Special Collections and Archives

Harold Kitner May 4 papers

Special Collections and Archives

Harold Kitner May 4 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.

Harold Kitner May 4 papers

May 4 Collection - Box 70

Finding Aid

Prepared by Kenneth D. Knape, May 1991; Updated November 2016; Revised April 2017


Inclusive Dates: 1970-1971
Extent: .33 cubic feet (1 document case)
Physical Location: 12th floor


Biographical Note: Harold Kitner began teaching art and art history at Kent State University in 1947. During his career, he served as Director and Chairman of the Fine Arts Division. Kitner played a significant role in creating the Art School’s core program, organizing the Kent State Arts Festival, and the Blossom Festival School. He also served as President of the Kent chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and was an art critic for the Akron Beacon Journal. In 1967, Kitner became Kent State University’s first Faculty Ombudsman, officially titled Dean for Faculty Counsel. He held this position until 1974. At the time of the Kent State shootings, Kitner’s position as Ombudsman meant that he was involved in many of the decisions regarding University administration in the weeks and months following the Kent State shootings. Kitner began a partial retirement in 1980, and left Kent to become the director of the Institute of the South Florida Art Center in 1990. He died on January 3, 2004.


Scope and Content: This collection documents Harold Kitner’s role as Faculty Ombudsman in the immediate aftermath of the Kent State shootings. Included are correspondence, flyers, memos, reports, statements, and other materials from Kitner, faculty members, and administrators involved in University governance surrounding the Kent State shootings.


Processing Note: The collection was formerly known as “Kent State University Department of Political Science May 4 records.” It was recently determined that this collection actually originated with Kitner and had erroneously been attributed to the political science department through a clerical error.


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 70
Folder -- Content

  1. Correspondence: to/from Kitner: May-June 1970
  2. Correspondence: from Kitner to Thomas Lough: November 1970
    Scope and Content: Includes a copy of a complaint filed in the case Adamek et al. v. Brown et al.
  3. Correspondence: to Kitner from Robert I. White: 1970
    Scope and Content: Contains samplings of letters sent to White from citizens around the country and from Kent State University students. These letters were then forwarded to Kitner.
  4. Correspondence: from Robert I. White to John D. Millett: May 12, 1970
    Scope and Content: Letter sent to Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents John D. Millett regarding the injunction to close Kent State University.
  5. Correspondence: telegram from Kent State University Faculty Senate to Congress: May 14, 1970
  6. Eyewitness Account: Miami University: April 16, 1970
    Scope and Content: Eyewitness account of the student occupation of the ROTC building on the Miami University campus in Oxford, Ohio.
  7. Flyers/Leaflets: Kent State University Funds: circa 1970
    Scope and Content: Includes flyers and leaflets from the Kent Student Defense Fund, Kent Students Medical Fund, Students Fund for Kent Damages, and the Universities National Anti-War Fund of KSU. Also contains a leaflet to “all concerned Kent State students.”
  8. Lists: Committees/Organizations formed after Kent State shootings: 1970
  9. Memos: Commission on KSU Violence: June 1970
  10. Memos: to Kitner: 1970-1971
  11. Memos: Reopening the University: 1970
  12. Petition: from "group of undergraduate students": 1970
    Scope and Content:  Photocopy of a petition signed by a group of undergraduate students concerned with reopening the University and preventing future problems. Includes recommendations on University and student control, and student government.
  13. Press Release: from Jim Nuber to editors of the Reader’s Digest: March 1971
    Scope and Content: Press release on the subject of the Reader’s Digest condensed version of James Michener’s book, Kent State: Campus Under Fire.
  14. Press Release: from “The teachers at Kent State University”: circa 1970
  15. Report: Legislative Service Commission: June 1970
    Scope and Content: The report pertains to the injunction to close Kent State University following the shootings.
  16. Report: “Research at Kent State University,” by J. W. McGrath: June 16, 1970
  17. Resolution: Political Science Graduate Students: 1970
  18. Resolutions and Motions: Faculty Senate: May 1970
  19. Speech: Martin K. Nurmi to Faculty Senate: October 19, 1970
  20. Statement: John A. Flower: July 15, 1970
    Scope and Content: Statement made to the Sub-Committee of the Ohio Select Legislative Committee on Campus Disorder by John A. Flower, Dean of the College of Fine and Professional Arts, Kent State University.
  21. Statement: Governor James A. Rhodes: May 3, 1970
    Scope and Content: A transcript by Kent State University Radio-TV Information of a statement made by Rhodes at a press conference regarding disorders in Kent.
  22. Statement: unsigned regarding shootings: 1970
  23. Statement: unsigned account of events on May 21-23, 1971: 1971
  24. Survey Results: Merlin Correll: June 1970
    Scope and Content:  Contains responses to a questionnaire that asked what would happen if the U.S. withdrew troops from Vietnam and Cambodia. A copy of the results was forwarded to Kitner.
  25. Subject File: American Association of University Professors: 1970
  26. Subject File: Committee for Nonviolence: May-June 1970
  27. Subject File: Kent State University in Exile: 1970
  28. Subject File: Kent Student Medical Fund: 1970
  29. Writings: “Youth in Turmoil, Maturity in Confusion: Our Need for Compassion,” by John A. Flower: June 1970