Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 76.djvu/491

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487
ACADEMIC EFFICIENCY

SOME TESTS OF ACADEMIC EFFICIENCY[1]
By RICHARD C. MACLAURIN, LL.D., Sc.D.

PRESIDENT OF THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

I HAVE come here from Boston for the simple purpose of manifesting the good will of an eastern institution to this vigorous university in the middle west. I need not remind you of the historical connection between Massachusetts and Kansas, but I should like to express the hope that frequent interchange of academic courtesies may at any rate keep alive the memories of that interesting connection. My mission here, however, is extremely simple and my duty entirely congenial. It is merely to congratulate you on this new exhibition of western energy and to join with you most heartily in the dedication of your splendid laboratories to the great purpose for which they were designed, the pursuit of science and its application to the problems of to-day.

I need not assure you that I have come here in no spirit of eastern superiority. In fact, if there is anything of east and west in my mind at all it is the old suggestion that the wise men of the east displayed their wisdom in going to the west for inspiration. I believe that this might well be done more frequently to-day.

But what impresses me most in a visit such as this is not so much the difference between the east and west, not so much the distinction as the points of similarity. The old distinctions seem to be rapidly disappearing and all are recognizing that the prosperity of one part of the country is intimately bound up with the prosperity of every other part. And there is no field of our national activity in which this is more clearly recognized than in the field of education. There have been differences, there have been jealousies, there have been rivalries between different colleges and technical schools. There are some of these differences and rivalries still left, but never before was there a time when the essential solidarity of the whole educational world was more clearly recognized, and when men saw so well as they do to-day that in all of our colleges, universities and technical schools we are fighting, if we are fighting at all, on the same side. Rivalries in some sense there must needs be, but no longer do we desire weak rivals. "We want our rivals to be strong and we want them strong so that in the process of emulation and of competition we may be all forced to higher levels and there may be a general trend upwards rather than downwards.

  1. An address delivered at the dedication of the engineering laboratories of the University of Kansas, February 25, 1910.