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Chancellor (E. K. Fretwell) Records, 1966-1989

Identifier: UA0030

Scope and Contents

The Chancellor (E. K. Fretwell) Records consist of the office files of Dr. E. K. Fretwell, who served as the second chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The bulk of this collection dates from 1979 to 1989, but a few files were carried over from Dean W. Colvard’s chancellorship and can be found in this collection as well.

Major subject areas include committees and associations; major university divisions such as Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Student Affairs, and Development; faculty and general personnel matters; foundations and scholarships; campus planning and expansion; correspondence with various individuals; professional societies, civic organizations, and other educational institutions; the University of North Carolina System, including the system president and board of governors; the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees; local, state, and national government; development of the University City area of Charlotte; and the administrative functioning of the Office of the Chancellor. Other topics include media outlets and publications, commencement, minority presence at UNC Charlotte, and Fretwell’s personal interest in trains.

This collection has been divided into the following fifteen series, many of which have further subseries: University of North Carolina System; UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees; Administrative Offices and Divisions; Campus Planning and Facilities; Committees; Reports; Commencement; International and Domestic Travel and Partnerships; Government; University City Area; Businesses and Organizations; News and Media; Honors, Award, and Memorials; People; Alphabetical Subject Files.

For more information about specific topics covered in the collection and their historical context, see the Historical Note.


  • Creation: 1966 - 1989


Accessing the Collection

This collection contains some restricted material. Certain files containing student and personnel information are restricted and must be reviewed by archives staff for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) before access can be granted.


Copyright held by UNC Charlotte. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical Note

After UNC Charlotte’s first chancellor Dean W. Colvard retired, Elbert Kirtley (E. K.) Fretwell, Jr. began his tenure as the university’s second chancellor in 1979. Over the next ten years until his retirement, he saw UNC Charlotte’s enrollment grow by over 30 percent and the campus expand through the completion of fourteen new buildings for residential, academic, and administrative use, including Colvard, Friday, Reese, Burson, and McMillan Greenhouse. Shortly after his arrival, the university underwent a major academic restructuring, whereby the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the College of Human Development and Learning were merged to become the new College of Arts and Sciences. Not long after, the College of Human Development and Learning became the College of Education and Allied Professions.

In addition to fulfilling his roles as chancellor, Dr. Fretwell maintained involvement in numerous national, regional, and local associations and clubs. Among these are the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which he led and with which he traveled to several countries; the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges; the Council on Postsecondary Education; the Education Commission of the States; the American Council on Education, of which he was chairman; the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities; the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

When Chancellor Fretwell retired in 1989, a party was held in his honor and termed the Fretwell Roast.


112.17 Linear Feet (267 boxes + 2 oversize folders [264 letter document cases, 2 legal document cases, 1 record carton, 1 oversize flat, 1 map case folder])

Language of Materials



Records of the Office of the Chancellor, largely from the period when E. K. Fretwell held the office.

Related Materials

Chancellor Installation Records (UA0032)

Chancellor (Dean W. Colvard) Records (UA0026)

Chancellor (James H. Woodward) Records (UA0174)

Chancellor (Philip L. Dubois) Records

E. K. Fretwell, Jr. Papers (MS0200)

UNC Charlotte Photographs Collection (UA0066)

The files of the various vice chancellors (Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, Student Affairs) and other campus offices provide related materials on the development of the university and its programs.

Previous versions of the Office of the Chancellor website dating back to 2015 have been archived and are available at*/

Processing Information

The arrangement of files in this collection is predominantly based on topics rather than on administrative functions. In some cases, such as with major administrative divisions, Chancellor Fretwell’s files were originally arranged by office (e.g. Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, etc.). Where discernable, these groupings were maintained. Remaining files were originally ordered alphabetically by subject. When processing, the archives assistant grouped file names into topical series for ease of reference. In some cases, files were added to existing divisional series (e.g. Business Affairs) when other files pertaining to the same subject already existed in that series. For example, files on National Endowment for the Humanities do not necessarily contain material generated by Development and Public Service, but they were added to the Foundations and Endowments subseries under this office so that they would be with files on similar topics. Physically, the folders have been kept in the order in which they were received from the Chancellor’s Office.

Files that have single dates often actually contain material from subsequent years as well. In most cases, dates written on the original folders were transcribed without confirming them from the actual materials.

There is no folder 59 in Box 10, no folder 61 in Box 11, no folder 244 in Box 26, no folder 704 in Box 61, no folders 746-747 in Box 64, no folders 775 or 780-781 in Box 67, no folder 799 in Box 69, no folder 84 in Box 80, no folders 106-107 in Box 83, no folders 164-167 in Box 88, no folders 236 or 243 in Box 91, no folders 188-199 in Box 202, no folder 790 in Box 256, and no folders 840-841 in Box 262.

Chancellor (E. K. Fretwell) records, 1966-1989
Olivia Eanes
February 2020
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte [All collections not yet online. For assistance, contact Special Collections:; 704-687-1170] Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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