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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/404

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

standard, so that in an honest effort to perform his duty, he is in danger of receiving censure from both.

The change in relations of the educational and corporate boards is due to a drifting apart of the two boards, leading to the loss of that sympathy, which was the bond, and to a reversal of the relative importance of the boards. Formerly trustees existed to care for the faculties; now many trustees evidently feel that the faculties are appendages to the board of trustees.

But while the conditions in respect to the relations between educational and corporate boards have undergone a change, on the whole, decidedly for the worse, the conditions in respect to the professor's relations to the community and to his work have undergone a change no less radical, not indeed for the worse, but at a cost to himself so serious as to impair his usefulness and to threaten that of the institutions themselves. Here lies, in the opinion of many thoughtful men, the secret of deterioration observable in the output.

The common belief is that the college professor's teaching work is purely incidental, an easy method of obtaining a good living, that he may pursue his studies without anxiety respecting worldly matters. Whatever may have been the case in some prehistoric period, it is certain that in our day there is no calling in which the pecuniary compensation is so low, while the intellectual requirement is so high as in that of college professor. The average salary of college men in New York city is much less than the average salary of clergymen. The expansion, one may almost say the very existence, of American colleges is due to the consecrated devotion of those who give the instruction. Of the immense gifts made to American colleges, comparatively little goes toward increasing salaries of professors already at work; almost the whole goes to meet the insatiable demand for expansion.

Nor is the college instructor a man of 'abundant literary leisure, as many still suppose. College professors of a generation and a half ago were, for the most part, recluses—made so by the nature of the studies then included in the college curriculum. The hours of teaching were short, and beyond those the institution demanded little. There was abundant leisure and it was used well in study. But now, in many departments the hours are long, often covering in one way or another the whole day, while other requirements are severe. The college demands that the professors be encyclopedic in knowledge of the subjects covered by their chairs, no matter how broad these may be, that they contribute frequently to the journals, that they be prominent in social, scientific, political or religious affairs. How much of the literary leisure remains in some departments one may imagine—and the increasing requirements, all involving pecuniary expenditure, have come with decreasing salaries. For the most part, professors are no longer doctri-