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James J. Duderstadt Papers

The materials in Deep Blue are part of a larger record group held at the Bentley Historical Library. For a complete listing of archival materials, see the James J. Duderstadt online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Nuclear engineer, professor and eleventh president of the University of Michigan (1988-1996), leader in efforts to transform the University of Michigan, and higher education generally, into a culturally diverse, financially secure, and technologically advanced institution. Includes speeches, presentations, writings and images. Portions of the collection are restricted. This collection represents the "personal papers" of president Duderstadt. Other material relating to his presidency is located in the record group "University of Michigan. President."


Nuclear engineer and eleventh President of the University of Michigan, James J. Duderstadt worked both to position the university as a leader in higher education and to transform the university into a new institutional "model" for higher education --an institutional model that could readily adapt to the changing needs of society.

Born on December 5, 1942 in Iowa, Duderstadt was raised in Carollton, Missouri. Duderstadt earned his B.S. in electrical engineering (summa cum laude), Yale University (1964); M.S. in engineering science, California Institute of Science (1965); and Ph.D. in engineering science and physics, California Institute of Technology (1967). Duderstadt's dissertation won the American Nuclear Society Mark Mills award, an honor presented to the nation's most outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in nuclear science and engineering. He married a high school classmate, Anne Marie Lock, in 1964. The Duderstadts have two daughters: Susan and Katharine.

After completing his master's and doctoral degrees in just three years, Duderstadt held a postdoctoral fellowship at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. In 1969 Duderstadt accepted an appointment as assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He achieved the status of full professor in 1976.

In the classroom, Duderstadt was the recipient of many awards for both his teaching and research efforts. He was the primary supervisor for twenty-two doctoral dissertations, co-authored several engineering textbooks, and published over sixty journal articles in the areas of nuclear reactor theory, radiation transport, kinetic theory and statistical mechanics, plasma physics, and computer simulation.

In 1981, Professor Duderstadt was appointed dean of the University of Michigan's College of Engineering. By 1986, Duderstadt had "rebuilt" the Engineering campus and reestablished the prestige of the college within the university and state of Michigan.

In 1986, Duderstadt was appointed University of Michigan's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. On June 10, 1988, the Regents of the University named James J. Duderstadt the 11th president of the University of Michigan. As president, he can be credited for instituting several changes in the cultural and physical landscape of Michigan. His vision of a multicultural community for the twenty-first century resulted in a strategic plan for the university titled The Michigan Mandate: A Strategic Linking of Academic Excellence and Social Diversity. New construction, renovation, and major improvements were realized through an enthusiastic fund-raising campaign called the "Campaign for Michigan." In addition to his efforts in shaping the campus both culturally and physically, Duderstadt can also be credited with overseeing the development of several research initiatives.

Duderstadt stepped down as president in 1996 and returned to the classroom as Professor of Science and Technology at Michigan. In addition, he heads the Millennium Project, a research center in the Media Union concerned with the impact of technology on research and teaching.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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