Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/317

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY

 

APRIL, 1912




ON THE NEED OF ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES IN THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY
By Professor GEORGE T. LADD

YALE UNIVERSITY

IN the first of a series of articles on the higher education in this country, which were published in The Forum during the years 1902 and 1903, I designated the true functions of a great university as "chiefly these three: (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 over the whole nation, and even over all mankind." On raising the question whether the universities of the United States had up to that time discharged these functions in a manner commensurate with their opportunity and with the demands made upon them by the size of their faculties and the wealth of their endowments, it seemed evident to me that we were forced to the confession, "They have not." And while no small part of the causes for this confessed failure must be charged to the general public, with its ignorant or mistaken views in respect to the interests, values and ideals of the higher education, no small part of the blame attaches itself to the internal management of these same institutions and involves their presidents, faculties and trustees.

Within the past ten years there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the character and the workings of the system of administration still prevailing in our larger and wealthier collegiate and university institutions. It has been pointed out that, while this system was admirable in its adaptation and praiseworthy in its results as applied a half-century ago to the small denominational college, it is ill-adapted and far from praiseworthy in many of its results, as applied to the