The passage of the University of Wisconsin through the state political agitation of 1914; the survey of William H. Allen and Staff and the legislative fight of 1915, with the indications these offer of the place the state university holds in the community
EVER since La Follette developed his program of taxation of railroads in Wisconsin there has been a so-called progressive movement in Wisconsin politics which has led among other things to the formation of commissions to control public utilities, to distribute taxation, to conserve the resources of the state and to institute continuation schools.
This movement has been associated more or less vaguely in the public mind with the University of Wisconsin. This association has been emphasized by the fact that Charles McCarthy of Reference Library of the Wisconsin Legislature lectured at the university. Mr. McCarthy exercised an influence which has favored and helped to work out this program Prof. B. H. Meyer of the university was appointed a member of the state Railway Commission, and while he was given leave of absence from the university still lectured there at intervals. The head of the Tax Commission was called from St. Louis but has also lectured at the university, and Prof. John R Commons of the university was largely responsible for the formation of the Industrial Commission and became its head. President Van Hise of the university has been chairman of the State Board of Forestry and president of the Board of Commissioners, and has a nation-wide reputation as an exponent of conservation doctrine.
This identification in the popular mind of the political movement in Wisconsin with its university was strengthened by popular articles which left the reader with the impression that the Reference Library Bureau of the legislature was an adjunct of the university, and that the faculty of that institution was as a whole taking an active part in the government of the state. People caught up the phrase the "university state" as taking the place of the state university.
Nor should it be forgotten that the generous treatment of the university by the state during its last period of expansion, was inaugurated under the La Follette regime, and that it has been the boards of regents constituted by progressive governors who have supported President Van Hise in his program of enlargement of the university's state-wide activities and of the university's equipment.
It is against this background that one must view the campaign directed against the expenditures of the university and its activity outside the university walls, by the Republican party in the last state election: the action of Governor Philipp and the legislature during the session of 1915: and the survey of the university directed by William H. Allen. which was given to the public during the same period. It is, of course, true that the popular impressions have not been correct. That there were men in the university faculties who were in sympathy with the political program outlined above does not identify the university wit the program not its operation. The body of the faculty have had no part nor any considerable interest in the program itself.
The State has made use of a few university professors on its commissions and has called a few before its committees. The explanation of the popular impression is to be found far more in the hope that Wisconsin had found a method of bringing non-partisan expert intelligence to bear upon its problems of state administration. The wish was father to the thought, but the thought was there.
The campaign which was directed against university expenditures and activities was due to a reactionary movement in the political life of the state. It was part of the reactionary movement which brought in other Republican state administrations in 1915 and cut down the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives in Washington.
It was a product of the hard times which turned the people against the party in power, and it found its peculiar force in Wisconsin in the protest by the farmers of the state against the tax assessments which hard times made more than usually unpopular.
The university has very properly kept
(350 the people of Wisconsin informed as to its activities beyond its scholastic undertakings. They know that they have a university and that especially through its agricultural departments, it has worked to advance the farmers' fortunes in various ways throughout the state. The university has come to the assistance of the farmer not only in the cultivation of the soil, in the selection and care of his stock, in marketing his products, but it has lately through its Extension Department sought to carry popular education and even entertainment throughout the state.
And this awareness of the activities of the university has made the university bulk large in the imagination of the citizen of the state when he demanded of the candidates for the legislature that the state should economize.
It was also natural that newspaper reports of radical statements and teachings by university professors should be caught up and stick in the minds of those who were swept away by a reactionary movement. Nor should one overlook the hostile attitude toward the university of those business interests which have been unfavorably affected especially by the conservation legislation, and bear a grudge against the present university administration because the president and some members of its faculty have been identified with the conservation movement.
While there was a general demand that the university as a state institution should bear its share of the economies, which the voters had called for at the polls, there were certain specific demands that were made in the press, by Mr. Philipp, the republican candidate for governor, and others engaged in the campaign. Prominent among these were the demands that a considerable increase be made in the tuition of non-resident students at the university; that members of the faculty should not draw salaries from the university and at the same time be remuneratively engaged in their callings outside the university; that the university should not receive more than its share of public money devoted to education, and that appropriations for the university should be made through a central board in control of the other state educational institutions, a board which should correct the tendency to disproportionate generosity on the part of the legislature toward the university, due to its prestige and its ability to lobby more successfully than the governing boards of other institutions.
The Survey's Status
While the university looked forward, then, to possible legislative action that might cripple its efficiency, cut off the state-wide activity that had been so characteristic of the University of Wisconsin, and subject it to a directing board that would be less identified with it and less sympathetic than had been its board of regents, these anxieties were only a part of their troubles. The Allen survey of the university was undertaken by the State Board of Public Affairs in accordance with an act of the legislature of 1913. It followed upon a survey of the rural schools, and one of the normal schools of the state. It was, therefore, a part of a program which belonged to an earlier period and had had no connection with the political attack that was a part of the reactionary Republican campaign. The survey, however, falling at this period (it was carried out during the summer and fall of 1914), was regarded with especial anxiety by the faculty, an anxiety which was justified by the character of the survey itself.
Report of State Board
The State Board of Public Affairs associated with themselves an advisory committee of nine representatives citizens of the state, and put the conduct of the survey of the College of Agriculture in the hands of Prof. E. C. Branson of the University of North Carolina and the rest of the survey in the hands of William H. Allen, who was a director of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research. The Board of Public Affairs itself was a state body constituted by the former administration, and has as its chairman ex-officio, Governor McGovern. This board was in no sense hostile to the university, nor did it, as the report of the survey was worked out and presented, show itself in sympathy with the results. Its own recommendations coincided with Mr. Allen and Mr. Branson in some particulars but their recommendations are not presented as the findings of the board. The report stated at the conclusion of its report:
"Absence from this report of specific recommendations relative to any matter commented upon by any investigator employed by this board is not to be construed as an endorsement of his views. In several particulars the Board of Public Affairs does not accept either the conclusions or findings of one or other of the investigators employed by it; but either because of want of full information or for other satisfactory reasons this board withholds specific recommendations."
The members of the faculties and of the administrative bodies of the university undertook to co-operate with Mr. Allen both in getting the data and answers to questionnaires which were sent out from Mr. Allen's office, and in discussing the results, with a view to correcting the misapprehensions and errors which must necessarily arise when so vast an undertaking as the survey of a great university is pushed through in so short a time as six months. These conferences however, were later abandoned because in the opinion of the members of the university, Mr. Allen proved quite unwilling to correct errors in his findings when these were brought to his attention, and because a large part of the material came so late that members of the university were able only to make comments upon the findings.
It is not difficult to foresee that the results of a survey of this character must in large part be valueless. Mr. Allen's contact with the actual university life that he was studying was slight. He could do little more than send out from his office in the State House his broadsides of questionnaires and his demands for data from the university offices, and then strive to give some sort of formulation to the immense mass of information which he and his tireless office force called forth. His printed report comprises, without the university comments, 527 large quarto pages of fine print, to which over 250 pages of university comment are added.
While the survey has ranged over nearly the whole field of university administration and supervision, investigating and discussing, among other things, the social life of the students, the dormitories and their occupancy by students from out of the state, the methods of university accounting, the attention given to English in other courses than those of the English Department, the legitimacy of requiring modern languages for the bachelor's degree, the amount of use of a modern language that should be demanded in the classroom in a modern language course, the use of university buildings, the scholarship shown in eight doctors' theses, the desirability of dispensing with the master's degree, the reliability of the university's publicity, the facility of students in the commerce course in simple arithmetical problems, different systems of grading by different instructors, and many others, there were certain questions to which special attention was given. this is evidenced not only by the greater number of pages devoted to these subjects in the report, but also by the emphasis with which they are discussed. Among these are the usefulness of the university's high school and the wisdom of retaining it; the supervision of the teaching in the university and the actual efficiency of that teaching: the cost and standards of the graduate work; the cost and function of research in the university; the capability of the faculty and the regents for investigating the conditions of the university.
The High School
The Wisconsin high school is the practice secondary school of the department of Education, such as is found in connection with the schools of education in a number of our large universities. Why Mr. Allen should have attacked this school at Madison with such vigor, not to say virulence, is quite incomprehensible from the report. He is hostile
351) to its building, its equipment, its forms of registration, to the expenditure of the state money for the purpose which it is supposed to serve. It was the first assault which Mr. Allen made when he reached the university. And this is of importance in judging the survey because it involved a question which in the opinion of the writer, was quite outside its province or capacity. The wisdom of an education department in a university having its own experimental and practice school, instead of undertaking to get this practice experience for its students in public schools in the community surrounding the university, is a technical one which has been largely discussed in the past. At present there is pretty complete unanimity of judgement among those who are qualified to have judgement upon the subject. Mr. Allen is not an expert in this field. His judgment may be worth something. It may be worth little or nothing.
In like manner, Mr. Allen undertook to pass judgement upon the wisdom of the University of Wisconsin's requiring modern languages for the bachelor's degree. It is a question with many others which concerns the faculties of our colleges and universities. Mr. Allen seems to have assumed that because he had been called upon to survey a university he was quite competent to pass in six months upon universal questions of educational policy and administration. Thus, he comes out for a summer quarter, and the Harvard arrangement for completing the four year's course in three.
Scope of the Survey
The other questions upon which emphasis is laid all fall well within the legitimate scope of a survey having to do with the efficiency of the university's operations without undertaking to pass upon the structure and policies of the institution.
However, university surveys are novel affairs and there is as yet no definite form of procedure nor set of standards by which they can be adjudged. It is not difficult to set up certain abstract standards. The universities undertake to teach, to investigate, to develop creative scholarship, to give professional training of various sorts. It is logical then to assume that a survey will determine whether universities are efficient in these undertakings. This implies, however, that we are agreed upon the definition of the educated and professionally trained man; while anyone who is at all conversant with the unsettled problems of education in our institutions of higher learning will recognize that there would be no unanimity even on the part of those who are presumably competent to have a judgment on the products of learned institutions. As long as we differ as to what education consists in, as to the worth of various sorts of investigations and researches, as to the parts that so-called cultural and vocational training should have in a liberal education, even as to the sort of professional training that makes the best professional man, we cannot set up standards of results upon which we can agree.
Mr. Allen did make a very futile attempt of this sort, when he undertook to pass upon eight doctors' theses. He question the scholarship of the authors, their justification for considering their products original productions, adequately documented, or presenting results which are worth publication. Mr. Allen hit upon one thesis in which he was able to establish plagiarism. Most of the others were sent by the university to competent scholars in other universities, who quite fully justified the respective departments in the University of Wisconsin in accepting these theses for the doctor's degree.
The university is not a manufacturing plant that turns out standardized products, which have been ordered from it by the community that supports it. If it were, we could test it by comparing its wares with models, and determine cost units by which we could estimate just how much the elements of vocation and how much the element of learning, et cetera, have cost. The university is a part of the community, and that part within which more consciously than elsewhere certain standards of the community are fashioned and changed. The efficiency test of modern business can be applied where there is a clearly defined model by which to judge products; they cannot be applied to a growing thing the meaning of which emerges in the process of growth.
This, however, does not imply that there are no standards, and therefore, there can be no estimate of the efficiency of a university. The university does not know where it is going, but being self-conscious it does know that it is advancing or is stationary, or even in retrograde motion, and it knows this by its success or failure in solving its own problems. The university is not an office of experts to which the problems of the community are sent to be solved; it is part of the community within which the community problems appear as its own. If it were a concern indifferently doing what the community puts up to it to do, the testing of it would be in principle as simple as possible. In this case, if the university did not do the work for which it is paid we could go to another concern or put into the old university a new administration. The university is not such a concern. It is the community organized to find out what culture is as well as to give it; to determine what is proper professional training as well as to inculcate it; to find out what is right and what is wrong as well as to teach them; it state and formulate research problems as well as to solve them; in general to fix from moment to moment the changing meaning of life and the fitting tools for appropriating it; that is, to be continually redefining education as well as administering it. Its standards are those of continually realizing its problems and testing its solutions.
Supervision of Instruction
There are point at which this process of self-criticism of the university is apt to break down, and one of these is its teaching. Into its faculty there enters a continual stream of young and inexperienced men. Within the faculty are aging professors, and an inevitable percentage of those who are slothful. How is the ineptness of youth, the ossification of age, and human indolence to be corrected in the university's most vital function, its teaching? Mr. Allen has one formula continually repeated -- supervise and eliminate. Supervision is to
(354) include training in teaching. Through supervision the faults are to be eliminated -- if not, the men must be eliminated. this supervision, conceived by Mr. Allen's bureaucratic mind, should be the function of the president, the deans, the chairmen of faculty committees and the heads of departments.
The picture that comes to one's mind in reading the survey's extensive sections upon efficiency in teaching and its supervision is that of a super-public school of a highly supervised type, in which are cultivated those arts of preparing and presenting a lesson, that formalized manner compounded of official inspiration and authority, that separation between teaching and subject matter, to which the mechanism of our public schools still subjects our children.
Mr. Allen opens his discussion of supervision of instruction by quoting with approval a letter from a professor, head of a department in a western university, in which this department head presents his method of training a young instructor. He selects him preferably from his own students, and works out with him his syllabi and methods of presentation. He goes with the young instructor to his first class sessions, begins the instruction himself, remains during later sessions to criticize, help and elaborate where the young instructor is inadequate.
In his questionnaires sent to the members of the faculties, Mr. Allen asks among other things:
"1. How often has your classroom been observed since October, 1913, -- including
laboratory work, seminary, etc., by regents?
"2. Who, not mentioned above (Chairman of your department, other members of your
department, representatives of state Department of Public Instruction, representatives of
the Board of Visitors, regents) exercises supervisory authority over your work?"
3. State under what circumstances, by whom, when and with what results, the efficiency
of your classroom or seminary teaching has been ascertained other than by observation of
"4. State briefly the purposes and general results of personal interviews
regarding your courses which you have had this university year, with president, with dean
(upon his initiative, upon your initiative, accidental), instructor in charge, chairman of
Later, Mr. Allen makes the general criticism:
"That the president, directors, deans, departmental chairmen, supervisors of courses were not expected to visit classes."
To Mr. Allen's mind, the interaction of instructors' and students' minds in a university, takes place through a pedagogical art, which can be learned from one who is skilled in the technique of teaching, and a supervisor can determine whether the instructor has acquired this art and is exercising it properly.
The university men at Madison on the other hand are confident that Mr. Allen has got hold of the smallest part of the problem of teaching in the university. They are quite willing to admit that there is much inadequate teaching, and they are confident that they are as familiar with the situation as a class to class supervision could make them. They have their own methods of supervision which they insist accomplish more than classroom supervision could. They consider that the question of successful teaching in the university is vastly greater than that which Mr. Allen has presented.
Dean Birge of the university, in one of his many comments upon the different sections of the survey, lists a number of problems that appeal to him and his colleagues as of fundamental importance in university teaching; the interrelationship of elementary and graduate course, of professional and undergraduate courses, the departmental scheme of instruction, the succession and interrelation of courses offered, the intellectual lines along which students are moved within the departments, the skill and intelligence with which a department's work is adapted to aid the of other departments, the adjustment of teaching between related departments. These are all questions of the material of teaching not of its external clothing. They have to do with the subject matter that can be brought to the student and the form that the material can take in the student's mind.
There has been during the last few years, within our colleges and especially our universities, a very distinct advance in the teaching of undergraduates. Part of this advance has been due to the formal phase of teaching, the stiffening of the system of grading, the raising of the standard of formal excellence in scholarship as a prerequisite for graduation, and the improvement in the technique of teaching. If Mr. Allen had got inside the university life at Madison or at any other large university, and if he had lived with the instructors and students he would have seen that there was a very real supervision that does not appear in formal records as well as that which does, and that that which is not formal is much more effective than that which is. but what would have especially struck him, if he had had eyes to see it , would have been dependent upon the development of new material.
It is because the university is grappling with the problem of what it had to teach in ethics, in economics, in all the social sciences, as well as in the physical and biological sciences, that a marked advance in undergraduate teaching has taken place within the last ten years. No one who has not followed the growth of the subject matter of the courses leading up to the bachelor's degree is at all competent to pass judgment upon the efficiency of the teaching of these subjects not of the supervision which follows inevitably from the self-criticism of university thinking and teaching.
Text Books and Ideas
What has profoundly stirred the teaching consciences of the university has been the burden of the material which they had to get across to the students. It is this responsibility that leads to new methods that flow, not form the experience of veteran pedagogues, but from the relation of the subject-matter to the interest of the student, to the new compilations of source books and pertinent reading matter, together with the methods of instruction which these have made possible, and especially to the great diversity of methods which characterized the teaching of different instructors.
A man who has something that is his own to say can say it best in his own manner, and the defects of that manner may be quite negligible. The man who business it is to carry across from the depots of other people's heads and other peoples; books ideas which have not become problems of his own thinking, can be trained in all the details of pedagogical mannerisms, and his success or failure will be evident to any supervisor who comes into his classes and inspects his delivery of the goods.
It is characteristic of a certain obtuseness in Mr. Allen, that he has never undertaken to account for the resentment which classroom supervision always arouses in the university instructor, or to consider the relation of this resentment to university instruction. He evidently considers the repeated university comment upon his report, that such supervision would lead to the withdrawal of strong men and excellent teachers, as a futile defense put up by indolent instructors who wish to avoid being called to time for their inadequate work. If Mr. Allen had analyzed the frame of mind of the supervised and the supervisor, he would have recognized that no one can accept such supervision as a legitimate estimate of any work without loss of self-respect, unless the adequacy of the work and the competency of the teacher are so external and formal that the judgment upon them by the supervisor has nothing to do with the supervisor's personality. Personality has nothing to do with the criticisms of a bank examiner or of an auditor, or with a coroner's inquest. But the moment the manner of doing a thing is an expression of one's self rather than a universally accepted method, he can
(355) accept the judgment of some one else upon his manner of doing it only by deferring to his critics' judgment at the expense of his own, and he becomes in the nature of the case obsequious.
Personality in Teaching
Brought face to face with such a supervision he will reply:
"I insist on being judged by the results of my work, -- they must conform to an objective standard, but I cannot be myself in my teaching and at the same time consider whether the manner of my presentation will be agreeable to the attitudes and ideas of the man who supervises me; especially, I cannot make my retention of my place in the institution dependent upon deference to his personality."
In exact proportion to the identification of the material taught with the personality of the instructor will classroom supervision of university instruction be not only out of place but disastrous. There is, of course, no automatic guarantee that the self-criticism of a university or its own methods of supervision are entirely adequate, but the only way this can be ascertained, is by following out these methods, living with them and letting them demonstrate their own inadequacy. They cannot be tested from the outside by questionnaires, nor by the haphazard methods used in this survey.
Mr. Allen secured a number of normal school teachers, of high school instructors and some supervisors from state departments of education, and sent them into various classes. Some classes were visited many times; some a few times; some only once. These inspectors reported to Mr. Allen their impressions of the teaching they had observed, and upon these reports, he based a series of comments such as
"Rambling unorganized lectures";
"Failure to make technical terms clear";
"Failure to support debatable statements";
"Failure to adapt subject-matter to purpose of course";
"Failure of the instructor to dispense with repeating answers by students";
"Failure to address questions to others than the particular student called upon";
"Failure of instructor conducting a question-answer type of recitation to know students by name after five weeks."
"Failure to use class time fully and profitably."
Under the above caption and others like them follow illustrations and contrasts. Such desultory comment could have value only with reference to some utterly routine process, in which any departure from the ordinary course leaps into the eye, and in which anything that attracts attention must be out of the normal. It would be unfair to the survey to assume that Mr. Allen's estimate of the importance and nature of university teaching is revealed by the paltry character of this inquisition. But the conclusion may fairly be drawn that in Mr. Allen's opinion university teaching is so formal a proceeding that any educated person, especially if he has experience in high school methods, can in a few class visits pass competent judgment upon the teaching of a university instructor.
The Graduate School
Mr. Allen's study of the graduate school of the university reflects clearly the inadequacy of his whole study, through its predominant use of records, intensively studied during a short period. For Mr. Allen's mind all records are there for the display of university conditions to an inquiring public or an inquisitive investigator, and it was an as-
(356)-sumption of his, which the university authorities were not able to shake, that the university's case rested necessarily on its records. For the university the records are no in any great part for the presentation of its life and doings to the public or anybody else, but are for the uses of the university in the mechanical processes of education. Hence where records are not needed they do not exist. Mr. Allen complains on many occasions that there is no record that this or that has taken place. More serious still is the inability or unwillingness of Mr. Allen to familiarize himself sufficiently with the uses to which the records are put to pass adequate judgment on them.
One of the striking errors into which this dependence upon an external record has led this survey is in a comparison of the standing of the University of Wisconsin with those of a number of the leading universities on the bases of the number of courses offered in different departments in graduate work. Mr. Allen does not always understand the field that is covered by the heading of a department, and he is so little conversant with the actual graduate work in our universities as to suppose that the mere number of courses listed is an adequate criterion of the relative standing of the departments in the respective institutions. He speaks of graduate students being forced by lack of graduate courses to take undergraduate work because he finds them registered for undergraduate courses, being unwilling to recognize, that many graduate students, because of the inadequacy of their preparations in certain lines of work, complete that preparation while they are carrying on graduate work in the fields in which they are prepared that graduate courses open to undergraduates provide satisfactory work for a considerable part of the graduate students, especially in the minor departments of the candidates for the doctor's degree, that the danger of deceiving and disappointing graduate students who come to the university after studying the announcements is negligible. The problems of the post graduate student who is not a research man, of the master's degree and of the graduate work that leads up to it are real problems with which the University of Wisconsin with other universities is occupied, but they cannot be solved by the hurried external procedure of Mr. Allen's survey.
I need to refer again to the criticism offered by Mr Allen upon the eight theses only to call attention to its occupation with externals. Thus, Mr. Allen had one of his assistants make up a bibliography upon the subject of one of the theses at the Madison Public Library. This enterprising person in an hour's time made up
"a supplementary list not referred to by this thesis and exceeding in number the books and articles in scientific journals mentioned by the thesis."
It seemingly had not occurred to Mr. Allen that pertinence and not the number of references is the criterion of a bibliography and that the comment he has made is meaningless. Noting that one thesis has translations of documents in the Romance languages of the medieval period, the survey's comment is that any competent undergraduate in the Romance department could have done this work, while an eminent authority to whom the thesis was referred asserts that
"if you leave out the specialists at your university and those who have studied profoundly the Romance languages, there is not a single citizen in your state who is qualified to criticize the slightest thing in this thesis, unless it be the punctuation."
Mr. Allen's whole treatment of the graduate school is an exemplification of the little that can be learned of graduate work in a university by a short intensive study of its records.
Upon the closely related subject of research the survey's findings are mostly given in three sections, one of which deals with the question of the effect of research upon teaching efficiency, while the others attempt to determine the cost of research. The findings in the first are the result of an elaborate questionnaire sent out to a large list of persons of varying interests and positions. Nothing but confusion is the result of reading the attempted tabulation by Mr. Allen of the replies. The absence of context, and of knowledge of the individuals who make the specific replies, deprives the findings of any value unless it were pursued at length from the inside and in a number of universities.
A questionnaire addressed to members of the university faculty asked, among other things, What is the best proportion of instruction to research? Answers vary greatly, as one would expect. The only conclusion of interest from these answers that I have been able to draw is that the matter is very largely one of the personal equation. Professor Ely, commenting for the university upon this section, finds that the older men lay more importance upon research than the younger men in the faculty, and ascribes this difference to their greater experience.
Mr. Allen undertook in this connection one study which might have been of considerable interest if it could have been so carried out as to reach figures upon which Mr. Allen and members of the faculty could agree. I refer to the "typical week" of the members of the university faculty, with the time given to classroom; preparation for courses, seminary laboratory; conferences; supervision: and work as student advisor. The results were used to estimate the cost of research. Working with Mr. Allen's figures, though not accepting them, Professor Slichter of the university reaches the conclusion that the average time spend by a professor in the College of Letters and Science upon student instruction is from thirty to thirty-five hours a week plus. Mr. Allen leaves the impression that classroom instruction consumes on the average eight hours a week. This furnishes an excellent illustration of the respective attitudes of Mr. Allen and the university faculty in the entire undertaking of the survey, and it furnishes the ultimate criticism upon the entire undertaking.
Section by section the university comments reject the data which Mr. Allen presents, with minor exceptions, and impugn the fairness with which Mr. Allen deals with them. It is unnecessary to discuss the question whether the faculty of the University of Wisconsin deliberately undertook to discredit the investigation which the State Board of Public Affairs secured Mr. Allen to carry out. Mr Allen did not succeed, nor is there sufficient evidence to lead the reader to believe that he really sought to success, in getting a basis of mutually accepted facts for his studies. The university comments on the face of them invalidate the survey presentations as they stand, and neither the Board of Public Affairs nor the regents can settle the question of fact between the survey and the "comments," and therefore could not make the survey's findings a legitimate foundation for any action in the premises or in the conclusion.
It is fair to assume, however, that the faculties who have been so wrought up over these findings have been stimulated to a great measure of self-criticism which may bear fruit in the future. For the university world the survey remains only an example of how not to survey a university. An investigation is not undertaken to show the good or bad faith of one side or the other in a controversy. It is not or should not be undertaken "to get the goods on anybody." It should be undertaken to get the facts that may be of service in determining future conduct. Any investigation which cannot and does not assure itself and the public of the trustworthiness of the data upon which it proceeds is either incompetent or is not acting in good faith toward those for whom the investigation is being conducted.
Per Capita Costs
In the discussion of the per capita cost of instruction and the per capita cost of research again the survey fails to reach an agreed bases for the calculation of expense, the administration turned over to the survey its estimates and statements of expense, with the ground for its items. With these formulations Mr. Allen is dissatisfied.
(357) The statement of the university is perfectly definite, an as the problem is here one of rational accounting, with a difference in regard to certain items, as all the material is there and there can be no question of suppression by the university, the attitude assumed by Mr. Allen of uncovering a conspiracy to deceive the people of Wisconsin, is not only uncalled for but reflects an animus which vitiates the entire report.
The Taxpayer's Interest
The university presented a statement of the expense to the taxpayer of the education per capita, per annum. Mr. Allen accuses the university of trying to deceive the taxpayer as to the whole expense of the education of the individual, because the expenditures that do no come from taxation but from other sources have not been included. These items were all listed by Professor Skinner in his statements for the legislators and in reply to the charges of Mr. Allen. No one has questioned the statement that they do not come from the tax-payer but do come from other sources. The legislators had all these items before them, and accepted the per capita expense of university instruction to the state as presented by Mr. Skinner, when they increased the dues of the non-resident students to almost exactly this amount. Mr. Allen includes in the yearly expense the cost of permanent improvements. The university maintains that these should be represented in the yearly cost to the state of education by the cost of depreciation and upkeep.
Mr. Allen reaches a figure of the per capita cost of $485.71. The university objects to the division of the cost of research by the whole number of students, and its addition to the cost of instruction, and presents as its figure for the true per capita cost of instruction $211.65 which sinks to $149.05 when the amount is subtracted which does not come from state taxation. With the exception of the cost of research and the account against which it should be charged, it is a question of a clear statement of what the items are and what they mean. If there remained a different opinion as to interpretation, the investigation should have stated fairly the university's position as well as his own. Mr. Allen preferred a contentious statement with suppression of data from the other side and a host of innuendoes.
Mr. Allen reaches a cost of research in the university of over $600,000 in two different ways, one by recasting the university statements by the same method as that just described. The other method is the use of the figures he took from the professor's statement of the typical week. Mr. Slichter having presented the university's position, that even on his own system Mr. Allen should have reached the figure of from thirty to thirty-five hours a week instead of a little over eight hours as the amount of time the average university instructor gives to instruction, it is evident that the proportion of time given to research in comparison with that given to other university duties will vary according as one uses the totals reached by Mr. Allen and those used by Mr. Slichter.
Mr. Allen added together the hours in the classroom and those which the instructors reported as given to research, omitting the hours given to preparation for the classroom. It is clear that the proportion of time given to research on this basis will be grossly exaggerated. By this computation Mr. Allen reached the same result of a cost of research exceeding $600,000.
At a time when a reactionary campaign, directed in good part against the supposed extravagance of the university, had placed an administration and a legislature in the State House in Madison bent on a heavy reduction of state expenditures, Mr. Allen presents figures for the cost of instruction and for the cost of research which in each case is more than double that reached by the university. Instead of presenting correctly the meaning of the university figures and discussing them fairly, Mr. Allen at some points not only made misstatements and others was guilty of suppression but left a train of innuendoes over his statements that gives his report the character of a partisan document rather than a scientific investigation.
With Mr. Allen's dependence upon records and insistence that everything that takes place within a university should appear there, it is natural that he should undertake to show that neither the faculties of the university nor the Board of Regents have been able to carry on adequate investigations of their own affairs, because of the lack of proper recording and investigating machinery. This supposed failure of university machinery has a peculiar fascination to Mr. Allen, because of a "division of reference and research" which plays a large part in Mr. Allen's plan for reorganization of the university. It is not possible to go into the details of his study of these faculty and regent investigations, all of which in his judgment are defective and inconsequent, beyond pointing out that the survey here as elsewhere has been unable to present such unquestioned data, that the use and discussion of it might be confined to its interpretations and recommendations. It is, however, of interest to note that Mr. Allen was so helpless in the use of his own methods, that he hit upon what was probably the most thoroughly and competently discussed and investigated question before the university and faculty during the year, the rule against intercollegiate boat-races. This had been up before various meetings of the faculty, and had been thoroughly investigated by the medical department, whose committee had reported exhaustively upon it. At the faculty meeting at which the final action was taken and at which Mr. Allen was present, there was no discussion, as the matter had been talked out. Mr. Allen scores them severely for taking important action without discussion, and even undertakes to tear to pieces the expert report of the medical committee.
All of the survey recommendations have a natural reference to the form of university organization which it would put in place of the present university administrative machinery. This reorganized system of administration is to have as its central figure a business manager, with a division of reference and research responsible to him alone. The responsibility for the form of the budget of the university is to take, when presented to the regents, is to be his. The president of the university is to hold office for seven years only, and will not be eligible for re-election. The term of the deans is to be five years without re-election. Mr. Allen prefers to have the deans called directors or coordinators., to have them directly nominated by the president as his deputies, and in the same spirit he would abolish the terms "schools" and "colleges," and substitute courses. Faculty legislation that is to go up to the regents should take place through a small body of fourteen elected from the whole body of instructors.
This more compactly organized body of instructors would then be personally supervised and resupervised in both their instruction and research by the president and his deputies, the substitutes for the present deans. But this supervision is to be still further supervised by the division of reference and research. However, the principal function of this bureau is to be that "of applying to university problems the principles of scientific research and efficient distribution of knowledge." Thus the business manager through this bureau, which reports only through him, would meet all the educational problems. The Board of Regents is to be reduced to five, each to belong to a different profession.
It is not necessary to comment at length upon such a plan of organization or to go into its details. For Mr. Allen, the state university is a great bureau with certain functions of education and research, that must be very minutely organized and supervised because its functions are so varied and at times difficult to define, and because its functionaries are apt to take advantage of this uncertainty of definition and supervision. The difficulties of the complex under
(358) taking of a state university, however, will be met in Mr. Allen's chef d'oeuvre, the division of reference and research, where probably every step in every research, every class and room with the numbers and the cubic contents, the money value calculated on different bases of every hour of every instructor's time et cetera, and et cetera, will be found in the form of card catalogues and loose-leaf devices, ready to be used in the instant solution of any problem of so-called education or so-called research that may arise.
Present Status of Survey
The Allen survey has become a negligible factor in the Wisconsin situation, largely because it has no basis of facts that are or must be conceded by all, upon which it can stand. The state Board of Public Affairs which was the body responsible for the survey and to which it reported, has dissociated its recommendations from those of the report and ignored it as far as it could. That board so far as its personnel is concerned when our of existence with the McGovern state administration. The present Philipp administration, although it came in upon a campaign directed against university extravagance, has assumed no responsibility for the report, although Mr. Allen became the personal employe of Governor Philipp after the survey report was in, and aided the administration by supporting before the legislature the only piece of legislation which might serious cripple the efficiency of the university during the next biennium. The report is lacking in scientific value as it stands, and fails even to hit the state sentiment which has been assailing the university.
There is no evidence that Wisconsin wants its university done over after Mr. Allen's bureaucratic plans. As the events have proved, Wisconsin is quite devoted to her university as she conceives it. The state was out of patience with it when she regarded it as extravagant, and was troubled over the rumors that strange and noxious doctrines were taught there, and that the university was getting improperly into politics. But there was evinced in the legislature no hostility to the present form of organization of the university, nor in the grist of bills brought before the legislature, which bore upon the university, was there any indication that in the state there was any feeling that the university work was inefficient or that the university needed more or severer supervision. Thus, while the survey could not be used for scientific purposes, its criticism and recommendations are quite foreign to the simple homely abuse which the Wisconsin farmer sees fit to pour out on his own institution, when he thinks the institution is drawing too heavily upon his pocket book. The Allen survey could not even be used as a partisan document.
University and Legislature
There are certain measures relating to the university which appear with an almost biennial regularity at Madison. Such are those which would deprive the students of voting age from the right to vote in Madison; those that refer to the rate of payment of university janitors or watchmen; a measure to forbid the medical department of the university from rendering any medical service to students or others, or restricting such service to first aid. It is natural that efforts should be made periodically to deprive the graduates of the law school of the university of the right to practice without passing a bar examination; that efforts should be made to change the system by which students enter the university from the high schools of the state; that some member should undertake to provide penal remedies for the students' habit of hazing -- which is dying of old age in all the universities of the country. There are the eccentric measures represented at the recent session by the proposal to deprive university instructors of their salaries if they smoke cigarettes. Measures bearing on the very active part which the agricultural college of the university takes in the agricultural life of the state are quite normal and necessary. There were a few measures, coming from the floor of the house or senate, called out by the attacks directed against the university during the previous political campaign. One forbade any employe of a state department or institution to attempt to influence any member of the legislature or to appear before the committees of the legislature in regard to any proposed financial legislation. This was lost, and the following joint resolution was passed:
"That it is the sense of the legislature that members of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, when called upon by any member of the legislature or any committee thereof for the purpose of giving special information upon any subject under consideration, shall feel free at any time to respond to such request."
A measure to remove the president of the university from the Board of Regents appeared, and another abolishing the Board of Regents and placing their power in the hands of the superintendent of public education. The question of the modern language requirement for the bachelor's degree, of which much was made in the Allen survey, appeared in a measure requiring the university to establish a course leading to that degree with no modern language requirement. The attack by Mr. Allen upon the university's high school was reflected in a measure which would abolish it. A measure was introduced which would have cut heavily into the income which the university receives from the mill tax. All these measures were lost somewhere between their presentation and final signature by the governor.
There important measures were passed which seriously affect the university: one raises the tuition of non-resident students; one creates a new governing board above the Board of Regents; the third is the financial measure making the appropriations for the coming two years.
The non-resident student at the University of Wisconsin now pays in tuition and fees $124 a year, a hundred dollars more than the student who is a resident of the state. At the University of Illinois the non-resident student pays the same amount as the resident student. At the University of Iowa the same is true. At the University of Minnesota the non-resident student pays $20 more than the resident student, with the exception of those in the agricultural course. At the University of Michigan, the non-resident student pays $10 more than the resident student with the exception of those in the department of dentistry where the charge is higher. The tuition of all students in the University of Chicago is $120, $4 less than the non-resident student pays at the University of Wisconsin.
This high charge for tuition, as compared with the practice of other state institutions, places the expense for the non-resident student of attending the University of Wisconsin on a level with that of attendance at the supposedly more expensive institutions on private endowments. There were 1,551 non-resident students at Madison during the last year, or 30 per cent of the entire enrollment. During the last ten years the non-resident students have paid the state nearly half a million dollars; the amount has risen from $13,000 ten years ago to more than $145,000 at present. Assuming that the non-resident student has proved to be an expense to the state, which has not been proved, the equity and wisdom of further raising his cost of instruction is more than questionable. The comity of states must recognize that other state institutions bear the expense of training many residents of Wisconsin, and do this now with a much lower added charge than that made at Madison for the non-resident. The advantage to the students of gathering men and women from many communities and parts of the country is beyond question. The disadvantage of selecting the non-resident students from those who come from richer homes is evident. The provincialism which penalized the stranger within the gates who hungers and thirsts after wisdom is not an engaging trait.
However, a measure was introduced which raised the tuition of the non-resident $50 above that already charged. making his expense for instruction at the university $174 a year. This was amended before the bill was finally
(359) passed so that the addition is $24 only, making his whole charge $148 a year, but forbidding his becoming a resident student, if he has begun his attendance as a non-resident, during the period of four years, and allowing the regents to dispense with the non-resident charges in the case of 5 per cent of the non-resident students. This measure does not go into effect till the fall of 1916. It is hoped at the university that this action will be modified during the legislative session of 1917.
Governor Philipp's project for a governing board for the educational institution of the state was presented by Representative Van Gorden in the house. It abolished the Boards of Regents of the university and the normal schools, and the Mining Trade School Board, and created a central board consisting of thirteen members. Tow of these were the state superintendent of education and the president of the university ex officio; of the eleven others three were to be presidents of normal schools, two county superintendents, and three persons having a general understanding of educational matters, at least tow of whom were to be women, and finally but by no means least three members of the board were to be competent business men who should devote all their time to the duties of the office and were to receive compensation at the rate of $4,000 per annum.
This central board of education was given all the powers of all the boards above abolished, but the tree members who were to give all their time to the work of the board, and who were to receive compensation for their services, were to have the right to act upon all business and financial matters. There were thus many imposing sheaths wrapped around the real kernel of this board, but there is not doubt as to the kernel, nor that these three business men would be the de facto governing body, and that the members who represent these sheaths could be termed in Mr. Veblen's phraseology "honorific waste." In this administration measure can be recognized the reactionary movement which wished to bring the university under the control of those interests which had been affected by the progressive legislation, for which the university had been given undue responsibility. The principal argument presented for this measure was that it would correlate the appropriations of the state for educational institutions, and the argument has considerable weight if it is addressed to a measure which seeks simply to remedy this lack of correlation.
The greatest need, however, is that the state should be more liberal in its expenditure for primary education, especially in the rural districts and that the state should estimate and apportion its expenditures for education with a view to the need of the rural schoolhouse and the still further training of the children who leave it too early. The state has made a very important step in this direction in its continuation schools, somewhat extravagantly called vocational training schools, but much more remains to be done, as is true in every rural community in the whole country for that matter. A careful consideration of all the educational interests of the state was not what prompted the governor's bill.
Besides the various suggested amendments, a substitute amendment appeared in the senate, which created a board of estimate and apportionment, somewhat after the fashion of the board of similar title in New York city, to consist of the governor, the secretary of state, the superintendent of education and two members, one to be selected from the Board of Regents of the university and one by the board of Regents of the normal schools. This board was to report to the legislature all estimates of needs of the different educational institutions affected. I would be the sole channel through which estimates of expenses and needs of these institutions could reach the legislature, but the appropriations of the legislature were to be made to the governing boards of the different institutions, which were not under this measure to be abolished. This measure would have met then the supposed need of correlation between needs and appropriations of the different educational institutions of the state, but would have left the government with the boards as at present existing and for the public schools with the state superintendent.
This measure was then amended so as to give this board complete control over the finances of the university, the normal schools, the Stout Institute and the Mining Trade School, and also over the construction of buildings and the purchase of land. Furthermore, amendments to financial acts made their appropriations run to this central board of education and not to the governing boards of the institutions in question.
The Central Board
The measure in this form passed and is now the law of the state. It was not an administrative measure. The governor cannot control this board, for the present secretary of state is no an administration man but belongs to the progressive group. The representatives of the Board of Regents both of the university and the normal schools will unquestionably pull together and with this member of the central board will control it. Furthermore, a glance at the composition of the board shows that its members cannot govern the institutions whose finances it controls. They are all busy men, and the intricate affairs of these complicated educational institutions will have to be left to the bodies which at present govern them.
This central body could not by any possibility make up the budgets of these educational institutions. If the majority of the central board were hostile to the administration of the university or the normal schools, and felt that they could politically afford to, they could of course, cripple these institutions but it could not undertake to reconstruct the administration of the institutions. As the majority of this board in any case will not be hostile to the institutions as at present constituted and as they cannot possibly undertake to govern them, things will remain as they were so far as this central board is concerned. It may help to correlate the appropriations of these different institutions. It will probably accomplish nothing more that is accomplished at present. The administration measure which seemed to have been directed against the present administration of the university, and to have been calculated to bring the control of the university with other educational institutions under business interests, was definitely lost, and what the administration got was something it could not use. It is assumed that the next session of the legislature will have to reconstruct this legislation also.
The university realized that the legislature came with a mandate from the people for economy, and they were quite prepared to accept this policy for the coming biennium. President Van Hise, H.J. Thorkelson, the business manager of the university, and others, worked with the finance committee of the senate with the result that an appropriation over $765,000 less than the previous university estimates was recommended. In this cut was found a very considerable reduction in the appropriation for University Extension, which had been one of the targets for criticism of the university's expenditure. However, these reductions would not have crippled seriously the work of the university during the coming two years, and the Board of Regents were prepared to make up their budget upon this basis. The reductions beyond the cut in the appropriation for extension would have involved the postponement of buildings and other expenditures from the capital account mainly.
This recommendation of the finance committee represented presumably the attitude of the governor until, but little more than two days before the close of the session , a substitute amendment coming from the administration leaders was offered in the senate cutting the appropriations for the university sill further by nearly $500,000 for the biennium, or nearly $250,000 for each year of the period; and of this additional cut over $300,000 or more than $150,000 each year, was
(360) made in the appropriation for the operating expenses of the university. President Van Hise was allowed in all three-quarters of an hour to present the university's plea against this serious attack not only upon the normal growth of the university but also upon the means of performance of its daily activities. the principal argument upon the other side was made by Mr. Allen, and the gist of his argument (according to reports given me by men present) was that in these times of retrenchment it was proper business policy to stop increases not only in expenditures from the capital account, i.e., in buildings and apparatus, but also all increases in operating expenses, Now Mr. Allen himself had admitted that the university showed a normal increase in numbers each year of 10 per cent, and that this must be recognized in appropriations. In a period of two bienniums this means an increase of 40 percent, for which the university must provide in increased teaching force and equipment, or else seriously depart from the standards of efficiency they have maintained. Yet this measure would have the university keep to the level of its operating expenses when the last appropriations were made. The chief item in the operating expenses is that of the salaries of the instructing force. A cut of over $150,000 a year in operating expenses could mean only one of two things, either a number of the professors would be dismissed or a horizontal cut from 5 to 10 per cent would be made in the salaries of all.
After this hurried consideration of what is perhaps the most complex piece of business which the Wisconsin legislature had to undertake, the measure was passed with certain minor amendments. One of these throws a curious light on the procedure of this deliberative body. An amendment appropriated $5,250 annually for the salary of the professor of Semitics and Hellenistic Greek. The incumbent in the Chair had retired. The university in its economies did no recommend the appointment of a successor. However, there had reached the governor petitions both from students and from students' parents and their pastors, that instruction in the Bible and its sources be given at the university. This instruction was given by the incumbent of the above-mentioned chair. An amendment providing for this professorship was introduced but not at the request of the university authorities who felt that they were in conscience bound to avoid all unnecessary expenses. The highest professorial salary in the university budget at present is $4,500. In the moment of its most exigent economy the legislature has committed itself to a standard of payment of professors which should be cheering to the present staff.
Under normal conditions, and in accordance with its traditions the university should spend during each of the two coming years more than $30,000 in the regular increase of instructors' salaries. It was assumed that the governor had committed himself to the preservation of this tradition of the state university, but the measure, as it was finally passed, contemplated the expenditure only of $10,000 each year for this purpose. It is hard to believe that the governor himself could have followed the details of this eleventh-hour legislation. Further evidence that those who were responsible for this substitute amendment had not thought it through is found in the fact that while this substitute for the finance committee's measure made a serious reduction in the appropriations for the operation of the university, its authors seem to have overlooked that provision of the original measure (which was not changed by the substitute) by which the whole of the university fund income was appropriated to the capital account of the university in so far as it was appropriated for not other purposes. The result was that while the university would be in the position of having to discharge a number of professors, or else scaling down salaries which are already small, there would be unused in the capital account of the institution some $200,000 each year of the biennium.
Such a result could not be regarded in the state and elsewhere as anything less than an attempt to cripple the university by reducing the efficiency of its instruction, while more than enough money to keep the work up to its present standard would by lying idle in the university's treasury. And to make the responsibility for such a situation the more evident, the actual cut would have to made by the central state board, which has been described above, for the regents of the university would unquestionably send up to that body the budget which had been worked out in its painstaking co-operation with the finance committee of the legislature. It would be the central board of which the governor is chairman which would have to perform this surgical operation, and it would be the administration which would have to bear the onus of it.
The realization of the embarrassment which this hurried legislation promised for the administration must have followed shortly upon its enactment, for in the last hours of the session a curative amendment was introduced and adopted by both houses. It was offered by senator Whitman who had introduced the substitute amendment to the finance bill. By this amendment,
"There is annually appropriated such sums as may be necessary, payable from any moneys in the general fund or other available funds not otherwise appropriated, as an emergency appropriation to meet operating expenses of any state institution . . . for which sufficient money has not been appropriated to properly carry on the ordinary regular work. No moneys shall be paid out under this appropriation except upon certification of the governor, secretary of state and state treasurer that such moneys are needed to carry on the ordinary regular work of the institution."
Thus, by this amendment, it becomes possible for the university, under the certification of the governor, the secretary of state and the state treasurer, to use the money actually in its treasury for the payment of the normal salaries of its instructorial staff. Since the governor has again and again stated that the university must not be crippled in its operation, there seems to be no reason to assume that the certifications of these state officers will be refused, especially as this amendment was introduced with the object of avoiding the embarrassing situation which the earlier legislation had entailed.
At the Year's End
The university finds itself at the end of this troublous year uninjured, its prestige unaffected, its hold upon the state unshaken. It has safely turned what promised to be a dangerous corner. It had been, however unjustifiably, associated in the public mind with the progressive policies of La Follette, and the enemies of La Follette had come into power. Still more serious was the widespread belief, quite unjustified, that the university was in large measure responsible for the amount of the taxes. Certain special interests have been hostile to the present administration of the university, and they were supposed to be in favor with the new state administration. At the same time the university found itself subject to a disingenuous survey under the direction of a man whose ideals were those of bureaucratic business efficiency. Nor were there lacking widely spread charges of Socialistic propaganda, and un-American teaching.
Universities, the seats of culture, the home of more or less abstruse learning, of detached scientific research, are supposed to be ill-adapted to endure the blustering constantly changing climate of democratic control. Those resting upon private foundations regard thankfully their independent endowments, and bless the fate that has spared them the necessity of explaining and justifying to an uncomprehending public, the expensive pursuit of useless truth, the spiritual uses of culture, and the secular harvests of abstract thinking. It has been assumed that state universities continue to exist and flourish in America, because people are ignorant of a large
(361) part of what goes on within them, and because what they think they know about them is wrong. The experiences of the University of Wisconsin give excellent material for comment upon this widely entertained view.
It would be difficult to concoct a severer ordeal by which to test the living connection of a university with the community that has founded and generously supported it. There is no doubt that the university has stood the test. The political orators that carried on the attacks had very early to assure the public of the state that they were as devoted friends of the university as could be found. They protested that they were only attacking what was not native to the real university. The state administration that came into power felt obliged to write itself down as first among the friends of the university. All this, of course, if it were not genuine, could be made the cloak with which to cover attacks which might be all the more serious because their effects might escape public understanding.
Confidence of the Public
The strength of the university's position was exhibited in the manner with which it met the dangers which it faced, that of control by business interests, of interference with its own control over its own scholastic affairs, and of the cutting down of its efficiency by unintelligent parsimony. This method was that of presenting clearly and patiently to the governor and to his representatives and to the committees of the legislature the needs, the undertakings, and the opportunities of the university, All representatives of the university, notably President Van Nise, have acted upon the supposition that all members of the different departments of the government of the state were interested in and identified with the success of the university, because it was their own. They conceived their function to be that of making its needs, its dangers, and its opportunities evident. Men familiar with the changing political regimes at Madison do not regard this legislature as in any sense above the average of intelligence of Wisconsin legislatures. But at bottom the interests of the university are sufficiently identified with the interests of the average man of the state, so that what he needs to give the university a fair deal is enlightenment, not political pressure.
I would not be understood as implying that there was no playing of politics in the legislature's dealing with the university in this last session. I was told that in at least one instance the post-offices in the gift of a senator won one fight fro the university. I do not know whether this is true, but I am convinced that the strength of the university's position has been throughout in its assumption of goodwill on the part of the state and in its effort to make clear the reasonableness of the university's contentions. This has been the easier for the university because it does not come to the state with empty hands
The university has been severely criticized by some because it has blown its own trumpet so loudly in the matter of its service to the farmers of the state. It is not, however, a question of the nicety of good manners, but of the assurance that the citizens of the state are sufficiently aware of the activity of the university to give thought and attention to its demands. The response of the state to what the university undertakes to bring back to it in visible form was shown in the unwillingness of the legislature to cut down the experimental work of the Extension Department.
A fair test of the common life of the community and its university is to be found in political appointments to positions calling for scientific training. If the university has succeeded in setting its stamp upon the qualifications for these positions, no short step has been taken in educating the public to demand expert and efficient government. In Governor Philipp's recent appointments there is gratifying evidence of this natural interplay between the community and its university.
On the conservation commission, in the interests of forestry, the governor appointed the professor of forestry at Cornell, who had been assistant state forester in Wisconsin, and later professor of forestry in the University of Wisconsin.
One of the bills passed at the last session created the office of state engineer in charge of all construction work in the state. Governor Philipp appointed to this office the professor of machine design at the University of Wisconsin. In this office is the state architect, and to this position was appointed the university architect.
All the agricultural work of the state falls under a state commissioner of agriculture, as the result of one of the administration measures. To his position the governor appointed the superintendent of the farmers' institutes at the University of Wisconsin. In this office are the state entomologist and his assistant. Both of these the governor took from the faculty of the University of Wisconsin.
A Living Institution
It is in the study of such incidents that we realize that growth that is going on underneath the surface of society. The university has become a part of the people of the state. It is true that favoring political conditions during the last decade have attended its remarkable recent growth. But these conditions have merely given it the opportunity of developing. And the unfavorable political conditions of the last year could not materially affect this life and growth. No man and no party could be a power in Wisconsin who was regarded as an enemy of the university. The result of the year has justified President Van Hise's program of carrying the university to the people. For while this has rendered the university popular it has not detracted from the scientific and cultural activities within the university.
It is easy to overestimate the import of the proposed measures which would invade the control of university life by the legislature. The fact is that the university had only to present carefully its own case to the legislature to find that the university and its administration has the confidence of the community. A university is not an artificial thing even in its detached scientific and aesthetic expressions. It is within the province and power of individuals to present the occasions under which such institutions arise. They have never created them.
Just as private foundation inevitably undertake public tasks because they are there to be done, so our politics cannot in the end avoid serving public institutions that have become a part of society.