to do so. Of all men, too, they are least likely to run to the president with either complaints or defences, or to take any measures to "make themselves solid" with him. If they are being undermined or traduced by any one, whether on the outside or among their younger and more ambitious and place-seeking colleagues, they are even unlikely to know anything about it, so busy are they in their own work; or if they do know about it, they are not unlikely to scorn to pay any attention to it. But if no action touching the professional standing of any member of the faculties could be taken on the initiative or recommendation of the president alone, there is little doubt that this kind of maladministration would occur much more infrequently.
Indeed, it would seem as though this one contention did not require prolonged or subtle argumentation. Granted even that "the cotton-mill policy" is suitable for the administration of a great university: yet the head of this form of industrial enterprise ought to be, as a "boss," no lest strictly limited than the bosses in other no more important or intricate industrial enterprises. This is the one thing that the labor unions are most vigorously and most righteously insisting upon—namely, that there shall be some adequate and trustworthy means of employers and employees coming near, in a frank and friendly way, to each other.
But of all the objections to the continuance without change of the present system of administration in the great universities, the most weighty and imperative is this: it is one of the most productive of the several causes which are working together to bring about "the degradation of the professorial office." That this process of degradation is really going on, I ventured to assert in one of the series of articles to which reference has just been made. The response which the assertion called forth at the time went a long way toward confirming the opinion. Careful inquiry into the history of the last decade of collegiate and university movements would, I am sure, show that the process has in the meantime not been checked. It is the rather to be feared that it has gone forward with a quickened pace. The causes of this process do indeed chiefly lie beyond and below the power of any form of management largely to control.
Let us briefly consider the case of the young man who decides to devote his life to a university career. The more intelligent and deliberate the decision is, the later it is likely to have come in the course of his secondary education. But under the working of the system of almost unlimited electives which has prevailed in our higher institutions of learning during the past half-generation or more, the candidate for a future professorship is almost certain to discover that he has neglected to lay the foundations of any particular subject solidly and thoroughly well. He knows no elements, as the elements of every species of science and scholarship must be known, in order to proceed