Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub

the University owes to certain funds $41,485.79, and to complete contracts already made further appropriations of $20,718.02 will be necessary.

The total deficit, therefore, on August ist, 1907, was $86.303.37. Of this amount $72,645.08 is an inheritance from the disastrous epidemic year

of 1903

.

The income and expenditures of the State Colleges at Cornell University are also shown in the preceding tables. There is, however, no item which calls for any special exexplanation.

Reference has been made in recent Reports to the bequest of the late Willard Fiske to establish another endowment fund for the library. Since August ist, 1906, the University has received from the executors of the estate $188,531.00. During the same period $105,000.oo has been received from the executors of the F. W. Guiteau estate to increase the F. W. Guiteau Student Loan Fund. Mrs. Dean Sage has continued her annual gifts by adding another $15,000.00 to the endowment of the preachership in Sage Chapel established by her husband. A timely and most helpful gift was received from Dr. Charles H. Roberts of Oakes, Ulster County, New York, for the promotion of agricultural education. Dr. Roberts turned over to the University $30,000.00, the income of which is to be used for the support of five equal annual scholarships in the College of Agriculture to be known as the “Charles H. Roberts Scholarships”, numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The splendid generosity of the Founder and constant Patron of the Cornell University Medical College in New York City has met all the demands made by that necessarily expensive department, alike in the field of investigation and instruction. How the money which he so generously supplies can be used to the best advantage for the promotion of medical science and education and for the highest welfare of the College is a

problem now engrossing the most serious attention of the Trustees, the President, and the Faculty of Medicine.

SUPPORT OF HIGHER EDUCATION

It appears from the condensed table of the income of Cornell University for the year 1906–1907 that, including the unusual item of $52,554.78, it amounted to $1,270,875.67. Of this amount scarcely one third-$409,873.51—was received from students in the form of tuition, laboratory, and other fees. Excluding State Colleges, the income of the University at Ithaca was $908,638.23, and of this sum more than one third-$362,149.73—was received from students in the form of tuition, laboratory, and other fees. The income of the State Veterinary College from all sources amounted to $29,815.59, of which (as tuition is free to New York State students) only $3,225.20 was received from students. The total income of the State Agricultural College was $144,059.09, of which (as tuition is free to agricultural students) only $4,565.25 was received from students paying fees collected for laboratory and other charges. In the Medical College in New York City the total income amounted to $188,362.76, of which $39,933.33 was received from students in the form of charges for tuition and laboratory and other fees.

There are only three sources of revenue for colleges and universities. These are public taxation, private munificence, and charges on students for instruction and the facilities of instruction. In the eastern states the fees collected from students are already in general higher than they ought to be, in some cases far higher. If the Republic is to remain a democracy, there must be ap educational ladder extending from the gutter to the commencement stage, which may be ascended by the talanted, studious, and diligent children of the poor as well as by those of the well-todo and the rich. Every advance in the fees charged for tuition and other purposes in colleges and universities tends to exclude a certain portion of our population from the benefits of the higher education. And it is conceivable that these fees might be raised to such a figure that liberal culture and professional training should become the monopoly of that minority of Americans who can afford to spend at least hundreds of dollars annually on the education of each of their children. Under such conditions there would result an unjust and dangerous alliance of capital and brains--an aristocracy of wealth in combination with an aristocracy of trained talent. Short of socialism there is no feasible scheme for equalization of wealth. But educational opportunities can be opened equally to the children of the poor and the children of the rich ; and America is the last place in the world in which this equality of educational opportunity on the highest plane should be abolished by the barriers of high fees for instruction.

In the western states this difficulty is obviated by the reduction of the student's fees to a nominal figure and the imposition of taxes for the support of the universities, which are state institutions. These state universities are rapidly developing; and in the numbers of students and efficiency of instructors the best of them are destined at no distant date to become honorable rivals of the larger and more celebrated universities of the east. If the privately endowed university is to hold its own in this fraternal competition with the state-supported university, there should be reduction in the charges for tuition which will open its doors as freely to the capable and deserving sons of the poor as the doors of the state-supported university now are. But this reversion to democracy in education, from which high tuition fees are a veritable deviation, is impossible without far larger endowments than any eastern university now possesses. The crux of the problem of higher education in America is therefore this : Will men of wealth support it so that it may be accessible to the sons and daughters of the

poor?

The figures given above show that tuition in Cornell University is free in the Agricultural College and free to New York State students in the Veterinary College, both of which are supported by the State. For the reasons stated in the preceding paragraphs the President believes this to be an ideal arrangement for the colleges aud universities in a democracy. If in practice this ideal be unattainable, if weight be laid on the indubitable fact that many students can afford to pay for their education, for which therefore a fee should be charged, the President is still of the opinion that the fee should be a moderate one and that free tuition should be afforded to indigent students of character and ability to whom the imposition of the charge might prove a real obstacle. Although the fees at Cornell University are lower than in most of the large eastern universities, the President would like to see them lower still. The charges now range from one hundred dollars in arts and sciences to one hundred and fifty in medicine and engineering. And it is clear from the preceding paragraphs that these fees can not be lowered unless the University receives an augmentation of its endowment funds for that purpose. Another measure of relief in the interest of the children of the workers of the country, of all who come from straitened homes, would be the endowment of scholarships carrying free tuition to needy and meritorious students. The F. W. Guiteau Student Loan Fund, of which the principal may ultimately amount to over $200,000 oo, and the smaller fund established by Mr. Guiteau's sister, Mrs. Nancy G. Howe, are examples of the benefits which men and women of wealth have it in their power to confer on poor but deserving and capable students. Under the rules already established it is necessary that the recipients of benefits from these funds shall have been in the University for two years and have made a satisfactory record as regards scholarship and character. But funds are needed which shall be available at the time when the majority of indigent young persons must either have assistance or the prospect of assistance, if they are not to forego altogether the advantages of a higher education ; to wit, towards the close of their preparatory period in the high school or academy.

It is an incalculable loss, not only to the individuals themselves, but to the community, when youth endowed with rare gifts and capacities are suffered to grow up without receiving the highest training. These glorious sports of Nature might have been of untold benefit to society had not "chill penury repressed their noble rage, and froze the genial current of the soul.” And so small a percentage of the population is born with these exceptional talents that no nation can neglect them with impunity. According to Mr. Galton only one person in four thousand is endowed with special aptitudes, and only one in a million has a soul pregnant with that celestial fire which is called genius. No one can tell whence these exceptional children come ; their appearance baffles all insight into organisms and environments; but it is certain that, as there are more cottages and hovels than there are palaces, most of them emerge among the masses of the people. Now as with the masses of the people their daily labor merely suffices to meet their daily wants, it follows that the highest education will not be accessible to the majority of young persons who have been endowed with rich natural gifts unless special arrangements are made to supplement the efforts and stimulate the ambition of their parents and of themselves. It is the highest

« ͹˹Թõ
 »