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UA31: WPI Plan

Identifier: UA31

Scope and Contents

This collection of records documents the period of development, implementation and evaluation of the WPI Plan from 1969 to 1986. The collection primarily consists of published reports, proposals, white papers and grant applications. The original four reports of the Planning Committee document the conception and development of the plan. Various proposals and guidelines from the implementation phase are collected here. Extensive and subsequent evaluation reports, most funded by NEH grants, were published at 3 and 5 years after the implementation of the plan. Analysis, proposals and examples of the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), which became a hallmark of the Plan, make up a series in this collection. Examples of marketing materials and articles written about the Plan are included in the final series.

The provenance and accession of the material is unknown. It’s probable that this body of records was artificially pulled together to form this collection during the twenty-fifth commemoration of the WPI Plan in 1996. Records of The Planning Committee have been removed and integrated into UA04 – President’s Planning Group (some folders had this RG# indicated). Some records were transferred from UA03 – Provost & VP for Administration where there was duplication or reports missing from the WPI Plan records. This now forms a more complete record in one collection. There was quite a bit of duplication in this collection. Up to three copies of reports have been retained with fourth or fifth copies removed.

Records are arranged chronologically within each series to document the evolution of the WPI Plan as much as possible.

Series 1: Reports of the President’s Planning Committee, 1969-1970 (.8 lin ft) Series 2: Implementation of the WPI Plan, 1970-1976 (.4 lin ft) Series 3: Evaluation Reports, 1972-1985 (1.2 lin ft) Series 4: Interactive Qualifying Project, 1972-1986 (.6 lin ft) Series 5: WPI Plan Marketing Material and Articles, 1969-1977 (.4 lin ft)


  • 1969 - 1986

Conditions Governing Access

Permission of Archivist

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply

Biographical / Historical

Nine faculty members formed the President’s Planning Committee appointed by WPI President Harry Storke in 1968, and began to explore and formulate a new curriculum model in early 1969. The committee, reformulated with elected members of the faculty in June 1969, produced three reports on “The Future of Two Towers” and a final fourth report that would become the WPI Plan implemented beginning in the fall of 1970.

This colossal effort involved uprooting WPI's traditional engineering curriculum, replacing it with a radically different approach to technological education, maintaining that new program in the face of a host of internal and external threats, and, ultimately, re-evaluating what became of the Plan and debating, over and over again, how to craft an undergraduate curriculum suitable for the challenges of the decades ahead.

Two of the Plan’s degree requirements are major projects, including the Interactive Qualifying Project, or IQP, a pedagogical innovation unique to WPI. Requiring students (and faculty advisors) to step beyond the disciplinary bounds of their fields, this project brings interdisciplinary teams together to attack problems with both technological and human dimensions.


3.4 Linear Feet (9 flip-top document boxes )

Language of Materials


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Repository Details

Part of the WPI University Archives Repository

100 Institute Road
George C. Gordon Library
Worcester MA 01609 USA