[ocr errors]

endowed institutions there are several that have ceased to be thoroly coeducational and have decided to segregate the women apart from the men. Leland Stanford Junior University, one of the newest and now one of the richest of American universities, has given notice that it will not under any circumstances admit more than a specified number of women. In the Eastern part of the country the wholly separate college for women thrives, and gives evidence of present strength and increasing vitality. The probability is that, with the growth of educational resources and the increasing heterogeneousness of the population in the newer parts of our country, the practices of the West will be assimilated to those of the East in regard to the education of young women with young men—that is, some institutions will remain frankly and thruout coeducational while others will detach the groups of women more or less from the groups of men, and others again will be coeducational in their Graduate Schools and Summer Sessions, but not elsewhere. Moreover, both separate colleges for women and colleges for women affiliated with universities for men will probably arise in the West.

"A significant distinction among American colleges is based on their terms of admission, some requiring examinations but the great majority admitting on certificates from secondary schools. Almost all the colleges use each method in some measure; but there is an important group of Eastern colleges which admit regular students only on examination. Both methods have been improved and extended in recent years; so that there is now a good chance to test fairly the relative merits of the two methods. That method will ultimately be preferred by schools and colleges alike which delivers to the colleges the ablest, best trained, most ambitious, and most efficient boys and girls. Between the two groups of colleges the decisive test will be the success of their graduates in after life. The differentiation among colleges on this basis may turn out to be quicker and more decisive than most experts have imagined, or on the other hand the results may be obscure and hard to demonstrate. Again, a third method, like that of Germany, may supersede both of the existing methods.

very small.

Another distinction among the leading universities of this country depends on the proportion which the work they do for undergraduates bears to the work they do for young men who already hold a bachelor's degree. The graduate schools in Arts and Sciences are increasing rapidly in number and in size; but the number of universities which require a bachelor's degree for admission to their other professional schools is still

Here again a sound experiment is in progress under fair conditions, and in ten years more it may be possible for judicious observers to determine what the interest of the universities is in this matter, and what the interest of the community. At any rate, it is certain that preparation for the professions is growing more and more elaborate, and that the influence of the professions steadily increases.

“ There is an important difference in the organization and management of the American institutions of higher education which has not attracted much public attention, but which really affects strongly the present management of these institutions and their future prospects. In many of the institutions, particularly the older and stronger ones, the president of the college or university is a member of the governing board, or boards, with the full powers of a member. In others, the board of trustees or regents elects its own chairman; and the president of the university, tho invited to attend the meetings of the board, is not a member thereof, much less its head. The position of the president who is a member of the governing boards is, of course, stronger than that of a president who is not, provided that his personal quality and his experience are such as to give him influence with the boards. A board of trustees which invites the presence of the president who is not a member by right is inclined to look on the president as one of its numerous employees, with whose service they can dispense, if they like, as they would with the services of a professor, instructor, or secretary. Such a relation to the governing board impairs the dignity and stability of a presidency, and therefore the influence of the incumbent. This is not a local or sectionat difference in American universities. Some of the newer endowed institutions in the East have a president who is not a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

member of the governing board, while some of the state universities of the West have made the president invariably a full member of the board of regents. As the American institutions have grown, the function of the president has become more and more important to their prosperity and progress. In early times the president was the principal teacher. Down to the early part of the nineteenth century he was almost invariably a minister. In most of the larger institutions the president no longer teaches, and in many he is a layman. Common experience during the last fifty years teaches with certainty that the efficiency of any corporation-financial, manufacturing, or commercial-depends on its having one responsible head who has knowledge of all its concerns, and gives guidance and inspiration in all its principal activities. A university corporation cannot be an exception to this rule for securing efficiency. Again, the experience of the last fifty years teaches clearly that in all fields of human activity it is the trained expert who must invent and give direction. The president of a university must be either an expert himself in educational administration, or he must be a man who thoroly understands how to utilize expert service. And thirdly, experience proves that long service gives accumulating value to well-selected officials; so that universities which give their presidents an honorable tenure, and get from them long service, will be likely to win great advantages over those which do not.

The American universities are obviously divisible into two groups, the endowed and the state-supported, altho the endowed may sometimes receive aid from government, and the state-supported may possess some endowments. This difference in respect to the sources of their income, however, affects the policies and tendencies of the two groups much less than might be imagined. At present the leading endowed institutions are richer, and have larger annual budgets, than the leading state-supported institutions, but, of course, this comparative condition may any year be reversed. It would be hard to prove that any important difference in discipline, educational policy, or scholarly ambition and aim, corresponds with or accompanies this division by sources of income. On the whole.

the policies and aims of the two groups are extraordinarily similar. The division is not a strict geographical one. Most of the strong state universities are west of the Alleghenies, but in that vast region strong endowed institutions have also arisen, while in the South both groups exist side by side. California supports the state university of largest annual budget, and is also the seat of one of the richest of American endowed universities. The state universities are all young-Michigan not yet seventy years old, Wisconsin not yet sixty, and Illinois, Minnesota, and California not yet forty. Their future is very bright; but not brighter than that of the leading endowed institutions. The two sorts of university will both serve the country greatly, maintaining a fine rivalry in scholarship and in serviceableness, making common cause in promoting national intelligence, righteousness, and efficiency, and illustrating the best results of the American passion for education. If, then, the American colleges and universities are strikingly similar, in spite of local and unessential differences, it is because they express and illustrate the fundamental convictions, beliefs, and aspirations of the American people.”


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]




I wish to consider briefly what I believe to be a certain evil condition of the courses of study in American universities. I believe that we offer too wide a range of undergraduate courses, and that this is done at the expense on the one hand of the quality of our collegiate work, and on the other hand at the expense of graduate and research work. I believe that without violent change the evil may be in a considerable measure remedied.

The chief factor in determining from decade to decade the actual course of study in American universities has been, as I think, the pressure of new subjects for recognition. This pressure changed the curriculum of seventy-five years ago with its slender list of subjects into the curriculum of forty and twenty-five years ago, whose aim was to compress a bit of each sort of learning into a four years' course. When this became impossible, two courses of study were made and then three. The ground must be covered. No one student could cover the ground, but the catalog must do so.

The same pressure, growing always greater, caused the socalled all-round course of study to blow up from within, leaving its débris in many new and strange forms of educational practice. It has happened more than once that the old course of study has blown up in the hands of a faculty whose members believed in its ideal and who were simply trying to re-arrange the details.

Finally, the same pressure which has caused the multiplication of departments has caused the multiplication of specialties within departments. Science has developed such and such new fields of learning. They demand recognition. They are recognized at such and such institutions. We must recog

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »