A major resource center at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) containing millions of documents related to organized labor, industrial relations and management thought has been renamed in honor of Theodore W. Kheel, the influential New York City lawyer, arbitrator, negotiator and mediator.
The Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives is the centerpiece of the school's Martin P. Catherwood Library, one of the world's largest repositories of labor relations materials. The Kheel Center collects materials pertaining to all areas of industrial and labor relations. Its holdings contain almost 34 million manuscript letters and documents, 45,000 collective bargaining agreements, 300,000 union constitutions and pamphlets and 315,000 photographs, as well as oral history interviews, motion pictures and video and audio tapes.
"In renaming this resource for Ted Kheel, we are recognizing his key role in the development of the field as well as his continued commitment to the School of Industrial and Labor Relations," ILR School Dean David B. Lipsky said.
Kheel's gift of $1 million pushed the ILR School's fund-raising campaign passed its $20.5 million goal. His earlier contributions made it possible for the school to establish the Institute of Collective Bargaining. Most recently, Kheel's support has led to the establishment of an institute at the school to study conflict resolution. The institute will begin operations in August.
Kheel will further enhance the center's stature as a major repository in the field when he donates his papers to the ILR School. The documents will be a valuable resource and provide an up-close look at a career that has spanned more than half a century.
Kheel has negotiated both here and abroad on behalf of dozens of companies and unions, including the National Football League. Kheel served presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Ford as mediator or arbitrator of major national disputes involving railroads, airlines and shipping. In New York City, he served mayors O'Dwyer, Impellitieri, Wagner, Lindsay and Beame in resolving disputes in virtually every industry.
Kheel serves as president of the Earth Pledge Foundation and is founder and chairman of the new dispute resolution organization Prevention and Early Resolution of Conflicts (PERC). Through a strategic alliance with the university, PERC has entrusted its educational and research agenda to the Cornell/PERC Institute on Conflict Resolution.
Kheel's ties to Cornell are not solely professional; they're also familial. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Cornell in 1935 and 1937, respectively. His wife, Ann Sunstein Kheel '36; his brother, Julian Kheel; two of his six children, Ellen Kheel Jacobs and Robert J. Kheel; two grandchildren, Beryl Jacobs and Daniel John Kheel; and son-in-law Arnold S. Jacobs are all Cornell graduates.