Governing BoardRegents.html

Constitution of 1850 and Constitution of 1908. — By the Constitution of 1850 it was provided (sec. 6, Art. XIII) that "there shall be elected in each judicial circuit (eight in number), at the time of the election of the judge of such circuit, a regent of the University, whose term of office shall be the same as that of such judge" (six years).

When the first Regents by election took office in 1852 there was an almost complete change in the personnel of the Board. In 1858 the change was complete as to the Board itself, its secretary, and its treasurer; and of the Regents who took office in 1858, only J. E. Johnson remained after 1864. The defect in organization, which made possible these recurring shocks to University government was corrected by a constitutional amendment and special laws in 1862 and 1863 (Bylaws, 1883, p. 6), which afforded essential continuity in the personnel, and thus indirectly in the policy, of the Board of Regents. Specifically, section 6, Article XIII, of the constitution was changed so as to provide that eight Regents should be elected in 1863, at the time of the election of a justice of the Supreme Court; that of these, two should hold office for two years, two for four years, two for six years, and two for eight years; and that thereafter, two Regents should be elected every two years, for eight-year terms, at each regular election of a justice of the Supreme Court. The former provision that there must be a Regent from each judicial district of the state was discontinued; thereafter, although the law contained no explicit statement to this effect, Regents were to be drawn from any part of the state and to be elected by the people at large. Vacancies were to be filled, as they still are, by appointment of the governor. By the Constitution of 1908 the number of Regents was again fixed at eight, independently of the judicial circuits, the term of office remained eight years, and it was provided that there should be elected "at each regular biennial spring election two members of such board" (sec. 3, Art. XI).

Under the provisions of the Constitution of 1850, the amendment of 1862, and the Constitution of 1908, the list of Regents was as follows:

Ex Officio


Henry Philip Tappan1852-1863

Erastus Otis Haven1863-1869

Henry Simmons Frieze,1869-1871

     President pro tem&1880-1882

James Burrill Angell1871-1909

Harry Burns Hutchins1910-1920

Marion Leroy Burton1920-1925

Alfred Henry Lloyd

     Acting President (Feb-Sept)1925

Clarence Cook Little1925-1929

Alexander Grant Ruthven1929-

Superintendents of Public Instruction

Luther Lampheare Wright1908-1913

Fred Lockwood Keeler1913-1919

Thomas E. Johnson1919-1926

Wilford L. Coffey1926-1927

Webster H. Pearce1927-1933

Paul F. Voelker1933-1935

Eugene B. Elliott1935-1950

Elected Regents and Those Appointed to Fill Vacancies

Michael A. Patterson1852-1858

Edward Shaw Moore1852-1858

Elon Farnsworth1852-1858

James Kingsley1852-1858

Elisha Ely1852-1854

Charles Henry Palmer1852-1858

Andrew Parsons1852-1854

William Upjohn1852-1858

Henry Horatio Northrop1854-1858

Benjamin Levi Baxter1858-1864

James Eastman Johnson1858-1870

Levi Bishop1858-1864

Donald McIntyre1858-1864

Ebenezer Lakin Brown1858-1864

Luke H. Parsons1858-1862

John Van Vleck1858

Henry Whiting1858-1864

Oliver Lyman Spaulding1858-1864

William Montague Ferry1858-1864

George Bradley1858-1864

Edward Carey Walker1864-1882

George Willard1864-1874

Thomas Dwight Gilbert1864-1876

Thomas Jefferson Joslin1864-1868

Henry C. Knight1864-1867

Alvah Sweetzer1864

James Albert Sweezey1864-1872

Cyrus Moses Stockwell1865-1872

John Mahelm Berry Sill1867-1870

Hiram Austin Burt1868-1876

Joseph Estabrook1870-1878

Jonas Hartzel McGowan1870-1877

Claudius Buchanan Grant1872-1880

Charles Rynd1872-1880

Andrew Climie1874-1881

Byron MacCutcheon1876-1883

Samuel Snow Walker1876-1884

Victory Phelps Collier1877

George Duffield1877-1886

George Lewis Maltz1878-1880

James Shearer1880-1888

Ebenezer Oliver Grosvenor1880-1888

Jacob J. VanRiper1880-1886

Austin Blair1881-1890

James Frederick Joy1882-1887

Lyman Decatur Norris1883-1884

Arthur Merrill Clark1884-1892

Charles Joseph Willett1884-1892

Moses Wheelock Field1886-1894

Charles Rudolphus Whitman1886-1894

Charles Stuart Draper1887-1892

Roger Williams Butterfield1888-1904

Charles Hebard1888-1896

Hermann Kiefer1889-1902

William Johnson Cocker1890-1901

Peter Napoleon Cook1892-1900

Henry Howard1892-1894

Levi Lewis Barbour       1892-1898 &1902-1908

Frank Ward Fletcher1894-1910

Henry Stewart Dean1894-1908

George Alexander Farr1896-1904

Charles DeWitt Lawton1898-1906

Eli Ransom Sutton1900-1902

Arthur Hill1901-1909

Henry Westonrae Carey1902-1910

Loyal Edwin Knappen1904-1911

Peter White1904-1908

Walter Hulme Sawyer1906-1931

Junius Emery Beal1908-1940

Frank Bruce Leland1908-1924

Chase Salmon Osborn1908-1911

John Henry Grant1909-1914

William Lawrence Clements1910-1934

George Pierre Codd1910-1911

Lucius Lee Hubbard1911-1933

Benjamin Sawtell Hanchett1911-1933

Harry Conant Bulkley1911-1918

William Alfred Comstock1913-1914

Victor Michael Gore1914-1930

James Orin Murfin1918-1934 &1834-1938

Ralph Stone1924-1940

Esther Marsh Cram1929-

R. Perry Shorts1930-1934

Richard R. Smith1931-1938

Edmund C. Shields1933-1936 &1938-

Charles F. Hemans1934-

Franklin M. Cook1934-

David H. Cowley1936-

John D. Lynch1938-

Harry G. Kipke1940-

J. Joseph Herbert1940-

Officers of the Board

Secretaries and Stewards

Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary1852

Oliver Warner Moore, Secretary1852-1853

Edward Raymond Chase, Secretary1853-1854

Alexander Winchell, Secretary1854-1856

Joseph Hardcastle Vance, Steward1855-1859

John Livingston Tappan, Secretary1856-1858

Daniel Leonard Wood, Secretary1858-1864

John Hiram Burleson, Steward1859-1864

Secretary and Steward1864-1869

Henry DeWitt Bennett

Secretary and Steward1869-1883

James Henry Wade

Secretary and Steward1883-1908

Shirley Wheeler Smith, Secretary1908-


John Manly Chase1852-1858

Henry Woolsey Welles1858-1860

Volney Chapin1860-1864

Donald McIntyre1864-1872

John Marshall Wheeler1872-1878

William Addison Tolchard1878-1883

Harrison Soule1883-1908

George Sumner Baker1908-1911

Robert Alexander Campbell1911-1931

The lack of a settled personnel policy as to officers of the Board during the Tappan and Haven administrations is obvious. Of all the secretaries and treasurers of the Board of Regents, Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary in 1852, was the only one to hold the office while he was serving as a regular member of the Board. Donald McIntyre, on the other hand, was following the example of John J. Adam in serving the Board as treasurer after his term as Regent had expired. The secretary from 1854 to 1856 was Professor Alexander Winchell, the only person who ever served simultaneously as a full-time member of the teaching staff and as an officer of the Board.

Secretary John L. Tappan and Steward Joseph Vance, however, were librarians of the University while they were officers of the Board.

To prevent confusion it should perhaps be pointed out that Secretary D. L. Wood was Daniel Wood, not the University's well-known engineering professor of that period, DeVolson Wood; and also that the Regent George Duffield of 1877-86 was not the Regent George Duffield of 1839-48, but his son.

E. Blythe Stason

Helen Travis


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Personnel of the Governing Board

The University of Michigan

Constitutions of 1850 & 1908