Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/290

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professor, however responsible in study or class-room, has as a rule little sense of the dignity and responsibility of his office as a member of the faculty. And it is also true that many men are admitted to our faculties who, by reason of inexperience and immaturity, or of constitutional lack of culture and self-respect, should not be entrusted with the office. Nothing better demonstrates this than the fact that measures pass to which a large majority are heartily and sincerely opposed—measures which, it may be, are clearly to their disadvantage. Let it be known, however, that the measure is the president's own, there will be few to vote against it, almost none to speak against it. The majority conceal their want of frank courage under a Pickwickian conception of "loyalty."

Thus it has come about that the seat of authority in college matters has passed to a large extent from the faculty to the president, who, then, by analogy with commercial ideals—to which college men are often curiously deferential—has been invested with the character of captain of industry. Now the captain of industry may be necessary in the business world, where, perhaps, most men are fit only to be led. And I do not doubt that the modern college will need an executive head, whatever be his relations, on the one hand to the trustees, and to the faculty on the other. But that the college professor should himself adopt the entrepreneur-theory of the office, as he frequently does, and should even glorify "the rule of the strong man "—over himself, can stand only for an utter contradiction between the idea of his profession and its present actuality. In a word, it is an incredible attitude in one who believes himself to be a scholar and a gentleman and who attaches any moral significance to the fact. If the democratic principle is to hold anywhere, it should hold here. But it can hold nowhere unless men have the courage to say what they mean and a responsible meaning to express.

Accordingly, as the first feature in the program of self-assertion, the college professor should seek both to strengthen his authority as a member of the faculty, and as such to secure for himself a more comprehensive representation in the government of his university. In this, while cooperating with the president and the trustees for the welfare of the institution, he will at the same time act with an explicit reference to his own. There is no reason why the attitude of any of the parties to the situation should be purely impersonal. The welfare of a university is represented in the fulfilment of the numerous interests which it may be conceived to represent, and these interests are in last analysis personal. The aim of college policy is their coordination, and in the college especially, a broad computation of each should leave little margin for dispute. But if all computations are to be impersonal there will be few suggestions of value to interchange and few data either for