the arts departments is the thoughtful consideration given by the Faculty to the present condition of the College and to methods for augmenting and stimulating its efficiency and vitality. The deliberations of the Faculty originated in a proposal to increase the duties of the Dean, but they took a large range, embracing indeed an inquiry into the general condition of the Arts departments; and, though in the end the duties of the Dean remain practically unchanged, it is obvious that certain improvements in the administration of the College will be effected, while, as a result of the general discussion, it may be hoped, a new impulse was given to the work of liberal education at Cornell.

It would be the worst of delusions to imagine that changes in the form of organization, system of government, or methods of administration would produce any great effect upon the work of a college of liberal arts. No mechanism, however perfect, is of much avail in the life and development of mind and spirit. What counts is personality. If a college has able, inspiring, and devoted teachers who give themselves ungrudgingly to their students, who strive with all their might to secure the individual training of every member of their classes, who endeavor to cultivate the acquaintance and fellowship of their students by personal intercourse outside the class-rooms, whose lives are spent on their students and on the subjects they teach them, it will be well with that college, however little red tape is used in the administration of its affairs. True, mechanism cannot altogether be dispensed with. But it is important that the emphasis should be put on the right place. And, , in this age of practical and utilitarian endeavor, it cannot be too strongly asserted that the supreme hope of a college of liberal arts is in the faculty. Given a faculty whose individual members really believe in liberal education and are ready to spend and be spent in imparting it to the picked youth of the country, and there need be no anxiety about minor defects, real or imaginary, in the administrative machinery of the college which they serve and adorn.

How far is this ideal realized at Cornell? Or what obstacles stand in the way of its realization?

First of all, the spirit of the age is not favorable to the notion of liberal culture. There is a chasm between the Idealism of Athens and the Industrialism of America. Our youth frequent the gainful occupations. Our colleges of arts decline, while the scientific and technical schools are overcrowded. This is a tendency of the Zeitgeist which makes itself felt in every university and college in the country. All the more necessary, of course, that our faculties of liberal arts should uphold the banner of disinterested truth, beauty, and humane culture. Inevitably, however, the efficiency of their work is impaired. Either they truckle or succumb to the spirit of the age; or, if they stand out, they are like hard pressed soldiers who have only one arm to fight while they use the other for defence.

Secondly, the old curriculum of liberal education is gone and professors in colleges of liberal arts are to-day, to use the language of Dean Willcox, without clear cut notions of what a liberal education is and how it is to be secured," so that the most vital need of college education throughout America is the formulation and application of some definition of a liberal education which will apply to the new conditions." This is a most serious impediment to the efficiency of a college of arts. How can it do its work efficiently if its professors have no adequate conception of the end at which they aim or of the means by which that end is to be obtained? And the pity of it is that this is not a local or special disability but a paralysis affecting every college of arts in America.

One result is inevitable. As our faculties of arts cease


to hold firmly and clearly the conception of liberal education, they cannot blame the people for following their example and even discrediting that unknown object as an elegant superfluity or useless ornament. What place then is left for the college of arts between the modern high school with its excellent preparatory courses on the one hand and on the other the technical institution which trains men for the vocations of engineering, mining, manufacturing, and similar mechanical pursuits, or the older professional school with well organized courses in law, medicine, and theology ? Conceivably the college of arts might survive to give the men who are later to enter professional and technical schools a previous training in language, literature, philosophy, history, or political and economic science. Unfortunately very few of these men take a course in the liberal arts. Another field, however, remains of still greater promise. It is left to the colleges of arts to train teachers, journalists, publicists, authors, and the ever-increasing body of young men who are subsequently to enter “business' in one or other of its multitudinous ramifications. It may be expected, therefore, that, pending the recovery of an acceptable definition of liberal education, the colleges of arts in America will perform three definite functions: (1) they will give an education in the liberal arts and pure science to the comparatively small number of men who seek it before entering schools of theology, law, medicine, or technology ; (2) they will train specialists in language, philosophy, history, economics, politics, and physical science, most of whom after graduation will devote themselves to teaching or writing ; (3) they will give a more general education to

to men who will afterwards devote themselves to business, journalism, the public service, etc. At Cornell the first of these groups of students is already advised by the Faculties what studies they should pursue in the College of Arts and Sciences so far as preparation for their future profession is concerned ; the second group of students, by recent legislation of the Faculty, will have professorial advisers during the last two years of the course and partially prescribed studies during the first two; but for the third group of students, constantly increasing though it is, no special provision has yet been made. The President suggests to the Faculty the consideration of the policy of formulating, with the aid of outside experts in business, journalism, etc., courses to be recommended to undergraduates who look forward to those vocations. Were this plan adopted, all undergraduates in arts and not merely, as now, those who are to become teachers, lawyers, physicians, or engineers, would have expert advice, based both on educational principles and the demands of their future vocations, in regard to the subjects of study they should pursue while enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences. This step is merely the consummation of a movement already begun and carried, though perhaps unconsciously, a good way forward at Cornell. Nor need any apology be made for it. No one can deny that the idea of liberal education, precious though it is, is to-day so vague and uncertain that neither professor nor student gets any light from it in his educational work. The proposal, therefore, is to give the undergraduate guidance in the choice of his studies and inspiration in the pursuit of his work by having him in his arts course study, among other subjects, a goodly number of those which bear directly upon his future life-work. It may even be that American educators will recover the now obscured idea of liberal education by carefully training students for the various intellectual vocations. And it would undoubtedly promote greater seriousness and studiousness among undergraduates in arts if, by eighteen or pineteen years of age, they were urged to select their future vocations, as prospective engineers and lawyers often do at the present time, and to pursue their studies with reference to them.

This leads to the consideration of a third obstacle with which a modern college of arts is confronted. And this obstacle is not merely national but world-wide in its existence and operation. It is especially conspicuous in old universities to which a large proportion of undergraduates in arts go more for pleasure than for study, more for subsequent social recognition than for present intellectual attainment. It was fully discussed recently in England, when Bishop Gore declared in the House of Lords that Oxford and Cambridge Universities had declined from their position of intellectual centres of the country to become the playground of the wealthier classes. And a few years ago it was stated in a faculty report on improving instruction in Harvard College-a report based mainly on replies to inquiries received from students (to the number of 1,757)that “the average amount of study is discreditably small." Formerly only the picked boys were sent to college in the United States. But nowadays rich and well-to-do parents send their sons to college as in summer they send them to the seashore and the mountains. Undoubtedly it is a great advantage for the boys, but they create serious problems for the universities they frequent, especially for the academic department or college of liberal arts, in which they are generally enrolled.

It cannot be said that the College of Arts of Cornell has suffered from a large influx of this class of students. The majority of students in the University come from families of narrow means, and this is as true of the College of Arts as of any other division of the University. Nevertheless the undergraduates of that College have among their fellow students the reputation of doing less work than other

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