Depression, Recovery and Higher Education: A Report by Committee Y of the American Association of University Professors. The Draft of This Report Was Prepared by Malcolm M. Willey

By Malcolm M. Willey; American Association of University Professors | Go to book overview

PREFACE

THE report that constitutes the chapters of this volume was prepared by a special committee appointed by the American Association of University Professors. The Association aims, in the words of its constitution, "to facilitate a more effective cooperation among teachers and investigators in universities and colleges, and in professional schools of similar grade, for the promotion of the interests of higher education and research, and in general to increase the usefulness and advance the standards and ideals of the profession." With the onset of the depression it became quickly apparent that conditions were developing, both on the campus and off it, that would unquestionably react adversely upon the teaching profession. It was the recognition of this that led to the appointment of Committee Y. The committee held preliminary discussions regarding its assignment, but its systematic work began in the late summer of 1935. The report was completed late in 1936.

In preparing its report the Committee has been motivated by three dominant purposes. First, it desired to gather such materials as it could for telling the story of what was happening to higher education during the period between 1919 and 1936. What was the depression doing to the colleges and the universities, to the men and women employed on their staffs, and to the students who were enrolled? There was need for facts. Each institution wished to know how other institutions were faring. All sought enlightenment concerning the common problems. There had been many opinions and guesses, but no systematic marshaling of evidence. The Committee has sought to assemble the facts and to make them available. This was its first concern.

Secondly, the Committee has ventured interpretations of the data it has collected. Facts alone may hold interest, but their primary value comes when they are utilized as the basis for study and generalizations. What do the facts mean? What is their importance for the men and women who are associated with institutions of higher education? The Committee has not hesitated to give answers, and to suggest interpretations. Many of these will not achieve complete acceptance; nor should they without much further discussion. However, it is the conviction of the Committee that consideration of the problems it intro

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