Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/88

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grounds for the leisure classes. Many critics within and without the college comment on the lack of serious purpose among the students, the failure of the heads of colleges to formulate for their institutions a definite aim and program. Others concentrate their attention on administrative questions, the lack of responsibility of the trustees, the helplessness of the faculties, the autocracy of the president. Finally, it is admitted by an eminent educational authority that a fair equivalent of a college training can be gained through correspondence or even a brief course of reading. Such pessimistic comment falls away from a college or university animated by such social spirit as I have sought here to indicate and advocate. Such a spirit will entail not a narrow, but a broad curriculum to answer the needs of an increasingly complex civilization, and a more liberal discipline with more guidance, and less repression, more freedom and an increased sense of responsibility, in order to fit for citizenship in an enlightened and self-disciplined democracy. Great changes in administration are inevitable, an autocratic university is incompatible in a free democracy, but the essential change needed is an educational rather than an administrative one.

The typical American college has been necesarily denominational to maintain the doctrines and faith that to its constituency seemed vital. In the present great diversity of belief many of the colleges show little or no sectarian bias. Unless these institutions are, with increased liberalism, to be marked by laxity of principle, and flabbiness of moral purpose, they must gain a new motivation worthy of the times, they must work under the inspiration that a hope and faith in human progress gives. To show how the minds of students can be affected educationally so that the college may be touched with this spirit of modern democratic culture is the main purpose of these pages.

In conclusion we may say that the change we seek to further in harmony with an evolution already under way is designed to make the college responsive to the social need of the present, to render it more publicly significant, possibly less denominational, certainly not less religious. In a word, one might say, more democratic and less sectarian.