History & Archives

Archives & History Introduction

Robert H. Anderson

Some think of it as their favorite professional organization. Some feel that its members are their most valued professional friends. Some perceive that it resembles a likeable adolescent who hasn't yet decided 'what to be.' Some think that it provides inspiration and information for being a more successful professor/researcher. Most say that it meets an important personal and professional need. Almost all regard their membership as an exceptionally good (and inexpensive) professional investment.

Only a little more than a decade old, the Council of Professors of Instructional Supervision has decided to review its history and accomplishments, celebrate its survival during a period that has been sometimes perilous for supervisors and their mentors, and aim its telescope at a future that will soon' have different century markers. This document seeks to explain what COPIS is, how it came about, who are its members, where and how it has gone about its work, and what are some of its accomplishments. To be hoped is that such explanations will help COPIS members better to focus the telescope, to face up to non-accomplishments, and to help themselves and COPIS to deal with challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Separate from this report are documents that should be regarded as the organization's archives, and that should appropriately be kept in the custody of the current President. These include a complete set of minutes, copies of program information (especially for the Fall Conferences), published conference proceedings, and memos or letters that may have historical significance.

At the outset, it will help the reader to know that COPIS membership is limited to those persons who (1) teach graduate-level courses in supervision of instruction; (2) direct research on the processes, roles, functions, or practices in supervision; (3) serve as consultant, advisor, writer, designer, or some other role that promotes instructional supervisory practice. These criteria, in effect from the outset, were reaffirmed in a business meeting in Austin on November, 1984, and render as ineligible persons who, for example, are primarily practitioners or who engage only in the supervision of student teachers.

Continuing membership in COPIS requires active participation. In Anaheim in March 1982, it was decided after extensive and (for some) agonizing discussion that each member must attend at least one of the four meetings that are held in each two-year period. Members who miss four consecutive meetings (except retirees) are therefore dropped from the membership roster.

Following are (a) a list of the persons who have served as officers of COPIS, and (b) a 'Chronology' that provides the dates and locations of COPIS gatherings. Then follow two sections in which is presented in narrative form a year-by-year review of events. The information is taken principally from the official minutes (or equivalent records) of the 22-plus gatherings of COPIS meeting prior to the Fall Conference at Temple University in November 1987. Finally there is included a COPIS Roster. Members will probably want to keep this history in a folder that also includes the COPIS Constitution and By Laws, and other personal COPIS records.


Arthur Blumberg and Edward Pajak, founding members of COPIS, made profound contributions to the study and practice of instructional supervision. In their memory, the Blumberg-Pajak Scholarship fund supports awards and travel for doctoral students and recent graduates to attend and be recognized at COPIS events.

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