Page:Essays on the Higher Education.djvu/21

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sprung up in our West, some private and some state institutions, most of which have but veiled thinly over their deficiencies in scientific quality, equipment, and force and aim in teaching, by putting on the title of "university." Yale (and, to a greater extent, Harvard) has changed rapidly in the effort to validate this title. Johns Hopkins has made a noble start toward the realization of a high ideal, and various other institutions have given notice of their claims to be, or intentions to become, genuine universities. Still, it is scarcely less true than it was a score of years ago that, although there may be universities in America, no one can tell what an American university is.

On the other hand, there is no lack of theory and counsel as to the important inquiry, what the American university should be. Perhaps it would not be unfair to say that, as a rule, the less the amount of study which a man has given to the many difficult problems that enter into the development of the highest-class educational institutions in this country, the prompter and more certain is his response to this inquiry. Men who have a million or two of money, and who, from the training of their lives, have come to think all things—save heaven, and scarcely save that—purchasable with so goodly a sum, are peculiarly tempted to try the experiment of founding and calling by their name the one genuine and great American univer-