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and more honorable the lot of the teacher. Paraphrasing John Marshall's phrase, “ The power to tax involves the power to destroy,” they saw that the power to give is the power to construct, and they set about their task in that spirit.
Instead of having an actuary or a financier as their executive officer, they chose for that post a trained and experienced student and administrator of education of the first rank. The taking of Dr. Pritchett from the presidency of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become president of the Carnegie Foundation stamped the new undertaking at once as educational, constructive, and scientific. So successfully has Dr. Pritchett applied his highly trained powers to the problems before the Foundation, that in four short years its influence has made itself felt in every part of the United States and Canada.
It is not an unfair question, how was it possible for a fund given to provide pensions for college professors, to set in motion constructive educational policies national in scope and influence? The answer is that Mr. Carnegie intrusted the administration of the fund to men who were themselves necessarily students, as well as administrators, of education, and that their habit of mind led them to look beneath the surface and to face at once the problems on whose wise solution the proper administration of their trust must depend.
Professors in colleges, universities, and technical schools were to be pensioned. What is a college, a university, a technical school? There are nearly 1,000 institutions in the United States and Canada calling themselves colleges and universities; some of them old in years and international in fame, others eking out a precarious, unnecessary, and inconspicuous existence behind the local woodpile. Was every “professor in all these thousand institutions to be entitled to a pension? If not, how was any line to be drawn between them? At what age should professors be allowed or compelled to retire ? What minimum amount of service ought to be exacted before a pension could be earned ? Institutions under the control of a sect were excluded by the terms of Mr. Carnegie's gift. What constituted sectarian control, and on which side of the line were the scores of doubtful cases to be put, and why? To answer these questions was to stir our higher education to its depths and to begin the task of organizing it on broad, welldefined, and easily understood lines.
So far as could be ascertained the American college had been given precise legal definition but once, and that was in the ordinances framed by the Regents under authority conferred in the University Law of the State of New York, when it was defined—as chance would have it, in language drafted years before by one who was now a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation -to be an institution with resources of not less than $500,000, and at least six (6) professors giving their entire time to college and university work, a course of four full years of college grade in liberal arts and sciences, and requiring for admission not less than the usual four years of academic or high school preparation, or its equivalent, in addition to the preacademic or grammar school studies. This definition is in a sense arbitrary, as well as perhaps too quantitative and mechanical, but it had existed and been interpreted for some years in the State of New York, it conformed closely to generally recognized standards, and nothing better was proposed. So it was accepted, in substance, by the Carnegie Foundation as its guide, the words “a productive endowment of at least $200,000 ” being substituted for "resources of not less than $500,000”; and straightway several hundred of the thousand so-called colleges and universities in the United States and Canada disappeared from the Foundation's view.
By and by the public will see why the Foundation recognizes some so-called colleges and not others, and then the much needed process of elimination, consolidation, and change of name to academy or high school will begin and go forward swiftly and naturally. Moreover, the most desirable teachers will all gravitate toward the colleges that are recognized as such by the Foundation, for service there gives a pensionable status, together with widows' and disability allowances. So that, without diminishing the power or impairing the right of those so minded to set up nominal colleges and universities whenever and as they please, the Foundation, representing the best educational opinion of the country, will refuse to recognize them unless they are reasonably endowed and equipped for the work they profess to do. In this way the Foundation will gradually disentangle colleges from high schools and academies, as well as sharpen and define the sphere of each.
The graduate schools of universities offer no special difficulties to the Foundation, but the schools of law, medicine, and engineering that claim university rank abound in problems. Medical education in particular is often said to be shockingly backward in the United States in all but a few strong and well-favored institutions, and many merely nominal “medical schools" have been established in various towns by local physicians in order to gain prominence and income for themselves. So serious is this matter that the Foundation is making a special study of medical schools, both properly so called and otherwise, by means of special agents, who are inspecting and observing conditions at first hand. The public at large, particularly that portion of it which does not enjoy the advantages incident to residence in the cities and larger towns, is profoundly interested in the proper education of physicians and sanitary officers, and the forthcoming report of the Foundation on this subject may well prove to be of more than ordinary general interest. While giving the Foundation itself needed information as to the status and qualifications of teachers in medical schools, it will serve to inform and enlighten the public as to the good and bad in American medical education generally. After schools of medicine have been studied and the real status of medical education made known, schools of law, theology, and engineering will doubtless be similarly gone into.
All this may be said to be part of the general standardizing function which the Foundation was obliged to undertake in order satisfactorily to frame rules to govern retiring allowances to professors. That this standardizing process was badly needed in the United States is generally admitted, and yet there was no established authority to undertake it. It was quite beyond the province of the National Government, and the authority of each State stopt with its own borders. The Associa
tion of American Universities and the Association of State Universities were at work on the problem, but progress was slow. The College Entrance Examination Board was accomplishing admirable results in its field, but it dealt with but one phase of the question. With all these agencies for order and reasonable precision, the Carnegie Foundation is coöperating, and in a way that is proving effective. Before long there will certainly be substantial agreement between all real colleges of liberal arts and science as to the quantity and quality of work to be required of candidates for admission to the freshman class, and the definitions of these requirements will not be imposed forcibly upon the secondary schools, but will be framed in cooperation with secondary school teachers and with fullest reference to the needs and purposes of purely secondary school teaching. This truly epoch-marking reform will, when it comes, be largely the result of the efforts of the Carnegie Foundation to define a college and to fix the line of demarcation between the proper work of the college and that of the secondary school.
In all this standardizing work there are many and serious dangers to be avoided, which President Pritchett and his associates fully understand and appreciate. Education is a dead thing when stretched on a Procrustean bed. The human element is always more important than the mechanical, and the needs of the individual pupil are paramount to those of any system; it is for him indeed that the system exists. It is far better educational policy to let ten unfit boys into college, there to prove their unfitness and to drop out, than to keep one thoroly fit and ambitious boy out of college, perhaps to the discouragement and detriment of his whole life. An educational standard is best conceived and treated as a normal minimum, from which departure is not only to be allowed, but encouraged whenever a human being will be more fairly treated by so doing.
Nor does the standardizing of the college mean that all colleges must do the same uniform thing in the same uniform way. It only means that the sphere of the college is to be marked out and the normal point of departure of its work fixt. The more tenaciously the several historic colleges hold on to their traditions and their individuality the better. Dead uniformity is the last thing to be desired, and standardizing does not imply uniformity at all.
The Carnegie Foundation has been wise, and fortunate, too, in its policy of dealing whenever possible with institutions, not individuals. The retired professor receives the monthly payment on account of his annual retiring allowance from the same college Treasurer who paid him his salary while in active service, if that college is one of the seventy or more on the Foundation's list of accepted institutions. The college applies for the retiring allowances of its own professors, and receives the funds therefor from the Treasurer of the Foundation. This policy is judicious for many reasons, not the least of which is that it brings the Foundation into constant, close, and confidential relations with the accepted colleges and universities of the country, and enables it to work with them in many ways that are helpful and for numerous ends that are desirable. It is quite worth while, for example, to secure a general agreement that the fiscal year for college accounting shall begin on July 1, so that every Commencement season will virtually bring the statistical and accounting bureaus of each institution to the end of their year's work. College and university statistics, academic as well as financial, are notoriously incomplete, overlapping, and inadequate; and here again the Foundation, whose view takes in the whole country, can offer helpful suggestions in aid of simplicity, correctness, and uniformity, based upon the knowledge and experience it will acquire.
Not less important will be the effect of the Foundation's existence and operations on the salaries paid to college and university teachers. The tendency of these salaries for some years past has been markedly upward, and the Carnegie Foundation will serve to strengthen this tendency. In the first place, the cost to a professor of the privileges and protection which the Foundation assures him, even supposing he could purchase them from a life insurance company (which he can not do) has been estimated at from $1,000 to $1,200 a year in