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Institute for Innovative Education

papers of Clifford b. reifler

Clifford Bruce Reifler, MD, MPH (1931-1998) was director of the University Health Service (UHS) at the University of Rochester from 1970 until his retirement in 1994. The Papers of Clifford B. Reifler represent his work in student health and adolescent psychiatry at the University of North Carolina (1963-1970) and the University of Rochester (1970-1994), as well as his involvement with the Commission on Obscenity & Pornography (1970-1971) and the American College Health Association (1966-1997). The collection was presented to the Edward G. Miner Library by Dr. Reifler during his final illness. Processing the Papers of Clifford B. Reifler was completed in October 2003. The collection is contained in fifty-two boxes and occupies thirty linear feet.

Biographical Data

Clifford Bruce Reifler was born in Chicago, Illinois on 28 December 1931. He attended the Chicago public schools and the Northwestern Military & Naval Academy (Lake Geneva, WI) before entering the Universty of Chicago, from which he received his A.B. in 1951. CBR also earned a B.S. from Northwestern University in 1953. After receiving his medical degree from Yale University Medical School in 1957, CBR interned at the University Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI (1957-1958), and did a residency in psychiatry at the University of Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital (1958-1961). He then entered the active ranks of the U.S. Air Force as a captain. From 1961 to 1963 CBR was Research Psychiatrist with the 6570th Aerospace Medical Laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force reserves in 1971.

In 1963 CBR was appointed Instructor in Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and Associate Physician in charge of psychiatry for its Student Health Service. He earned a Master's in Public Health from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1967. When Reifler left UNC, he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Mental Health in the School of Public Health, and Senior Psychiatrist and Director of the Student Health Service's Division of Mental Health. While at Chapel Hill, CBR also conducted research for the federal government's Commission on Obscenity & Pornography.

CBR came to the University of Rochester in 1970 to head the University Health Service. He also held appointments as Professor of Health Services, Professor of Psychiatry, and Professor of Community & Preventive Medicine. His career at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry included service as Interim Vice-President for Student Affairs (1980-1981), Medical Director for Strong Memorial Hospital (1983-1985), and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs (1983-1985). CBR was made Professor Emeritus of Health Services and Psychiatry in 1994.

Dr. Reifler was nationally known for his work in the field of college health care and adolescent psychiatry. He was an active member of the American College Health Association for over thirty years, serving as a member of its Executive Board, president (1976-1977), editor of the American journal of college health , and member of the numerous consultation committees that reviewed the health services of American universities. CBR co-authored three books and published sixty articles.

CBR married Barbara Karnuth on 11 September 1954. They had three daughters: Margery, Cynthia, and Angela. Dr. Reifler died on 12 May 1998 at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.  

The Papers

General Files (Boxes 1-3)
  • The General Files contain records of personal data, including curricula vitae, grade reports & transcripts, record of military service, medical licensures, etc. Also included in this series are CBR's doctoral thesis and a bound volume of his reprints.
University of North Carolina (Boxes 4-6)
  • The files generated during CBR's tenure at UNC from 1963 to 1970 include grant applications; research material; student health studies; committee minutes & reports; copies of lectures & papers; and correspondence pertaining to his recruitment while at UNC by the University of Rochester and other institutions. These files are arranged alphabetically.
Commission on Obscenity & Pornography (Boxes 7-8)
  • On 3 October 1967, the 90th Congress passed a public law creating a Commission on Obscenity & Pornography in response to "national concern" about "traffic in obscenity and pornography." One of the Commission's four charges was "to study the effect of obscenity and pornography upon the public, and particularly minors, and its relationship to crime and other antisocial behavior." CBR was one of the senior research psychiatrists at UNC to participate in this study. These files includes the UNC team's final report, CBR's testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970, and the Commission's published report. (N.B.: Part VI of the Technical report is lacking from this set.)
University Health Service (Boxes 9-29)
  • This series comprehends documents that represent CBR's activities as Director of UHS from 1970 to 1994. It is divided into three subseries. The first, Correspondence Named (Boxes 9-10), contains correspondence from or to CBR arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The second, Correspondence Chronological (Boxes 11-16), contains correspondence from or to CBR arranged by date of composition (1969-1994).
  • The third subseries, General Files (Boxes 17-29), is arranged alphabetically by topic. Embracing a broad variety of material, it includes various UHS committee minutes & reports; documentation of CBR's involvement in regional and national associations; consultations with other institutions regarding student health services - excluding those conducted under the aegis of the ACHA (see Boxes 43-47); environmental health & safety issues within the Medical School; UHS Mental Health Section grants, reports, and correspondence.
University of Rochester (Boxes 30-33)
  • The topics within this series often overlap those in the UHS General Files. They focus, however, on student and staff health issues on the University's River Campus, rather than at the Medical Center. This series includes files on health policy (e.g., student drug use, AIDS, athletic medicine, etc.); health & safety issues, and so on.
University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry Admissions Committee (Boxes 34-36)
  • CBR was a member of the Admissions Committee for the School of Medicine from 1985 to 1996. These files include student application information, records of CBR's interviews with applicants, and his comments and recommendations regarding admission. This series is closed to researchers until the year 2050.
American College Health Association (Boxes 37-49)
  • CBR was a member of the ACHA for more than thirty years, and served the Association in many capacities, including as its president (1976-1977). This series includes a file for nearly every ACHA annual meeting between 1966 and 1997; files generated by the various committees on which CBR served (including the Executive Board and Council of Delegates); and consultations conducted by the ACHA that evaluated student health services at some twenty American colleges and universities.
Diplomas, Certificates and Awards (Boxes 50-53)

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Clifford B. Reifler

Clifford B. Reifler

Description of the Collection's Arrangement
Inventory of the Collection

For questions regarding this collection, please contact:

Christopher Hoolihan