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Therefore, out of the double condition of a noble intellectual activity and dissatisfaction with the narrower administration of the older American colleges has arisen, in the general atmosphere of a desire for the national promotion of the higher education, the modern State university.
No less than 41 so-called State universities now exist. They represent the interests of each Commonwealth in the higher education. The impulse for their creation was in most instances derived from the grants of land made by the nation; but these grants now provide only a small share, in the case of the larger number, of the funds necessary for their annual administration. The people of each Commonwealth, through the legislature, determine that a certain share of the annual revenue of the State shall be used for the benefit of the university. The amount is usually fixed by statute. The people also, through the same lawmaking body, at each session, make special appropriations for special needs, such as buildings and equipment. The annual income that is thus received from the State by the university is subject to a great variation. The amount received by several representative universities is as follows: Of the University of Michigan the total income (as reported by the Commissioner of Education for 1899–1900) was $554,700, of Minnesota $351,842, of Wisconsin $369,935, and of Illinois $182,779.
The colleges and universities founded by churches or by individuals or by the Commonwealth, or the institutions that were founded in no small degree by a certain cooperation between these three forces, have come in general to labor in harmony and efficiency. Universities of each type are found in most of the great Commonwealths. Each type, too, represents the fulfillment of the needs of the Commonwealth. There are at least three kinds of work which the State university is specially fitted to do: (1) Technical, (2) advanced scientific or graduate, (3) professional, excluding the training of clergymen and including the training of teachers. In the first kind is included all the work for the making of engineers of every type, who serve society in the betterment of its physical and material conditions. In the second kind is included in the most comprehensive form all that which is included in research, a scholastic value of the highest significance for the progress of men and for the development of the forces of the earth and of the air. In the third kind is included the training of those to whom is specially committed the duty of promoting the personal rights and the development of the personal powers of each individual.
There are also works which the private or denominational college is specially fitted to do. The most important service of this character relates to religion. Other services there are, but this service is first in its manifold relations. Those who claim that the denominational college performs a large and important function in American life are inclined to interpret religion in most general relations and conditions. They argue that religion represents the relation of man to absolute and ultimate being. Religion gives to the student, as to every man, it is said, the highest and noblest. To his intellect religion offers, it is affirmed, the greatest being which he can apprehend; to his conscience religion offers a lawgiver whose principles he is to hold and whose laws he is to obey; to his will religion offers a force, or Force, more or less known and more or less unknowable, with which he is to associate himself-if in cooperation, for better; if in antagonism, for worse; to his heart religion offers a being which, if he regard as personal, is to be loved, and which, if he regard as impersonal, is to be worshiped.
Such intellectual, volitional, ethical results, it is argued, are secured better in the personal or denominational college than in one under State control. The private college is usually organized on the religious foundation; its trustees are chosen with greater or less regard to religious affiliations; its teachers, though in the older colleges seldom selected on denominational grounds, are yet, by presumption, sympathetic with essential Christianity. The routine of each day begins with a chapel service, and Sunday is used as a day of and for the church.
That these two types of the university-the State and the denominational-may work together in happy efficiency receives illustration in testimony given to me by the president of the State University of Iowa and by the president of Iowa College. Dr. George E. McLean says:
To draw civilization ont of the depths of ignorance we need the threefold cord of private, church, and State education. In the never-ending contest of liberty with tyranny we must have the same threefold cable to make a cordon against the dominance of tyranny. When the private institution is constrained to hamper freedom under the pressure of a private patron or the church institution to sacrifice freedom to ecclesiastical policies or dogmas, then we must turn to the State for freedom. When the politicians would constrain freedom in the State insti. tution, then we must depend upon the one or the other of the first two institutions to save the day. The community of interests among these institutions, each having a special cause for existence, is greater than their diversity of interests. It is as shameful for the institutions of culture not to have cordial relations and to propagate "sweetness and light” as it is for the so-called Christian denominations to quarrel. There is work enough for all. * It especially falls to the university, by law established and supported by the State, to maintain the highest standards and to be a crown of the public school system. At the same time the State university must recognize that the other colleges are its constituency, and it must endeavor to serve them. In this State, through the college section of the State Teachers' Association, of which the university is a member, through certain standing committees, we administer the tests as to what makes a recognition of a standard college; we promote common entrance requirements, and the university, by the inspection of schools, the results of which are freely given to the other colleges, serves them as well as itself.
In turn President D. F. Bradley, of Iowa College, at Grinnell, says:
My feeling about the relation of the State university and private or denominational colleges is that they supplement each other. Between them should be the most cordial and friendly relations. As a matter of fact, Iowa College and Iowa State University and Agricultural College are on very friendly terms. We do a work which can not be done at a State university, and the State covers a wide field which we do not expect to enter. The State university, for instance, can not teach religion, and it must needs be limited in that direction. It must also have some regard for the ideas of the dominant political party, and its teachers are not entirely free to teach or utter views repugnant to the majority controlling the legislature, which appropriates money for their support. The private or denominational college is freer in all these lines, and it is a constant force steadying and strengthening the best scholastic development of State educational institutions, enabling them to maintain themselves against political and educational charlatanry. But for the private college State institutions would be likely to require lower standards in their work, under the pressure of popular demand, and I have no doubt that the present splendid development of State schools is due to the fact that private universities insist upon keeping the standard high and making it still higher year by year. The private or denominational college, too, is stimulated by the State institution. It can not be narrow and sectarian and hold its own. It must use every effort to enlist men of means in its behalf. The two systems are thus together causing the torch of learning to burn brightly and to induce thousands of young people to secure a higher education. If I had my own way I would not hinder any of these schools or hamper them, but encourage them all. A better understanding is coming among all school men and less jealousy. I have no quarrel whatever with the schools maintained by the State.
Such harmony of relations does not obtain between the president of a great university of a great State and the president of its chief private and denominational college in the case of every Commonwealth. But such harmony becomes more common and stronger. The increasing power of any college in a State should mean an increasing power of every other. In case the State University of Colorado or California seems to be making rapid progress, as each has made, the method for the private or denominational college is not to lessen the State appropriations to the State institution, but to quicken the life and enlarge the resources of the private and the church colleges of Colorado or California, as has also been done. In cooperative efficiency all colleges of a single Commonwealth of the whole United States are to do their work for and through the people.
The increasing breadth of the movement of the higher education is evidenced by the enlarged constitution of the governing boards. The first colleges in America usually had as their governors clergymen. The laws of not a few colleges required that clergymen of the Commonwealth should constitute a majority of the board of trust. In Harvard College until 1834 ali clergymen who were members of the board of overseers were required to be Congregationalists. Such requirements h-ve now largely passed away. The governing boards of most colleges are close corporations. The members are chosen on the ground simply of fitness, and not of professional condition. In many institutions the alumni are the electors of certain members. Alumni are usually guided in their choice by reason of personal rather than of professional fitness. The regents or trustees of State universities are in certain cases appointed by the governor and in certain cases elected by the people at large. Personal fitness is of chief value in either instance, although partisan considerations in a few States have great, too great, place.
The two and a half centuries and more of the higher education in America represent, furthermore, a general enlargement of purpose, method, and constitution. The first colleges were founded in no small degree as schools of theology. The clerical purpose was succeeded by the purpose of training men for the great business of living. The later colleges, as well as the older, have ceased to be professional schools; but not a few of them have called into being, as distinct educational agencies, schools for training men for the two or three great professions. Although some schools of theology still continue to exist on distinct foundations—as Andover and Newton-yet schools of medicine and of law are usually integral parts of the university system, and many schools of theology are integral parts of a university, such as the Methodist School in Boston and the Congregational School in New Haven. The first schools of law and the first schools of medicine--as the Medical School in Philadelphia, founded in 1765; of law, as the school at Litchfield, founded in 1784--were independent schools. The first law school connected with a university and authorized to confer degrees was established in Harvard in 1817.
In the enlargement of the function of the university has been founded the school of graduate studies. Its purpose is to promote the cause of research, to enrich the scholarship of the student, and to serve as a training school for teachers in higher institutions. Thirty years ago this agency was beginning its great career of usefulness in and through the university. Its students numbered about 200. In a generation it has so increased as to represent a student body of more than 5,000, and has so enlarged its facilities as to become one of the most significant forces of the higher education.
Schools, too, in a greater or less degree of a practical nature have been included in the university. Most conspicuous of these schools are the technical or scientific. Although a large number of such schools still rest on an independent foundation, yet the great universities, as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton, embrace schools of science as a part of their organization. Agricultural, commercial, pharmaceutical, pedagogical, and library schools are also included. The growth of such technical, professional, or semiprofessional schools in the last twenty-five years of the last century, in respect both to number of students, equipment, and public influence, has been most significant. Therefore in the two and a half centuries since the foundation of Harvard the higher education, beginning with the college designed as a training school for ministers, has been enlarged to include all of the sciences and not a few of the arts. The university has become a great human agency for the promotion of scholarship, for the enriching of manhood, and for professional equipment.
Throughout this long period has occurred a most significant development of that important element of the university—the course of study. That development has proved to be largest in the nineteenth century. From the foundation of the first American college up to the beginning of that century the development had been indeed slight, as slight as it had been from the fall of the scholastic philosophy down to the foundation of the first American college. The two ancient languages, together with, in certain cases, Hebrew and certain philosophical and rhetorical studies, represented the early curriculum. But from the first decade of the last century the enlargement and the enrichment of the higher curriculum has been great and constant. The law of the enlargement and enrichment has been determined by the enlargement and enrichment of the field of knowledge itself. As this field has become greater and finer, so also has the course of study. As science has developed through successive discoveries it has become part of the academic discipline. As modern languages have become necessary for the practical affairs or for the scholarship of man, they have been included in the course of study. The general development of the science of economics and of sociology has simply preceded the introduction of these topics into the college. In his sketch of Harvard College Sixty Years Ago Rev. Dr. A. P. Peabody says:
The range of study was much less extensive than now. Natural history did not then even profess to be a science, and received very little attention. Chemistry, under auspices which one does not like to recall, occupied and utterly wasted a small portion of the senior year. French and Spanish were voluntary studies, or rather recreations, for the recitation rooms of the kind-hearted septuagenarian who had these recitations in charge was frequented more for amusement than for anytbing that was taught or learned. Italian and German were studied in good earnest by a very few volunteers.
Most general has been the enlargement of the curriculum of the American university. The fundamental science of mathematics has progressed by slow degrees until recent years. The first classes of Harvard were admitted without a knowledge of the subject, and it was not taken up in college earlier than the senior year. The course consisted of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. Such continued to be the essence of instruction throughout the eighteenth century. In 1726 the Hollis professorship of mathematics was established. Following the Revolutionary war what is known as English mathematics was introduced, and in the second quarter of the nineteenth century the French. In the last fifty years the development of mathematical studies has been rapid. The development of the natural and physical sciences has also, although beginning later, been made by slow degrees. The first academic chair of chemistry was founded at Princeton in 1795. In 1802 a chair was established at Columbia, the next year at Yale, and at South Carolina College and Dickinson in 1811. The growth of a department quite unlike mathematics and chełnistry, the department of history, has likewise been slow, Although classical history has long been studied, the oldest college had been in existence more than two hundred years before a formal professorship of history was endowed. Harvard established the McLean professorship of ancient and modern history in 1839, and appointed to it Jared Sparks. Economics is likewise a study confined to the last century. Between 1820 and 1835 the study was introduced into Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia, Princeton, and Williams. The modern languages, too, represent a later addition to the curriculum. French preceded the German language many years. Instruction in French was offered at Harvard in 1780, but it was not till 1815 that the Smith professorship of French and Spanish was founded. In the case of each of these and of other subjects the development of the facilities for giving and for receiving instruction has been swift and rich in the last half of the nineteenth century. At the present time the recognition of the value of all studies as disciplines has
become general and hearty. Although there is a great difference between knowledge as knowledge and the same knowledge used as a subject for the training of youth, yet it has become evident that knowledge of any department of being may be si formed and formulated as to become a worthy academic discipline. The American university therefore usually includes in its curriculum all knowledges.
Out of the vast enlargement of the field of knowledge has grown what has come to be known as the elective system of study. This system represents simply a method by which the student is allowed to select such studies as he desires. In the introduction and growth of this system of elective courses Harvard, under the leadership of its great president, has exercised a dominant influence. This system, introduced by the gradual methods of enlargement, has resulted in making nothing less than a revolution in the content of the higher education. Adopted by most colleges in the teeth of strong (and in certain cases of violent) opposition, yet it has steadily won its way. Having good elements and bad, the latter have been gradually eliminated. The advanced age at which men enter college and the higher courses pursued in the academies and high schools have served to eliminate many reasons against its adoption. The freedom of choice allowed the student has been hemmed in by various sets of checks and balances. The distinct relation which the system bears to professional preparation has been worthily emphasized. But whatever may be said for or against its worth, it has now become evident that its introduction was simply inevitable. The enlargement of the field of knowledge, the privilege of the college of cultivating the whole domain of scholarship, and the duty of the college of training men and women for many and diverse forms of public service have rendered its adoption imperative.
In the last three score years and ten of this period the higher education of women has come to occupy a most important place. The higher education of women grew, in part, out of the enlargement of the opportunities for the secondary education of women, and, also in part, out of the enlargement of opportunities for public service. As girls were admitted to the high schools, the wish became urgent that their education should not cease with these schools. All the reasons which could be urged for the education of boys and of men were also to be urged for the education of their sisters. The foundation of Oberlin College in 1833, of Antioch, by Horace Mann, in 1853, and of such State universities as the University of Iowa in 1855, of Kansas in 1866, of Minnesota in 1868, and of Nebraska in 1871 represent successive stages in the development. Although the University of Indiana was opened in 1820, it did not admit women until 1868, and although the University of Michigan dates its existence as far back as the establishment of the State in 1837, it was not until the year 1870 that its doors were opened to women. The universities of Illinois, of California, of Wisconsin, and of Ohio were also opened to women in the same decade. Missouri offered its advantages to women in 1870, and Cornell in 1972. These colleges, and in fact all the State universities with the exception of Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana, are coeducational. Of the five hundred colleges in the country, about 70 per cent admit women as well as men.
Separate colleges for women have also been founded, of which the most famous are Vassar, founded in 1865; Wellesley, founded in 1875; Smith, founded also in 1875, and Bryn Mawr, founded in 1885.
In addition to the coeducational and the separate method of the education of women has also grown up a method which has been denominated the coordinate system. It represents the affiliation of a college for women with a college for men. The most famous of these colleges are Radcliffe College, affiliated with Harvard; Barnard College, affiliated with Columbia; the Women's College, affiliated with Brown; the College for Women, affiliated with Western Reserve University; and the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, affiliated with Tulane