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There is another side of the picture which the report describes with frankness. The attitude of the state toward the university, it goes on to say, has been unappreciative in the past. “The chief obstacle which the university has met in achieving a harmonious and well-rounded development in accordance with the needs of the state has been the attitude of the state itself. The state university has suffered the common lot of state universities in the country. It was for many years exposed to the uncertainties of legislative caprice in the matter of appropriations. It met continued opposition to its demands for legitimate increase in support. In addition, it was three times subject to a popular referendum on its appropriation bills. Rivalry between the university and the state agricultural college at Corvallis, or, rather, between the partisans of the two institutions, has been hurtful to the development of both. Measures, however, have been taken to control the duplication of instruction that in part, nevertheless, still exists, each institution has been assigned to its own special educational territory, and both are placed for financial support upon a continuing mill-tax basis. At the

At the present time, according to the report, this rivalry has largely subsided, the citizens of the state who in the past have opposed the university are much more friendly to it, and it now has a reasonable prospect of being allowed to develop in peace with a full measure of public support.

Dr. Capen's survey of the University of Oregon is made with an expert knowledge of the significance of the problem in hand and of the reasonable means of its solution. It would do no harm to the general cause of education of the country, thruout its length and breadth, if more such surveys could be carried out in our higher institutions of learning-and for that matter in our lower ones, as well—in an equal spirit of unpartisanship and candor.

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MAY, 1916




The university in the United States is in its organization distinctly an American product that has shaped itself in a special way to accord with a new environment and to serve the peculiar purposes of new conditions. The term "university,” in point of fact, is variously used and has no world-wide and specific connotation that definitely describes the institutions that bear it. Wherever it is used, it inevitably means, of course, an organization whose purpose is education; but it represents, in the end, a wide variety of organizations that carry out their educational purposes in widely different ways.

The university in England, as represented typically by the old foundations of Oxford and Cambridge, is a group of separately endowed undergraduate colleges all under a central educational administration.

The universities of the rest of Europe are of one general type. They are institutions of graduate rank, organized under various faculties: either law, medicine, science and letters, as generally in the Latin countries; or law, medicine, theology and philosophy, which is the typical arrangement in Germany and the rest of northern Europe. What a "university” is in the United States is more

1 A paper read before the Fourth Section at the Second Pan-American Scientific Congress, Washington, D. C., December 29, 1915.

difficult to comprehend in a single definition. According to the report of the Commissioner of Education there are in the United States some 140 institutions of learning that bear the name "university.” To complicate the matter, these American "universities” are of all sorts and conditions in organization, equipment and standard of efficiency. Many of them bear the title with dignity and propriety; some of them--permitted to use the name by complacent and easy-going state legislatures in new and ambitious communities do not rightly bear it at all. It is necessary to state this fact baldly in order to justify any statement that is made with regard to the American university, which, without this knowledge and by accepting an apparent part as representative of the whole, might be weighed in the educational balance and found wanting.

A university in the United States, properly so designated, is in organization an anomalous institution.

Like many things American, its first and fundamental conditions were derived from the older countries of Europe. The fundamental idea of the American undergraduate college came from England and our first colleges were English colleges. In the same way the fundamental idea of the university, as that term is narrowly applied to graduate schools, came from Germany, but there is no single university of the German type in America, nor for any reason whatsoever is there ever likely to be.

The American university at the present time is a heterodox educational organization, that has never existed before, but which, properly organized, is superior to any other for economy of equipment in materials and men, for concentration of educational energy and for the production of educational result. It may very well be that few American universities attain the beatitude of ultimate perfection along any of these lines, but that is not the fault of the idea of organization nor of the ideals that lie behind it. Typically organized and in its most extended development, the American university consists fundamentally of the undergraduate college; of the schools of applied science

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engineering in its many branches, chemistry and mining; of a school of architecture, of art and of music, of medicine, of law, of teaching; in some cases, of journalism, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine; in rare instances of theology; and in addition to all a non-professional graduate school in which are taught along the highest level all that wide range of subjects whose horizon is only limited by the boundaries of human intelligence and where research is undertaken to extend them.

This is the organization and aim of the American university stated in its simplest terms. It is a great school of carefully coordinated parts, which in its best exemplification presupposes the college for the liberal education which it bestows, but which, inter-related with the college, maintains the professional schools which fit the college-trained man or woman for the skilled activities of life; and then, if such be their desire, offers them the further opportunity in the graduate school of still higher accomplishment in any direction and to any extent that they may have the capacity and the inclination to pursue it.

The advantages of this organization are the close and direct coordination of all the higher phases of education above the secondary school in one institution and under one general administrative management, which definitely obviates a break between the various parts of the educational system, and assures in its centralization and community of effort, without unnecessary duplication, an economy of the teaching force, and of buildings and laboratory and library equipment.

The undergraduate college provides the close articulation with the professional schools that is fundamental, on the one hand, and it forms the necessary preliminary to the advanced instruction in the graduate school on the other. The presence together, under common general auspices, of the undergraduates of the college, of the students in the professional schools and of the non-professional students of the university is not only in many ways a saving

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in administrative economy, but it contributes to no small extent to a consciousness in the entire student body of the common ends of education, to a community of interest and of effort in the teaching force of the university in the proper correlation of its work in whatever field that may happen specifically to lie, and to the broadening and strengthening of the whole as an object lesson to the community outside the university gates of the solidarity and importance of its educational effort. I have been thus explicit in describing the organization and intention of the American university as a whole in order more clearly to point out in its true perspective the position in it of the graduate school and to state intelligibly its particular function. The college and the professional schools in many cases exist alone as separate institutions. My immediate purpose has been to describe the larger and composite organization of the typical university in the United States which has the organized graduate school as its apex and as the end of its educational undertaking.

The non-professional graduate school—the faculty of philosophy of the German university—is a fact relatively new in the universities of the United States. Graduate instruction, as such, except in isolated subjects in a few of the older institutions, scarcely existed prior to 1870. After the close of the Civil War there came about in the United States an era of educational awakening, the colleges received a great accession of students, new institutions were founded, and a body of college graduates was at hand larger than there had ever been before in the history of the country. Yale and Harvard were notably the pioneers in this field and early in the seventies both institutions had already systematized work of graduate rank beyond the instruction of the college. A great, and, in point of fact, the conclusive impetus to the proper organization of graduate work in the university came with the foundation of the Johns Hopkins University, which began its first instruction in 1876. It arranged its work largely on the model of the German university and adopted in

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