Deans Within Deans
by JACQUES BARZUN
WHO writes the catalogue in an American college? Programs and schedules and courses are formally passed upon by the faculties; actually they are shaped by the deans and the directors of departments. These usually work with the aid of committees drawn from the teaching staff, but deans are in so many ways independent that there exist in most places two unequal bodies of opinion on most matters — the Faculty and the Administration.
Nothing so strikes the foreign observer with surprise as the size and power of American collegiate administration. The best offices in the best building, the rows and rows of filing cabinets, the serried ranks of secretaries and stenographers, make the European feel that he has wandered by mistake into the annex of some large business concern: these thick carpets, the hush and polish of these surroundings, cannot form part of an academy. The foreigner is used to a distinctive shabbiness, to hollowed steps and an inky smell, without which no school, college, or university seems genuine, be the place England, Germany, Italy, or France.
On the Continent, at least, the whole of university administration is embodied in a superior janitor who gives out information, enters names, and in some cases collects fees against a receipt. Beyond sits a rector in a handsome room, but — if I may make an Irish bull — he is never there. In short, European universities run themselves. Their constituent faculties make the few necessary decisions. The state appoints the teachers and, jointly with tradition, regulates the programs; the students take care of such records as there are. There is no vast office full of clerks and machinery to register marks; instead the European university student has a small booklet in which every instructor enters the grade of the examination just passed. A single small transcript is filed — again, with the janitor.
American institutions, dealing as they do with younger people and furnishing far more numerous services, have to be run by a separate body of diversely specialized managers known collectively as the Administration. The Director of Admissions admits, the Registrar registers, the Bursar imburses, and a galaxy of deans decide. There are a Dean of Men, a Dean of Women, a Dean of Studies, and Freshmen Deans in droves. In a large university, there are as many deans and executive heads as there are schools and departments.
Their relations to one another are intricate and periodic; in fact, “galaxy” is too loose a term: it is a planetarium of deans with the President of the University as a central sun. One can see eclipses, inner systems, and oppositions. But usually more sympathy obtains among fellow administrators than between them and the teaching personnel. If it came to a pitched battle, I feel sure that the more compact executive troops, animated by a single purpose, besides being better fed and disciplined, could rout the more numerous but disorderly rabble that teaches.
Not that it would be easy to find a clear-cut issue for war. The difference of views that exists is ill defined and more traditional than deep-lying. Most deans are beloved of their faculty members, especially when neither person is in his own seat of authority, and the good steady friction that shows the wheels are gripping doesn’t come from a single cause. True, the difference of income is important: a dean usually earns two or three times as much as a teacher in mid-career. But this has an obverse side: if the dean is drawn from the faculty, he comes to feel like a deserter and guilty about it, for usually he has ceased to teach, to keep up with his subject, and to remember what those things were like. He has become an overworked, harassed arbitrator, housekeeper, public orator, and employer of men.
This last function also has its share in separating him from his faculty — either he has power to hire and fire; or his recommendation to the president and trustees has the same effect; or, possessing no real power (it being lodged in autonomous departments), he has to pretend that his faculty is his faculty. In all three cases, he is plagued by awkward personal relations. Contrast these with the Continental practice of licensing all teachers, with appointments guaranteed by the state, independent tenure, and promotion by seniority, and you see at once why to the foreign observer the atmosphere of the American university suggests a business concern.
In smaller colleges, the functions I have ascribed to the dean are exercised by the president, the dean standing to him or her as a special assistant in charge of curriculum, perhaps, or of students. More usually, the president is wholly an “outside” man. His task is to “handle” the trustees, the public, and the money. He makes speeches and contacts, and signs diplomas. If after his term of office he has secured for the college a new gymnasium or library, he is held in as high esteem as if he had contributed an idea or an atmosphere.
So MUCH for the executive branch. In almost all colleges, large or small, there are standing committees of the faculty, set up to legislate. Their purview is infinite: courses, students admitted, infractions of the rules, scholarships, buildings and grounds, library acquisitions — there is no subject under the sun which has not at some time or other been the raison d’être of an academic committee. In general, the more “enlightened,” “progressive,” and “democratic” the college is, the more committees there are — and the less the life of a teacher is worth living.
I have sat on a committee so democratic that the chairman, who had received a publisher’s circular offering a new syllabus in the social studies, read the letter aloud and asked for a vote to obtain a sample copy. At the other end of the scale, committees meet not to debate over fifty cents’ worth of printed matter, but to settle the great imponderables, such as how to ensure in wartime the survival of permanent human values. I am told that on one such occasion a blunt logician pointed out that if the human values were really permanent, the college might let them shift for themselves. This broke up the meeting, but there is no reason to believe that the other committeemen were properly grateful.
For addiction to meetings is the teacher’s professional disease. One can see why. The weakness comes from the nervous strain of teaching, coupled with the burden of a professional conscience. The morning classes once done, a teacher would find it good to do nothing and say nothing for an hour or two. But the day is only half over. If no students turn up for consultation, the only proper thing would be to read or write: there is always a piece of either kind to be worked on. Yet truly, freshness and inspiration are lacking and — a glance at the desk calendar—“there’s a meeting on (thank God!). It is important, it must be done, it counts as work.”
And just because the mind is tired, the meeting is bound to be long and tedious, and probably all to do again next week at the same hour. With three committees to attend each week, a teacher may properly be said to be going around in vicious circles.
I shall not go so far as to suggest abolishing committees. Abolish every other one and see what happens. Also, choose chairmen who have a manly conception of what “democracy” is. It does not mean letting everyone speak for as long as he likes on any theme that offers; it means settling questions after a full exchange of relevant views. Relevance suggests the rule: no gavel, no chairman. The best committee I ever sat on, not from my own partial point of view, but according to the consensus of its members, was run by a man of the old school, granitic in look and manner, who after the first meeting was privately accounted a brute. But he was a just brute and he got the best sense of the meeting that our collective noddles could supply. He worked hard and so did we, and by dint of making us toe the true line, we sped to a finish in short order. Our report, drafted by him in three pages, could be understood at sight.
There is of course some connection between oldfashioned ways and expeditiousness, so perhaps my one instance has no value. The “old school” had stiffer manners — our chairman did not hesitate to address us as “Gentlemen” whenever he wanted our attention. In the loose modern style, by which everybody is John and Henry, the goal seems to be not so much to transact business as to stagnate in friendly feelings. These apparently forbid one to contradict, to argue concisely, or to hold any speaker to the point. Under these conditions, if the minutes of the meeting show any sign of consecutiveness, it is because the secretary has a good head and writes them up at home.
As for meetings of a whoIe faculty, they are closely comparable with the sessions of Congress — some good and some bad, no oratory left, much reliance on committee reports; with the dean acting as the Chief Executive who wins or loses on the proposals in his “message.” There is relatively little caucus work except on rare constitutional questions. Campus politics is of course fact, not fiction, but it takes the form of personal influence upon the executive power rather than moving assemblies to decisive votes.
I must modify this last point to take in certain colleges which have a two-party tradition. Liberals and Conservatives go on fighting, not over the ordinary meaning of these terms, but on local issues that split the old guard from the new. Faculty meetings are trials of strength. A newcomer has to choose between the parties, and his choice determines whom he lunches and plays bridge with and what part of town he must dwell in — not to mention his chances of advancement. Teachers are as passionate as the rest of mankind and are entitled to enjoy the great human pastime of politics. They know how to flavor it with gossip as well as anybody else.
Oddly enough, though politics is tolerable on the campus, and indeed inevitable since real interests are at stake, democracy is not. A few institutions, chiefly state and city colleges, have adopted a system by which the members of a department vote for one another’s promotions. The result is a fearful and constant tension, productive of all the practices elsewhere condemned as corrupt — logrolling, coercion, delation, and sycophancy.1 It would take a philosopher-king to rule such a roost — not that teachers sink lower than other men when tempted, but that their fall from grace infects their merits more directly.
A teacher should not be constantly thinking about his status, his salary, his deserts, and his chances. He ought not, certainly, to associate these thoughts with the sight of his colleagues or his boss. Though the academic grove is not the Garden of Eden, it ought to be laid out so as to guarantee a reasonable freedom. And this matters to the students as well as the staff, since the young are not only quick to detect strain and friction, but are entitled, during teaching hours, to their instructors’ undivided attention.
BEFORE coming back to the choice of a good teaching staff, I must make here a necessary digression about freedom — the special kind known as academic freedom. This is the principle appealed to when Professor Z has publicly advocated the nationalizing of peanut stands and the President’s desk is flooded with complaints from parents and trustees. The situation becomes really bad when a wealthy or powerful man, an alumnus or the uncle of a freshman on probation, chooses to give himself a little publicity by denouncing the university in his hometown paper. At that point, the university turns into a “hothed” — one radical being enough to heat a whole suite of beds — and it is found upon investigation that the students are indeed asked to read the Communist Manifesto in some history or economics class.
This damaging fact is news to the President; the Dean vaguely remembers that it was true even in his day on the faculty; and both agree that steps must be taken — “measures,” “such steps as the situation may require” — in other words, give the public the impression that Professor Z has been fired. Unfortunately, this cannot be done in pantomime, and when it is done in earnest, the students, half the faculty, the Civil Liberties Union, and any number of other organizations jump with delight and defiance into the fray. Publishers rush up to the marked man with signed contracts and he is temporarily the campus Hampden, with dauntless breast withstanding the little tyrants in his field.
From time to time, of course, the battle for academic freedom has none of these comic-opera features. It has the grimness of an execution by the secret police. A teacher is dropped, silently, callously, with the clear intent of an unfrocking and of an attainder against his dependents. The cause is by no means always political; it is sometimes religious, sometimes “moral,” almost always bigoted. Against this practice there is no redress, for it occurs usually too low in the world of educational institutions, it concerns too small a post, and it can command no publicity. The victim is indeed fortunate if he belongs to an association of teachers that will look into his pitiable case.
Even in the more common instances I first described, the newspaper account and the facts usually vary widely. Rights and wrongs are seldom evenly divided between the two camps. Yet a distinction can be made between two types of professional “ radicalism.” I am here assuming, by the way, that “radicalism” is defined by the community. In a bone-dry county, to propose the legalization of wine and beer would be as radical as in an “enlightened” city to advocate government ownership of banks. This being so, three questions may be asked: Has the teacher the right to express his opinion on the moot subject in the classroom? Has he the right to express it outside? And finally, has he the right to use class time to convert students to his opinion?
Everyone would (or should) admit, in answer to the last question, that he has no such right, and that on the contrary the students, who are perhaps compelled to listen to him, have every right to complain if they are preached at instead of instructed. I have known men who thought it fair to indoctrinate the captive freshman, and who yet called it a violation of academic freedom when they were cautioned or restrained. But academic freedom implies no such opportunity: it is even a question whether it confers the right to be systematically boring.
When we tackle the other two questions, we tread on more delicate ground, because the teacher’s “opinion” may mean one of two things — his views on a part of his subject, or his views on some matter about which he may feel strongly but know only as an amateur.
Regarding what he says as an authority, his freedom should be absolutely unimpaired, no matter who disapproves and for what reason. The teacher may say that Shakespeare’s works were written by Mary Queen of Scots, if he so chooses: a university must always remember that the new truth almost invariably sounds crazy, and crazier in proportion to its greatness. It would be idiocy to keep recounting the stories of Copernicus, Galileo, and Pasteur, and forget that the next innovator will seem as hopelessly wrong and perverse as these men seemed. The cost of this freedom may be a good deal of crackpot error, but nothing good goes unpaid for: this is the price.
With respect to subjects outside his field, the teacher has, not academic freedom, but academic responsibility; that is, he may on demand or of his own accord tell his students what he thinks of psychical research, or the British Empire, or the Brooklyn Dodgers. If he touches subjects more sensitive still, he is bound to observe the same tact that he would in good society. Standing on a raised platform six inches high does not give the right to insult religious beliefs or to outrage moral convictions, however bigoted these may appear to an opponent.
Students, on their side, have no right to publish what is said in class, or they kill its informality. The teacher’s sense of fitness naturally involves judging what is and what is not germane to the discussion. I should add from experience that what makes the greatest difference in all these matters of propriety is tone. The teacher can say almost anything, provided he is really saying what he means and not fighting some secret war of the feelings against a particular student or class.
The same formula covers the teacher’s outside utterances. He must respect his own status and that of his college, but outside the classroom he has the full freedom to express himself on all matters that any citizen has. Only, he must make it clear to his hearers or readers when he is speaking as a citizen and when as a university expert in some special branch. Within these limits, inside and outside academic halls, the university leaves the teacher free, so that it may itself remain free, like the editors of a periodical or the master of ceremonies at a public gathering.
All this wisdom, by the way, I produce at second hand. I mean that, having witnessed the political tempests of the thirties on several campuses, I followed up conflicting statements of academic freedom until I ran into the classic and definitive one by A. Lawrence Lowell, which I have roughly summarized here. It was issued during the First World War, chiefly, I believe, in defense of Professor Laski’s teaching at Harvard. Set down in eight short pages, it should be reprinted and hung above every president’s or dean’s desk, for it is as practical as it is definitive.2
SINCE fortunately there is in America no nationwide control of teachers and teaching posts and consequently no automatic assignment of teachers, the executive officers — whether presidents, deans, or heads of departments — must appoint them. The American tradition varies as between privately endowed and tax-supported colleges, but generally upholds the free choice of teachers. This method works some hardships—those of unequal treatment — but mobility and variety are enhanced. Most of the hardships are not even inherent in the scheme but rather in the state of mind of college administrators. Without pretending that there is a single such state of mind, and allowing for administrative quirks or genius, it remains true that certain habits prevail at certain times, which constitute the “regular way of doing things,” particularly when the things to be done remain ever the same.
Colleges and universities annually face the need to make two kinds of choice: young men must be hired, for elementary work as well as for ensuring the continuity of the several departments; and distinguished men, for advanced work and immediate prestige. The latter are easily singled out by their reputation among their fellows, and the only caution a dean must observe is that he shall not appoint a man so near the end of his powers that he will “ retire on salary” and serve the students not at all. In such a condition he is only an expensive kind of advertising; he may also demoralize the working members of the newcomer’s department.
In choosing young men, colleges follow two opposite practices: they take their own graduates or they take anybody but their own. The arguments are evenly matched — one, that colleges know their own product best and think it best trained; two, that filling the ranks exclusively from their own people soon produces “inbreeding.” It is not always clear what kind of Jukes or Kallikaks are expected to issue from an inbred staff, but the feeling is strong that the danger exists.
Both rules, it seems to me, work against the only good rule, which is to judge cases as fully as possible on their merits, and to choose not classes of men but individuals. After all, temperamental differences are greater and cut deeper than academic training. Perhaps the average product of Littleburgh College is uniform; but then, don’t take the average product. No staff is better — I won’t say than the men who compose it, for that is a truism — but better than the range of differences that the men represent.
This is where deans— using the term generically — have a hard time. By necessity they love peace and hate trouble. But by professional duty they ought always to prefer facing trouble and resolving if if the required effort means getting a variegated faculty. Peace may mean only routine and suspended animation of the soul; trouble may express intellectual vitality and positive accomplishments.
It is extraordinary how many diverse kinds of men and women make desirable teachers. Remember you need lecturers and discussers and tutors. They can differ in endless, unpredictable ways. You can take the halt, the lame, the blind; men with speech defects or men who cannot be heard above a whisper; men gross and repulsive (at first) like my blessed mathematics instructor; men who are lazy and slow, who are bright and unstable, or incorrigible enfants terribles; you can even risk some who are deficient in learning, and join them to form an admirable as well as an induplicable faculty. This is possible because the students also display a variety of human traits and cannot all be reached and moved by the same spells.
The important thing is to be sure you are hiring a teacher and not a wolf wrapped in a sheepskin. But it is also wise to bear in mind that any one teacher need only affect 10 per cent of the enrolled student body to be worth his price. If a man regularly exerts a positive influence on 35 out of a graduating class of 350 — I am thinking of an actual case — it makes no difference that the remaining 315 loathe the sight of him. Having such a man on the staff demands some care in scheduling. Let those who dislike him drop his course; and obviously also, don’t fill all teaching positions with similar eccentrics. But the life of mind requires the two components of mind and life. If a teacher has both, he may be forgiven many faults.
I went so far as to say that in some cases deficient learning might itself be acceptable. I recall one teacher, a Scotchman who had made his way from dire poverty to academic standing, and who made up for his humble origin by mastering as many foreign languages as he could. He took pardonable pride in his knowledge and was an admirable teacher. Among other peculiarities he had a set of gestures with which he unconsciously scanned conjugations, so that during class a glance at his left arm sawing the air would tell the student that he should be using the imperfect tense instead of the future. But occasionally our linguist overreached himself. One day the phrase hoi jpolloi came into the discussion, and after giving its meaning, he announced that it was a Hawaiian expression. One of the students remarked that he had always thought it was Greek. To which, imperturbable, the dominie replied: “Right! It comes to us from the Greek through the Hawaiian.”
A LARGE university must maintain, in addition to instructors, a certain number of men whose worth lies in productive research rather than in teaching. They must be used accordingly and not, for instance, let loose upon freshmen in the most difficult introductory course. As supervisor of the curriculum, the dean must think like one well-known physician who was trying out a special diet on a group of patients. It suddenly struck him that it was not enough to have the hospital send up the right dishes: how much went back untasted to the kitchen? The faculty’s “program” goes into effect only if it is actually taught; and plainly, the administration is there to administer it.
As for securing teachers who are meant to teach, it should not, in theory, be difficult to find out their qualifications before hiring. The applicant submits a complete scholastic record with letters of recommendation, and he is usually available for interview. In some colleges he runs the gauntlet of an appointments committee. I have been on both sides of such inquisitions and I feel they could be improved.
To begin with, the occasion is falsely considered to be embarrassing; the result is that the interview consists either in small talk or in an exchange of views on “principles of education.” In the one case the administrator learns nothing except that Mr. X has or has not a ready flow of repartee; in the other, the candidate commits himself to positions that either damn him or overvalue him — or more often that mean nothing at all. One person I know was asked whether she thought she could “challenge” students. She could think of nothing to say except “So as to get the password back?” — and this unbecoming levity cost her the post.
Clearly, the only proper topic for such an interview is subject matter. Let the candidate say what courses he would like to teach, in what way, with what books, and so on. If he has himself written books or articles, draw him out on these—never was such a golden opportunity to talk shop! Only, the interviewer should have sufficient breadth of interest to gauge the quality of what he is told.
Since many do not feel competent to do this, they have recourse to questionnaires — a series of them if need be. This is tantamount to abdication. The executive mind is supposed to judge, not to devise tricks by which judgment can be avoided. No counting of Yes’s and No’s will give certainty in place of doubt. Besides, question-makers always look for perfection: the last man appointed, though good, turned out to have human failings; so the next man must be a paragon.
Just examine a few requirements, taken from an actual questionnaire, six pages long and composed of fifty-eight questions and criteria. According to this “efficient” executive, the applicant must be “the kind of person college students take to with enthusiasm and in whom his faculty colleagues have confidence; in brief, a strong and warm personality.” He must have “intellectual ability of a recognized high order . . . ; the ability to participate congenially in the social life of the community . . . ; public speaking ability, so as to discuss his work with alumni and other groups . . . ; excellent health and physical vigor. If a candidate is married, his wife must also possess the characteristics described . . . under . . . [social ability].”
In another part of this self-portrait which the candidate must fearlessly limn, it is suggested that his educational philosophy must be such as to induce him, if he has children, to place them in the experimental school run by the college. A man who could step forward confident of meeting this institution’s demands ought to be able to name his own salary, or else should be rejected for megalomania. The whole thing is a farce and an imposition, particularly on the young and poor.
The use of letters of recommendation suffers from the same vices. Since administrators want giants of intellect and strength, everyone has got the habit of writing only the nice things, even when the statement is confidential and goes direct to the employer. The writer knows he is pushing a good man, so his conscience is clear, but he knows also that to hint a fault here and there will prejudice his protégé’s chances as against holders of less candid letters — so that every teacher who has not actually robbed a bank is endorsed in the most unconditional manner for every available position. This being so, letters are discounted by their recipients — the deans — who are thus left in the same old necessity of forming judgments and deciding on the right choice of persons in the good old way.
I SAY “persons” because I am also thinking of students. And here in some ways the business becomes graver still. With entrance examinations on the decline, the interview and the school ratings of personality assume a decisive importance. Naturally no system worked by human hands will ensure justice, and the examination in subjects was a hardship for many; but there is a special kind of cant produced by the newer way, which I confess I particularly dislike.
It amounts to a sort of demand for subtle flattery of the questioner or the institution on the part of the candidate. What happens is not easily described; it must be felt. But I think everyone would admit that to ask a young person to say why he chose Littleburgh College before all other places is not fair. And many other “innocent” inquiries are of that character right up to the professional schools. “Why do you want to become a doctor?” The fact of having applied should be enough. No human being at any age should be asked to display worthy motives on demand. Actions come from mixed motives, in the first place, and what people consider worthy to say is by no means a sure test of worth.
I recently heard of an intending theological student who declared that he wished to become a scholar in Biblical study. Unfortunately for him, the authorities of his seminary had recently decided that what the church needed was pastors and missionaries; so that, without even waiting for his purpose to mature or change, he was made to feel the impropriety of his “selfish” choice. He had missed the first trick: just think of the impropriety of calling your soul your own!
At seventeen, this lesson is more cruel than a flogging. Officialdom does not always recognize how harsh a front it presents, even when outwardly smiling, because it forgets what it is to be young, inexperienced, and constitutionally honest. The upshot is that in many serious matters — of admission, of scholarship grants, of grades and honors — the advantage goes to the precocious worldling who has found out “the ropes,” or to the instinctive hypocrite.
Side by side with the love of interviews, the passion for fuzzy psychologizing has led to the use of tests and questionnaires for choosing and “guiding” students into and through college. The girl hoping to enter college writes for a week — her autobiography, her tastes, her hopes, her fears; she is asked about her parents, her friends, her brothers and sisters. Her mother must also write. The child is so completely turned inside out that it is a wonder she can still look like a freshman. Indeed she is more like an escaped convict, because while she has been doing a Bashkirtseff on her soul, her boarding school has reported all her quirks, failings, and misdemeanors. That vase she broke pursues her to the grave, and her tantrums reverberate down the corridors of time.
It is curious that in the very age when criminology has learned that a fresh start calls for a new environment, with people taking for granted the reformed pirate’s honesty, “modern” education has turned the freshman into an old lag. “Have you read Form A and Form B on Sally?” asks the dean of studies of a new teacher. “No.” “Well, I’ll get them for you, so you can size her up.” Sally’s only hope is that the new teacher will keep the file shut and his mind open.
Meantime the dean has not only read and absorbed but remembered the whole dossier. Twice a year, on the strength of this knowledge, Sally or John will be academically reviewed (and, if need be, interviewed) by this same dean or his assistant. In most small places, the dean makes a point of knowing each student by name, of being accessible at all times, of being “the good old Dean ” — a feat which the undergraduates value more highly than anything else. I have heard it said that in the larger centers in the Midwest, with 7000 new freshmen each year, a dean arranges to give each of them three minutes of heart-to-heart talk so as to establish firm relations with them before the end of the crucial year. All this is routine personnel work, which must be done in addition to settling disciplinary cases, financial problems, special programs, and the indescribable demands of parents.
It must be apparent that with such heavy duties to be discharged, the life of a conscientious administrator is not a bed of roses. It makes as much of a draft on wisdom as any other part of the teaching profession, but calls for it day in and day out, in small change. Seeing this, many teachers who have the requisite gifts decline the opportunity to serve when it comes. They voluntarily give up the tripled salary and the honorable limelight, for the sake of continuing equal toil of a less distraught and impermanent character. As a composer-teacher once put it: “They wanted to make me a musical statesman, but I want to remain a musical citizen.” This means that there has necessarily grown up a class of professional administrators—not members of the faculty, but academic middlemen—who find university life congenial and the students interesting, but who would just as readily manage a brewery or a bank for all the attachment that they feel towards learning.
This only aggravates the personnel situation in all its branches.3 Like businessmen, the managers rely more and more on paper work, filing devices, and punched cards. Casual hearsay of an “objective” sort serves them in place of judgment — I heard one administrator refer admiringly to a candidate for a position as a “two-textbook man.” I did not dare ask whether this great double barrel had written two books or only owned them.
Going by signs means, again, that real quality near at hand passes unnoticed or even arouses unconscious dislike. It is too “intellectual” or too independent. The constant appeal is not to ability but to “the spert of cowopperation.” With such deans or directors, the “good fellows” on the faculty are at a premium. There is unconscious encouragement of the self-advertisers, who turn out more Progress Reports than actual work. The good teacher, by this standard, is the one who constantly uses his students as guinea pigs for some “study” or other. “First-semester sophomores with respect to retention of theoretical materials” sounds to such a dean most interesting and most important.
If the teacher aims at higher scholarship than this, he must write short articles at short intervals and send reprints to “the office” for good effect. Like other “material,” they will be judged by physical and not intellectual weight. That is the logical outcome of the indirect measure of quality, when once the direct sense of it has been lost.
- In one famous Southern university the faculty elect their president. The occasion must be infrequent enough to keep it from creating factions, and yet must afford a highly desirable kind of representation.↩
- It can be read in President Lowell’s At War with Academic Traditions in America and again in the Appendix to What a University President Has Learned.↩
- To take only one instance, a director of student activities who is in no sense an educated man should not rank higher and earn more than officers of instruction who are his superiors in every other way. Yet on many campuses the uniform eminence of administration as such brings about this topsy-turvy relation.↩