In the Spring or early Summer of 1955, Dr. Cuthbert Hurd, Director of Electronic Data Processing Machines (EDPM) for the IBM Corporation, decided that IBM should consider establishing two computing centers dedicated to education and research in business electronic data processing. One would be in a university on the East Coast and the other in a university on the West Coast. Accordingly, he met with officials at UCLA as well as with other schools on the West Coast like Stanford, UC Berkeley, and USC to request a proposal to establish such a center on their campus.

The initial contact at UCLA is not in the record, but it would most likely have been with Chancellor Raymond Allen and subsequently with Dean H. Neil Jacoby (Business Administration). Over the next year, UCLA's response to IBM's request was developed in meetings among UCLA interested parties, in correspondence between UCLA and IBM,and UCLA and UC President Robert Gordon Sproul, and in meetings of the UC Board of Regents until in November, 1956, a press release announced the establishment of the Western Data Processing Center on the UCLA campus. Another press release in September, 1958, announced the delivery and installation of an IBM 709 computer in a newly erected Western Data Processing Center.

The WDPC contract was for a period of 10 years. So, in 1966, the contract with IBM ended and WDPC was merged into the campus-wide Computing Facility that had developed in parallel with WDPC. It has evolved over the years and today is known as Academic Technology Services (ATS)

The UCLA deliberations are reported in various documents in Chancellor Allens' files in the UCLA Archives and in the Minutes of Meetings of the Board of Regents that are in bound volumes, also in the UCLA Archives. Together with my own files, they provide the basis for the history of the deliberations that took place to arrive at a proposal that was acceptable to both the University and IBM and led to establishing WDPC on the UCLA Campus. These deliberations are reported under UC / IBM Negotiations below. Other aspects of WDPC activities during its 10 year life are reported under their relevant headings.

UC / IBM Negotiations








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