Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 87.djvu/255

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A CIVIC INVESTMENT

modern types of education for the purpose of practical efficiency. With the examples of the great state universities ever in mind, it has realized that the highest mission in its field lies in service to its community. Since the services which education may render to a city are somewhat different from those which it may render to a state, the municipal university has had a new problem to solve or rather should I say—has a new problem to solve, since both the conception of the problem and the attempts at its solution are still in their infancy.

Our country to-day possesses only half a dozen municipally supported institutions of higher education. As a matter of fact, in the old sense of the word, we have only one municipal university—the University of Cincinnati. Other municipal institutions of collegiate rank (my own among them) have assumed the title "municipal university,"' in the face of educational disapproval of the term, largely for the reason that our language offers no name to characterize a school which has outgrown the limits of the old fashioned college, which has actually established other schools than that of liberal arts, but which does not possess all the professional faculties. For such institutions, in view of their close cooperation with various city departments and in further view of the fact that a development along practical and technical lines has multiplied the number of their schools to a greater or less extent, the name "municipal university" seems not ill chosen.

The keynote of a municipal university must ever be public service—not that somewhat indefinite public service which gives young people a "broad, general education" (too often a euphemism for a mere smattering of many subjects)—but rather that public service which will awaken in our young people a consciousness of their relation and responsibility to the community and which will actually train them for life and for civic duties.

The recent meeting held in New York at the call of Mayor Mitchel under the auspices of the American Political Science Association's Committee on Practical Training for Public Service discussed as its main topic the service of the university to the community. The same topic engaged the attention of the Urban University Association at Washington last November. This meeting marked an epoch. For years it has been growing more and more apparent that every collegiate institution which exists tax free in the midst of a large community does owe an actual debt to its city. This feeling has doubtless been strengthened by the attitude of a few municipal universities, notably Cincinnati, who have been trying to make some practical return for the money which taxpayers have given them. Just how this can be done is one of our most important modern problems. With the feeling that New York offers an unparalleled field for such activities the New York conference adopted a resolution calling upon the College of the City of New York to institute