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Edward R. Schatz Papers

Identifier: 0000-85

Scope and Contents note

This collection contains the administrative papers of Edward R. Schatz, Ph.D. stored in 20 record center boxes (20 cubic feet). The collection comprises correspondence, memoranda, reports, contracts, proposals, minutes, legal material, publications, speeches, notes, surveys, grants, blueprints, press releases, and data spreadsheets. The papers are arranged into five series reflecting the role and responsibilities of Schatz as a member of the Carnegie Mellon community: Series I. Faculty Member (1940) 1945-1964; Series II. Dean of Research (1959-1960) 1961-1965 (1968); Series III. Vice President of Academic Affairs 1963-1982; Series IV. Acting President (1970-1971) 1972; and Series V. Senior Vice President (1970-1980) 1981-1996.

Many of the Schatz papers focus on a variety of academic issues confronted by the university from 1946 to 1996 and can be found in the abundant committee files. In particular, researchers should consult the files on the Educational Policy Committee, Educational Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, Educational Policy Council (renamed the Educational Affairs Council in 1973), and the University Research Council.

The Schatz papers document the evolution of Carnegie Tech, later Carnegie Mellon, into a major research institution. Subjects of importance include Carnegie Institute of Technology: A Profile, Carnegie Tech: Yesterday and Today, Two Decades of Performance / One of Promise 1952-1962 / 1962-1972, “Professional, Creative Leadership: The Origins and Development of the Carnegie Plan,” Carnegie Tech Campus Study, Pittsburgh Drama Clan Presents a History: 1914-1981, and the “Conversion of a Local Technical School into a Distinguished International Research University.” Other reports center on the quality of student life, and the status and needs of women and minorities at Carnegie Mellon. This collection also contains several folders on the merger of Carnegie Institute of Technology with Mellon Institute in 1967 to form Carnegie Mellon University, including the by-laws and faculty constitution.

Other subject matters documented in the collection are Carnegie Mellon’s response and plan to address affirmative action and student demonstrations, the creation and administration of the Computation Center, the relationships built between the university and with local hospitals and businesses, and the long-range and strategic planning process and decisions made by university administrators.

Although the archivist removed tenure files on specific faculty members, they did retain faculty profile information and tenure data. Some of the faculty files contain private grievances and lawsuits against the university regarding sabbatical leave, tenure and contract disputes.


  • Majority of material found within 1964-1987
  • 1940-1996


Biographical/Historical note

Edward Ralph Schatz revolved his professional life around Carnegie Mellon University for over half a century. He was born to Ralph and Thecla Schatz on November 28, 1921 in St. Mary’s, PA. He arrived at Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1939 to study electrical engineering; aside from a brief period during World War II when he worked on the Manhattan project in New Mexico, he spent the next 57 years at the university.

Schatz earned all three of his degrees in electrical engineering at Carnegie Tech (E’42, E’43, E’49). As a 21-year-old graduate student, he joined the team of scientists working on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, NM from 1944-46. He worked on the triggering mechanism for the first atomic bomb that led to the end of war. In an interview near the end of his life, Schatz said that when he witnessed the blast of one of the first atomic test bombs, he did not immediately recognize its significance. He was simply trying to transform scientific theory into reality.

Upon his return to Carnegie Tech in 1946, Schatz taught electrical engineering at the school, also working towards his Ph.D. He rose through the faculty teaching ranks, receiving promotions from Instructor to Assistant Professor in 1949, to Associate Professor in 1952, and to Professor in 1961. His love and ability to teach was evident when he was one of the first recipients of the Carnegie Teaching Award in 1952. During his years as a faculty member, Schatz also served as Assistant Head of the Electrical Engineering department (1952-57), Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering and Science (1957-60), then Associate Dean (1960-61), and Acting Head of the Mechanical Engineering department (1960-61).

In 1961, he accepted the vacant position of Dean of Research. A few short years later, Schatz became the Vice President of Academic Affairs in 1964, serving in this capacity until 1981. During the first few months of 1972, Schatz served as Acting President upon the resignation of President H. Guyford Stever. From 1973-81, Schatz took on the added role of Provost.

At the time of his death, Schatz was Senior Vice President at Carnegie Mellon, a position he held since 1981. His most recent work included managing the construction of the $47 million University Center, which opened in the fall of 1996. He continually emphasized the consideration of the students in order to make the University Center the best for them. In the spring of 1996, Schatz was drawn back to his love of teaching after 20 years when he co-taught a seminar course on the History of Carnegie Mellon University with Ted Fenton, Director of University Outreach. Schatz had a deep interest in teaching and kept alive the “Carnegie Plan” – the emphasis on problem solving in education that was conceived at Carnegie Tech in the 1930s to improve undergraduate instruction. Shortly after his unexpected death, the students of his Seminar class painted “The Fence” in his honor.

In addition to his active professional life at the university, Schatz served as president of the board of trustees of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf from 1982 until his death, and had been a board member since 1974. Both his wife and daughter taught at the school. He also served on the board of the MPC Corporation and was affiliated with Pittsburgh’s First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Penn Group Health Plan, Regional Industrial Development Corporation, and the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education. Schatz was a senior member of the IEEE, a charter member of the Andrew Carnegie Society, and a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, Omicron Delta Kappa, and editor of Transition Metal Compounds. In addition to these business pursuits, Schatz enjoyed taking family photographs and reading.

At age 74, Schatz died of a stroke on April 6, 1996 in Shadyside Hospital and was buried in Johnstown, PA. He was survived by his wife, Virginia, and children, George and Eleanor. The University held a reception and a program of chamber music to honor Schatz, whose endless commitment to Carnegie Mellon endeared him to those who knew him.


20.0 Linear feet (20 boxes)