Academic Freedom in Theory and in Practice


THERE is a current impression that the higher education of civilized communities shows a steady progress from servility to freedom; that, beginning with a rigidly ordered school course, each nation, as the years go on, gradually widens the opportunities for individual development on the part of instructors and students. But we find few facts to justify this idea. Instead of a continuous progress toward freedom we have oscillations backward and forward. A large measure of freedom comes in those generations when some new idea or interest takes hold of a considerable section of the community. With the development of schools and universities to teach these ideas and interests, the freedom, both of the teachers and the taught, is gradually restricted, until some other popular movement arises and brings a movement toward liberty from a new quarter. Never was the nature of these movements better illustrated than in the development of the mediaeval universities throughout Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These universities were not the outcome of a liberalization of the old cathedral schools. They were the result of the organization of a student body which had previously been subject to no academic discipline at all. A great intellectual awakening had been aroused by the development of the scholastic philosophy. To those who judge it by its later fruits, this philosophy, with its endless syllogisms, seems like hidebound pedantry; but to the men of the twelfth century it represented progressive science. All through Europe there was a zeal among active minds to study this new learning. Men crowded in hordes to hear its exponents, to drink with those who professed adherence to one’s own views, and to fight with those who followed some other master.

We are fortunate enough to possess a good collection of the student songs of this period, preserved in the Abbey of Benedictbeuern. They are divided into three groups, — serious, amatory, and potatory. Those which come under the first head are fairly numerous; but they have less vividness and less distinctive impress than that larger number which combine the language of Virgil with the metres of Isaac Watts, and with sentiments averse to book-learning and its devotees. “Examinations make us pale,” sings the student of the present day; and in the same manner said his predecessor, eight centuries earlier, “Dialectics sends us into miserable exile: ” —

“ O ars dialectica, nunquam esses cognita!
Quae tot facia clericos, exules et miseros.”

It is rather from the tavern and the gaming place, from the roystering brawls and the freedom from restraint, that this poetry draws its inspiration, — an inspiration which I have in vain endeavored to reproduce in an English metrical rendering: —

“ Tunc rorant scyphi desuper
Et canna pluit musturn
Et qui potaverit nuper
Bibat plus quam sit justum.”
“ Where brimming goblets overflow,
And flagons rain good liquor;
And he who erst was drinking slow
Drinks each next round the quicker.”

Politics was barred from these student gatherings: —

“ Tam pro papa quam pro rege
Bibunt omnes sine lege.”
“ Drinkers all, and none the wiser
Whether bound to pope or kaiser.”

For the luckless devotees of study they have commiseration, or worse : —

“ Invidos liypocritas
Mortis premit gravitas
Pereant fallaces
Et viri mendaces.
Munus qui negant promissum
Puniendi ruant in abyssum.”

The last two lines are not so very far away from our modern version: —

“ The man who drinks cold water pure,
And goes to bed right sober,
Falls as the leaves do fall
So early in October; ”

but the assumption that the sober men were “fallaces et viri mendaces,” “cheats and liars,” is a distinctly mediæval one. As for the prototype of the modern “dig” or “grind, ” he would get his own penalty, without any added curses from the fast set: —

“ Nonne, circa logicam si quis laborabit,
Spinas atque tribulos illi germinabit ?
In sudore nimio panem manducabit,
Vix tamen hos illi garrula lingua dabit.”
“ What about the student whose logic so elates him ?
Thorns and trials are the crop which erewhile awaits him.
By the dint of toil and sweat, crusts of bread he nibbles;
Little fruit of any kind, for his talks and scribbles.”

How the teachers and pupils lived during this somewhat unorganized period is no easy problem to settle. The songs which form the staple of our material do not tell us. They are more concerned with the spending of money than with the getting of it. “Si aliquis debibat tunicam, postea deludat camisiam.” “If any man shall drink away his coat, let him next gamble away his shirt.” Verily, a new version of the njunction, “If any man will . . . take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.” We hear of many a man who has thus gambled away coat, shirt, and trousers, — or whatever most nearly corresponded to them in the sartorial terminology of the time, — and has had to remain in the alehouse for want of decent means of escape. How these were subsequently acquired our song leaves us in ignorance. Each unfortunate gambler remains pilloried in his tavern for all time — for aught we can learn of his exit therefrom. In fact,one song adapted from the Confessio Goliae of Walter Mapes accepts this conclusion : —

“ Meum est propositum
In taberna mori
Et vinum appositum
Sitienti ori,
Ut dicant, cum venerint,
Angelorum chori,
Deus sit propicius
Isti potatori! ”

It seems probable, however, that some of the teachers were beneficed ecclesiastics, who taught chiefly in connection with the abbeys or chapters from which their revenue was derived; and that others were so popular that by exacting comparatively small fees from each pupil they were able to make what was for the time a most comfortable living, traveling about from place to place as they were led by demand for their services, or forced by quarrels in which they had involved themselves. The career of Abelard, at the beginning of the twelfth century, which is given us in some detail, was a good example of the habits of life of the scholars of this period. At the age of twenty-three he went to Paris, attracted by the fame of William of Champeaux. Here he was at first welcomed; but when he began to beat his master in argument the latter became jealous and drove him away. Supported, however, by some of the nobles, he founded a rival school; first at Melun, and then, as he became bolder, at Corbeil, right under the nose of his older rival. A war seemed imminent, compared with which the most strained athletic relations of modern universities are peacefulness itself. It was, however, interrupted by the sickness of Abelard; and when, some years later, he returned to his teaching work, the whole contest had to be begun over again. This time be carried the war into Paris itself, where syllogisms rained for a while like bullets. After a few years he retired to Laon, where he qualified himself to teach theology as well as logic, and, thus fortified, returned once again to Paris, where his enemies appear by this time to have become weary, and where the number of his pupils was so great as to give him a large income. This prosperity was interrupted, first by his relations with Heloise, and next by a trial for heresy. Surviving all these vicissitudes, he at last went out into the wilderness and there founded a more orderly school than was possible in the large cities, or than was likely to arise in the heat of controversy, — a monastic establishment, where the students provided the teacher with the necessary means of livelihood, besides erecting for him whatever buildings were needed and cultivating the collegiate acres. Verily, the career of such a scholar was a varied one; he founded schools as he pleased, fought, drank, and made love at his own pleasure, all with the abandon and the vanity of a knight or baron.

The life of the traveling student of the Middle Ages, apart from special guarantees, was at once more unrestrained and more unsettled than would be possible for any group of men to-day, where all are under the protection of the police and at the same time under the authority of the police. To meet this want an effort was made to arrange the students into a set of “nations ” of their own, on a plan not wholly unlike the guilds of craftsmen. It is not easy to see just how closely the enrollment of the students by nations corresponded to political lines. They were probably grouped on a basis of language or dialect, rather than of citizenship. In Bologna these nations were very numerous. In Paris there were but four; in England probably two. In the deliberations and votes of these bodies, present and former students, and as a rule professors also, sat side by side. By them all matters of discipline and of legislation were established. Through them the rector of the university, highest representative of student authority, was chosen and maintained. Thus the first form of university government was student self-government, with advice of the graduates and professors.

This independent authority of the students sometimes had curious results. Standing, as they did, in the midst of a foreign country, to which the permanent professors were bound by closer ties, they represented broad influences as contrasted with narrow ones. In Bologna, during the first century of its existence, a series of quarrels arose, which cast an interesting light on the legal relations of the time. The professorships in this place had been endowed by members of the civic body, and their incumbents were thus to a considerable measure dependent on the will of these citizens. In the movements of local politics two families had become so unpopular that the professors of law were warned by the civic authorities not to give their members the usual certificates on the completion of their course. To this demand the professors yielded, and refused to recognize these obnoxious persons as masters, even when they had attended the proper courses and passed the proper examinations. On this refusal of the professors the students met in council, and through their rector not only expressed their disapproval of the action of the law faculty, but threatened to expel the whole professorial body from the university in case this protest was unheeded. Such were the anomalies to which the system was liable, and which caused it in the long run to give place to another system of university organization, — the system of control by members of the teaching force.

As soon as the life of a university became in some measure orderly — in short, as soon as it had a local habitation and a name — it became essential to determine who had the right to teach in such a place. A man thus qualified was entitled indiscriminately magister, master, or doctor, teacher. It is probable that these were at first simply titles of courtesy. A man who did teaching was addressed as doctor de facto, and gradually acquired by usage a recognized right. But when the university charter was drawn up it became necessary that the prerogative of teaching should be conferred by some properly designated official. This was usually, though not always, the archdeacon of the diocese in which the institution was situated. Either he or the bishop himself in his capacity as cancellarius, or chancellor, presided over the investiture of rights to teach, as he might preside over any other ecclesiastical function.

Two changes of usage, however, soon made themselves felt. In the first place, it frequently happened that the archdeacon was too much occupied with other duties to exercise any intelligent scrutiny as to the qualifications of the candidates for teaching positions. In such cases he would almost necessarily consult with the well-known men already on the ground, and would in all ordinary cases be guided by their recommendations. Out of this consulting body or nominating committee there grew up something corresponding to the modern conception of a faculty, — a group of permanent officers, making suggestions about appointments, which suggestions, by usage or by charter, came to have nearly the force of law. In this connection, the acts of the popes served well the cause of intellectual liberty. The popes were jealous of the bishops, and were anxious to limit their power in every way. As one means of so doing they gave independent authority in the intellectual world to these bodies of professors, just as in the material world kings and emperors,in their jealousy of feudal barons, were ready to give liberal charters to free cities which might act as a counterpoise against baronial power.

In the second place, this right to name the doctors, masters, or teachers, proved of unexpected importance, because a large number of university students who did not expect to teach desired the title as an evidence of attainment and consideration ; even as the modern East Indian desires a first degree in arts, because it will increase the dowry which he can demand on the occasion of his marriage. And as comity between different universities developed, and the doctorate, instead of conveying a local right to teach, was accepted as evidence of attainment through the whole intellectual world, there was an increase in the number of those men outside of the teaching profession who applied to the faculty for this honor, and a corresponding increase of the influence of the faculties in ordering the affairs of the university as a whole. Anti when once the conception of the degree as a certificate of scholastic standing rather than as a right to office made itself felt in the intellectual world the introduction of the lower degree of bachelor followed with rapidity, and permitted the faculties to exercise the authority and influence of their examination rules over a large part of the student body, instead of a comparatively small one. Gradually did this leverage enable the faculties, with their chancellors or deans, to make their supremacy good against the students and the rector, and to become the centre of gravity of the university organization of the Continent.

From a very early period there were in general four faculties in a wellequipped university, but the original grouping did not quite conform with modern lines. In many of the universities theology and philosophy were represented in one faculty, canon law in a second, civil law in a third, medicine and arts in a fourth. In fact, the German word for physician, Arzt or “artist, ” signifies one who has previously taken his degree in arts. The consolidation of the two faculties of civil and canon law and the separation of arts from medicine were matters of later growth; while the superposition of a faculty of philosophy upon that of arts is something of distinctly recent period. Gradually also there was a separation of the title of doctor from that of master, — the faculties of theology, law, and medicine, which gave the former degree, being regarded as more advanced, while the faculty of arts, which gave the master’s degree, dealt with the more elementary studies of younger pupils, and made good, as well as they might, the absence of proper secondary schools. As soon however as the lack of secondary schools was overcome, there was a general tendency of the arts course to become a course in philosophy, —that is, a course for the training of teachers instead of for the preliminary education of lawyers and physicians. As this development progressed the degree of Doctor of Philosophy gradually superseded that of Master of Arts in public importance ; though the change in this respect is not many generations old. The conventional type of university with four coordinate faculties reached its first and fullest development in Germany. The other nations of Continental Europe have approximated thereto in varying degrees.

But the universities of England were carried by the Reformation into a different course. The English Reformation had the effect of sweeping away the theological faculties of the English universities, because the theology in which they were brought up was no longer taught. It had an almost equal effect upon the law faculties, because the Roman law, which they taught, depended in very large measure upon ecclesiastical authority for its utility, and was of far less consequence when this authority was removed. As for the medical faculties, they had never had the importance in England which they possessed in many of the universities of the Continent. Thus the faculty of arts alone remained. But the students in the arts course, on account of their youth, had habitually lived in colleges provided for their care and discipline; and the authority of the heads of these colleges over such students was more important and immediate than the authority of any faculty. The faculty had to do with an examination, which was remote; the heads of the colleges were charged with the supervision of the daily life of the pupil. Consequently the centre of gravity in the English system was by the logic of facts shifted from faculties to heads of colleges, and the English universities became assemblages of collegiate schools, in which the authority of the central body or faculty outside of the examination hall was reduced to a mere shadow. The English colonists of the New World, in the first provision which they made for higher education, naturally enough followed the English model as closely as they could, and established colleges which were arranged like the English foundation, without even that slight degree of stimulus and control which the remnant of university organization provided in the mother country.

Neither the Continental nor the English system was in any wise favorable to freedom of teaching during the three centuries which followed the Reformation. The faculties of theology, of law, and of medicine busied themselves with preparation for civil careers, and made all else subservient to success in this respect. They allowed a very great degree of license to the individual student in his conduct and his morals ; but with liberty of thought they scarcely concerned themselves unless it were to deprecate it. Nor were matters for the time much better in the faculty of philosophy. More than once, indeed, and notably at Göttingen, the principle of liberty of philosophic thought was boldly and clearly enunciated ; but of practical realization of that liberty there was comparatively little in Germany, and still less in other parts of the Continent. Nor did matters stand better in England and America. Situated as the college authorities were, as guardians of the industry and morals of the pupils rather than as sponsors for their subsequent success, it was inevitable that they should lay stress on those studies which could be made available for purposes of discipline rather than on those which should stimulate individual zeal. There were indeed colleges which during the early half of the last century endeavored to depart from the narrow tradition of classical training. Notably was this the case in Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson founded a university on lines not at all unlike those which were afterward so successfully exemplified at Johns Hopkins. But these experiments were less fruitful than could have been expected. They left no large impress on the intellectual life of the nation. Many of those who wished to imitate them were misguided in their zeal. The original territorial charter of the University of Michigan is not only an outgrowth, but an exaggeration, of Jefferson’s ideas. It begins as follows, verbatim et literatim:

“An Act to establish the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania.

Be it enacted by the Governor and the Judges of the Territory of Michigan, That there shall be in the said Territory a Catholepistemiad, or University, denominated the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania. The Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania shall be composed of thirteen Didaxum, or Professorships; first, a Didaxia, or Professorship of Catholepistemia, or universal science, the Didactor or professor of which shall be President of the Institution; second, a Didaxia or professorship of Anthropoglossica, or literature, embracing all the Epistemum or sciences relative to language; third, a Didaxia or professorship of Mathematica, or Mathematics; fourth, a Didaxia or professorship of Physiognostica or Natural History; fifth, a Didaxia or professorship of Physiosophica or Natural Philosophy; sixth, a Didaxia or professorship of Astronomia, or Astronomy; seventh, a Didaxia or professorship of Chymia, or Chemistry ; eighth, a Didaxia or professorship Iatrica, or Medical Sciences; ninth, a Didaxia or professorship of œconomia, or economical sciences ; tenth, a Didaxia or professorship of Ethica, or Ethical Sciences; eleventh, a Didaxia or professorship of Polemitactica, or Military Sciences; twelfth, a Didaxia or professorship of Diegetica, or Historical Sciences, and thirteenth, a Didaxia or professorship of Ennoeica, or Intellectual Sciences, embracing all the Epistemum or sciences relative to the minds of animals, to the human mind, to spiritual existence, to the Deity, and to Religion; the Didactor or professor of which shall be Vice President of the Institution.”

After such ambitious preliminaries, which successive legislatures tried to carry out to the best of their ability, it is somewhat discouraging to find, in the first accessible statement of the course of instruction, that the freshmen studied Lincoln’s Livy, ancient history, Grecian and Roman antiquities, Homer’s Odyssey, Bourdon’s algebra, Legendre’s geometry, Horace’s Odes, Xenophon’s Anabasis, botany, zoölogy, and Greek Testament; that in sophomore year there was an even more exclusively classical and mathematical course ; that junior year still had its share of classics, besides logic, natural philosophy, and astronomy, with a little French; and that senior year was overwhelmingly crowded with mental and moral science in its various forms. And we find also that “in the government of the institution the faculty ever keep in mind that most of the students are of an age which renders absolutely necessary some substitute for parental superintendence.”

The grouping of professional schools about some of our colleges, which began as early as the Revolution and continued without interruption through the generations to follow, enabled these colleges to lay claim to the title of universities, and doubtless did something to promote the liberalization of their courses. But the real freedom in the American professional schools of the early half of the nineteenth century was very slight. The students were relieved from that close supervision of their morals which existed in the colleges, but the course of study was in general a cut and dried one. The movement which really changed the character of modern university education in Germany and in the United States, and which is operating in the same direction in other civilized countries, was one which came from without, not from within; from the public, and not from the faculties. It was the outcome of a change in social standards rather than in educational methods.

We have seen that the first step toward university organization in Europe consisted in the creation of an estate of scholars, —a body of teachers and pupils with standards and ambitions of their own, more or less independent of those of the community about them. The experience through which Europe passed from the twelfth to the fourteenth century was repeated in America in the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth. There was developed in either case a sort of freemasonry of learning, with its rites of initiation over the grammar of the ancient languages. There was an effort to create — or perhaps we should say there was created without effort — an indefinable barrier between those who had pursued the regular classical course and those who had not. The former were supposed to have acquired scholarship, — that elusive ideal which does not mean scientific attainment, nor power of generalization, nor even the habit of using books efficiently, but which might almost be characterized as a certain distinctive way of looking at the intellectual life. The body of scholarly men was supposed to be entitled to a certain special consideration on this account, while all others were left in outer darkness. Certainly the initiation was severe enough, and some of the subsequent ceremonies absurd enough, to give the guild of old-time scholars the character of a secret society. The force of this tradition and the sort of caste distinction that lies at the base of it is illustrated by the survival of phrases like “ the learned professions, ” — a term of social rather than intellectual import; one which was applied to the work of the minister, the lawyer, or the physician, as distinct from that of the engineer or the banker, not because greater ability was required for their conduct, but because entrance into these professions was supposed to imply, and in many countries actually does imply, a previous course of classical training. “The bachelor’s degree, ” says Boutmy, in discussing educational conditions in France, “is not simply a goal of secondary studies ; it is a social institution of the highest consequence, and its social imjjortance is greater than its pedagogical importance.” If any one is disposed to doubt the applicability of this criticism to America, he need only observe the fact that so many men who in their own business question or even deny the value of a college education nevertheless when the time comes for the decision send their sons through an old-fashioned classical course.

But these lines, like most other social lines, are less sharply drawn to-day than they were a generation ago. It is found that other professions require a training just as strict and scientific for their proper exercise as those traditionally characterized by the name “learned ; ” and the courses intended to lead to all these different professions become every day so much more closely analogous to one another in their character that the old sharp line of demarcation can be no longer maintained within the schools themselves.

This was first illustrated in the case of military engineering, where the oldtime antagonism of spirit between the scholar and the fighter has gradually given place to mutual respect and cooperation. The soldier recognizes military colleges as a necessity ; the scholar recognizes the course of study in the military college as furnishing something coordinate with that which was given in the universities. During the nineteenth century there was a similar breakdown of caste lines in many other directions. In civil and mechanical engineering, in the various forms of technology, in commerce ahd in finance, the community began to feel the need of theoretical training. In striving to meet the need which was thus felt, our educators were forced to break with some of their old traditions, and to widen their conception of what a college course might do for the student in the way of studies prescribed and preparation given for life. The men who took the lead in this movement found a quick public response to wliat they did. The new university education appealed to classes which were out of sympathy with the narrower traditions of the older college. The institutions which took up the new movement made such rapid progress in numbers and in pecuniary resources that the others, willingly or reluctantly, were compelled to follow their example. The character of the public demand for higher education at the end of the nineteenth century was so far different from what it had been at its beginning that experiments like those of the University of Virginia, which had remained isolated at the earlier period, found universal approval and imitation at the later.

The history thus far given is primarily that of the United States ; but it holds true of other countries to a higher degree than would be generally supposed. In Germany the increase of academic freedom is to a surprisingly large measure the result of public interest in modern science and public demand for competent and trained technical experts. There is a change in the intellectual standards of the community which is reflected in the work of university education, and which has produced a loosening of old traditions which puts a strain upon the present university organization, and particularly upon the institution of faculties.

This problem of faculty reorganization assumes different forms in different countries. We are chiefly concerned with the shape which it has taken in the United States. The modern American “faculty,” or group of regularly accredited officers in any of the half-dozen “departments ” which constitute a university, unites in its hands three somewhat incongruous functions : —

(1) It determines the conditions necessary for the receipt of the degree or group of degrees which the department awards ; prescribing rules for admission to candidacy, term of residence required, and nature and scope of the examinations or other prerequisite formalities.

(2) It nominates the teachers who are empowered to instruct students in the branches which come under its cognizance. The amount of power exercised in this respect varies in different universities. In some the nomination is made by the president, after consultation with such men as he chooses to take into his confidence; in others the faculty exercises the right of initiative and of veto; but in almost all cases a committee of the faculty determines the amount of teaching which any given man can do in the regular course for the examinations; and thus by indirection the faculty can affect the amount of salary which he will receive from the university funds.

(3) It makes the necessary police regulations for the orderly conduct of the students, and charges its committees with the administrative and disciplinary measures required for the maintenance of the good name of the institution as far as it is dependent upon those who are studying for the degrees awarded by the faculty in question.

Now it will be noted that this is a very wide range of functions, — wider, I believe, than that which is exercised by the corresponding bodies in any other country (unless possibly in Scotland). In Germany the faculties regulate (though within some restriction) the teaching and examinations, but not the discipline. In France they have hitherto regulated the teaching and discipline, but not the examinations. In England it is hard to say what they do, for there are really no corresponding bodies whatsoever; but the one rule is that the examination and the teaching are not under the same authority.

I cannot see that, if we were once started on the road, there would be any great difficulty in separating the disciplinary function from the other two and putting it into different hands. Of course there is a convenience in the present practice; the man who is judging of the scholarship of any particular student has certain obvious advantages for supervising his conduct. But I believe that the disadvantages of the combination outweigh these advantages, — that the discipline hurts the teaching more than the teaching helps the discipline; and that no small part of the alleged infringements of student freedom could be avoided if these two matters were kept entirely separate.

It will be remembered that perhaps before faculties existed at all, the students of Bologna were organized by nations, — bodies of students and graduates charged with protection of scholastic rights and enforcement of good order. I can see no good reason against the attempt to reintroduce this arrangement in the United States. I should like to see the whole control of discipline, of athletics, of public student functions, and of intercollegiate relations of the undergraduates — in short, of all things outside of the sphere of study and examination — in the hands of a committee chosen either by the graduates alone, or, probably better, by students and graduates together. For the initial point in such an organization our alumni associations form admirable centres. Were the graduates thus given a regular organized place in the daily life of the universities, it would not only help to solve some of the problems of freedom of teaching by removing a disturbing element, but would tend to emphasize that community of interests and standards among college men which it is so important to preserve as a bulwark against some of the disintegrating tendencies of the day.

The disentanglement of the functions of examination and teaching, of prescription of courses and of nomination of professors, involves more difficult problems, — but I think not insuperable ones. In fact, the progress of events is moving us rapidly in this direction and compelling us to meet the problem of making this separation, whether we will or no. The development of modern science is disregarding old faculty lines. Law is connecting itself with history, medicine with biology. Every great university has men who are teaching, in the same classes, students who are working for different degrees and are under the control of different faculties. In fact, it is this possibility of combination which furnishes the chief justification for the existence of the large university, as distinct from the separate technical schools. It is obviously necessary that in nominations for these teaching positions which overleap departmental lines we should consult some of the members of different faculties rather than all the members of some one faculty ; and that, wherever the nomination finally comes from, the real initiative should arise from the department of study rather than from the department of university organization. In other words, the teaching should be provided by the university, rather than by the several faculties thereof.

If this distinction could once be made, it would avoid most of the complaints of. faculty interference on the part of the professors as completely as the graduate control of discipline would avoid similar complaints on the part of the students. The individual professor would see that if students were discouraged from coming to him by the arrangement of the course, it was because a certain faculty had its views as to the proper requirements for a certain degree rather than as to the proper teaching of a certain subject. He might differ from the members of that faculty in their opinion; but the difference would come in such a domain that it would not be an infringement of his liberty as a teacher, and would lose the element of personal bitterness which is now so prominent. The man who was unable to teach students in arts as well as he could teach students in philosophy would see the true reason for his nonemployment in the former capacity far more clearly, if the arts faculty, as a faculty, were concerned solely with the requirements of the student and not with the qualifications of the professor.

A development on these lines would help to solve most of the avoidable controversies concerning academic freedom. But there is one set of controversies which is perhaps unavoidable. Teaching costs money. Modern university teaching costs more money per capita than it ever did before, because the public wishes a university to maintain places of scientific research, and scientific research is extremely expensive. A university is more likely to obtain this money if it gives the property owners reason to believe that vested rights will not be interfered with. If we recognize vested rights in order to secure the means of progress in physical science, is there not danger that we shall stifle the spirit of independence which is equally important as a means of progress in moral science ?

A large and influential class of men sees this last question written in such large letters that it takes a short cut to the solution of the whole problem. It says that the higher education must be directly controlled by the state, because in no other way can the people have the necessary degree of control and influence upon it. Private endowments, we are told, necessarily give such rights to the corporations which handle them that they become dangerous in the progress of education. Men who hold these views believe in state universities supported by taxation and in a great national university as the proper climax of our educational system.

The first difficulty with this theory is that political control does not always secure educational freedom. On the contrary, the tendency to jeopardize the freedom of the teacher is probably more conspicuous among state universities than among endowed ones. The pretext of exercising control in the interest of public safety is made a means of removing men for political or even for personal reasons. There is many a place where a change in the dominant party in the legislature means a subversive change in text-books and instructors. The more intelligent advocates of state and national universities recognize this evil, and desire to see the administration of the university placed in the hands of an independent board. This is a far better method than more direct control by the governor or legislature. But if the board is really independent, you have put the possibility of control as fully out of your hands as if it were a private corporation; and if you have not made it thus independent, you have the pretense of freedom without the reality.

The fact seems to be that the form of corporate control chosen makes far less difference with the degree of freedom of the teacher than does the general habit or standard of the community concerning toleration. A locality in which theological universities turn away professors for their views on points of doctrine is apt to be one where state universities turn them away for their views on matters of party politics ; and it is not infrequently one where private benefactors are disposed to reserve rights of making their personal views dominant in deciding how their foundations shall be administered. On the other hand, a locality where the odium theologicum is kept within its proper limits is pretty sure to be one where people see the necessity of making tenure of office depend upon something besides partisan affiliations, and where donors are ready to allow a large degree of freedom in the use of their gifts. The worship of the creed as a fetich and the worship of the platform as a fetich are both survivals of an earlier stage of civilization where the necessity of securing coherence of public sentiment was paramount to the necessity of securing free and progressive thought, or business-like execution of that thought. The more fully developed community tends to regard the creed not as an essential to salvation, but as a working hypothesis to secure an efficient basis of action,— and it regards the platform in the same way. Under such circumstances, it is generally possible to secure enlightened administration, even of a pretty rigid deed of trust; and to secure proper regard for the future, even among those legislators and administrators who in politics are strong party men. If by changes of organization we can do away with the unnecessary questions and issues concerning academic freedom, we may well trust the public sentiment of our progressive communities to prevent most of the others from arising at all.

Arthur Twining Hadley.