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most satisfactory. There is being developed in connection with the school a rather promising commercial museum. We are likewise raising the funds for scholarships to send young men abroad to take up special courses of study, fitting them for their life work. As evidence of very practical work, there is maintained now within the school a savings bank, as a branch of a local bank, all the detail work being done by the pupils of the school, and only the results when accumulated turned over to the banking institution. That has given not only a mental training, but a physical training is not overlooked. It has been realized by our men that these youngsters who are trained at our schools serve their purposes in life most when they are personally strong as well as mentally fit. An elaborate system of gymnastics, therefore, is encouraged, with satisfactory results.
Work along these lines is also being done with most satisfactory results in the New York High School of Commerce; also at Detroit, Springfield, and Providence, and a number of other cities. It is being taken up rapidly by one town after another. As a result more business men, chambers of commerce, and boards of trade have cooperated with educational systems.
For one, I believe that the cooperation which has already gone on can go still further; first of all, so far as business organizations are concerned, I think that every city of any size in this country ought to have an intelligent, efficient organization as a part of the system, a business organization. Moreover, some scheme might be developed that would lead to a great international cooperation between schools and between the business men themselves. There is an appreciation of that need, not only on the part of legal business organizations, but on the part of the national federation which is represented by the chamber of commerce, in that we have a committee on education, and that, aside from that, we are just completing a special committee to undertake to go into university needs and to devise better means for the promotion of cooperation between them than have existed so far. Organized methods should be devised for the interchange of students between the countries of North and South America, and better organized methods should likewise be worked out for a closer cooperation between the business men of the countries. So far as the students are concerned, I know some demands have already been made on the part of the South American countries to place young men in the business houses and manufacturing establishments in this country, and because it has been more or less haphazard it has not been as successful as it should be. Much better results will be secured if they undertake to organize. I know the Chamber of Commerce of the United States will be glad to cooperate with the chambers of commerce and other business bodies of South America to help in this direction.
President Edmund J. James, of the University of Illinois, and Dean Edwin F. Gay, of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, who rank easily among the best-informed educators in the United States on the subject of business training, presented papers at this session, speaking largely from the standpoint of the educator.
President James said in part:
Thirty-two years ago this autumn I joined the faculty of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy of the University of Pennsylvania. This school was an integral part of the college department of the University of Pennsylvania. So far as I know, it represented in its origin and development the first real attempt either in Europe or America to develop a center of higher
learning in intimate connection with the other important faculties of our historic universities, to provide a curriculum of university grade and university character which it would be worth the while of the future business man to complete before beginning the practical work of his career.
Many of the subjects, which entered into the curriculum of this school had, of course, been for a long time objects of cultivation in university centers, both in Europe and America. Economics in the widest sense of the term, politics, history, had been, of course, important subjects of study in university centers since their establishment. More practical subjects, like bookkeeping and accounting, commercial geography, and similar subjects, had been utilized in the secondary schools and in special technical preparatory schools in all countries. A course in commercial education had been organized and conducted for a brief period in the University of Illinois in the latter part of the seventies, but it did not succeed, according to the ideas of the men responsible for the conduct of the institution, and was soon dropped.
The great commercial schools in Europe, such as those at Antwerp, Leipzig, Vienna, and Paris, had no intimate connection, and, generally speaking, no connection at all, with the universities or university life of their respective countries. In fact, it was felt that there was nothing in the business career, nothing in the subjects with which a business man busied himself, which offered any good ground for including them within the university curriculum or locating their cultivation at the university centers.
In this sense, therefore, the Wharton School of Finance and Economy represented a real departure. Its organization, development, and great success marked an epoch in the development of this important side of higher learning. The Wharton School of Finance and Economy has been a pioneer and has influenced the policy, not merely of this country, but of foreign countries as well. I think it is not too much to say that the establishment of the commercial courses at Manchester and the other provincial English universities, the affiliation of the great schools of commerce in Berlin, Leipzig, and Munich with the universities can be traced pretty directly toward the movement inaugurated and ever pressed by this original university school of business.
If the university, therefore, is to become a center of training for the future business man, it must have a set of sciences by the acquisition of which it can give this fundamental training which shall prepare a man for the largest success in a business way.
This was to a considerable extent the greatest obstacle which we had to overcome in initiating the work of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy. There was little or no valuable literature accessible to the student bear. ing on the subjects which he might wish to pursue as a part of his training for business. One reason why the movement has received such a great impetus in the second 15 years as compared with what was possible in the first 15 years of this development is to be found in the fact that we are finally developing a literature worth studying, worth reading in the English university sense of the term reading."
I expect to see the university in the United States of America a center for the scientific study of business and for valuable scientific contributions to our knowledge of business. I expect to see our practical people turning more and more toward the university as the place from which thoughtful logical analysis and criticism of business methods and business practices shall proceed. I expect to see further the business world coming to an ever greater realization of the fact that they can find in the young men who have had this business training of the university most valuable assistants, men who can do in 5
years or 10 years what untrained men can not do in a generation, and many times can not do at all. If this comes about, the young man who is looking forward to a business career, who is expecting to become a banker or a railroad officer, or an insurance officer, or the head of a merchandising firm, will think as little of going into any one of these businesses without a preparatory university training as the youngster thinks to-day of following a medical career without going to a medical school, or a legal career without attending a law school, or an engineering career without completing the course of an engineering school.
The following is an abstract of Dean Edwin F. Gay's paper:
The educational organization has not kept pace with the industrial organization since the great changes wrought by the industrial revolution. In the earlier period the educational system, including apprenticeship as well as formal schooling, was adapted vocationally to the social needs. The factory system undermined apprenticeship, the type of education evolved under the handicraft system, and has put nothing in its place. The readjustment of the educational organization has been retarded in taking over this work not only by its traditional conservatism, but by the pressure, imposed by political democracy, of extending elementary education to include all classes. This great task having been successfully undertaken, attention has been turned in recent decades to the problem of vocational training. In this direction industrial education has earlier worked out a clearer program for future progress than commercial education. Training within the business, such as that provided by the older apprenticeship system and more recently by the corporation school, is inadequate for present conditions. The older established commercial courses in the high school have been limited to clerical education. The secondary schools and colleges are now called upon to develop their commercial training, and they have made a promising commencement in this work. In relation to the whole field, the schools of business administration have the especial function of leadership in research. A fuller content and a more advanced theoretical basis must be given to the courses of study leading to a business career, and it is for this reason that emphasis should be laid for the present upon the opportunity and responsibility of the schools of college grade. The growing international competition is likely to compel a more serious attention to educational problems, especially in their vocational aspects.
The second session. of this subsection was held Wednesday morning, December 29, in the building of the Pan American Union. This session was carried on as a symposium in which several experts took part, speaking to the topic, "The proper use of business experts from the business world in class instruction on domestic and foreign commerce." Introducing this symposium, the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Mr. Elliot H. Goodwin, presented a paper on "Is there a profession of business and can we really train for it?" In Mr. Goodwin's opinion the feasibility of training for business must be decided by the business men themselves; for the
result which advocates of commercial training seek is an increased demand by business heads for trained subordinates, a demand that will be based upon an increasing success of school-trained over officetrained men and must lead to an increased number of students. Enlightened business opinion, he said, has been the incentive and moving force which has created the growth and support of commercial education in this country and has led to the installation of courses of business administration.
Mr. Goodwin said in part:
Whatever skepticism on the part of business men may have existed in the past in regard to the practicability of commercial training certainly has been greatly lessened in the face of the crisis through which we are now passing. The lessons of the war in regard to business come home particularly to those engaged in intercourse between North and South America. What more than any other one thing stands in the path of complete development of commercial relations between the nations of the south, cut off from their usual sources of financial aid and industrial supplies, and that rich nation of the northern continent, seeking new markets for its oversupply above domestic consumption? In the face of the emergency and the opportunity bitterly must we, north and south, in Pan America regret that lack of real commercial education which goes beyond languages, commercial usages, international banking, credits, and foreign trade-needs which we are endeavoring to supply by emergency schools and classes to those fundamentals of successful commercial intercourse, knowledge of geography, racial conditions, history, customs, and social life. The cataclysm of the European war caught the Americas, North and South, commercially unprepared, and that unpreparedness lies mainly in the lack of commercial education.
Competition in business is becoming keener, success is requiring a greater degree of knowledge, breadth, and ability. The development of foreign trade has brought the American merchant in touch with foreign competitors, and the lessons thus learned as to new methods of doing business have been reflected at home. It is one thing to compete with your fellow countryman in the home market behind the protection of a tariff wall, and a totally different thing to break into the foreign market where a foreign competitor has already intrenched himself and compete with him with no protection of any kind. The lessons thus learned have their application to domestic competition. The field for business education is there. How it shall be taught and how far it can practically be carried, are the main questions. Clearly the school of practical experience produces but a small proportion of men with large business capacity. As a method of training it is wasteful. It is equally clear that the college or university commercial training can not be expected to graduate only those of marked business ability any more than law schools produce great lawyers or medical schools produce great surgeons. Much remains with the man himself, his inborn capacity and power to expand. Yet professional training for lawyers and doctors is now universally accepted. What is there about business capacity or executive ability that would place them beyond the pale of those things for which a special education is valuable? Is it the power to handle men? Then, the traning of the army officer or the professor should be equally futile. Is it the imagination, the power to grasp and arrange in an ordinary manner and execute? If these can not be trained or trained in part, what practical purpose does education serve? To what end the study of history and biography, if it does not
enable us to apply the experience and the ingenuity of others to our own problems? In spite of the example of men in all walks of life who have started at the bottom and risen to the highest places, there is nothing so sad in business and industry as the consideration of that 90 per cent of those who are competent for the positions they fill, but who lack the education or the almost superhuman will to make up for its lack, which will permit them to rise above a certain dead level. In commercial education lies the hope for the future of American business.
Mr. Goodwin's paper was discussed at length by Mr. Albert A. Snowden, of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Mr. J. F. Crowell, of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, an expert on foreign trade.
Mr. Snowden said in part:
The National Association of Manufacturers is composed of about 4,000 concerns engaged in business. All of these member concerns have something like 6,000,000 employees. The extent of the organization is shown by the fact that our members produce more goods than any other industry in the country. We are interested in industrial education rather than in commercial. Perhaps there are hundreds of thousands of students getting instruction in industries and in industrial and commercial education in various forms of schools-State, municipal, private, and other forms. The students in our institutions are receiving education in a peculiar way. They are our employees, and while they are earning money they are receiving instruction in a practical way. I feel as though we ought to have a complete and thorough organization for finding out what has been done in similar organizations in other countries of the world. We have a very large audience through our publications in connection with these industrial matters. A perusal of these publications will show you that this body is greatly interested in commercial and industrial training.
There is a wonderful lack of space in this congress devoted to manufactured goods. It is in education along this line that we are interested. In the promotion of foreign trade it is absolutely essential that the trader may have knowledge of the manufactured goods in detail and the conditions of sale of such goods, etc. From our point of view, at least, it is considered quite practical that these courses, especially studies which are supplementary to the regular courses usually given in schools, include continuous instruction in matters connected with exports, the banking business, etc. There ought to be some classification of manufactured articles-from experiments myself I know there are somewhere between 35 and 40-and a part of the program should be given over to the treatment of manufactured goods.
Mr. J. F. Crowell remarked:
I wish to say a few words on the general question of whether business is a profession. It seems to me, from the experience I have had in the field, that it is not yet what it may aspire to, because the business man, taken as a class, has not developed any such privileged position as the lawyer, the physician, or the engineer. Again, the field of commercial knowledge is in no sense organized, as it is in medicine or in law or in engineering or in theology. In the third place, the sense of economic responsibility by which all business conduct can be referred to a common standard, is not so highly developed in the business man of to-day as is the ethical which we find in the ministry or in the law or other professions. Fourthly, a professional career is not, primarily a career whose end is economic profit. The business man's aim and end is primarily profit. The