Special Collections and Archives

B. Earle Roberts papers

Special Collections and Archives

B. Earle Roberts papers

Important Notice: Due to a grant-sponsored project to digitize materials from the May 4 Collection, in-person use of the May 4 Collection is available by appointment only. Please help us serve you better by contacting us in advance to schedule an appointment for access to this collection.

B. Earle Roberts papers

May 4 Collection - Box 134

Finding Aid

Prepared by Katy L. Watts, December 19, 2005; Revised June 2017


Inclusive Dates: 1968-1983
Bulk Dates: 1968-1973
Extent: 1.0 cubic foot (1 record storage box)
Physical Location: 12th floor; oversized materials are shelved in map case


Biographical Note: B. Earle Roberts was born on July 25, 1930. He earned a B.S. and M.A. from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and served for two years as Police Chief in Battle Creek, Michigan. Roberts began teaching at Kent State University in the Department of Political Science in 1965. In 1970, he became Chairman of the newly formed Department of Criminal Justice Studies.

Roberts served on a number of committees following the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970. He was a trustee for the Kent Students Medical Fund, participated in the Kent Community for Non-Violent Change, and was a member of the Committee for Non-Violence, which established the peace marshals on campus at Kent State. Roberts’ most prominent role was as the chair of the Campus Security Advisory Committee, an organization he helped to establish that aimed to provide direction for improving the University’s security and police department. Later in his career, Roberts became chair of the Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum, creating ethics guidelines to ease the tension between religious and professional group on campus.

Roberts retired from full-time teaching at Kent State in 1985, and became an Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice Studies in 1986. 


Scope and Content: This collection mainly documents Roberts’ role as a faculty member involved in many committees and commissions related to campus security following the Kent State shootings. Roberts held positions on the following committees: Campus Security Advisory Committee (CSAC), Commission on Campus Security (CCS), Committee for Non-Violence (CNV), Kent Community for Non-Violent Change (KCNC), Kent Students Medical Fund (KSMF), and the Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum (PCEVC). The papers also include materials related to the Black United Students (BUS) Walkout in 1968, the Kent State shootings and their aftermath, the 1978 Commemoration of May 4, and two student research papers related to campus security and law enforcement at Kent State University. 


Arrangement: This collection is organized into the following series. Materials within each series are arranged alphabetically by format. 


Restrictions on Access: Some information included in this collection is restricted due to the presence of information protected by privacy laws. This information has been redacted where present on documents in the collection. Un-redacted originals, in all cases, have been retained by Special Collections and Archives.


May 4 Collection - Box 134
Folder -- Contents

Series 1: Black United Students (BUS) Walkout
Scope and Content: Includes materials related to the mass Black student walkout of November 1968, led by members of Black United Students (BUS), to demonstrate against the presence of recruiters for the police force in Oakland, California on campus at Kent State University. This event is often referred to as the “BUS Walkout.” 

  1. BUS Walkout: Clippings: November 1968
  2. BUS Walkout: Correspondence: October-November 1968
    Scope and Content: Correspondence from students, faculty, and administrators regarding the Black Student Walkout. Includes a letter to B. Earle Roberts from James M. Newman, Personnel Director of the Office of Civil Service Board in Oakland, California, confirming the arrangement for the City of Oakland Patrolman recruitment trip to Kent State in November 1968.  
  3. BUS Walkout: Flyers, Leaflets, Statements: November 1968
    Scope and Content: Flyers, leaflets, and statements related to BUS/SDS Oakland Police Protest and the Black Student Walkout.
  4. BUS Walkout: “Statement of Resistance,” by Chuck Noell: March 4, 1969 

Series 2: Kent State Shootings and Aftermath
Scope and Content: This series contains materials generated immediately following the Kent State shootings, including correspondence, leaflets, a program and statement for a memorial service, and news clippings.

  1. Kent State Shootings: Correspondence: Interdepartmental: 1970
  2. Kent State Shootings: Correspondence: Robert White to parents: October 20, 1970
  3. Kent State Shootings: Correspondence: Robert White to University Community: March 29, 1971
  4. Kent State Shootings: Leaflet: To “Concerned Kent State Students”: 1970
  5. Kent State Shootings: Leaflets: Joe Hill Collective: circa 1970
  6. Kent State Shootings: List: Organizations Created to Maintain Campus Order: 1970
  7. Kent State Shootings: Memorial Service Program: May 8, 1970
    Scope and Content: Program for a memorial service for slain Kent State University students at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
  8. Kent State Shootings: Memorial Service Statement: May 1970
    Scope and Content: Statement possibly written by the parents of the slain Kent State University students and read at a memorial service at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. on May 8, 1970.
  9. Kent State Shootings: News Clipping: "The Kent State Affair," The Plain Dealer: May 28, 1970
    Physical Location: This item is oversized and is filed in the map case. 
  10. Kent State Shootings: Newsletter: Kent State University in Exile: circa 1970

Series 3: Committees and Commissions
Scope and Content: Contains materials created by committees and commissions on which B. Earle Roberts served, including correspondence, clippings, meeting minutes, notes, press releases, proposals, reports, and statements. 

Campus Security Advisory Committee (CSAC)

  1. CSAC: Correspondence: November 1971-August 1972
  2. CSAC: Correspondence: September 1972-January 1973
  3. CSAC: KSU Police Hierarchical Grid: June 1972
  4. CSAC: Leaflet: October 19, 1972
    Scope and Content: Leaflet for a panel discussion on campus security, sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
  5. CSAC: Letter to the Editor, by B. Earle Roberts: December 6, 1972
  6. CSAC: Member Lists: 1972
  7. CSAC: Memo: February 4, 1972
    Scope and Content: Memorandum to State University Presidents from Eric R. Gilbertson, Assistant Attorney General, regarding “mutual jurisdiction and authority of police agencies and general authority of university police on university property.”
  8. CSAC: Minutes: March-November 1972
  9. CSAC: News Clippings: 1971
  10. CSAC: News Clippings: March-April 1972
  11. CSAC: News Clippings: May-December 1972
  12. CSAC: News Clippings: 1973
  13. CSAC: Notes by B. Earle Roberts: 1972
  14. CSAC: Press Releases: 1972
  15. CSAC: Proposed and Official Policies: 1971-1973
    Scope and Content: Proposed and official policy statements regarding surveillance at Kent State University.
  16. CSAC: Questionnaire: Spring 1972
    Scope and Content: Proposals, drafts, and documents related to a questionnaire used by the Campus Security Advisory Committee to conduct a study of the campus police.
  17. CSAC: Report: “Campus Police - An Experimental Course”: undated
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by CSAC member Bob Peabody.
  18. CSAC: Report: “The Campus Police at Kent State: A Survey of Opinion”: August 1972
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by CSAC member D. James Dooling.
    Physical Description: Includes typescript drafts with handwritten annotations.
  19. CSAC: Report: “Campus Security Policies and Operations”: November 17, 1972
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by CSAC members Thomas Anderson, Tobie Fixler, Allan Morris, and Michael White.
  20. CSAC: Report: Operations Subcommittee: undated
  21. CSAC: Report: “Preliminary Draft of a Report to the Select Committee to Investigate Campus Disturbances”: January 21, 1971
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by Kent State University President Robert I. White to the U.S. Senate.
  22. CSAC: Report: “Report of the Campus Security Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Ideal Models for Campus Security”: undated
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by CSAC member Allen Rawitch.
  23. CSAC: Report: “Ron Mohr Incident”: undated
    Related Materials: See also the Kent State University Police records, Litigation Series for detailed information on the Reinhold Mohr case.
  24. CSAC: Report with Recommendations: June 1972
    Scope and Content: Report submitted to Kent State University President Glenn A. Olds.
  25. CSAC: Reports: Sub-Committees: 1972
  26. CSAC: Reported Offenses to Campus Police: January-May 1972
  27. CSAC: Statement by Michael White: undated
    Scope and Content: Remarks made by CSAC member Mike White explaining his reasons for not participating in a panel at a Conference on Campus Security.
  28. CSAC: Cassette Tapes: Meetings: 1972
    Scope and Content:  Includes 9 audio cassette tape recordings of CSAC meetings.
    Restrictions on Use: The audio cassettes cannot be played at this time due to the fragility of the original recordings. These items will be digitally captured in the future to allow for full access without having to play original recordings. 

Commission on Campus Security (CCS)

  1. CCS: “Report of the Commission on Campus Security”: June 19, 1970
    Scope and Content: Report submitted by Chairman of the Commission on Campus Security Arvin I. Lubetkin.

Committee for Non-Violence (CNV)

  1. CNV: “A Proposed Faculty Marshalls Program”: undated
  2. CNV: “Committee for Non-Violence (Marshalls)” by B. Earle Roberts: circa 1970
  3. CNV: Correspondence to Faculty: July 1, 1970
  4. CNV: Handbook: “Marshals: What do they do? How do you train them?”: undated
    Scope and Content: Published by Friends Peace Committee.
  5. CNV: Member Contact List: undated
  6. CNV: Minutes: June 3, 1970
  7. CNV: Notes: undated
  8. CNV: Objectives and Chronology: 1970
  9. CNV: Proposals: undated
  10. CNV: Training Committee Report: July 21, 1970
  11. CNV: “Training for Demonstrations” and “The Marshal: New Problems, New Approaches,” by Charles C. Walker: undated

Kent Community for Non-Violent Change (KCNC)

  1. KCNC: Correspondence: 1970
  2. KCNC: Curriculum Sub-Committee Report: undated
  3. KCNC: Sub-Committee Lists: undated

Kent Students Medical Fund (KSMF)

  1. KSMF: Articles of Incorporation: May 26, 1970
  2. KSMF: Committee Member Lists: 1970
  3. KSMF: Correspondence: 1970
  4. KSMF: Information Bulletin: 1970
  5. KSMF: Minutes: May 1970
  6. KSMF: Report: Development of Committee: May-June 1970

Presidential Commission on Ethics and Values in the Curriculum (PCEVC)

  1. PCEVC: Correspondence: to Michael Schwartz from B. Earle Roberts: September 7, 1983
  2. PCEVC: Report with Recommendations: 1983?

Series 4: 1978 May 4 Commemoration
Scope and Content: Includes materials related to the 1978 Commemoration of May 4, 1970, which involved disagreements among members of the Kent State community on how the commemoration should be planned.  

  1. 1978 Commemoration: Correspondence: March-May 1978
  2. 1978 Commemoration: Drafts and Notes Concerning Faculty Action: undated
  3. 1978 Commemoration: Meeting Attendance Sheets: 1978
  4. 1978 Commemoration: Remarks by B. Earle Roberts: October 5, 1978
    Scope and Content: Approximate transcription of remarks made by Roberts regarding the 1978 Commemoration of May 4, 1970. 

Series 5: Student Research Papers
Scope and Content: This series contains a student research paper and a project proposal, both on the topic of campus security at Kent State University.

  1. Student Paper: A Comparison of Attitudes Towards the Campus Police: Spring 1970 - Fall 1971, by Charles G. McCoy: December 8, 1971
  2. Student Paper Proposal: The Re-Institution of Law Enforcement Recruitment at Kent State University, by Jim Levine: December 1, 1972