Educational Problems in College and University: Addresses Delivered at the Educational Conference Held at the University of Michigan, October Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty, on the Occasion of the Inauguration of President Marion Leroy Burton

By John Brumm Lewis | Go to book overview

THE GROWTH OF STATE UNIVERSITIES
LOTUS D. COFFMAN, PH.D. President of the University of MinnesotaThe crisis which state universities are experiencing at the present time is complicated by three sets of factors: (1) the strangely mixed elements of the past which characterize educational theory and practice, (2) the disposition of college men in response to new pressures to differentiate the materials of instruction ad infinitum, and, (3) the enormous increase in the number of students. It is not my purpose to discuss either of the first two factors to-day, although they are deserving of and must receive serious consideration in the comparatively near future.State universities have grown so rapidly that they are now approaching the breaking point. A solution, no matter how tentative, requires a man of rare foresight or of reckless temerity. However, we cannot wait for time to offer a solution. We must read the signs and study the situation as best we can and then act. This is a case where they do not serve who stand and wait.Whatever solution is offered must in its final analysis be based upon a clear recognition of certain fundamental principles, viz.:
1. A state university is a part of the public system of the state and as such must preserve the democratic doctrines of equal opportunity for all.
2. It must recognize the vastness and the complexity of the modern, social, political and industrial world.
3. It must insist that the secondary, school period is the time and the place for the testing of abilities, the revealing of capacities and tastes, the period of self-discovery.
4. It must preserve the worthy traditions of scholarship and the spirit of inquiry and research and of trained leadership.

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Educational Problems in College and University: Addresses Delivered at the Educational Conference Held at the University of Michigan, October Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty, on the Occasion of the Inauguration of President Marion Leroy Burton
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