Guide to the Norman Gunderson Cybernetic Systems Program Collection MSS.2012.06.12

Xiaoda Wang
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
04/17/2013
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
special.collections@sjsu.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: Norman Gunderson Cybernetic Systems Program Collection
creator: Gunderson, Norman O.
source: Ferguson, Cherielyn
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2012.06.12
Physical Description: 1 box (1.25 linear feet)
Date (inclusive): 1952-2004 (bulk 1967-1984)
Abstract: This collection is comprised of professional materials, periodicals, ephemera, correspondence and photographs documenting Norman O. Gunderson's significant career as dean of School of Engineering at San Jose State University (1955-1970), as director of Masters Degree Program in Cybernetic Systems (1970), and as a legislative and educational consultant to Santa Clara County Director of Transportation after his retirement from academia (1975-1991). The bulk of this collection (1967-1984) contains primary and secondary sources that delineate Norman O. Gunderson’s role in the conception, establishment and expansion of SJSU’s Masters Degree Program in Cybernetic Systems. In 1970, Gunderson resigned as dean to direct the establishment and development of SJSU’s Masters Program in Cybernetic Systems, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on technology-oriented problem solving methodologies within political, economic, social, and moral systems. Included in these files are curriculum proposals, course description, lecture notes, correspondences, event brochures, newspaper clippings, and compiled course and research readings. Other significant parts of the collection include documents related to Gunderson’s effort to help SJSU School of Engineering obtain its state accreditation to offer graduate degree engineering programs and to provide research opportunities for faculty. The collection also contains personal effects and memorabilia, e.g., awards, honorable mentions, and miscellaneous biographical materials.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jose State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

Norman Gunderson Cybernetic Systems Program Collection, MSS.2012.06.12, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Xiaoda Wang. Finding aid created using Archivists' Toolkit. Reviewed by Danelle Moon.

Biographical History

This collection focuses primarily on Norman O. Gunderson’s (1918-1996) academic career at San Jose State College. Born in Laramie, Wyoming in 1918, Gunderson obtained a bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming in 1939. After graduation, he worked for U.S. Soil Conservation Service Bureau of Reclamation (1939-1941), then he entered U.S. Army and retired as Lieutenant Colonel (1941-1946). In 1942, Gunderson married Bonne Jeane Davis. In 1947, Gunderson received a M.A. in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming. Immediately afterwards, Gunderson was offered the position as assistant professor of Engineering at San Jose State College. In 1955, Gunderson was promoted to Dean of San Jose State College's Department of Engineering. During his tenure, he directed an effort to challenge the state-imposed restrictions on engineering education at the state college level, and successfully helped San Jose State College's Department of Engineering obtain its accreditation to offer graduate degree engineering programs and to provide research opportunities for faculty. Notably in the 1966-1967 academic year, Gunderson had the honor of inviting and accommodating the incessant futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) as San Jose State College’s first “Distinguished Scholar in Residence.” In 1970, Gunderson resigned to direct the establishment and development of San Jose State College’s Masters Program in Cybernetic Systems, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on technology-oriented problem solving methodologies within political, economic, social, and moral systems, which he had previously conceived during his deanship. After his retirement in 1983, Gunderson served as a legislative and educational consultant for Santa Clara County Transportation and supervised University Fellowship Program.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection is comprised of professional materials, periodicals, ephemera, correspondence and photographs documenting Norman O. Gunderson's significant career as Dean of the Department of Engineering at San Jose State College (1955-1970), as director of the Masters Degree Program in Cybernetic Systems (1970), and as a legislative and educational consultant to Santa Clara County Director of Transportation after retirement (1975-1991). In 1970, Gunderson resigned as dean to direct the establishment and development of San Jose State College's Masters Program in Cybernetic Systems, an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on technology-oriented problem solving methodologies within political, economic, social, and moral systems. The bulk of this collection (1967-1984) contains primary and secondary sources that delineate Norman O. Gunderson’s role in the conception, establishment and expansion of this program. Included in these files are curriculum proposals, course description, lecture notes, correspondences, event brochures, newspaper clippings, and compiled course readings. Other significant parts of the collection include documents related to Gunderson’s effort to help San Jose State College's Department of Engineering obtain its state accreditation to offer graduate degree engineering programs and to provide research opportunities for faculty. The collection also contains personal effects and memorabilia, e.g., awards, honorable mentions, and miscellaneous biographical materials.

Arrangement

Norman Gunderson Cybernetic Systems Program Collection is arranged into six series: Professional Materials, 1962-1991; Periodicals, 1954-1996; Correspondence, 1952-2001 (bulk 1980-1987); Ephemera, n.d., 1956-1996; Photographs, n.d., 1961-1968, 1980-1989; Biography and Awards, n.d., 1960, 1987-2004.

Bibliography

Gunderson, Norman O. “Cybernetics and Man in the engineering curriculum.” Journal of Engineering Education 56, no. 10 (1996): 362-365.
Gunderson, Norman O. An Oral History Conducted by the San Jose State University Archivist. Conducted by H. Brett Melendy. San Jose, CA: SJSU, 1987.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

San José State University -- Faculty
San José State University -- Curricula -- Programs
High technology and education -- California -- Santa Clara County
Cybernetics –- Research
Santa Clara County Transportation Agency -- History
Gunderson, Norman O.
Ferguson, Cherielyn

 

Series I: Professional Materials 1962-1991 1967-1984

Scope and Content of Collection

This series consists of materials related to Norman O. Gunderson’s work at San Jose State University and in Santa Clara County. The bulk contains primary and secondary documents that delineate Norman O. Gunderson’s role in the conception, establishment and expansion of SJSU’s Cybernetic Systems Program. Included in these files are curriculum proposals, course description, lecture notes, and compiled writings about systems analysis.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each subject.
 

Folder 1: Binder I - Cybernetic Systems Course 200 1977

 

Folder 2-4: Binder II - Cybernetic Systems Course 200 1979

 

Folder 5-12: Binder III - Various Courses 1979

 

Folder 13: Course Descriptions n.d.

 

Folder 14: Course Reader - Cybernetic Systems Course 200 1973

 

Folder 15: Course Syllabus and Schedule 1973-1974

 

Folder 16: Cybernetic Systems Program 1967-1984

 

Folder 17: Cybernetic Systems Program Awards 1978

 

Folder 18: A Guide to the Cybernetic Systems Program 1976

 

Folder 19-21: Lecture Slides n.d.

 

Folder 22: Other Writings on Cybernetic Systems 1962-1983

 

Folder 23: Reprint of Cybernation and Man 1965

 

Folder 24: Santa Clara Transportation and Education 1984-1991

 

Folder 25: School of Engineering 1967-1981

 

Folder 26: Selected Writings on Cybernetic Systems 1968-1982

 

Folder 27: A Systems Tools Handbook 1976

 

Series II: Periodicals 1954-1996 1954-1981

Scope and Content of Collection

This series contains newspaper clippings, newsletters and journals that document Norman O. Gunderson’s public appearances, academic work and achievements.

Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each subject.
 

Folder 28: Journals and Newsletters 1954-1981, 1996

 

Folder 29: Newspaper Clippings 1954-1988

 

Series III: Correspondence 1952-2004 1980-1987

Scope and Content of Collection

This series contains letters written by or to Norman O. Gunderson that are related to his academic and professional pursuits.

Arrangement

This series is arranged in chronological order.
 

Folder 30: Correspondence 1952-2001 1980-1987

 

Series IV: Ephemera 1956-1996

Scope and Content of Collection

This series contains pamphlets, event programs and invitations, and agendas that Norman O. Gunderson had collected during his career.

Arrangement

This series is arranged in chronological order.
 

Folder 31: Ephemera n.d., 1956-1996

 

Series V: Photographs 1961-1968, 1980-1989

Scope and Content of Collection

This series contains photographs that documents Norman O. Gunderson in various stages of his career and after.

Arrangement

This series is arranged in chronological order.
 

Folder 32: Photographs n.d., 1961-1968, 1980-1989

 

Series VI: Biography and Awards 1960, 1987-2004

Scope and Content of Collection

This seriess contains timeline, biographical notes, and awards attributed to Norman O. Gunderson.

Arrangement

This series is arranged in chronological order.
 

Folder 33: Biography and Awards n.d., 1960, 1987-2004