

Acquisition Note

Provenance unknown.

Processing Note

Collection processed and finding aid created in 2015 by Phoebe Kowalewski. Original order largely retained. The records of Edward Colker arranged in chronological order.


Digitization Note 

Collection is not digitized.

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.). Office of the Provost
  • Philadelphia Museum School of Art
  • Philadelphia Museum College of Art
  • Philadelphia College of Art
  • Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Commission on Higher Education.
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (U.S.)
  • National Association of Schools of Music.
  • University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.)--Accreditation
  • Philadelphia Museum School of Art--Accreditation
  • Philadelphia Museum College of Art--Accreditation
  • Philadelphia College of Art--Accreditation
  • Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts--Accreditation
  • Universities and colleges--Accreditation--Pennsylvania

Collection Inventory

Box 1

Series I. Commencement records
1.1 1991
1.2 1994
1.3 1995
1.4 1996
1.5 1997
1.6 1998
1.7 1999
1.8 2001
1.9 2002
1.10 2003
1.11 2004