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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/332

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328
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

because old-time and old-land universities embody such traditions of loyalty and service that we, so distant in our pursuits, yet wander with profound appreciation in their ancient halls.

But we are modern of the moderns; and nothing is more characteristic of our heritage of all the ages than the critical analysis with which we plan and conduct our efforts. The sense of the comprehension of progressive motives and rivalry of influences has been deepened, indeed reconstructed, by the insight into evolutionary procedure that reached its first articulate expression just fifty years ago. The obligation of such insight is the duty to inquire into the forces which we shall strengthen and which antagonize, that we may remain masters of our fate. The evolutionist is neither a fatalist nor a stand-patter; he sees, foresees and directs, and he does this with the sobriety resulting from an historical conscience, and with the faith in the privilege of rational leadership. We of the academy accordingly hold to the law of the grove; that a university ancient or modern is wholly and vitally an educational institution; that the aims for which it exists are cultural; that its methods must be shaped by its own standards; that the activities of those devoted to its welfare must be freely developed from within and suitably to the cultivation of the ends for which the university alone exists. Reduced at once to its lowest and to its highest terms, the university is and can be nothing else than an assemblage of men united in the sympathy of pursuit and inspired by community of interest and a common loyalty. That the university shall attract such men and find in them the medium of her purposes, and that such men shall seek the university and find in her the enduring incentive to their best endeavors: this is the ideal that serves as the criterion of the worth of practical measures which now we approach.

We, the American people, have developed or accepted a type of university administration, to which there is no close, hardly a distant, parallel elsewhere. On a former occasion, having in mind the somewhat harsher aspects of the system, I called it government by imposition. Professor Stratton has since then proposed the more acceptable term, externalism. It is then a well-known fact that our universities are governed by boards of trustees or regents, with complete legal authority over the measures proposed by the faculty, over the status of the professors individually and collectively, and always indirectly, usually directly, over educational policies, over the larger complex issues that determine the spirit and the conditions of university advance, and naturally over the ways and means contributory to the realization of all this. In many institutions no act of the faculty is valid unless confirmed or reviewed by the board. For example, so irrelevant an issue as a case of student discipline sends an appeal to the board over the heads of president and faculty, with the not infre-