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February 20, 1930 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1930-02-20

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Y 20, 1930


Text o0f Preside,






,~ t

Advocates Slow Change Rather "We may grant at onee the ob-
thith Sutddeh Shifting tection to our present school sys-c
tNew Melhd tem that we are ro't properly ac-
News. .complishirig the general objective
df our teaching-the instruction of
MIOtM NICATION NDEND bthe student both in the business1
and in the art of living. While,
Changed'Educatio ial Conditions generally recognized that the task
Make Present System of training our sons and daugh
ters for life as they Will find it
Unsatisfactory. jwhen they leave the canmipus is com-
plicated by the 'fact that the stu-t
The -full text of President Alexan- I dents have entered college for two j
der "Grht Ruthveh's niessage with I rather distinct purposes., progress '
regard tb Abandoning the Univer- [in haritionizing the'essehtial differ-
sy college idea follows.ences between trninlfhg for fitness
s iy cleg idea utio al proectsfor the struggle for existehce and
proposed in recent years the Uni- education for a full life in a coni-
versity College has been conspicu- 1plex social orgaiization has not
ous. While frequently discussed on been all Ithat cbuld be desired. We
occasion with the pitiless entlhus- have long distinguished three not1
jasm of leaders imbued with an ex- I shaiply differentiated groups ofe
'ess of tissionary zeal, not always students-the dilettante, the pro-l
have its proponents been clear, or 'fessional govitiate,'and 'the ian or
at least expressed themselves clear- woman determined to secure an ed-!
ly, as to its probable usefulness,I ucation with or without techniicalc
scope, or practicability. Indeed, a training. With this .material, the
few of its advocates, it is to be University is presented with the al-;
feared, are even now charmed by ternatives either of recognizing nos
the term and "to the fascination of differences in needs; of considering s
a name surrender judgment, hood- as paratnouht the general desire of'
winked," failing to remember that the student, to equip .himself tot
in educational propaganda, as in 'meet well highly competitive con-z
the sale of patent medicines, tooth- ditions, offering to each a larget
pastes, razor blades, and hosiery, amount of specialized scientific
an appellation may be so attrac- knowledge upon which he may'
tive that one fails to inquire into realize quick returns despite wastee
its legitimacy or the value of the effort and duplication of staff andr
product named. One can also Ieupet or of making the best
scarcely fail to observe that some possible adjustment to give to each
educators, when pressed for rea-j student the maximuim amount ofa
sons why the scheme -should be training and education in a pre-s
adopted forwith without argument, scribed period of time. The laste
have recited %a conglomeration ofEalternative intist of necessity be se-
chronic ills of our educational sys- Ilected by large diversified universi-
tem, apparently in the belief that ties, but its satisfactory accom-
since these have not been other- plishment is attended with formid-c
wise cured the proposed plan may able di ficulties.I
accomplish the desired end. This Must Consider Recent Conditions
group should, upon reflection, view "In considering methods of ar- t
with suspicion a panacea for these riving at the general objective ofa
troubles if upon no other ground higher education, there are soiex
than the diversity of the difficul- recent conditions in our schools ando
ties. Again, there is some evidence ' in, society which must not be ig -
that a number of teachers and noted. In the first place, we 'haves
school administrators, not convinc- long tried the plan of a holier-c
ed of the value of the plan, have , than-thou Literary College in
held their peace to avoid behig dub- f which research and service are ra-d
bed conservatives and reactionar- ther tolerated than encouraged, a
es In the welter of discussion, group of independent professionali
both constructive and 'propagandic,j schools often too much influenceda
certain general facts and relations by trade school ideals, and a Grad-a
have been largely overlooked. uate School built too largely upon o

the Literary College and manned
by professors receiving their sal-
aries for undergraduate teaching.
This organization, which never
worked to our entire satisfaction,
is now much in need of modifica-
tion, both because of changed con-
ditions and because of the growing
consciousness that man needs a
cultural background even in his
vocational work. Furthermore, the
whole body of knowledge is in-
creasing rapidly, the number of
students- has grown enormously,
and it is financially inexpedient to
duplicate work and equipment to
the extent necessary to provide in
separate colleges for the common
needs of several groups.
Many Suggestions.
"There have been many sugges-
tion s. for adaptihg the University
machinery so that the demands for
more technical training and broad-
°r fundamental instruction may be
.net economically. One is to build
the University as a graduate. de-
oartn1ent upon the small colleges
as undergraduate institutions.
While having much to recommend
it, this plan has not been develop-
ed. Another is the University Col-
lege plan, a device to give all stu-
dents a two year basic training up-j
on which may be superimposed two
additional years 'of education 'or
specialized instruction. While sev-
eral arguments have been urged in
support of this scheme, there are
serious objections to it.
"It is believed that adherents to
the University College idea will
agree that the installation of the
College in a large university can
only be accomplished at consider-
able expense and must inevitably
entail fundamental and extensive
reorganization of the institution.
The important question., then, is
not whether the plan will work
when in operation, but, can the re-
sults to, be desired be attained as
easily, economically, and certainly
by other methods.
Avoid Revolutions.
"In general, we believe that rev-
olution in educational methods
should be avoided when possible.
As I have said elsewhere, I believe
that our University, and I will now
add our school system, must be
plastic and continually in a state
of modification. If this conception
of the nature' of our educational in-
stitutions is correct, then may we
conclude from experience 'that the
procedure most certain to produce
desirable results is controlled ex-
perimentation rather than sweep-
ing change at the suggestion of
any one with the urge to be an
active reformer. Careful building
on the ground of authentic infor-

mation, and adjustments of policy' quiring for admission the A.B. de- that the problein of the Literary s
and method as new conditions be-gree or its equivalent. The increas- College cannot be solved by the eve--
come evident, constitute a general ing number of combined curricula I ation of a University College, uhless b
process of growth which may usual- would seem to indicate that stu- we are willing to begin all occ- t,
ly be depended upon to co the moSt dents are willing to devote the time pational training with the juiir t]
good and the least harm. This at- necessary to secure both education year-a distinct retrogression in my I
titude is not to be interpreted as and culture. Finally, and almost' opinion-and greatly increase our
that of a "standpatter," as I under- inevitably in my opinion, the Uni- appropriations and staff.
stand the term, but is rather equiv- versity College would not mean four Might reak Barriers.
alent to the belief that all change I years of education for any one, but "A third proposed method of cor-
is not necessarily improvement. rather the splitting of the Literary relating technical training and citl-
Change May Not Be Necessary. College into independent units in tural development is to break down
"Again while the University Col- the last two years, with the results the rigid barriets so often raised s c
lege could probably be organized to that in the technical schools we between units of the same and sim- a
facilitate the elimination of the un- would have to be satisfied with two ilar institutions, so that the studeritc
equipped-to-continue student at years of cultural background, and may avoid being pigeon-holed. The
the end of the sophomore year, in in the Arts College the effect would possibilities of this plan have not,
part so that he will not clutter up be to "crush its first two formative been thoroughly. explored, but it b
the professional schools, this may years back into the precocious ma- must be admitted that since good ib
not be so necessary as has been turity of the high school and drag results have been 'btaiied by com- o
maintained. Furthermore, it would its last two, even more precious in bined curricula, established 'be-I
almost certainly tend to cortinue 1their development, up into the pro- tween University departments and ,Y
for two years the student whQt essional atmosphere of the Grad- other institutidns, by curriculum
should be dropped before that time. ua'te 'chool'' (Quinn). committees to organize the work of b
"It cannot be denied that two' Dics Not Presippose Perfection two or more departments, by pro- u
years of academic training for the " The objections to the University visions for intetchange of credits t
professional student are better than College just raised should not be between departments, and by 'du- S
that which may be acquired more understood to establish the satis- plicate staff appointinents, 'we are a
or less incidentally in the technical factoriness of the Literary College justified in fui'the' developing such c
schools as now organized, but just as at present organized. There are measures, at least until it is"clear r
as certainly four years would be good reasons for believing that this that in the future all speciliaed 'p
better than two. There 'is notice- unit in great universities is too training will not be based upon fOUr .t
able a distinct tendency to length- large and unwieldy and too unre- years of cultural instruction. At i
en the course in professional lated to the professional schools any rate we submit that, untili
schools even to the extend of re- and colleges. But it does mean methods of proven value can be c
Be1eve I
Over35,000, peo

hown to have become unsatisfac-
6Yy, shemes such as the Univer-
ity College, which effect a large
rt of the institution, should be
aken up as experiments rather
han ingurgitated without sampl-
r .Otidedonk's Book
M1eet With Wide Favor
Writing on the subject of Ferro-
concrete and its effect on modern
architectural tendencies, DI. Fran-
is Onderdonk of the Architectural
School has recently published a
book that has w been received in
bdth Europe and America as -an
Iutstanding treatise -on a topic as
Vt little known.
Cdniplimnentary reviews have
been r-In ,in two London papers as
we1 as I Wide variety of publica-
ions from all over the United
tates. The bodk, Which with the
aid of its ihany illustrations, 'the
ollectioh of 'Which has beb'n car-
ied on by Prdf. Onderdonk 'for a
period of ten years ,or more, shows
the modern 'trend towards the re-
ilforeed concrete style that has
been rapidly spreading over the
country 'of late.

'+irinirgrp.*rrir..riwl ..rr.r u.. r. .




will read





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