THE UNIVEltbITYLOF MICHIGAN DAILY
and this reacted on the university, con-
tracting its curriculum. This influence
of the church continues even to the
present day, though now its deteriorat-
Published Daily (Sundays excepted) during ing effect is not so great.
the College year, at
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"The Idea of a University."
Last evening at the February meet-
ing of the Graduate Club held at Prof.
Russell's residence, Prof. R. M. Wen-
ley addressed those assembled on the
subject, "The Idea of a University."
The paper was a general presentation
of the subject; its particular applica-
tion to the American universities will
be given in a continuation of last even-
ing's paper to be delivered by Prof.
Wenley at the March meeting.
The speaker began by stating one
limitation of the subject, which is "The
Idea of a University." not "The Ideal
University." Things and conditions
must be taken as they are, not as they
ought to be; preconceived notions and
ideals should not hinder our presenta-
tion of the facts of the case. Proceed-
ing, he spoke in substance as follows:
"The beginnings of the university are
shrouded by the crystalization of tra-
dition and the hardening into belief of
middle age fables concerning the uni-
versity. The terms 'studium generale,'
'universitas,' - 'facultas,' 'magester,'
etc., have been handed down to us in
garbled interpretations. All we can
say is that the university sprang from
the idea of association and organiza-
tion at the beginning of the 13th cen-
"The three conditions of a real 'stud-
Win generals' were: 1. That the school
be open to the public, that it be gen-
eral. 2. That its aim be higher educa-
tion, the fostering of a love for classic
study and true knowledge. 3. It must
also be well manned, have a fine corps
of instructors. These three ideas sur-
vive in their general aspect to the pres-
"But there was one thing connected
with the medieval university which
was to cause it infinite good and in-
finite harm: that thing was the inti-
mate connection of the church and the
university. The benefits of this asso-
ciation to the university were a supply
of students who had their expenses
paid through their positions in the
church. This steady clientile was a
godsend to the early university. The
harm was that the sectarian learning
had been running in a narrow groove
"In studying the different ideas em-
bodied in universities we find that two
different ideals were at work which
struggled for the mastery. The first
ideal was that the university is a place
of training for the 'students, and that
this object should supercede all others.
The second ideal was that the higher
institutions of learning should be a
place for original research, a spot fitted
for mere learning as such.
"The English universities are a type
of the first ideal. Their great aim is to
educate ..the students, to mould their
character, to make them able to meet
life as it is. Because of this aim they
have turned out noble characters and
very fine gentlemen, who have been an
honor to Britain and whose deeds are
her pride. On the other hand the Eng-
lish universities have only turned out
one 'magnus opus' in the last 30 years.
"The German universities stand for
the ideal of learning as sucs. Their
idea is merely to impart the finest
scholarship and scientific training, pos-
sible to their students: the instructors
do not consider themselves at all re-
sponsible for their morals. Their repu-
tation depends on their original
thoughts and work. They can main-
tain a high scholarship because their
average student on entrance has as
much knowledge as our A. B. For
these facts the German schools have
produced greater works and have bet-
ter men than any colleges in the
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