THE previous chapter was in the nature of a review, but not a full summary. The purpose was to indicate how the data of the study have been organized, what types of questions have been raised for discussion, and what are some of the more immediate implications. Although specific interpretations accompanied the data in the several chapters, running through all of the sections and emerging again and again, were broader implications that could not be suggested or drawn together until all the materials were before the reader. The present chapter will be devoted to the presentation of some of these. Schematic and brief as their statement may be, they embody the lessons that the depression should have taught.
Lessons and Forecasts. Already there are signs, with the recovery of relative prosperity, that some of the depression lessons are being forgotten or ignored. If this is true, the several observations that are to be set forth here may be regarded as friction points around which, at some future time, weaknesses will appear to distort or endanger the programs of higher education.
The depression served to reemphasize the opportunistic nature of the growth of higher education.
It is impossible to survey the growth of higher education in this country without realization that it has for the most part been opportunistic; and this accounts in no small measure for the difficulties that confronted many of the colleges and universities following the general economic collapse. The use of the word "planless" is perhaps justifiable also in characterizing higher education in the United States. Individually, institutions may have given thought to their own course of development, but in many instances it is difficult to find evidence of this if by "plan" is meant a well-conceived, well-balanced, and well-developed program that is definitely related to needs and resources. If the term is extended to include collective or cooperative planning, this is largely wanting. It would not be fair or entirely true to imply that the haphazard development of higher education in general, or at individual institutions, resulted from the uncontrolled ambitions of those who are responsible for administration, as is sometimes alleged. Institu