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Department of Economics Records

Identifier: U029


Collection contains the records of The Department of Economics as a division within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Denver. Though the Economics department at DU was established in 1922, the archival collection contains correspondence, news clippings, and annual reports from 1977-1989.


  • 1977-1989


Biographical / Historical

Economics as its own department at the University of Denver began in 1922, having split from a joint department with Sociology. In 1977, the Department of Economics moved administratively from the College of Business Administration (CBA) to the College of Arts and Sciences, while remaining physically in the CBA building on the Civic Center campus.

In 1981, after continued debate about the department’s location, Vice Chancellor Weiner invited interested Economics faculty to transfer to the College of Business Administration. Four Economics faculty members did so and the CBA formed the Department of Business Law and Economics. According to the chancellor, the CBA department would only serve MBA students and the Economics Department in the College of Arts and Sciences would offer the only undergraduate major in Economics. The Economics Department hired six new faculty over the next few years with the goal of developing more robust graduate curriculum including a Ph.D. program.

By 1984, the university was undergoing a major restructuring due to financial hardships and halted plans for a Ph.D. program in the Department of Economics. By 1986, most of the Economics faculty resigned or were on leave due to this decision, and the department fulfilled its course obligations with replacement lecturers. Having no Economics faculty by the spring of 1987, Dean William Zaranka proposed combining Economics with Political Science to form a joint department with Spencer Wellhofer as the Chair. This newly combined department would continue to offer separate majors as well as a new one of overlapping interest: Political Economy. At the end of the 1986-87, the university hired three new economists to revive the department with the new combined program, appointments that the CBA vehemently contested.

In 1989, the administration reiterated once again that Economics should exist only within the Social Science division of The College of Arts and Sciences and not in the CBA. In addition, the Provost Roy Wood insisted that the Department of Economics should exist on its own, rather than combined with Political Science.


1.25 Linear Feet (2 containers)


The collection is arranged in two boxes by object type (correspondence, news clippings, and annual reports).

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428