Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/110

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
104
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Chicago did not maintain standards sufficiently high, and the university has just now abandoned its medical school. This may have been the best thing to do, but it seems undesirable that a private foundation should be able to dictate by purchase the educational policy of a state university.

The conditions are of such great educational and public concern that they should be clearly understood. The powers of the Carnegie Foundation may be illustrated by an example. It was originally established to grant pensions for length of service as well as for old age and disability. The length of service pensions were abandoned through lack of means, but the trustees, practically all of whom are university or college presidents, instructed the executive committee to "safeguard the interests" "of those whose twenty-five years of service includes service as a college president." Under this clause Dr. Wilson, when retiring from the presidency of Princeton University to be a candidate for governor of New Jersey, applied for the pension to which he was entitled by his services. The application was refused, and in some way information in regard to the matter was made public to Governor Wilson's political injury. The trustees at their last meeting rescinded the resolution in favor of the university president, and Dr. Pritchett states in his report that "no person has ever been retired under this authority." But the president of the State University of Iowa, not in an accepted institution and not eligible to retire for age, was granted a pension in August, 19-11. The members of the executive committee of the foundation are in politics strongly opposed to Governor Wilson, and the secretary of the foundation was elected to the vacancy caused by the retirement of the president of the University of Iowa. Their action may have been altogether uninfluenced by these considerations; but they illustrate the dangers possible under a centralized pension system in which the pensions may be used by the president and the executive committee for ulterior purposes.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

We record with regret the death of Wilbur Wright, eminent for his achievement in the development of the aeroplane; of Dr. William McMichael Woodworth, of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, and of Dr. Ed. Strasburger, professor of botany at Bonn.

The Carnegie Institution of Washington has undertaken to publish the manuscripts left by the late Professor C. O. Whitman, including their preparation for the press and the maintenance and further study of the collection of pigeons that he left. Dr. Oscar Riddle is in charge of the work.—As a memorial of Professor Ralph S. Tarr a volume is to be published consisting of essays on physiographic and geographic subjects by men trained under him.—At a meeting of the London Institution of Electrical Engineers on May 16, a marble bust of the late Lord Kelvin was presented to the institution on behalf of Lady Kelvin.

Professor Theodore W. Richards, of Harvard University, has been awarded the Willard Gibbs medal by the Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society.—Dr. Franz Boas, professor of anthropology at Columbia University, has been given the doctorate of science by Oxford University.