Skip to main content
Identifier: RG 09/A3/01

Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers University Office of the Secretary (Karl E. Metzger),


  • 1945-1975

Scope and Content Note

The Subject Files of the Secretary of the University, Karl E. Metzger, consist of 8.8 feet of records spanning the years between 1945 and 1975. They are housed in 23 manuscript boxes. The documents reflect the many areas of Rutgers in which Metzger was involved, with files representing diverse issues and aspects of the university.


8.8 Cubic Feet (23 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



The Secretary of the University is the official records keeper for the Board of Governors, the University Trustees, and the University Senate. In addition, the Secretary of the University is responsible for giving public notice for all meetings. Karl E. Metzger was the Secretary of the University for 23 years, from 1950 until 1973. The collection consists of subject files.

<emph render="bold">Administrative History</emph>

The Secretary of the University is the official records keeper for the Board of Governors, the University Trustees, and the University Senate. One of the early duties of the secretary of the University was to inform officers of the University for actions taken by the Board of Governors, University Trustees, and the University Senate, of actions taken which affect their units or areas of responsibility. In addition, the Secretary of the University was responsible for giving public notice for all meetings.

In 1991, the Board of Governors revised the duties of the Secretary of the University. According to the university regulations and procedures Manual, the Secretary of the University is responsible for planning and organizing the operations of the Boards of Governors and Trustees. Additionally, he must provide the members of the abovementioned groups with such information as they may require from time to time, or on a regular basis, to fulfill their statutory responsibilities. He is also responsible for advising all officers of the University in a timely manner of all actions taken by the Boards of Governors or Trustees, which affect their respective units or areas of responsibilities. In addition, the secretary is responsible for planning all public events. He is to maintain and publicize all University liaisons with the New Jersey Board of Higher Education, the Board of Managers of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and with several statutory and other advisory bodies associated with the University's academic units.

<emph render="bold">Biographical Sketch of Karl E. Metzger</emph>

Karl E. Metzger ("Duck") was born in Randolph, Vermont, on April 1, 1912. His father, Frazer Metzger, was Dean of Men at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. After graduating from Rutgers with a liberal arts degree in 1933, he joined the local company Johnson & Johnson, which sent him to San Paolo, Brazil, as factory superintendent for two years, where he learned to speak Portuguese fluently. In 1936 he went back to Rutgers and earned a master's degree in education in 1938. As a graduate student he was a co-author of the book "Guidance Practice in New Jersey; A Sequel to the Report Published in 1932." He then worked as a teacher at Lawrence Long Island High School from 1937-1940 and at Bound Brook High School, where he was chairman of the English department from 1940-1942. From the years 1942 to 1945 he served in World War II, where he was stationed in Brazil due to his knowledge of Portuguese. He also served in the Azores and Washington, and was finally stationed at LaGuardia Airport in New York, which set him up for his first peacetime job as supervisor of employment for the Easter region of TWA (1945-1947). He was Personnel Director at Greenbrair Hotel in West Virginia, before he came back to New Brunswick, where he worked for Rutgers president, Dr. Robert C. Clothier. On July 1, 1950 he was appointed to the post of Secretary of the University, which he kept until 1973.

Apart from these positions, Metzger was also very active in political and civic activities. In 1950 he was appointed by Courtney P. Brown, Chairman and the NJ Civil Defense Committee, to head the Rutgers University Civil Defense Plan. He served as mayor of the borough of Metuchen from 1954 to 1958, as director of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Middlesex County from 1955 to 1964, and as member of the executive Board of the Metropolitan Regional Council of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from 1956 to 1964. He also served as Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen for ten years and was chairman of the Gov. Richard J. Hughes' Advisory Commission on New Jersey Transportation. In 1964 he was appointed to the New Jersey Committee of the Regional Plan Association; 1967 he was elected as one of the directors of The National Bank of New Jersey, and in 1970 he was named chairman of the County's Bicentennial Committee. In the second half of the 1960s, Metzger was specially active in the Middlesex County Planning Board (1956-1969), and the Middlesex General Hospital.

In 1973, Metzger retired after serving 23 years as Secretary. Form 1975-77 hw worked at the Rutgers University Foundation. He headed the health unit at Mackenzie and Co. in 1979. Karl was married to Eleanor Hubbard Smith, his college sweetheart. They had two sons, Fraser Kirk Metzger and Karl E., Jr. Karl E. Metzger passed away in 1983.

Arrangement Note

The material is arranged in one series, Subject Files, 1945-1975. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically. Items within the folders are arranged chronologically with the exception of student deferrment records; these are arranged alphabetically by surname.

Related Material

Records pertaining to Karl E. Metzger are located in Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers and include Inventory to the Records of the Robert C. Clothier Administration, 1925-1952 (RG 04/A14).

Separated Material

A sound recording of Dr. Jones opening remarks at the All University Educational Conference of 1955 was removed to the audio-visual collection of the University Archives at Rutgers.


Board of Governors, University regulations and Procedures Manual, Book 1. Revised 1991. Section 1.2.1 Dawson, George. Goldfarb to Resign planning Board Post. New Brunswick Home News, December 12, 1969. Kavanaugh, Reginald. Karl E. Metzger: Tough Competitor for Dear Old Rutgers. New Brunswick Home News, April 29, 1967. Metzger Named to County Economic Opportunities Post. The Daily Home News, New Brunswick, NJ. November 8, 1966.
Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers University Office of the Secretary (Karl E. Metzger), 1945-1975 RG 09/A3/01
Edited Full Draft
Deborah Fisher, Samantha Tai, and Teresa Urspruch
May 2000
Language of description note
Finding Aid is written in English.

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
732-932-7012 (Fax)