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III. REPORT ON THE WORK AND PROGRESS OF T''E
UNIVERSITY FOR 1908-1909.
1. THE DEPARTMENTS OF INSTRUCTION. The ultimate problem for consideration by the University authorities is the maintenance of efficiency as an educational institution to the end that its product shall meet the demands and expectations of the public it is intended to serve.
The graduates of Purdue University must be men and women who are well trained to do the things to which they have set their hands; more than this, they must have the power of future growth and development in their respective callings; and they must have acquired those traits of character which fit them for the high responsibilities of citizenship. The degree to which the University accomplishes these results indicates its efficiency.
This problem is not so simple as it at first appears. The factors which enter into it are both positive and negative. It is noteworthy that the difficulties in the way of attaining educational efficiency are not surmounted by providing material resources such as money, buildings, and equipment, or intellectual resources such as a competent faculty. It is beginning to be realized that these things alone, while of first importance, do not secure effective education, but that the University authorities must also meet and overcome many negative forces and influences which tend to neutralize their direct efforts.
Coincident with the growth in numbers and popularity of an educational institution is the appearance in its environment and among its students of customs, institutions, and traditions the influence of which is to counteract in some degree those forces which the University employs to attain its true purpose. In this connection are to be considered the great variety of student activities, increasing as the student body grows, for the most part innocent and valuable in themselves, but which tend constantly to develop beyond their function as a form of recreation or diversion and become an absorbing feature of student life. The environment of the institution has a tendency to become mercenary in its attitude as the larger numbers of students bring larger disbursements of money for living and recreation; the purveyors of amusements offer inducements
for wasteful expenditure of time and money; society advances its claims; the physical environment of the University may expose the student body to unsanitary conditions of living or to contagious diseases, and finally immorality and vice are alert to the possibilities of their trade among young men.
Enough has been said to indicate that these influences arising both from within and without the student body, either by their undue exaggeration or by their inherent nature, exert a powerful influence counter to the aims of the University.
To ignore these forces would be to neglect a duty which the institution owes to its ideals. To deal with them effectively is not easy. It is probably true that the energies of educational authorities are consumed quite as much in meeting these negative influences as in assembling and directing the positive forces of education.
The faculty and officers of Purdue University are not unmindful of these conditions and conceive it to be their duty to strive constantly to improve them in the direction of greater efficiency by providing better facilities for instruction; by strengthening the teaching force; by raising standards; by continued efforts to encourage high ideals of life among all members of the University; by cooperation with students in a wise regulation of student activities, and by the exercise of such influences upon the University environment as are possible. In all of these particulars steady progress is being made from year to year.
Necessity for Limiting Attendance.-Attention has been called frequently to the crowded condition of the University, due to the fact that it has not been possible to secure needed buildings to keep pace with the growth in attendance. During the past year no change has been effected in this direction, although the action of the Legislature in providing for new buildings for the Department of Practical Mechanics will afford such relief for this particular department in the near future.
For several years the faculty has been compelled to meet the situation by doing its work under unfavorable conditions, although constantly facing the danger of deterioration in the quality of instruction. It is now convinced that the best interests of the University demand that, until resources reasonably adapted to its needs can be secured, the attendance shall not largely increase. It is of more importance that the educational efficiency of the institution be maintained than that its records should show an annual increase of students.
Attendance.-The registration shows only a slight increase over that of former years, the total number of students in attendance being 1,934, as compared with 1,905 for the previous year. Considerably fewer freshmen were enrolled as a result of raising the entrance requirements. In detail the registration was as follows: Graduate Students
485 Special Students
45 School of Pharmacy.
105 Winter Course in Agriculture.
The number of students who were admitted to do special work, i. e. courses varying in some way from those prescribed by the faculty for a degree, was noticeably small, viz. 45. The faculty is of the opinion that in the present crowded condition of the University its first duty is to those who are pursuing regular courses of study for a definite and approved purpose. Moreover, experience shows that the average applicant for special work in most cases seeks the privilege from motives which cannot be educationally approved.
The enrollment shows students from every county in the State but one, from thirty-six states, and eleven foreign countries.
Some criticism has been advanced concerning the admission of non-residents of Indiana to the privileges of the University. Investigation shows that in all cases such criticism has arisen from a misunderstanding of the facts.
It is not believed that any person would seriously advocate that only residents of Indiana should be admitted to Purdue University. The acquisition as well as the benefits of learning know no political boundaries or restrictions. Students cross to and fro over all state boundaries in quest of education. Probably more Indiana men and women go out of the State for this purpose than come into it from other states, for reasons which cannot be controlled by legislation. A policy of restriction in this particular would be as absurd as it would be if applied to commerce or transportation.
Presumably what is desired by such critics is that non-resident students should be received on terms which equitably adjust the burden of costs as compared with those of resident students. This the authorities of Purdue University have sought for many years to accomplish by charging to non-residents a fee in excess of that paid by residents, sufficient in amount to equalize the burden of support of the institution.
It is to be borne in mind that Purdue was founded by a gift from the Federal Government to the State of Indiana of lands amounting in value to $340,000; also that the Federal Government has since made large permanent appropriations toward the maintenance of the institution, now amounting to $60,000 annually, of which $35,000 is for departments of instruction, and that on this account the support of the University and the cost of the privileges enjoyed by non-resident students are met to the extent of but litle more than one-half from the funds produced by taxation in Indiana.
This income from outside sources, together with the extra fees paid by non-resident students, more than equalizes the cost of their instruction. It thus appears that the adjustment of the matter already made by the trustees and in force for a number of years completely meets the criticism made.
It must also be borne in mind that the very conditions which bring non-resident students to Purdue, viz.—the prestige, the popularity, and the widespread confidence in its training-react most favorably to the advantage of students from Indiana, who enjoy better facilities for instruction as well as better prospects for employment and for the pursuit of their calling on this account.
The following table shows the growth of the institution in attendance from year to year since its organization, up to June 30. 1909:
1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883
60 65 76 86 113
1 2 4 2 7 8 11 15 12 13 16
8 26 29
49 49 79 101 119 117 141 127 113 101 132 156 162 99 111 115 111 94 85 56
13 19 28
18 24 46 23 17 24 18 25
1 6 5 14 11 13 20 10 14 16 10 34 31 32 38 51 56 87 104 99 94 95 133
84 127 133 182 251 250 261 312 319 332 321
24 26 29 34 14 44 70 77 81 74 73 102
72 102 119 147 183 201 215 246 257 273
8 6 12 17 14 15 11 22 25 23 10 13 18
48 66 70 87 85
3 6 6 12 15 22 30 18 20 20 16 27 49 42 52 66 67 104 138 119 125 114 150 124 148 161 233 304 326 337 389 409 427 449 475
5 4 6 16 22 21 22 36 35 25 33 36 33 21 35 39
53 62 74 83 120 127 117 129 134 158 103 150 176 192 230 235 383 385 328 330
45 46 73 78 81 73 73 103
71 106 115 148 199 203 221 241 264 290
1901 1912 1903. 1904 1935 1996 1907 1908. 1909
112 128 159 230 269 328 348 419 549 582 626 633 635 664 750 749 849 1049 1169 1339 1440 1534 2029 2046 2089 1936
17 42 62 72 31 29 95 23 24 24 36 36 35 45
13 28 29 33 43 30 35 40 92 80 85 72 82 85 102 107 102 132
88 95 60 75 91 92 81 86 77 101 108
Changes in the Corps of Instructors. Professor C. A. Waldo, head of the Department of Mathematics, and a member of the faculty since 1895, resigned early in the year to accept a similar appointment at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Waldo was an efficient member of the faculty, whose energy and activity in behalf of the advancement of the University and its students was untiring, and his resignation was accepted with regret.
Professor A. M. Kenyon, Registrar and Professor of Mathematics, was appointed as head of the department to succeed Professor Waldo. Professor Kenyon's training and his knowledge of the department, as well as of student affairs, acquired during his long connection with the faculty beginning in 1898, fully justified the promotion.
Mr. E. H. Davis, Instructor in Economics and History since