in an editorial article in the last Educational Review he writes:
Truly the academic animal is a queer beast. If he can not have something at which to growl and snarl, he will growl and snarl at nothing at all.
In the Educational Review for October last he quotes from The Nation the following:
There is a fine opening for a new institution to show what a college can be wherein the personal domination by the president is abandoned, and in its stead we have a company of gentlemen and scholars working together, with the president simply as the efficient center of inspiration and cooperation, and with some inconsistency remarks:
Permanent tenure of office for the professor is not such a unique state of privilege as President Van Hise imagines. A president's wife has permanent tenure of office; he can not dismiss her because he regards her as inefficient or because he prefers another woman. In the army and navy, in the highest courts, to a certain extent in the civil service of every country, there is permanence of office. Indeed it is nowhere completely disregarded; service is always a valid claim for continued employment. Perhaps one wife in fifty is divorced by the courts, one army officer in a hundred court-marshalled, one judge in a thousand impeached; but such actions are taken after definite charges and opportunity for defence.
Permanent tenure of office is intended to improve the service, not to demoralize it. It is attached to honorable offices, where public spirit and self-sacrifice are demanded, and the wages do not measure the performance. In Germany, France and Great Britain the permanence of tenure has given dignity and honor to the university chair, attracting to it the ablest men and setting them free to do their best work. In this country the better the institution, the more permanent has been the tenure of office. Up to the time of the writing of President Butler's report only one professor had ever been dismissed from Columbia University, and then it was for entering the confederate army.
It is possible to adduce arguments for the introduction of the competitive system into the university. Thus President Butler holds that it is undesirable to pay equal salaries. He says:
But it appears that the general course of social evolution is not towards competition. In the university it would probably be adverse to the finer traits of scholarship and character, most of all when, as under our present system, the competition would be for the favor of presidents and trustees. The president may assume superhuman responsibilities, but he is after all human in his limitations. He may regard common sense as agreement with him, common loyalty as subservience to him, respect for the opinions of mankind as deference to that small portion of mankind which has money to give.
If there is to be competition in order to retain university chairs, then the university must be prepared to forego able men or to compete with other professions in the rewards it gives. It must offer prizes commensurate with those of engineering, medicine and law, namely, salaries as large as a hundred thousand dollars a year. It is further true that under these circumstances a I man must be judged by his peers.