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privileges by the same institution to persons of both
sexes. In all this it may surely be maintained that
the West is more modern than the East.

Is the spirit of the western institution more natural
and less artificial, perhaps, than that of the eastern
institution? It is possible that this is only putting
what I have already said in another form. Surely


it is a more natural view of the situation, as well as
a more modern view, that the student is to be treated
as any other member of a civiHzed community, and /
accorded no special privileges because he is a student./
It may also be claimed that the fraternal relationship
between instructor and student is more natural than
the relationship suggested by that of strict officialism.
It may with equal force be said that the coeducation
poHcy, as thus far developed, is a more natural
poHcy and less artificial than that of education in
separate institutions. But it is possible to go farther,
and to consider whether a more natural situation
may not be found to exist in at least two other points.
The life of the average student in the western col-
lege is more natural, in that it is largely devoid of
those artificial elements which connect themselves
with the expenditure of large sums of money. It
is the exception, if a student in an institution west of
New York and Pennsylvania spends $1,000 a year.
It is probably an exception when a student in an
eastern institution, especially the larger institutions,
spends a smaller sum than $800 to $1,000. This
single fact is an index of a different kind of life.
It may not be argued that the eastern student in
spending more money gets a larger return; for this
difference in the amount expended represents the
gratification of acquired tastes and the formation of
artificial habits of Hfe which are injurious to the
extent in which they are artificial.

The relationship that has hitherto existed between


institutions of college and university grade, and
secondary schools, including academies, appears
to be another illustration of the acceptance of the
artificial rather than the natural. To lay emphasis
upon the examination method as a basis for entrance
to college, to increase from time to time the require-
ments for admission, and to hold, as has been the
practice until more recent times, the work of the
college and the work of the secondary school so defi-
nitely apart, the one from the other, is to lay em-
phasis upon an artificial distinction — a distinction
which has neither a logical nor a pedagogical basis.
Happily the influence of the West in this particular
is already manifesting itself very plainly in eastern
circles. Nothing has been more marked than the
breaking down of the exclusiveness of the New Eng-
land college and university. In so far as this exclu-
siveness still continues, a greater artificiality may
be claimed as existing in the East. Perhaps all this
may be summed up in the statement that the western
institution is more democratic in the life of its stu-
dents, in its relation to institutions of a lower grade,
and above all in its relations to the public at large.
This is undoubtedly due to the establishment of the
state universities; and the contribution of this class
of institutions to the cause of higher education has
been seen nowhere more clearly than in the tendency
which is thereby promoted toward the breaking
down of class distmctions. The influence of these
institutions, provided by the people and supported


directly by public funds, is very pronounced upon
institutions built on private foundations. The
establishment of a great state university, like that
of Michigan, or Wisconsin, or Illinois, in the heart
of New England would radically change the develop-
ment of higher education in that region of our coun-
try. This larger democratic influence in the West
represents most completely the proposition which
I have tried to maintain, that higher education in its
various tendencies has shown less of that which wen
may call artificial in the West than in the East.

This leads me to suggest still a third question : Is
our higher education in the West more practical
than that of the East ? Much that I have already
said might perhaps be included under this question,
for that which is more modern and more natural
may, at the same time, be thought more practical.
By ''practical" I do not mean utilitarian, although
this side of education must be considered at its full
value. The work of the western student -is more
practical in that he more frequently has in mind a
definite purpose — something distinctly tangible. He
is aiming to accomplish something. Few students
in western institutions enter college simply because
it is the fashion to take a college course, or because
their fathers before them have passed through such
a course, or in order to spend a few years which can-
not easily be provided for in some better way. In
other words, the western student is in college because
he appreciates the fact that the preparation which


it furnishes will improve his opportunities in life.
This does not mean that he selects only those sub-
jects which bear upon the particular profession
which he has chosen, although this may be done. It
means rather that he is working toward a definite
plan, controlled by a strong purpose to accomplish
a certain thing; and, further, that, in the large ma-
jority of instances, this purpose is being executed at a
sacrifice either on the part of the student or on the
part of those who support him. His point of view
is different; and consequently a practical coloring
pervades and penetrates his work. This same point
is seen ii. another fact, that institutions in the West
have rec( gnized earlier and more definitely that the
college training may be secured through the study
of matters which stand in close touch with life, as
well as through those subjects which are more re-
motely connected. The closer identification of
professional training and college training is one of
the great tendencies of modern times which has been
more plainly emphasized in the West. The point
I have in mind is illustrated by the fact that Harvard
is today only beginning to introduce courses of in-
struction in technological subjects, and by that other
fact which, for a quarter of a century or more, has
seemed a sort of enigma — the sharp line of distinc-
tion which has existed between Yale College and
the Sheffield Scientific School. Here again the state
universities have been leaders; and their pioneer
work, which was necessarily practical because of


its close connection with the hearts of the people, has
exercised in the past, and is exercising in the present,
a tremendous influence upon higher education
throughout the country, in demonstrating the pos-
sible efficiency of a more practical higher education.
My last qvyestion grows out of all the rest, and is
again a summary of those that have preceded it:
Is the student life and the student work of the western
institution more serious than that of the eastern
institution? To maintain this would perhaps be
making an unjustifiable charge against the other
institutions from which have come the source of
our strength, for who does not recognize the fact
that it has been Harvard and Johns Hopkins and
Yale and Brown and Amherst and Williams, and a
score of other names equally well known, that have
given us in the West our ideals and our teachers ?
It would be impossible for me to express a sentiment
which would in any way reflect upon the past or the
present greatness and efficiency of institutions that
have contributed so greatly to the prosperity and
welfare of our nation. But it is not I who raise this
question. Within three months seven college and
university professors or presidents have in my hearing
asked it. Ordinarily one might say that the answer
must be affirmative, if what has already been said
is true. If western education is more modern, more
natural, and more practical, it ought to be more
serious. Is it true, as the representatives of eastern
institutions themselves have said, that in the larger,


and to some extent in the smaller, colleges it has
ceased to be the proper thing, indeed the regular
thing, for men to study? Is it true that a change
has come over eastern college life, and that today
serious study on the part of the student is no longer
a recognized part of college Uf e, or that it is so incon-
siderable a factor in that life as to occasion appre-
hension and alarm ? Is it true that certain men well
known in eastern circles have given this question
very careful attention, and are hopmg for a solution^
at least in part, to come out of the growing influence
of western higher education upon the East? I
have heard these questions asked and answered
affirmatively by representative eastern educators;
men whose candor was surpassed only by the intense
anxiety which filled their souls upon this point.

Whatever may be said of the East, no man can
yet say that in our western institutions through and
through there does not exist a spirit as serious as
any that has characterized the student of any age or
country; a spirit which poverty cannot repress; a
spirit of devotion and consecration to life and to
life's ideals than which no higher has been known
in history. I have not suggested that this same
spirit is not found in eastern institutions. To do so
would be to belie the truth as it is known to all men.
I have simply repeated the question which eastern
educators themselves are asking, whether the serious
spirit does not prevail more extensively in the western
institutions than in the eastern.


We are celebrating in these days not only the
twenty-fifth anniversary of the Johns Hopkins Uni-
versity, the completion of a quarter of a century of
magnificent work by a great university; but we are
celebrating Hkewise the close of the first period of
university education in the United States.

During this first period the university idea has
been introduced and established. Nor does the
time within which this has taken place date far back.
There were no universities in this country before
the war. There were, in fact, no large colleges.
But within thirty years institutions have come into
existence possessing, not only the name, but the
character, of universities; and old institutions have
changed, not only their character, but their names.
In other words, the university idea has beyond
question established itself upon a strong foundation.

The first period has, moreover, seen the substan-
tial beginning of a dififerentiation between the col-
lege and the university. Some universities which
include also college work are drawing a sharp line
between the two. Some colleges are recognizing the
fact that their future usefulness depends upon their

I Read at the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary
of Johns Hopkins University, February 22, 1903.



remaining colleges, rather than upon their making
an effort to become universities. There are still some
institutions, however, in which this distinction is
not appreciated; that is, institutions in which the
college work is conducted as if it were a kind of
university work, or in which the university work is
conducted as if it were still work of a college charac-
ter. But the separation is proceeding as rapidly
as could be expected; perhaps even more rapidly
than could be desired; and it is a separation full of
significance for the future of university education.

This first period has seen, also, a remarkable
growth in the recognition given the work of research
and investigation. The professor of former times
had little or no opportunity for any work aside
from his teaching. It is undoubtedly true that in
most of our institutions too much lecture work is
still required of certain men who have shown special
skill in research; but how different is the situation
today in comparison with that of thirty years ago!
William Dwight Whitney, if he were living today,
would not be compelled to teach French and Ger-
man to engineering students in order to eke out a
livelihood. For it has come to be that the spirit of
research, once hardly recognized in our higher
educational work, is now the controlling spirit; and
opportunities for its cultivation wait on every side.

Again, this first period has seen, in its very last
days, tangible evidence that a new period, a second
period, is being ushered in;Jor^what other inter-


pretation than this may be suggested for the remark-
able things that have recently taken place ? With the
many milUons of dollars given directly for research
and higher education; with the new foundations
which have recently come into being on the Atlantic
coast, in the Mississippi valley, and on the Pacific
coast; with the results already obtained in the sev-
eral departments of research and investigation by
university men whose names have become famous
for the work they have accomplished; with the
maturity that comes from many years devoted to
the highest educational ideals, as witnessed by the
splendid history of this university, surely there is
reason to believe that in the East, in the West, and
in the Far West we are preparing to enter upon a
new .period in the development of university edu-

That this is a common belief is shown, it seems
to me, by the fact that within two years the leading
universities in the country — fourteen in number —
have joined themselves as institutions in an asso-
ciation for the study and consideration of problems
which concern university as distinguished from
college work. If one had time and ability to per-
form the task acceptably, it would be interesting to
consider in a prophetic way what this new period
upon which we now enter will produce. Perhaps I
may be allowed a conjecture or two.

This period will see a still greater development.
Up to this time we have known what could be done


by a university with an annual expenditure of about
$1,000,000. In this next period there will be insti-
tutions which will have annually $10,000,000 or so
with which to conduct a year's work. This will
mean, not merely growth, but, in large measure,
reorganization; at all events, organization on new

We shall, moreover, see a still greater differentia-

^ tion. The higher work of the university will be

/ separated more clearly from the lower work of the

/ college; many colleges will undertake to do work of

/ a more distinctively college character than that

I which they are now doing; and many high schools

will rise to the grade and dignity of colleges. And,

further than this, institutions will distribute the

work of higher education, some undertaking work

in one group of departments, while others do work

j in another group. Only a few institutions will

\ endeavor to cover the entire ground. The principle

of specialization will be applied to institutions.

In this new period the United States also will
receive proper recognition for its university work,
and though American students, it is to be hoped,
will always find it advantageous to visit Europe, th^
time is near at hand when the students of European
countries will take up residence in our American

Furthermore, there will be an intermingling of
university work and university ideals in all the
various activities of our national Hfe — in the business


world, in the political world, and in the literary
world. The old idea of separation from the world
at large is fast disappearing, and the new day has
already dawned in which the university is to do
notable work in fields hitherto almost unknown,
and by methods hitherto almost untried.

In the changes which have come about in thirty
years, the Johns Hopkins university has been the
principal factor. The ideals of its founders, the
contributions of its professors, and the work of its-
alumni have constituted the principal agency in
bringing about this wonderful growth.

During this first period the Johns Hopkins Uni-
versity has been the most conspicuous figure in the
American university world, and to its achievements
we are largely indebted for the fact that we may now
enter upon a higher mission. I desire to present
upon this occasion the greetings and the congratula-
tion of the scores of institutions in the West and Far
West which have been strengthened by the presence
in their faculties of Johns Hopkins men, and have
been encouraged and stimulated to higher work by
the influence of Johns Hopkins ideals.



Institutions of every kind sooner or later
adjust themselves to the forward movement of
civilization. This is particularly true of educational
institutions, and among these such adaptation is
especially to be noted in institutions of a higher
grade. The history of higher education in the
United States, from the year in which Harvard
was founded to the present time, is, in fact, the
history of the growth and development of American
civilization. Each type of institution — ^for example,
the New England college as it existed a hundred
or more years ago in New England, and exists
today scattered all through the western states;
or the state university which, in its proper form
may be said to be the product of the last half-century;
or the school of technology, in most recent years
taking its place side by side with, or as a part of
the university; or the university in the stricter sense,
which is the product of the last two decades — each
type of institution, I say, represents a phase of
growth, or a stage of growth, in the life of the nation.
It is the very latest phase of institutional develop-
ment that is illustrated by the growth and character

I Address at the inauguration of Professor Nicholas Murray
Butler as president of Columbia University, April 19, 1902.



of the university whose guests we are this afternoon.

The trend of Hfe in these last years seems to be
toward that centraHzation which finds its most
tangible expression in the growth of great cities.
That same tendency has shown itself in many of
the activities which make up life, as well as in those
things which relate to the places of hving. Many
have represented this as the most distinctive move-
ment of the last quarter of a century.

Everything points to an intensification of this
movement rather than to its diminution. The city
of a hundred thousand inhabitants fifty years ago
is the city of a million today. What the city of a
million today will be fifty years hence no man can
prophesy. In connection with this massing together
of human souls, much is to be deprecated, and much
of the good in life is lost; yet it is also true that by
this concentration of human effort, and the intense
competition thereby provoked, the world as a whole
will be the gainer rather than the loser.

Just as in this way great multitudes of people
are brought together in the various interrelation-
ships of common life, so there are coming to exist \
types of educational institutions, lower and higher, j
adapted to this new environment. The public- \
school system of a city of two or three miUions of
inhabitants is an entirely different system from that
which is adapted to the needs of a city of fifty or
one hundred thousand people; and in our great
modem cities there is today being wrought out a


kind of school work as different from that of even
fifty years ago as the methods of transportation and
communication today are different from those of
the same period.

It is just so with higher education. A university
which will adapt itself to urban influence, which
will undertake to serve as an expression of urban
civiHzation, and which is compelled to meet the
demands of an urban environment, will in the end
become something essentially different from a
university located in a village or small city. Such
an institution will in time differentiate itself from
other institutions. It will gradually take on new
characteristics both outward and inward, and it
will ultimately form a new type of university.

The urban universities found today in three or
four of the largest cities in this country, and the
urban universities which exist in three or four
of the great European centers, form a class by them-
selves, inasmuch as they are compelled to deal with
problems which are not involved in the work of
universities located in smaller cities. These prob-
lems are connected with the life of the students; the
care of thousands of the students, instead of hun-
dreds; the management of millions instead of thou-
sands of dollars ; the distribution of a staff of officers
made up of hundreds instead of tens. Not only do
new problems present themselves, but many of the
old problems assume entirely different forms. The
question, for example, of coeducation is one thing


if considered from the point of view of an institu-
tion located in a village and having two hundred
or three hundred students. It is, of course, a different
thing in an institution having a thousand students
and located in a small city; but it is a problem of
still another kind when the institution has three or
four thousand students and is in the heart of a city
of one or two milHons of people. The standards
of life are different, and the methods of life are greatly
modified. And what is true of this problem is true
of a score or more.

In so far, then, as an institution is intended
to represent the Hfe of those about it, their ideals,
and their common thought, the task before an urban
university is something as new and strange and
compHcated as is the life, poHtical and individual,
of these same cities; and just as the great cities of
the country represent the national life in its fulness
and in its variety, so the urban universities are in
the truest sense, as has frequently been noted,
national universities.

It is such an institution, with all its complexities
and possibilities, its problems and its ideals, within
whose walls we meet today. The occasion of this
meeting is a solemn one. It might almost be called
an event of sacred significance, since it concerns
the formal initiation and installation into office of
one to whom is thereby committed a responsibihty
as sacred and as solemn as any that can be assumed
by a human being.


Today I am bringing to you the greetings of a
sister urban university, the University of Chicago.
The problems to be worked out by Columbia are,
in large measure, those with which the University
of Chicago is concerned. It is perhaps not too much
to expect that in many questions the experience of
one institution will be helpful to that of the other.
It is possible, further, that the experience of these
institutions may be of service to others interested
in the same questions.

To the new president, Mr. Butler, and to Colum-
bia University under his administration, we present
our best wishes for the future. May Columbia
University ever prove worthy of the name she
bears, the history she has already achieved, and the
splendid city of which she is the greatest institution.



The business side of an educational institution
is the financial side as distinguished from the edu-
cational. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to draw
a sharp line between the financial and the educational,
for here is no part of the university life or work into
which financial questions do not enter. It is clearly
unfortunate, from some points of view, that the two
are so closely associated. One's ideal would be
better realized if the spiritual could be more definitely
distinguished from the material. In recent years
the material side of university work has possibly
received more than its due share of attention; but
it should be noted that within this same period even
greater attention has been given to the development
of the educational side, and that what some have
regarded as unfortunate is after all the best thing
that could have happened. Two facts in such a

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Online LibraryWilliam Rainey HarperThe trend in higher education → online text (page 10 of 24)