required money. But the obstacles which they may, for the most part unwittingly, throw in the way of the efficient work of the faculties of the university are chiefly due to their ignorance of the principles and right methods of education, or to their indifference toward the supreme ends of education, or to their reluctance to criticize—much more oppose—the will of the president or the majority of their own body. Indeed, their position and their action quite too often corresponds to that of the trustees of some bank or other large corporation, who altogether too late wake up to find themselves convicted of conniving at some imprudent or illegal transaction on the part of the official whom they have trusted incontinently.
The vice of extravagance in administration is being distinctly fostered by the system at present prevailing in our larger and wealthier universities. Money is much too largely given to bricks rather than brains, to mortar rather than men. In other words, too large a proportion of gifts and of income is being spent on needlessly expensive buildings; too small a proportion on teachers and explorers of first-rate ability in the several faculties. It is only a partial, but by no means a sufficient, excuse for this vice (?) of extravagance to say that we are now in the brick (stone) and mortar stage of our educational development, and that, when we have provided a splendid and complete equipment of the material sort, then we shall be ready to turn our full attention to raising the intellectual and spiritual equipment. For the drift of our experience and the point of the argument for a change lies in the fact that the present system is working toward the degradation of the professorial office and the depreciation of the functions and the personnel of the faculties. The fallacy for the other chief argument for this sort of extravagance is less obvious. It is said—and truly—that it is easier to get large sums of money for fine buildings than for great teachers or for stimulating scientific research. In reply, it is not necessary to credit the cynical saying of Europe—although there is much evidence in its favor—that the real scientific work done in the scientific laboratories of the United States is in inverse proportion to their magnificence. Nor could any real friend of the American universities feel otherwise than pleased and grateful to see them equipping themselves with buildings sufficiently commodious for calculable future needs, of good academic architecture, but above all, of the highest serviceableness. But such a friend can not in the same way approve the building of luxurious dormitories, where only the wealthy can really afford to live with any show of an honest independence. The simplicity and severity of the student life, in this and other similar regards, in the public schools and the colleges of the great universities of England are in refreshing and suggestive contrast to the extravagances and class distinctions of republican America. And when, contrary to the good judgment of the teaching force, scores and hundreds of thousands of dollars are unnecessari