Page images
PDF
EPUB

With the enactment of the Smith-Lever law, the land-grant college had been developed into a distinctive institution that defined its character and function in terms different from those of the ordinary college or university. It afforded resident instruction in the practical sciences, industrial arts, business, engineering, agriculture, teacher training, and liberal arts. It conducted research into every phase of agriculture through its experiment station. It provided demonstration and instruction in agriculture and home economics to citizens residing in every corner of the State. The land-grant college became increasingly an active agency in the economic, industrial, and social advancement of the Nation. It became a great educational force in the utilization of the physical resources of the country. Higher learning was no longer confined to the narrow limits of the classics, letters, and cultural arts. The monopoly of learning that once existed in the early days of the American Republic had vanished.

In the succeeding years, other important Federal enactments were made giving financial aid to the land-grant colleges and affecting their educational programs. Congress passed the Smith-Hughes Act in 1917, providing for the promotion of vocational education in agriculture, trades, home economics and industrial subjects and for the training of teachers in these subjects. The Nelson amendment of 1907, which furnished funds to the land-grant institutions for the preparation of teachers in the elements of agriculture and mechanic arts, was the forerunner and in a sense the real inspiration for this new law. Under the terms of the Smith-Hughes Act a National Board for Vocational Education was created and in each State a local board was established. The local boards with the approval of the national board were authorized to select the colleges in their States where teachers were to be trained in vocational subjects. As a result, the land-grant colleges have been chosen in 36 States to conduct this work and receive incomes in varying amounts from the Federal Smith-Hughes appropriations. The amount of funds for teacher training furnished by the National Government is shown in the following quotations from the act :

That for the purpose of cooperating with the States in preparing teachers. supervisors, and directors in agricultural subjects and teachers of trade and industrial and home economics subjects, there is hereby appropriated for the use of the States for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, the sum of $500.000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919, the sum of $700,000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, the sum of $900,000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921, the sum of $1,000,000. Said sums shall be allotted to the States in the proportion which their population bears to the total population of the United States, not including outlying possessions, according to the last preceding United States census :

Provided, That the allotments of funds to any State shall not be less than a minimum of $5,000 for any fiscal year prior to and including the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919, nor less than $10,000 for any year thereafter. And there is hereby appropriated the following sums, or so much thereof as may be needed, which shall be used for the purpose of providing the minimum allotment provided for in this section: For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, the sum of $46,000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919, the sum of $32,000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920, the sum of $24,000; for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1921, and annually thereafter, the sum of $90,000.

Another important Federal enactment expanding the type of research to be conducted by the agricultural experiment stations and providing additional annual subsidies to defray the cost was the Purnell Act of 1925. The measure was sponsored in Congress by Representative Fred S. Purnell, of Indiana. Its principal feature was that the expenditure of the funds was limited to the specific purposes outlined as follows:

The funds appropriated pursuant to this act shall be applied only to paying the necessary expenses of conducting investigations or making experiments bearing directly on the production, manufacture, preparation, use, distribution and marketing of agricultural products, and include such scientific researches as have for their purpose the establishment and maintenance of a permanent and efficient agricultural industry, and such economic and sociological investigations as have for their purpose the development and improvement of the rural home and rural life, and for the printing and disseminating of the results of said researches. 20

For the first time research in the fields of rural economics, sociology, and home economics was emphasized as a part of the program of the agricultural experiment stations. The annual support of the stations by the Federal Government was increased $30,000 to $90,000 annually by the Purnell Act. It provided for an increase of $20,000 for the year 1926 with a further increase of $10,000 annually until 1930 when the appropriation was to continue at this figure every year thereafter. The stations are now receiving their full quota of $90,000 annually from the Federal Government, but the research into economic, sociological, and home economics problems has not yet had time to produce any widespread effects in these fields.

The latest measure increasing Federal funds to the land-grant colleges was the Capper-Ketcham Act, which was passed by Congress and approved by President Coolidge in May, 1928. It provided additional appropriations for cooperative extension in agriculture and home economics under the terms of the original Smith-Lever Act. An additional $980,000 annually was appropriated to further develop the work of which $20,000 was to go to each State and the Territory of Hawaii annually conditional upon their acceptance of the provisions of the law. There was also appropriated for the fiscal year following that in which this appropriation became available and for each subsequent year the sum of $500,000. In order that the colleges may receive the benefits of the additional funds under the Capper-Ketcham Act, the amounts must be matched either by the States, counties, or colleges or through local contributions in the States. A special provision of the act stipulated that 80 per cent of the appropriations should be utilized for the payment of salaries of county extension agents to develop the cooperative extensive system in agriculture and home economics with men, women, boys, and girls.

20 Purnell Act, 1925.

The foregoing historic sketch has been limited almost entirely to the influences of the National Government in the development of the land-grant colleges. Most of them actually came into existence through the stimulus of Federal law. The Congress of the United States originally prescribed the type of college that was to be operated and the character of education that was to be provided. During the entire period of their development the major educational policies of the institutions have been based upon the provisions of Federal statutes making appropriations to assist in their support. It must be remembered, however, that the States are primarily responsible for defraying the principal costs of their maintenance and for stimulating their growth into leading institutions of higher education. To the people of the States who have carried the burden of taxation and to the broad vision of local leadership developed within the States do the land-grant colleges chiefly owe their success.

PART II.-CONTROL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION

Chapter I.-State Relationships

The land-grant college or university is essentially a State institution. Although in most cases originally established by public land grants from the Federal Government and at present the recipient of subsidies from this source, it is distinctly a State-operated establishment and an integral part of the public educational system of the State. Its organization and its activities are defined either by the State constitution or by the statutes enacted by the State legislature. Its physical plant is public State property.

Because of their distinct purposes and functions the land-grant colleges and universities at the time of their foundation were segregated from the regular State governmental organizations and departments. A separate board involving a virtual trusteeship was created in most cases to govern and administer them subject to the provisions of the general State laws and to the limitations of the State appropriations made for their support. The purpose of this isolation was to take their management out of the hands of the changing political administrations of the regular State governments and to free them from the influence and control of the politically constituted State departments, offices, and agencies. Service on the governing boards has carried the obligation that trusteeship implies. The members generally serve without pay or remuneration.

The purpose of this chapter is to show the relationships existing at present between the institutions and the State governments. State agencies and officials exercise a considerable degree of direct and indirect control over the administration and supervision of the business activities of the colleges. This control has a direct effect on the academic functions of the institutions. Recent reorganizations of State governments, the creation of State budget systems, the establishment of State departments of administration and control, the extension of the power of State agencies over disbursements, purchasing, printing, travel, auditing, accounting, and other functions of the institutions have in many instances tended to further limit or

« PreviousContinue »