The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Minnesota, University of

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The American Cyclopædia
Minnesota, University of
Edition of 1879. See also University of Minnesota on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MINNESOTA, University of, an institution of learning in Minneapolis, Minn., beautifully situated on a bluff on the E. bank of the Mississippi river, one mile below the falls of St. Anthony. The college grounds comprise about 30 acres. The experimental farm of the agricultural college is about half a mile below, near the Bridal Veil falls. The buildings comprise a main academic edifice, 180 by 90 ft. and four stories high, and an agricultural college, 150 by 54 ft., two stories high, including a chemical laboratory and a plant house of glass. The total cost of these buildings was $100,000, appropriated by the state. The university had a nominal existence, under a provision of the state constitution, as early as 1857, but it was not till 1867 that a preparatory department was opened. In 1868 the university was reorganized, and to the board of regents was intrusted the income to be derived from the state's share of the lands given in 1862 by the general government for the endowment of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts. In September, 1869, the first faculty was organized, the president being William W. Folwell, M. A., who still retains that office (1875). In 1870 the board of regents adopted a plan of university organization in some respects novel. The work of the first two years of the ordinary college course was merged with the last two years of the existing preparatory department into a department of elementary instruction, otherwise called the collegiate department. Having completed a four years' course in the collegiate department, the student then has his option to enter at once some one of the professional schools, or to proceed with higher academical studies in the college of science, literature, and the arts. The collegiate department is merely a temporary attachment, it being part of the plan of organization to drop off its studies as fast as the schools can assume them. The lowest class is to be discontinued at the close of the year 1874-'5. In 1875 the following colleges or departments, with the courses and degrees named, had been opened: 1. The collegiate department, known in the organic law as the department of elementary instruction, having three courses of study: classical, scientific, and modern. The faculty have authority to permit students to select studies from the various courses, but the programme is arranged with reference to the wants of the regular students. No degrees are conferred in this secondary department. 2. The college of science, literature, and the arts, which presents a similar variety of courses, but with a large increase of options. The degrees of B. A., B. S., and B. L. are conferred upon students who complete the respective courses and pass the examinations. 3. The college of agriculture, offering an advanced or university course, based on the preparation of the collegiate department and leading to the degree of B. Agr.; and an elementary course coinciding in the main with the scientific course of the collegiate department. 4. The college of mechanic arts, with courses in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and architecture, leading to appropriate baccalaureate degrees. Post-graduate courses are to be arranged, leading to the master's and other higher degrees. In 1870 the announcement was made, “No degrees except upon examinations.” The government of the university is vested in a board of ten regents, of which the governor, the superintendent of public instruction, and the president of the university are members ex officio, the remaining seven being appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, and holding their offices for three years. No applicant is admitted to the university without examination, and the only tests of progress are the examinations. The university maintains no dormitories. Tuition is free in all departments. Both sexes are admitted. The number of students in 1874-'5 was 285. The faculty numbered 14 resident officers and one non-resident. The library contained about 10,000 volumes. By a law of 1872 the geological and natural history surveys of the state were intrusted to the university. Considerable collections have been made by the professors engaged in the surveys. The financial basis of the university consists in the following grants of public lands: 1, 46,000 acres to the territorial university; 2, 46,000 acres to the state university; 3, 120,000 acres, being the so-called agricultural grant of 1862, for the benefit of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts; 4, 12 sections of salt lands for the expenses of the geological survey. In 1874 the state legislature made an annual appropriation of $19,000. The total annual income at that time amounted to $30,000, the institution still retaining about 135,000 acres of public lands, all within the state.