Page images



DUDLEY M. HUGHES, Georgia, Chairman. WILLIAM W. RUCKER, Missouri.

JAMES F. BURKE, Pennsylvania. ROBERT L. DOUGHTON, North Carolina. CALEB POWERS, Kentucky. JOHN W. ABERCROMBIE, Alabama.



ALLEN T. TREADWAY, Massachusetts. THOMAS C. THACHER, Massachusetts.


ARTHUR R. RUPLEY, Pennsylvania. JAMES L. FORT, Clerk.


D, OF D.
APR 2 1914

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Friday, February 13, 1914. The committee this day met, Hon. Dudley M. Hughes (chairman) presiding

Mr. TOWNER. Mr. Chairman, I move that Mr. Fess be permitted to print in the record whatever letters he desires.

The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection on the part of any member of the committee, that privilege will be granted to Mr. Fess, and I will ask him to proceed.

Mr. Fess. One of the most ardent supporters of the proposition for a national research institution for graduate students is President E. J. James, of the State University of Illinois. I now offer two letters from him.

U'RBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILL., October 18, 1913. Hon. SIMEON D. FESS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SIR: I am greatly obliged to you for your letter of October 15, and especially pleased to know you are interested in the establishment of a national university at the Capital.

We have had before Congress for some time a bill supported by the National Association of State Universities urging the establishment of a national university.

I think perhaps we made a mistake that we did not have it introduced at this session and press it, though people told us the attention of this special session would be so entirely concentrated on other matters that we should not make any headway.

I should be glad to have your opinion as to the proper committee in the House to whom such a bill should be referred. If I remember correctly, it was sent once to the Committee on the District of Columbia, at another time to the Committee on Education. I agree with you that the establishment of such an institution would be one of the greatest forward steps in the history of American education. Faithfully, yours,


URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, ILL., January 19, 1914. Hon. A. D. FESS, Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR MR. FESS: I am much obliged for your letter of January 14 with copy of college bulletin of Antioch College.

I believe you are taking hold of this thing from the right end.

As to our bill, I desire that the bill approved by the Association of State University Presidents, a copy of which I sent you, should be introduced in the form in which I sent it, as this is the only form for which I have any authority to stand.

Of course the committee of the House would make such changes in that bill or any other bill as they decide desirable, but I am pledged to secure, if possible, the introduction of this bill as approved by the association.


[ocr errors]

If you feel that introducing that bill may expose you to attack, or if there are any features which you do not approve, I do not want you to introduce it. I am sure that Mr. Carlin will be glad to introduce it by request, as he did before, and have it sent to your committee.

Of course we should be greatly pleased if your judgment would approve the bill which the association 0. K’d. But in any case I am instructed by the association to secure the introduction of the bill, and I understood from Mr. Carlin that you had expressed your willingness to introduce it.

Kindly let me know your desires at your earliest convenience.

I wish to congratulate you upon taking up this subject. There is a great opportunity, and I believe you are in a position to bring things to pass as perhaps nobody who has had anything to do with it for many years. Faithfully, yours,


I offer for the consideration of the committee a letter received by me from President E. B. Craighead, of the University of Montana, which is as follows:

FEBRUARY 3, 1914. Hon. S. D. FESS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D, C. MY DEAR SIR: For 20 years I have been working with all my might for the establishment of a great national university. In my opinion, it should be a university on a grand scale. As much should be put into this university as we spend upon battleships-say $20,000,000 a year. In other words, it should have an endowment equivalent to $400,000,000. Anything less than this will be unworthy of the greatest Republic of the world. Anything short of such a sum will be to confess our indifference to the highest interests of humanity. It should be a university such as the world has never seen—a university that would make the great seats of learning of the old world—Berlin, Oxford, and Paris—seem insignificant. I am warmly in favor of your plan, but I greatly regret that we can not make it a university worth while. I am preparing on this subject an address to be delivered before the Inland Empire Teachers' Association, at Spokane, and, if it goes into print, I shall send you a copy. Cordially and hastily, yours,


Mr. TOWNER. Have you any comment to make about that letter?

Mr. Fess. Nothing more than to say that President Craighead, having been the leader in education in the South for a good while, as president of Tulane University, is a man whose judgment is very important to have. I think he understands the higher educational situation of the country. I think President Craighead is one of the strong representatives of modern movements in education.

Mr. BAKER. That is all right, but we want to do something that will work; the suggestion he makes in his letter I am afraid would put a quietus on the whole thing.

Mr. Fess. The idea here is to give the committee a report of what the educators of the country are thinking. Of course, we can not incorporate all of their ideas in the bill.

Mr. BAKER. I think you would destroy the movement if you should proclaim that to the House.

Mr. Doughton. This movement, as I understand, comes through the educators of the country, and if it is their proposition why should we not know exactly what their purpose and intention is, so that the whole thing may be understood ? _They are the proponents of it, therefore let us get their views. I appreciate Dr. Fess's frankness about it, because that is what we want to get-just what they mean.

Mr. Fess. Here is a letter from the president of the University of Oklahoma :

FEBRUARY 3, 1914. Hon. S. D. FESS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I have examined H. R. 11749, which provides for the establishing of a national university. I desire to give my most hearty approval of the general proposition. I suggest, however, one amendment, which seems to me vitally important, namely, that the president of the university shall be ex officio a member of the board of trustees, with the full right to make motions, debate on questions, but without the right to vote. Experience shows that the work of the board is immensely facilitated if the president may make a recommendation and at the same time a motion to adopt it, instead of being compelled to wait until some member of the official board makes the motion to adopt.

The bill does not provide that the president of the university shall be a member of the board of trustees, and his suggestion is that he should be a member of the board. In a great many of our universities and colleges the president of the college or university is the president of the board of trustees. For instance, I am president of Antioch College and am also president of the board of trustees, so that the board is summoned through the voice of the president. His suggestion is that the president of this national university shall also be a member of the board of trustees.

Mr. TOWNER. Of course I do not think this is the proper time for us to discuss the details of this bill, but I do not agree with the gentleman. I do not believe that the president ought to be a member of the board of trustees, and, very briefly, my reason is this, and I just submit it now, in a brief form, without any argument in support of it, for the consideration of the members of the committee: The president of a university occupies a position which is entirely, or ought to be entirely, executive.

I think upon him ought to be conferred absolute executive authority, subject, of course, to reasonable restrictions. The position of the board of trustees of a university is that which is equivalent to the legislative department of the Government; it is the body which determines, legislates, blocks out, plans, and carries out the work of the university. I think there ought to be an executive department which deals with the professorial body, with the student body, and with the management of affairs under the laws that are passed by the board of trustees. That is a matter which is an entirely executive function. I think the professor of a university can do his work better if he is independent of the board and the board independent of him than if he is a member of the board of trustees and occupies the position of president of the board.

Mr. Platt. Did you say that the trustees form the legislative body of a university ?

Mr. TOWNER. Yes.
Mr. Platt. I should say the faculty was the legislative body.

Mr. TOWNER. I do not agree with you entirely. I think the faculty ought not to have any part in the board of trustees.

Mr. PLATT. The faculty makes and forms the rules for carrying on the university?

Mr. TOWNER. Only in so far as they are executive in connection with the executive management of the president.

Mr. Fess. Let me suggest that is one good point to be discussed when we come to the details of it, and I will keep a record of it.

Now, I will read the balance of the letter: I do not approve of section 4, which provides that the university shall confer no academic degrees. I do not see why a man who does work in the national university should not receive the same recognition that he would if the work were done in any other university. Respectfully,


President of the University. I offer for the consideration of the committee a letter received by me from the head of the bureau of municipal research of New York City, one of the associate directors with Frederick A. Cleveland, who was at the head of the President's Efficiency Commission, as I understand, said letter reading as follows:

FEBRUARY 9, 1914. Hon. S. D. FESS, Congressman, Washington, D. C.

MY DEAR CONGRESSMAN Fess : Many thanks for your letter of February 7. We are writing to each of the Members whose names you checked, supporting the national university and emphasizing the need for practical field training for public service.

In the hope of getting a new budget I am suggesting that the time will come when every secondary education will require direct service to the public from beneficiaries, as a partial offset to the great expense, and moreover that universities and colleges now exempted from taxation will be allowed that exemption only on condition that through their laboratories professors and students will render direct public service to relieve local budgets, in addition to giving guaranties that they are training men to serve—not to exploit—the public. Sincerely, yours,

WM. H. ALLEN, Director. That will come up as a splendid point, as to whether a graduate student here should be required to do certain work in the departments as a return for the benefits he gets in the way of training for public service.

Mr. Platt. That is a good point.

Mr. Fess. In other words, it is cooperation between the university and the Government on the part of the student. That is not in the bill, you will see.

Mr. DOUGHTON. In what departments would that class of men be best fitted to give instruction here in Washington?

Mr. Fess. Just as a concrete instance we ought to have the department of biology utilize the biological laboratories of the Agricultural Department; also in the Weather Department.

Mr. DOUGHTON. This is what I want to know: Is it your idea that those students would be capable of giving instruction?

Mr. Fess. No; they are to work with the heads of these departments in the doing of expert work, for the sake of assisting in the research work. For instance, there are something like 64 experts in the Agricultural Department, and it is difficult to pick them up. It would be a very good thing if we had a national university here training men for that work, and then when these men are looking for experts they can pick them out of the university; they will be doing part of the work here and part of the work there, and carrying on the work as they do in the Cincinnati university, with the highschool graduate working in college part time and in the shop or factory the rest of his time.

« PreviousContinue »