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Joseph W. Cox records

 Record Group
Identifier: 001-001-011

Scope and Contents

These records which date from 1978 until 1979 are comprised of correspondence to and from Joseph W. Cox during his tenure as Acting President.


  • 1978-1979, undated


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Biographical Note

A native of Maryland, Joseph Cox received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1959 and a doctoral degree in History in 1967 from The University of Maryland. He was appointed Instructor of History at Towson State University in 1964, concentrating on Early American and Canadian history. In 1968, he was granted tenure at Towson and was made a Professor of History in 1972. He would become an Associate Dean of the College for English, History, and the Social Sciences in 1969 and then Dean of Evening, Summer, and Minimester Programs in 1972. He was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the University in 1977, a position he held until his departure from Towson in 1981. During his tenure at Towson, Cox made many contributions to the school’s administrative structure and academic programs. He developed two interdisciplinary programs -- the Liberal Arts and Science major and General Studies majors. A committee Cox chaired to re-evaluate the Graduate Program led to the development of the Master’s in Liberal Arts degree in 1974. He was instrumental in developing a program where people could obtain second bachelor’s degrees, and he began the winter Minimester program in 1973. He also focused on faculty and student development, creating programs for sabbatical leave and summer development grants for faculty and implementing a new Liberal Studies core program that emphasized writing for students. He also helped establish the Towson University Foundation to raise money towards further financial endeavors for the school. After the departure of President James Fisher in 1978, Cox was named Acting President at Towson, and threw his name into the candidates’ pool for the President’s office. While acting as President he was an outspoken advocate for a centralized governing body to oversee higher education in all of Maryland, and he also campaigned aggressively for improving funding to Towson State University to support programs for students. He also believed that faculty should be awarded with merit pay rather than promotions. When the President’s position was awarded to Hoke L. Smith in 1979, Cox remained at Towson for two more years, ultimately leaving to become the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Cox was awarded an honorary degree by Towson State University in May, 1990 while he was President at Southern Oregon State College.


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Language of Materials



Joseph W. Cox was acting President of Towson State University from 1978 to 1979. These records are comprised of correspondence to and from Cox during his tenure.

Processing Information

Removed file from Fisher records, UA00010_10. Re-housed documents in new folder.
Guide to the Joseph W. Cox records
Created by Felicity Knox. Revised and transferred to ArchivesSpace by John Esh.
2010, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Albert S. Cook Library
8000 York Rd
Towson MD 21252 United States