Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/270

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fear lest its very presence in his desk should betray him into the hands of his official superiors. He could indeed justify its presence there on the ground that the accumulation was in large part accidental, that "he had not meant to do it," that the small field of knowledge in which he had been permitted to work had been so intimately connected with all questions of organization that he could not well avoid an interest in the by-product of educational organization—still and all, he had to admit that he was a victim of abject, craven fear. Yet in his early youth he had fortified himself against the oncoming of age by committing to memory Longfellow's "Morituri Salutamus," and now its appeal to banish fear, doubt and indecision stood him in good stead, not so much against old age, for that seemed farther away than it had at twenty, as against the spectre of a frowning chief and a possible official decapitation. The material in his desk, he reasoned, might be of some slight service in the discussion of a question that was filling every year a larger and ever increasingly larger place in the minds of all engaged in educational work, whether as college professors or as teachers in the public schools. He was as much in honor bound, he reasoned again, to make his contribution to the cause of education as he was to pay his pew rent in church and to give of his wife's substance to the foreign missionary cause.

Turning his attention first to the organization of the so-called "higher institutions of learning," the near-professor found that the factors directly and indirectly concerned are eight.

The factor least immediately involved is the public at large and it may be called collectively the state. It has no direct part in the government of higher educational institutions except in those states where members of the boards of regents are elected by popular vote. The state has, however, a direct financial interest in the subject since the property of educational institutions on private foundations is exempt from taxation, and on the other hand public educational institutions are supported by state taxation.

The parents of students have as such no part either direct or indirect in the management of a college, nor do they consciously to themselves exert the most remote influence on the conduct of its affairs. Nevertheless, the parent is a potent factor in shaping the policy of a college, through serving as a foil against proposed innovations. Do the students desire a larger measure of self government, the parent "who would not approve" prevents its realization. Do the alumni favor a radical departure from the curriculum that has been in force, the parent "likes what we have and sends his son here to get it," and hence no change is made. Does some one suggest dropping the Latin salutatory and the valedictory from the commencement exercises, the parent "likes the present plan" and therefore the Latin salutatory and the valedictory are retained. If