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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 61.djvu/96

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

instincts to lead and take interest in his schoolmates, for these latter attributes will likely in after life guide him to esteem the performance of public duties as his highest aim.

Marks for these four qualifications should be awarded somewhat in the following proportions: Four-tenths for the first, one-tenth for the second, three-tenths for the third and two-tenths for the fourth.

Marks for the several qualifications should be awarded independently—that is to say, marks for the first qualification by examination; for the second and third qualifications, respectively, by the ballot of fellow-students of the candidates, and for the fourth qualification by the headmasters of the schools, and the result of the awards, that is to say the marks obtained by each candidate for each qualification, should be added together and the successful student be the one who received the greatest number of marks, giving him the highest all-round qualification.

 

THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY.

The great educational endowments created by Mr. Rhodes, Mr. Carnegie and others naturally direct attention to our universities, and the question as to what they are accomplishing is asked on many sides. An optimistic answer is given in the last number of the North American Review by President Harper, of the University of Chicago, and a pessimistic answer in the last and preceding number of the Forum by Professor Ladd, of Yale University. Dr. Harper points out that the library and the laboratory occupy the places of honor in the university. He tells us that the laboratory for a single science should 'cost more than the entire college plant of the last generation.' The largeness of the cost of a modern university is rather attractive than otherwise to him: he has spoken of the need of a university with an endowment of fifty million dollars; and this does not, as a matter of fact, appear to be extravagant at a time when a manufacturing corporation may have a capital of a thousand million dollars. The making of men and the advancement of knowledge is after all a more important industry than the manufacture of steel. Dr. Harper is certainly right in maintaining that professional schools should be part of the university, and is probably right in urging the affiliation of colleges with one another and with the university. But he seems to be unduly optimistic and perhaps locally influenced in professing faith in the future of the denominational university. He says: "Whatever the state may do, the obligation which rests upon the churches is as strong and as serious as it has ever been in the past." But the church can never permanently compete with the state; the future belongs to the state university. Baptists may endow a university, but no one should endow a Baptist university.

The cheerful if somewhat material optimism of President Harper is preferable to the complaining tone adopted by Professor Ladd. He gives correctly the functions of a university: "(1) The highest mental and moral culture of its own students; (2) the advancement, by research and discovery, of science, scholarship and philosophy; (3) the diffusion, as from a center of light and influence, of the benefits of a liberal, genial and elevating culture"; but he thinks that "the institutions of the higher education in this country are worth all that they are costing … only if they are to be prepared to exercise all these three functions in a much more intelligent and effective fashion than at present."

Now every one hopes that the American University will continually improve its methods of teaching, will increasingly contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and will more and more become the intellectual and moral center of the community; but it seems odd that a university professor should doubt whether a university is at present worth what it costs. All our universities together do not cost one tenth