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The State University, Its Work and Problems

The State University, Its Work and Problems: A Selection from Addresses Delivered Between 1921 and 1933

Lotus Delta Coffman
Copyright Date: 1934
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 292
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  • Book Info
    The State University, Its Work and Problems
    Book Description:

    The State University: Its Work and Problems was first published in 1934. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. This presentation of the views of the late University of Minnesota president, Lotus Delta Coffman, emphasizes his contention that state-supported institutions of higher learning should be open to all who have the ability to profit by the work offered in them.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3765-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. 1-25)

    THE history of public education in America is a story of achievement. To the student of education it reads like romance. No adequate account of it has ever been written. Some day someone who knows how to wield a master’s pen will attempt it, and the greatest epic of civilization will be produced. To recount the struggles of a free people to establish a system of popular education, which in its infancy bore the stigma of poverty and charity but in latter days is the expression of the hopes and ambitions, the faiths and aspirations, of the proud descendants of...

  4. II FREEDOM OF TEACHING An address delivered on March 9, 1927, before a committee of the Minnesota State Senate
    (pp. 26-37)

    NEARLY three-quarters of a century ago, when Minnesota was inhabited by ten thousand vigorous, adventurous, God-fearing pioneers — in the year 1851 — the territorial assembly adopted a resolution favoring the establishment of a university for the teaching of the arts and sciences. These men had a vision of a great commonwealth ministered to and served by the teachers of the university. Never once in those early years did they seek to limit the work or the activities of the university; never once did they seek to prescribe what it should teach and what it should not teach; never once...

  5. III THE STATE UNIVERSITY : ITS RELATION TO PUBLIC EDUCATION An address delivered before the Department of Superintendence, National Education Association, on March 1, 1928, in Boston
    (pp. 38-59)

    THE state universities of America are an expression of the spirit of the pioneers who settled west of the Appalachian Mountains. True, they had their origin in democratic Virginia, but their expansion and development came with the growth of the Central West. Since then they have spread to the South and across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast.

    The state universities represent the culmination of democracy’s effort to advance itself by education. They have thrived and flourished where democracy has thrived and flourished. Wholly unsympathetic with every attempt to transplant an alien university system to American soil, the great...

  6. IV THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EDUCATION An address delivered on April 11, 1928, at the inauguration of Dean William Russell Teachers College, Columbia University
    (pp. 60-79)

    PRACTICALLY all types of higher institutions of learning, privately endowed or tax supported, have been interested in the development of the public schools, for the reason that the colleges and universities have depended largely upon the public schools for their students. The articulation of the privately endowed institutions with the public schools has been less intimate than that of the state universities. In the early days the endowed institutions frequently admitted students with no training other than that received at home or by tutors. In more recent years they have maintained a system of entrance examinations, or some other type...

  7. V THE RELATION OF THE UNIVERSITY TO THE STATE State Day Convocation address delivered at the University of Minnesota on December 6, 1928
    (pp. 80-93)

    I REGARD it as one of the hopeful signs of the times that the students have insisted upon having a part in the exercises of this day. There is no good reason why they should not assume greater responsibility, and even the initiative — in cooperation with the university administration, to be sure — in arranging for the annual exercises of State Day. Upon this occasion it is right and proper that everyone interested in the welfare of the university and of the state should take a careful inventory of the relationships existing between these two institutions, and upon none...

  8. VI THE UNIVERSITY AND THE MODERN WORLD An address delivered on November 21, 1929, at the inauguration of President Raymond A. Kent, University of Louisville, November 21, 1929
    (pp. 94-114)

    UNIVERSITIES have been compared to lighthouses, whose light radiating in all directions dispels darkness, giving hope to the weary mariner and making it possible for him to find his way home. They have been likened to dynamos at some great central station whose power lines reach into every section of the community, giving strength and renewing life and energy. Recently they have been referred to as factories more interested in quantity than in quality, more concerned about numbers than about personality.

    All these comparisons are mere figures of speech. Each chooses certain similar qualities to emphasize: hope, promise, encouragement, in...

  9. VII TWO WAYS OF IMPROVING THE STATE UNIVERSITIES Presidential address delivered before the National Association of State Universities, Washington, D. C., November 19, 1930
    (pp. 115-131)

    THE civilization of America is built from the natural resources of America. When the pioneers came they found what seemed to be limitless natural resources. There were great forests extending far into the distance; there were broad acres awaiting only the touch of the plow and the hand of man to yield rich harvests; there were enormous deposits of ore awaiting only the coming of the scientist to produce the machinery of civilization; there were rivers whose water power was unharnessed.

    We pay tribute to the pioneer who moved from east to west across this continent, facing all of the...

  10. VIII EDUCATIONAL TRENDS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA An address delivered on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the College of Education of the University of Minnesota, April 16, 1930
    (pp. 132-147)

    A UNIVERSITY is a human institution. It originates in the stimulating soil of human needs and exists to satisfy human wants. It redefines its aims, modifies its programs, and sets new problems for itself as the social order in which and for which it lives changes its nature and its being. Continually subjected to new pressures and new demands, no university ever remains the same year after year. On the other hand no university can or should respond to every request for service; there must be a continuity and a stability to its aims and work. It is not always...

  11. IX ADULT EDUCATION An address delivered before the Department of Superintendence of the National Education Association, Detroit, February 25, 1931
    (pp. 148-154)

    IN THIS paper I propose to confine myself to a single aspect of the adult education movement. I propose to discuss it as a means of solving the problem of unemployment. Nothing exceeds this in importance just now. The world is more deeply concerned with it than it is with any other single issue. Thousands of panaceas are being offered for the restoration of economic prosperity and the reduction of unemployment. There is no good reason why the schoolmaster should not present his; it cannot be more visionary than those presented by the captains of finance and industry.

    Here we...

  12. X FLEXNER AND THE STATE UNIVERSITY A paper published in the Journal of Higher Education, October, 1931
    (pp. 155-163)

    NO STATE university lives in the paradise which Mr. Flexner has created. Every state university is guilty to a greater or less extent of all of the indiscretions to which he alludes. As one charged with the responsibility of administering a state university, I come from reading Mr. Flexner’s book with conflicting opinions and impressions. I find myself at one time in complete agreement with many of his fundamental theses, at other times at variance with the spirit of his discussion and with the philosophy he enunciates in defining what universities should be.

    No one, so it seems to me,...

  13. XI EDUCATION AND THE DEPRESSION An address delivered during Schoolmen’s Week, University of Minnesota, March 25, 1932
    (pp. 164-182)

    THE problems growing out of the current issues of our economic life are imperiously crying out for solution. Obviously American democracy is faced now as never before with the necessity of outlining and pursuing programs far in the future. The alternative is to muddle along in the fervent hope that time and some fortuitous combination of circumstances will solve our problems for us. The first is the high choice of intelligence and courage; the second is the paltering recourse of ignorance, sloth, and fear.

    The problems call for a reappraisal of every phase of our governmental and institutional relations. They...

  14. XII THINKING IN TERMS OF TOMORROW Phi Beta Kappa address delivered at the University of Minnesota, May 23, 1932
    (pp. 183-200)

    PRESIDENT BUTLER of Columbia University reports a witty Englishman to have said that when Adam and Eve were wandering hand in hand through the Garden of Eden, Adam said to her, “Eve, my dear, we are living in a period of transition.” If Adam was as wise as this, then he only anticipated what every intelligent man has been saying from then until now. We are always on the verge of a new era. We measure time from crisis to crisis, from deflation to deflation, from prosperity to prosperity. The course of progress is never smooth; it zig-zags up and...

  15. XIII THE OBLIGATION OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY TO THE SOCIAL ORDER An address delivered before the Conference on the Obligation of Universities to the Social Order, Hotel Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, November 15, 1932
    (pp. 201-216)

    THE state universities originated in response to public demands and have been maintained, fostered, and encouraged all these years by the citizens of the states in which they are located. Both their origin and the sources from which they have received their support have affected their composition and the character of their activities. Growing out of and flourishing in the very soil of democracy, supported and maintained by the people, committed unequivocally to a more highly trained intelligence of the masses, believing that the road to intellectual opportunity should never be closed, maintaining a wide open door for all those...

    (pp. 217-234)

    ON THE earliest maps the territory of Dakota was in that vast area known as the Great American Desert. By 1832 George Catlin, explorer, hunter, and artist, had spread the fame of the regions later included in Dakota and made it known even in Europe as an area of abundant sweet grass, unlimited herds of buffalo, and fierce but handsome Sioux Indians. By 1849 Dakota had been included in the territories of five states, successively: Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Then it passed to Minnesota in 1851. After the treaty of Traverse des Sioux the legislature of Minnesota created...

  17. XV CONFLICTING GOVERNMENTAL PHILOSOPHIES An address delivered before the Department of Superintendence, National Education Association, Minneapolis, February 27, 1933
    (pp. 235-253)

    EVEN in times of peace there is a conflict between the dominant world philosophies, and in times of war or of distress and unrest the conflict assumes proportions of great interest and significance.

    We are accustomed to think of the instruments of war as ships and gas and guns. These are the instruments that nations usually use in their efforts at conquest. We all know of the terrible loss of human life, the bankrupt treasuries, subjugated governments, broken homes, and untold suffering that follow when these instruments of destruction are used.

    But a war quite as devastating is sometimes carried...

  18. XVI THE EFFICACY OF THE DEPRESSION IN PROMOTING SELF-EXAMINATION An address delivered before the Institute for Administrative Officers of Higher Institutions University of Chicago, July 12, 1933
    (pp. 254-277)

    THERE is a common and rather widely accepted assumption that the depression has promoted self-examination among the colleges and universities of this country. This assumption arises out of the current opinion that society in general is experiencing a transformation of a fundamental and far-reaching character. Perhaps that is true, but the impact of deep-seated social changes upon social institutions is not always obvious, nor does it always express itself with equal effect upon all of them alike.

    When one examines with care the reforms and the progressive advances being advocated in the field of higher education, he finds, for the...