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and the state is representel by the Governor, the remainder represent the public and hold office for life. These colleges and universities in their selection of trustees are characterized by long tenure of office and representation of the alumni. This insures a continuation of a definite position and an interest on the part of the student body, both of which are most favorable to the growth of the college ideal. The state institutions, on the other hand, are controlled by boards which are usually elected for short terms of office, altho in California the members hold office for sixteen years, this being an exception to the usual practice. This method of selection of trustees for short terms has been disastrous to the institutions in many cases. The influence many times has been such that the institution has never developed an atmosphere or soul of its own. In other cases the efforts to build up an atmosphere have been completely destroyed by the inrush of the low educational idea. This method of representation may secure excellent material, yet it is at the same time subjected to all that is evil in politics and unworthy representatives are selected to represent the people. It is costly to have such mistakes made, yet until we learn that in education we must have only that which is best, the people will continue to pay for their experience.
The ideal which results from the body of men representing the community governs the selection of the president of the institution. It is a very worthy fact that in every case “a good man” is desired, but there is a multitude of ideas of what is a definition of good. It may vary from the low ideal, that with the capacity of being controlled by selfish purposes, to the highest development of manhood. The effective ideal of a college or university president is largely an expression of the moral standard of the members of the board. One misleading tendency is often manifested, and that is the endeavor to represent the lower ideal as the higher. The highest ideal will be proclaimed and the person who is easily controlled by a certain faction is finally selected. This unfortunate lack of foresight has developed an unsatisfactory result, for President Butler 15 states in speaking of the vacant presidencies of colleges: “ The simple truth is that for some reason or other the very few men—half a dozen, perhaps, in the whole country, who by common consent are best fitted by natural endowments, by training, and by experience for these high educational posts, are unwilling to accept them, even when extraordinarily large salaries are offered. They are already engaged in congenial and influential work, and have little to gain and much to lose by the transfer to the average college presidency. Some of the unpublished, and for the most part unknown, negotiations during the past decade over these positions are full of instruction. Since the first-class men hold back, these influential educational offices are too often filled with second-rate or thirdrate men; or worse, conflicting tendencies in the governing boards hit upon that most awful and depressing expedient, a * compromise' candidate. As a result of these facts many of the colleges and universities in the United States are to day simply drifting ; they have no unrealized ideals, except financial ones, and no educational policy, except to stand still and to beg.”
15 EDUCATIONAL REVIEW, 16, p. 405.
The president is many times selected and is often noted for his ability to raise funds for the endowment of the college. He spends most of his time meeting the demands from those without the college walls. The time which is spent in attending associations and other meetings leaves very little for him to become thoroly acquainted with the work of the college. This does not give a result favorable to the growth of the soul of the institution, nor is it in accordance with the principles of business to have the head of the institution away for most of the time. In an ordinary business house the place of the head is at the office where the business is transacted. With a business firm the best that can be obtained is used to foster the growth of the business, and why should it not be so with colleges? Why should the president be regarded as the “ advertising function ” of the institution. Is it not true that the best men are driven from the greatest field of work in the nation by the unfortunate conditions prevailing, or if they remain in this capacity it is comparatively only a short time that is allotted to them? It is said that the heads of our institutions cannot be great scholars for they do not have the time to become such, their work is of an executive nature. As President Thwing tells us, “His work is to do things and not to tell about them. But nevertheless he is to be in complete sympathy with scholarship, and he is ever to have the largest appreciation of scholarship. If the college teacher is set to teach, he is also given the duty of extending the boundaries of human knowledge. In this extension he should find no heart more eager, no mind more appreciative, no purse more liberal, than that of the college president.”
The position of the president is a difficult one. Upon him more than upon any other depends the growth of the college ideal. The addition of fine buildings may please the eye, but the soul of the institution may shrivel in proportion as buildings are erected. The growth must be upward, whether buildings and endowments come or not. The temptation to meet all conditions and to be on many sides at the same time lias resulted in a disastrous manner for many who have made the attempt. It is stated that 18 “ The remark is common that all presidents lie. The falseness of the remark does not at all lessen the truth of the fact that all college presidents are tempted to lie, and are tempted possibly more strongly than most men. The reputation for deception which has come to cling about the office arises from a desire of the president to satisfy personal or official interests which are in mutual opposition. Therefore he is tempted to mold the pliable clay of truth to suit an auditor or petitioner. Of course the method is suicidal, and it is, I am sure, easy for the reader to think of more than one college president whose reputation for untruthfulness has cost him his office."
This condition is an injustice to the head of any institution. The condition should be such that the president has the privilege of selecting the right because it is right and not because it is favored by the majority or someone who has influence. If a course is not selected because it is right, then the college must pay the penalty and those connected with the institution are responsible for the results. In most cases, however, the selfsacrificing men who bear the burdens of the institution pay the penalty while those who are directly responsible shift the burden to other shoulders.
16 Thwing, College administration, p. 63.
The president is in our country largely responsible for the faculty. In some cases there is no doubt that the president undertaking the position with a faculty which has developed along certain lines, wishes many times it was otherwise. The faculty of the institution is naturally a very important part of the institution. While buildings, scientific apparatus, and libraries are considered of such great importance in our brickand-mortar stage of education, yet the character of the men composing the faculty has its influence upon the college.
For some reason we have not given the importance to the manhood and character of our teachers in colleges which should be given to this valuable characteristic.
It is told us that “ The faculty was the glory of old Cornell. It was the strength of the men, whom, with marvelous insight, President White called about him in 1868 that made Cornell." In the present demand for specialists this feature of success in college work is too often neglected. If the faculty is selected on the higher standard it is an excellent foundation for the survival of the fit. Let this condition exist, then let a lower ideal be presented and if it is rejected it is well. Many times a crisis comes in the history of the college—a crisis between right and wrong. The question will be presented to the faculty individually whether they will do right because it is right. Sometimes we see with regret the best men sacrificed because they will not support certain measures and individuals which they know are wrong. They will be misrepresented, untrue statements will be made regarding them, and they will be perhaps forced to leave the institution. This creates a faction, a few will stand for the right, and many will remain neutral from fear of the possibility of losing their positions. Some no doubt are sacrificed by unfortunate circumstances, they dare not do what is right for the future of the college. The loss of the few men who dare to do right does not solve the problem for the college or the community. The remainder left behind may gather themselves under the lower ideal in
hopes of recovering the lost opportunity for building the ideal for higher work. But it is not given to them to do this. The birthright has been sold. Those who have not courage themselves cannot teach the young to be brave and to meet the demands of modern life. The teacher should be the source of power and should meet these responsibilities in his task: “ The task of humanizing and socializing the national life by importing into it the red blood, the warm touch, the social concern of a loving sentiment. It makes a tremendous difference what a man thinks about as he works, what he believes, what he feels. It makes a tremendous difference whether he is a free man, expressing his own full, rich, joyous life in his work, or whether he is a hireling with no satisfied emotion to express.”
“The lower cannot call the higher.” This is a question of great importance, especially during the college career. The period of adolescence is the one opportunity for laying the foundations for the highest ideals. Those ideals cannot be taught or encouraged by men who have committed moral suicide. “Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side, Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light.”
The college with a soul has little sympathy with those persons possessing a low ideal in education. It appreciates the highest because it knows that it has something of great value if it has a faculty of effective characters. The older members of its faculty are not cast aside when they reach an age when the physical man is on the decline. These experienced men with the many years to their credit are some of the grandest blessings that a college can possess. They are an heritage from the past, and their ripe experience has a value which cannot be estimated. It makes a wonderful difference to a college whether it has a faculty of live souls or one of dead souls.
11 Henderson, Education and the larger life, p. 84.