Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/516

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have indeed been hard pressed; whether this condones the offence let each judge. It is the common case of advancing a good end by bad means, thus sacrificing a larger benefit for an immediate gain; yet in so doing—and that is the sacrilege of it—the integrity of the end is compromised, the worship of false gods sanctioned.

The largest field of conflict between the standards and consequent views and favored policies of the academic interests and those associated with administrative measures is that of educational provisions. It is true that the divergence is more commonly partial than total; yet cumulatively it is momentous,—a chronic if not acute ailment. It is not easy to illustrate it without becoming tedious. I shall choose a phase in which the public is interested. How does it affect the student, the manner of life which he is invited to lead; the influences to which he is exposed; the curriculum to which in theory he is subjected and in practise too commonly orders by devising a mingled à la carte and table d'hôte menu not contemplated in any well-designed European or American plan of education. His very presence in college or in a particular college may be a result in which the administrative emphasis has been a cause; for there are so many of him (or her) that are in college without due warrant of present fitness and future benefit. The bidding for numbers is part of the system that operates to the disadvantage of standards; for the size (not the quality) of the share of the annual freshman crop, when reported, affects the rating in the educational Bradstreet. Prosperity is statistically measured; hence the desire for more buildings and costly ones; for more instructors, many of them occupied in work that the college should require and not provide; and more and more students who must be attracted towards the local Athenopolis and away from the rival one. Accordingly the hills are all reduced to easy grades and new democratic (not royal) roads to learning are laid out for those who do not like the old ones. Requirements are set not to what collegians should learn but to what they will; as at the circus the strip of bunting is held ostentatiously high until the horse with its fair burden is about to jump, when it is inconspicuously accommodated to the possible performance. Still more fatal is the continuance of a like spirit within the college; competition is encouraged for large classes and big departments; each professor bids for students, and students have the air of patronage when they choose the

    academic adjustment: "I have never been able to manage a university" (note the language) on that plan. That statement is a confession of unfitness. It would be invidious to point out how this or that institution has admirably solved one or another phase of the problem. There is sufficient proof that a reasonable solution can be reached even under present conditions. I also offer the two-edged philosophic consolation that since salary can not possibly reflect merit, it does a man no good and no harm to receive more or less of it than do his colleagues. Perhaps this truth should be kept for home consumption; to offer it to the public may lead to complications.