Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

North Carolina State College
North Dakota Agricultural Col-

Ohio State University.
Oklahoma Agricultural and Me-

chanical College
Oregon Agricultural College
Rhode Island State College
Clemson Agricultural College
South Dakota State College
University of Tennessee.
Agricultural and Mechanical Col-

lege of Texas..
Agricultural College of Utah
Virginia Agricultural and Me-

chanical College..
State College of Washington.
University of Wisconsin
University of Wyoming-


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

111,683 students, or 12.5 per cent, were disciplined.

Next to the amount of time that the dean of women gives to individual conferences and to social and disciplinary matters comes the amount of time that she gives to work with organizations on the campus. The most important of these is the student-governing organization known on almost all campuses as the Women's SelfGovernment Association. In 34 of the land-grant institutions reporting on Miss McGlade's questionnaire, there was such an organization, and in 28 it worked in very close cooperation with the office of the dean of women. Unfortunately no question was asked as to the dean's actual membership on these 34 student-government boards. A study made by Miss Thyrsa Amos, dean of women of the University of Pittsburgh, in 1925, and presented to the National Association of Deans of Women at the meeting of that year, shows that the constitutions of the great majority of the colleges where a women's student-government association existed at that time provided for the presence of the dean of women ex officio as an advisory member of the governing board.

The same thing is true of the dean of women's relation to the governing body of the sororities. Thirty-four of the land-grant institutions have sororities on their campuses, while eight have none. In 34 there is a Pan-Hellenic organization which arbitrates matters between the sororities. The dean of women in many of these councils sits with the students in an advisory though not a voting capacity. In 26 of the land-grant institutions the dean of women approves the residence of the students in sorority houses, approves sorority chaperons before their appointment, and in general supervises the living conditions in the sorority houses just as she does in other approved residences for women.

It is interesting to see that the old idea of the dean of women as a sort of glorified housemother, busying herself almost exclusively with the physical conditions under which the women students live, is gradually disappearing. In only 17 of the land-grant institutions does the dean of women still reside in the dormitory. In the rest her living conditions are what she herself may choose to make them. In 20 of the land-grant institutions the dean of women, or some one in her office, assigned the residents to their dormitory rooms, while in 10 she did not concern herself with this particular function.

In nine it was a duty very definitely assigned to other officers of the institutions, such as the director of dormitories, the head resident in each dormitory, and in one institution, the registrar. Three of the land-grant institutions have no dormitories and two made no report on this matter. In only nine cases did the dean of women purchase the supplies and furnishings of the dormitories, although in seven additional ones she advised with some other institutional officer whose duty it was to make the selection. In 22 she did not concern herself with this matter; in 3 there were no dormitories and 1 did not reply. In only 5 of the land-grant institutions did she have anything to do with the collection of dormitory rents, while in 27 this was entirely the work of other officers.

The former preoccupation of the dean of women with the institutional dormitories tends to be something of the past. In several of the institutions where the dean of women apparently had final decision concerning the assignment of dormitory rooms and the purchasing of furnishings, the replies indicated that some assistant in her office did the actual work, and that the dean stepped in only when difficulties arose in special cases. Much more of the time of the dean of women is given to matters which have a direct bearing on the academic life of the institution.

In 29 of the land-grant institutions replying to Miss McGlade's questionnaire the dean of women approved the outside residences in which the women students were housed, while in 4 she did not. In three additional institutions it was the work of some one in her office. In 26 of the institutions the placing of women who had to earn their way by working for room and board was in the office of the dean of women, although in only a few cases was it the work of the dean herself.

The dean of women sits on a great many committees in the institutions. She was a member of the scholarship committee in 17 of the land-grant institutions by virtue of her office; in 11 she was not a member of the scholarship committee; and in 14 her membership was not ex officio but an individual faculty appointment.

In 13 of the institutions all of the grades of women students were kept in her office, while in 17 they were not; in 4 the grades of the poor students only were kept there; in 1 the women student averages were in her office; in 1 they were about to be filed there; in 2, while not kept in her office, were readily accessible; and in 1 she handled only the grades of the freshmen and sophomores and of poor students in the upper classes; in 3 there was no reply to this question.

In 13 of the institutions there was a social committee variously named, such as “the committee on student life," “ the faculty committee on social affairs,” and “the joint student and faculty committee on social affairs.” The dean of women was a member of the committee under whatever name it functioned in the institutions. She was frequently chairman of it, apparently dividing this responsibility about equally with the dean of men in the institutions which have such an office.

The registry of all social affairs in the institution and the approval of chaperons were in her office in 11 of the institutions reporting, and in 13 in that of the chairman of the social affairs committee. The two institutions make no effort to register social affairs, regarding that as a purely student enterprise. One does not register or approve chaperons for college social functions, but the other does so through the office of the dean of women.

The deans of women were asked to indicate how close their cooperation was with the scholarship committee, with the medical department, with the physical education department, and with the psychology department. The closest cooperation was indicated with the physical education department, 37 replying that they worked very intimately with the directors of physical education for women. Cooperation with the medical department and the scholarship committee was about the same in all the institutions, 33 indicating that it was very close. The psychology department seemed to be used less frequently by the office of the dean of women, as only 25 answered that they had close cooperation here and 2 answered that they had no cooperation; 15 did not reply.

Through knowledge of the living conditions of the individual student, her social affiliations, her general health, and her vocational interests, the dean of women can aid the student on the scholastic side perhaps more effectively than anyone else in the institution. For this reason it is encouraging that she is a member of the scholarship committee in 31 institutions. If she is the right person for the position, she should be a member of the scholarship committee on every campus; if she is not adapted to work with the scholarship committee, she probably is not the right person for the position.

It is a little surprising to find that the deans of women report less complete cooperation with the psychology department than with the other departments of the institutions, since the psychological tests which are given each student on entrance to the institutions are, for the most part, recorded in the department of psychology and are available through that department. It would seem that the cooperation between these two departments should be strengthened.

The teaching done by the deans of women in the land-grant colleges is not heavy. Only 6 reported that they taught more than six hours per week, while 14 reported that they taught less than six hours per week; 22 did not reply. The fields of teaching were varied. Nine deans taught in the English department, 1 in Latin, 4 in the social sciences, 5 in home economics, 1 in education, 2 in hygiene, and 1 in vocations. At the time in American colleges when the adviser to women students was known by the title of dean, the advocates of her academic influence were clamorous in insisting that she should teach and that she should teach in fields where her work would be on an equality with that of men professors. This insistence aimed to magnify her academic importance and to minimize her function of " counter of the bed sheets.” The women who have occupied the position of dean of women in the land-grant institutions, however, have proved their value administratively to the point where it is now no longer necessary for them to assert their academic dignity by maintaining a teaching program. The consensus of opinion among deans of women in recent years seems to be that while there is no objection to her teaching, if she finds that her other duties permit her proper time for preparation and for meeting her classes, her more important functions are outside the classroom and may, if fully met, preclude the possibility of her keeping regular class hours.

The growth of the work in the office of the dean of women has demonstrated that no one person can handle it unaided. Consequently in the land-grant institutions the dean is given assistants.

Eight institutions give the dean of women an assistant dean and a secretary ; five, an assistant dean, a stenographer, a secretary, and student help; five, a secretary only; four, a stenographer only; two, an assistant dean and secretary combined; one, an assistant dean and student help; one, an assistant dean; and one, a social director who acts as assistant dean; one, the part time of three stenographers; one, two assistant deans and a half-time stenographer; one, a secretary and student help; while one dean reports a full-time social director, a full-time director of housing, a full-time secretary, a part-time vocational adviser, and student help. Ten of the land-grant institutions gave no answer on this question of office force.

In 40 of the land-grant institutions the dean of women had a private office and in 33 this private office was equipped with a waiting room. The physical setup of the office has a very direct bearing on the efficiency of work with students. It would seem to go without saying that the office should be private, so that interviews may be held in confidence. This can never be accomplished where other students are in the same room waiting their turn for conference. Of course this statement is just as true of student interviews with the dean of men, the health officer, the psychiatrist, and in many cases the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, as it is of interviews with the dean of women. A waiting room is a necessity for another reason also. The assistant to the dean, whether she be an assistant dean, a stenographer, a secretary, or only a student helper, can dispose of the many random inquiries that come to the office, so that the time of the dean herself may be available for students who need her advice and judgment. Moreover, it is an excellent thing if the dean's private office can be equipped with two exits, the one leading through the waiting room, and another which may enable a student who has had a disturbing interview to leave without running the gauntlet of other waiting candidates. If it is a possible thing, it is highly desirable that the office should also be equipped with private toilet facilities so that a student may repair any signs of her stormy emotions before she has to face the outer world.

In passing, one might add that the dean of women will get far better results with her students (and one suspects that this will hold true to the dean of men also) if her office is furnished in a way that makes it not too obstrusively businesslike, and if the chairs where the students are to be seated are disarming in their comfort and invitation to relaxation. Since the dean of women's approach to student

« PreviousContinue »