Report to the Alumni, 1952-53 (by A. Whitney Griswold)
(Third annual report, November, 1953)
For the past three years external affairs, particularly those relating to the financing and the rights and responsibilities of universities, have assumed such importance to Yale that I have been at pains to bring them to the attention of the alumni in place of matters More germane to the actual process of education. In my first two annual reports I tried to show Yale's relative position in American (and British) higher education with respect to available and potential economic resources. Last winter I had the honor of serving as chairman of a committee of the Association of American Universities that drew up the report entitled "The Rights and Responsibilities of Universities and Their Faculties." This report, adopted unanimously by the Association and approved by the Yale Corporation, was extensively circulated by the press and reached the alumni in its entirety in the Alumni Magazine.In both cases I hoped my efforts would help the alumni arrive at a consensus not only as to basic facts and principles but also as to their ultimate disposition.
Notwithstanding the transcendent importance of these matters, it would be fatal if we allowed them to distract us from recent developments within the process of education itself. For here, as I pointed out at the alumni luncheon last June, we find trends in progress that threaten not only the institutional security of American education but its very mind and spirit. It is high time we took note of these trends. If they are allowed to continue they might easily produce an educational collapse and cultural setback from which neither Yale nor any other university could escape. I propose therefore to devote this report to a discussion of these trends, to show how they affect Yale, to describe what Yale is doing about them and to suggest what else she might be doing.
At the moment the trends show up most vividly in our school system, in acute shortages of schoolrooms and teachers. I have several times referred to these shortages and suggested what they might mean to Yale. But the estimates are constantly being revised upward. The latest I have at hand may be summarized as follows: In 1952-53 our total elementary school enrollment was 25,000,000 and our secondary school enrollment 6,600,000 (including, in both cases, both public and private schools). If the present rate of increase continues as expected it will give us an elementary school enrollment of between 3o and 32 million by 196o, which would project itself into a secondary school enrollment of 11 to 12 million by 1965. We can imagine how this in turn will swell our present higher education enrollment of around 2,000,000.
These trends have already created a shortage of classrooms which, despite our best efforts to date, stands at 325,000 and is expected to increase by another 425,000 by 1960. The results of this shortage are overcrowding, double and often triple sessions, fire and health hazards, and consequent deterioration in discipline and instruction. Far worse is the shortage of teachers. Here we discover the alarming fact that in face of the rapidly increasing enrollment of students the supply of teachers is actually declining. The projected need for properly trained and qualified elementary school teachers in the fall of 1953 was 160,000, against which our colleges produced last year only 36,000. To provide for a secondary school enrollment that is on its way to doubling itself we turned out 86,000 secondary school teachers in 1950; 73,000 in 1951; 61,000 in 1952; and 55,000 in 1953. "The public has been repeatedly advised," declares the 1953 Teacher Supply and Demand Report of the National Education Association, "that the American school system is rapidly moving into a new era. The facts have been literally shouted from the housetops. . . . Yet scarcely anywhere is there evidence of adequate steps being taken to meet this crisis." This arithmetic affords us only a quick barometric reading of conditions which would take another Dickens to depict and will take the best wisdom and energy this country is able to put forth to correct. Their immediate result is a nationwide depreciation of educational standards accompanied by an inordinate waste of human resources.
How does all this affect Yale? Our colleges and universities depend upon the schools for their most essential raw material, and if the schools cannot or do not send them properly qualified material the whole fabric of higher education becomes a bridge built upon rotten pilings. Students who have been hustled through overcrowded and undisciplined classrooms, taught by over-worked, underpaid, and improperly qualified teachers, and nurtured on subjects that do not constantly stretch their minds and expand their vision are poor material for college or university. The results of such education cannot fail to undermine the standards of both the liberal arts colleges and the graduate and professional schools of the universities. Nor have they failed to do so.
It is true that the worst effects of the trends cited above should not be felt in higher education for another decade, and it is possible that they may never be felt at Yale. Indeed the reports of our undergraduate deans show constantly improving academic achievement, particularly on the part of public high school graduates. I would make two comments about this achievement. First, it is the exception rather than the rule throughout the country. Second, it is measured by standards which may themselves have become a little corrupted. The two comments may seem to contradict each other. The first implies that Yale's academic standards are higher than the average and that we select, especially from the public schools, better than average students to meet them. To the best of my knowledge and belief, both of these facts are true. That our standards have not been wholly impervious to the crisis in the schools is, I believe, also true.
It was my own recent experience as a teacher in Yale College to find in my classroom each year a growing number of students who, though they might (and did) score high marks for their knowledge of the subject of the course, might have failed it altogether if I had graded them in rhetoric. Before me as I write is the annual report of the dean of one of our professional schools which complains of "widespread illiteracy among college graduates . . . want of competence effectively to read, write and spell the English language and even more to read, spell or write any foreign language . . . accordingly . . . want of capacity to acquire and apply intelligence." Beside it is a letter from a professor of economics, a distinguished graduate of European universities and former member of their faculties who has taught at both Yale and Harvard, expressing dismay at the "near illiteracy" of his graduate students in both institutions. "Few of them," he says, "know how to write, and some don't even know how to read. The main trouble undoubtedly lies with our primary and secondary education, and I am not sure how much of it could still be remedied by appropriate reforms in our undergraduate curriculum. I am afraid it may be too late by then to make up some of the deficiencies in the students' earlier training. Still, it has to be attempted . . ." With half our undergraduates now entering professional schools and nearly all undergoing some form of professional or quasi-professional training after graduation, the urgency of the attempt is indicated.
I have selected this evidence from our own faculty at random. I could multiply it many times from business and industrial as well as professional and academic sources. I might go on to show that the conditions it reveals at Yale are not as bad as they are elsewhere. That would be a poor way to make them appear satisfactory at Yale. It proves, I think, that in education as in commerce, when bad money gets into circulation it drives out good, and the process is only intensified as the latter is hoarded. Yale can neither profit by other people's misfortunes nor isolate herself from their effects. That these should be felt as keenly at Yale as they are today suggests what might happen if they should continue unabated until 1960.
I have cited the two most obvious causes of these conditions: the shortage of facilities and the shortage of teachers. The criticism I have quoted from Yale sources points to a third cause, less obvious, perhaps, but certainly no less important. This is the decline of the liberal arts as a force in our national educational system. These studies are disappearing under a layer of vocational and other substitutes like the landscape in the ice age, only this glacier reaches from coast to coast and border to border. With all due exceptions, of which Yale is and I believe will continue to be one, and all honor and power to those exceptions, the attitude of most educational institutions toward this trend varies from mild concern to indifference and cheerful acquiescence.
Alas, no substitutes have been found for reading and writing. The practice and enjoyment of these skills in an ever widening orbit and on an ever ascending plane are both ends and means to the liberal arts. If deficiencies in the skills show up in colleges and even in the highly selective graduate schools of universities, do they not betray a comprehensive deficiency of the parent discipline? At a meeting of the Association of American Universities last year a distinguished dean from another institution, deploring the phenomenon, attributed it to the failure of the schools. I have heard school teachers blame it on the colleges. The argument moves in a vicious circle, leaving untouched the central fact that both schools and colleges and through them American civilization are denying themselves the benefits of studies which, for two thousand years, throughout western civilization, have been esteemed as the key to the good life as well as to all true academic achievement.
The point is substantiated by more disturbing evidence. While over half the nation's youth finishes high school and a fifth (of the whole) goes on to some form of higher education, this group includes less than half of those best qualified for such education. Of the top quarter in intellectual ability, per cent do not continue for financial reasons, and 40 per cent--a proportion exactly equal to that which does continue--for lack of motivation.
That so large a proportion of our best college material eschews higher education for such a reason is a fact that requires much interpretation. It is a composite of environment, chance, social status, geography, and other elements and influences. Is it not, too, further proof of our neglect of the liberal arts? The whole impulse and tendency of the liberal arts is to encourage the individual to make the most of all educational opportunities within reach and constantly to seek new ones. If the parents and teachers of these "unmotivated" young men and women had themselves been steeped in the liberal arts would they not have communicated this impulse to their children and students? If their schools had afforded anything like proper introductions to the liberal arts, would the impulse have been lost? The voluntary rejection of higher education by so many Americans capable of profiting by it proves to my satisfaction at least that the grain cannot grow where the seed has not been planted. We can only speculate as to how much talent is wasted in the process--certainly much that would bring credit to Yale and benefit to society. This is another measure of the practical price society pays for its impractical evaluation of the liberal arts.
We are confused over the very meaning of the phrase, let alone the subjects of study for which it stands. It has acquired connotations of special privilege and preciosity. At the risk of laboring the obvious, therefore, let us recall that, as it is used here, the word "liberal" comes from the Latin liber meaning "free"; that the proper meaning of the phrase "liberal arts" is "the arts becoming to a free man"; and that from earliest times these have included the sciences (in the Middle Ages, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy). [ Author's footnote: The others were grammar, rhetoric, logic and music. ] In other words the liberal arts are rooted in freedom, not privilege, and they are broad, not narrow, in educational scope.
It is true that both Greek and medieval society restricted to a minority the number of those who were truly free, hence fully qualified as beneficiaries of the arts becoming a free man. In Greek times, these were the guardians of a fundamentally undemocratic society; in medieval times, aristocrats, clergy, and wandering scholars. It is also true that this identification of the liberal arts with special orders of society dies hard in modern Britain and Europe. It grew out of a constricting interpretation of the meaning of freedom rather than a constriction inherent in the meaning of the liberal arts, and it gained currency in the United States through inverted snobbism as well as ignorance of the facts. It is as much at variance with our cardinal principle of equal opportunity as it is with the true meaning of the liberal arts.
The notion that the liberal arts are for the rara avis is no less difficult to explain though often more difficult to dispel. Perhaps it is attributable to the rather narrow, literal meaning our workaday society attaches to the word "arts." Thus the busy father discussing college with his son advises against "impractical" courses that will not help him in business. Or the scientist or engineer stresses professional purposes with which he believes the liberal arts to be incompatible. In this the champions of the liberal arts themselves have not been altogether blameless. They have been guilty of smugness and at times have seemed content to live on rote and reputation. Such, for example, appears to have been the case in British education in 1835 when Macaulay wrote in desperation:
Give a boy Robinson Crusoe. That is worth all the grammars of rhetoric and logic in the world. . . . Who ever reasoned better for having been taught the difference between a syllogism and an enthymeme? Who ever composed with greater spirit and elegance because he could define an oxymoron or an aposiopesis? I am not joking but writing quite seriously when I say that I would much rather order a hundred copies of Jack the Giant-Killer for our schools than a hundred copies of any grammar of rhetoric or logic that ever was written.
The same impatience with a curriculum whose claims were pretentious but whose elements and purposes had become obscure heralded the advent of the elective system in our own schools and colleges half a century later.
All these impressions of the liberal arts rest upon a quantitative fallacy. They emphasize content as distinct from quality and spirit. If the critic reasons on this basis he may discount the liberal arts as severely as Dickens' Mr. Podsnap, who thought they should represent, reflect, and conduce to "getting up at eight, shaving close at a quarter-past, breakfasting at nine, going to the City at ten, coming home at halfpast five, and dining at seven. Nothing else to be permitted to those same vagrants the Arts, on pain of excommunication." Or, evidently, as their exemplars were doing when Macaulay found them exuberating in oxymorons and enthymemes and plumped for Robinson Crusoe. Or as the scientist does who forgets that science is part of the liberal arts; or the professional man who asks what Greek or Latin have to do with law or medicine or engineering.
The purpose of the liberal arts is not to teach businessmen business, or grammarians grammar, or college students Greek and Latin (which have disappeared from their required curricula). It is to awaken and develop the intellectual and spiritual powers in the individual before he enters upon his chosen career, so that he may bring to that career the greatest possible assets of intelligence, resourcefulness, judgment, and character. It is, in John Stuart Mill's telling phrase, to make "capable and cultivated human beings." "Men are men," Mill said, "before they are lawyers or physicians or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers or physicians." I know of no better statement of the purpose of the liberal arts nor any that so firmly establishes their place in a national educational system that is dedicated, as ours is, to the preparation of men and women not just for intellectual pursuits but for life.
From this statement we may proceed as Mill himself did to the conclusion that the liberal arts and many of the studies thought to be in competition with them are not competitors but allies. This was Mill's pronouncement on the conflict that raged in his day between the old classical studies" and the "new scientific studies." Mill denied that this conflict had any foundation in principle whatsoever, declaring that "it is only the stupid inefficiency of the usual teaching which makes those studies be regarded as competitors instead of allies." There is even less reason for such a conflict of principles today. The "old classical studies" have been greatly enriched by the infusion of history, philosophy, literature, language, and the fine arts into the erstwhile domain of the grammarian and logician. Scientific studies never were "new" to the liberal arts, as they claimed three of the original seven. The social studies--economics, anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology--have found their place in the sun alongside of language and literature. The very term "liberal arts" has given way in professional academic usage to the term "general education," with its obviously broader implications as to content and method. Every trade, profession, and vocation has an equal interest in "capable and cultivated human beings." How could this represent a conflict of principle?
It does not. The idea of a conflict of principle represents ignorance of the facts with its usual by-products of misunderstanding and prejudice. That this is so should give us courage to attack these ancient enemies of learning. But where do we begin? With the conditions cited at the beginning of this report--the shortage of schoolrooms, the dearth of teachers? What can Yale do about them? Could we not turn our backs on them and count on our reputation to bring us our quota of exceptional or specially privileged individual students? Quite apart from its morality when viewed in the light of our charter, our aims and ideals as a national university, and our tax exempt status, such a policy would surely defeat itself. We have seen how the general deterioration of educational standards is already being felt in our undergraduate and professional schools. To turn our backs on this would be to court disaster. For our own sake as well as for the country's we must face it and do something about. it.
We must and we can. Though we cannot produce a magic formula that will relieve the shortages of schoolrooms and teachers, we can do a number of things that will contribute to those results. Above all I would name two: First, we can maintain the liberal arts in the fullest possible health and vigor at Yale, and second, we can capitalize them as a motivating force in American education by improving and expanding our liberal arts training program for secondary school teachers. Both steps would lead directly to improved conditions in the schools as well as at Yale. For of this I am convinced: that if this country is to be shaken out of the trance that blinds it to the needs of its educational system, the great awakening will be brought about by parents and teachers steeped in the liberal arts and imbued with their spirit. It is both the duty and the opportunity of Yale to make this experience rich and fruitful for her own students and, through them, to bring this spirit powerfully to the assistance of American education.
I have spoken thus far of things we might and should be doing, as though we were not doing them at the moment. This is not true. In the last stages of the second World War a number of universities, Yale among them, sensing that all was not well in higher education, undertook to re-examine its fundamental principles and purposes. All were concerned with the same basic problem I have endeavored to state in these pages, namely the provision of a general, nonspecialized liberal arts program for their undergraduate students as a foundation for later undergraduate and graduate specialization. Out of such studies at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago and elsewhere came significant reports, prescribing (and setting in motion) much curricular revision and reorganization. It is regrettable, I think, that the Yale report, unlike the others mentioned, was never published, for it partook of the same quality and offered comment of no less general significance. At all events it ushered in a period of soul-searching and self-criticism on the part of our own faculty which has already produced notable results and which still continues.
Constructive as it has been, however, this stirring and searching has not closed the gap in our educational system. Its results have created something of a charmed circle within the orbit of higher education, and even here they have been neither exclusive nor conclusive. Side by side with the new programs, inconsistent practices have continued to flourish, and the programs themselves have been subject to frequent revision. By attacking the problem on an institutional rather than an individual basis, they failed to come to grips with the phase of it that lay within the orbit of secondary education. Whatever they may have accomplished elsewhere in particular or elsewhere in general (and I think what I say here is true for the country at large), at Yale they left this unfinished business: they continued to let too many students slip by, via detours and double standards; they failed to provide adequately, at either end, for the transition between school and college; and they contained no plans for the transfusion of the liberal arts into secondary education by schoolteachers properly oriented and trained for that purpose. But the interest of higher education in the liberal arts had been revived and a general education program that would redeem that interest had been started, and this was a great step forward.
The next step was forced upon us by the Korean war. The prospect of "peacetime" military service, whether through Selective Service or some form of universal military training and service, showed us, no longer abstractly but concretely, the indivisible responsibility of school and college in matters of general education. Students confronted by two years in the armed forces plus four of' college and three or more of professional school began to look around desperately for vocational or "preprofessional" offerings--anything that would speed up the interminable apprenticeship that stood between them and their projected careers. This, by the way, has been a universal trend, even in such traditional homes of the liberal arts as Great Britain and France. It has meant a universal setback for the liberal arts. That these countries should also be suffering from the trend is another and a compelling reason why we should take it seriously. At home it seemed as though the liberal arts were being ground between an upper millstone of vocationalism to which the weight of military service had now been added and a nether millstone of public indifference. The educational mill was grinding out skilled but uneducated human beings, American citizens who by Mill's standards were capable but uncultivated, Yale graduates who were deficient in reading and writing.
There was a gap somewhere and it had to be closed. Where was it? The colleges said, in the schools. The schools said, in the colleges. Both were right. Throughout the vast majority of our secondary schools, as I have already pointed out, the liberal arts were being smothered by vocationalism. But for this the colleges were themselves partly responsible. The elective rebellion against the old liberal arts college curriculum had run wild, and colleges were giving academic credit for everything from philosophy to, fly fishing. With the colleges setting such standards, how could the schools in their almost infinite diversity and their susceptibility to the moods of local boards be expected to do better? There are 75,000 public school districts in the United States, each one a highly and often pridefully autonomous community. The public high schools in these communities are attended by 92 per cent of the nation's youth enrolled in secondary education. Of the remainder, some 6 or 7 per cent attend private denominational institutions, and only 2 per cent or less private nondenominational. With this basic diversity, with only 40 per cent of the top quarter of the graduates of all these institutions sufficiently motivated to move on into any form of higher education, how could the colleges reproach the schools for neglecting Shakespeare for bookkeeping and automobile driving? What about the colleges who maintained million dollar gate receipts by giving football players academic credit for scrimmaging and basketball players credit for rhythms and tap dancing? So the argument raged across the country, a jumble of values and standards through which the properly motivated schoolboy picked his way with all the intrepidity of the early explorers, and Yale groped for her true and proper bearings.
In one way our problem was less difficult than that of many other colleges and universities, in another way more so. It was less difficult in that we still drew over half of our undergraduates from schools that were as eager as we were to redefine and revive the liberal arts in a viable program of general education. It was more difficult in that we were, by virtue of this fact, less influenced by the state of affairs in public secondary education, hence less aware of it and less well equipped to do anything about it. In fact, as I have already mentioned, we were somewhat blinded to that state of affairs by the remarkable performance of the public high school graduates who now comprised over 40 per cent of our own student body, a highly deceptive manifestation representing a highly selected and exceptional group of students.
It was natural, therefore, that we should take the first deliberate step toward solution of the problem in the company of old friends. This we did by participating with Harvard and Princeton, and Andover, Exeter, and Lawrenceville, three secondary schools that for years had sent the majority of their graduates to the three colleges and had closely cooperated with them in matters of curriculum, in a fresh study of the content and location of general education in the national educational system. The study was launched in 1950 by the headmaster, faculty, and members of the Alumni Educational Policy Committee of Andover and carried on during 1951-52 by a committee representing the six institutions on a grant from the Fund for the Advancement of Education. The whole project was known as the School and College Study of General Education.
The results of the study were published last fall under the title General Education in School and College, a book which has already attracted much attention in educational circles and, I am glad to say, among our alumni. It has many excellent features including clarity and brevity, and offers a number of significant conclusions of which I would here stress the following: First and foremost, it recognizes general education as essential to higher education, and the liberal arts as the essential ingredients of general education. Second, it recognizes once and for all that in the American system general education is the joint responsibility of secondary school and college, a unit consisting of the last two years of school and the first two years of college. From this it deduces (third) the imperative need for a smooth, orderly, and constantly ascending progression (the committee calls it "progression in strength") for the student in general education. Fourth, it finds this process at present cluttered and obstructed with waste, slow motion, duplication, and cross purposes, all frustrating and demoralizing to the student and inclining him to seek relief from boredom in extracurricular activities or vocational short cuts to his career. Fifth, of special interest in the light of conclusions drawn from motivation statistics earlier in this report, it holds that "the greatest single failure which appears from the evidence of our study is a failure to communicate to students the full meaning and purpose of a liberal education." And finally, for us to read in the same light, it declares, "The obvious should be stated at once. A love for learning depends overwhelmingly upon the personality, skill, knowledge and communicable enthusiasm of the individual teacher." These conclusions are buttressed by questionnaires submitted to recent graduates of the three schools and translated into educational policy in a number of specific programs for the components of general education: English, foreign languages, mathematics, the natural sciences, history, literature, etc. In short, the book defines the problem of general education more concretely than it had been defined to date, and makes eminently practical suggestions for its solution.
In various ways in addition to those mentioned we did what we could at Yale to cooperate with and encourage this undertaking. In June 1952, when the committee's final report was about ready for publication, I appointed a committee representing both the Freshman and College faculties and the Corporation, to take up the question where the university studies and reports of a decade ago and the new School and College Committee report left off, to study their implications for Yale, and to make recommendations to the faculty. A year later, the Committee completed the first phase of its work with a Report on General Education.
We hope the report may guide Yale in completing the essential first step toward a solution of the national problem of general education as I have outlined it in these pages, namely, to ensure that our part of the bargain, the two college years of general education, will be as rewarding as possible for all who enter it. We hope it will lead to a true progression in strength for our freshmen and sophomores consistent with our own standards and traditions and at the same time significant as an example in American education generally.
To provide a counterpart for secondary school teachers, without which the undergraduate program of general education would be but one crutch where two are needed, we have not gone as far as we have with our undergraduate plans, though here too we have not been idle. As one of two universities (the other is Columbia) participating in the John Hay Whitney Foundation program of graduate fellowships in the humanities, and through our own Master of Arts in Teaching program, we have cast shadows of what I hope will be even greater coming events.
Of all branches of the liberal arts none is in such poor health in the United States as the humanities. These are the studies which for centuries have sustained the spirit of learning and the ends, as well as the means, of civilization. Yet of all studies, in the evaluation of a practical people, these are considered the least practical. For this reason motivation of the student becomes all-important. It must come at the right time, and from teachers not only eager but properly prepared to give it. Otherwise, save in exceptional cases, it will not come at all. Once again, all signs point to secondary school teachers, particularly those in public high schools where the tradition of the humanities is weakest, the attitude of parents and students least congenial to their development, and the practical opportunities of teachers anxious to further such development most restricted. To provide for their needs the Whitney Foundation established a program of graduate fellowships in the humanities which brings to the graduate school of each of the participating universities ten public high school teachers selected by merit on a regional basis. At Yale these teachers spend a year of study and close personal association with our own outstanding teachers and scholars in their fields. They are thus brought up to date on professional developments in those fields and given fresh perspectives on problems they must face when they return to their schools.
The Whitney Foundation program is now in its second year. While it is too soon yet to judge its ultimate results, at Yale it has had an auspicious beginning. The comments of the Fellows have been enthusiastic and of their instructors even more so. It is very evident that both believe they have been actively furthering a vital process that will yield results where results are most sorely needed.
Our Master of Arts in Teaching represents a more comprehensive effort to bridge the gap between general education in school and college through the training of teachers. This program has grown out of plans which I drew up and submitted to the Carnegie Corporation in the fall of 1950. The plans called for a small, essentially experimental program whose purpose was to inject as much as possible of the actual substance of the liberal arts into the training of secondary school teachers while at the same time giving them the essentials of pedagogy that would enable them to meet their professional requirements. As compared with teacher training programs prevailing throughout the country, ours would redress the balance between the liberal arts and pedagogical methodology in favor of the liberal arts. The whole was conceived primarily in the interests of public high school teachers, and a systematic effort was to be made to recruit candidates from our own and other liberal arts colleges.
As might be expected of any project that took such difficult objectives for its goal and advanced to meet them on such a modest and frankly experimental basis, it has sometimes seemed like bailing out the ocean. Yet it has yielded solid results. Whatever value these may hold for the nation, their value to Yale is inestimable. They have shown us more clearly than we have ever seen them before not merely the outlines but the concrete detail of the curriculum we must support, if Yale is to play the role in secondary and higher education projected in these pages. They have shown us the things we must do if Yale is to play the part in restoring the liberal arts as an educational force required in her own interests and desperately needed by American society.
To accomplish this purpose the Master of Arts in Teaching must not only be maintained in its present form. It must be strengthened and expanded. Bridges must be built between it and our public school system. More vigorous recruitment of candidates for the program than has been possible to date must be undertaken. The whole program must receive the general support of the entire faculty, with the same clear sense of direction that has guided its present faculty and administrative staff--a platoon where an army is needed.
These are not new aims in the history and tradition of Yale. They are the fulfillment of old aims, aims neglected or not clearly seen in the confused perspective of presentday education. Yale has always sent her graduates into the teaching profession. In preparing candidates for university teaching our Graduate School has been preeminent. It awarded the first Ph.D. degree in the United States (1861) and since then has maintained a qualitative record in this particular phase of teacher training second to none. Since its founding in 1907 our Department of Education has turned out a small annual quota of men and women trained in public-school administration. Each year a handful of our own seniors takes up school teaching, the great majority in private preparatory schools. These are all honorable precedents for the more systematic and much more vigorous liberal arts program for secondary school teachers the times call occasion.
Rising to the occasion requires an unusually clear sense of purpose. To organize and carry out our twofold program of general education for undergraduates and secondary school teachers, particularly the teacher training part of it, will require new endowment, new working capital that will not tie our hands by multifarious conditions and restrictions or expire at the end of a term. This is not a tentative promotional project. It is a specific long-term purpose that must be incorporated in the University's regular life and work and supported by our own resources. It is essential to see it as such in order to provide the resources that will make it possible in the first place.
We must see just as clearly the position it must occupy in our educational scheme of things if it is to be effective. It must occupy the same place in our scale of values as the best we offer in undergraduate and graduate education. To secure this place consensus is needed as much as it is in the provision of resources. Yale is a diversified and highly individualistic community, in which conflict of interests, particularly in competition for resources, is. perpetual and sharp, and a minority of one may consider a majority of ninety-nine a tyranny. It would be illusory to expect each one of those interests to attach equal importance to this program. Yet in this as in all things Yale is a community, and communities order their life and work by consensus. We must all see this purpose clearly even though we may not all see it whole.
We must see it, also, as part of the deficit of Yale, a part that is not and by nature cannot be included in fiscal reports. I mean Yale's educational deficit, the balance between her educational obligations and what she is doing to fulfill them. For all the financial resources we have recruited during the past three years, our longrun educational deficit remains disproportionately large. Another item in this deficit is facilities for teaching and research that will keep our sciences in their proper place in our educational scheme of things. I have before me as I write requests and demands for similar facilities from no less than thirty-one schools and departments in the University, each one translated into educational terms and put to me in language as urgent as the scientists'. We have not yet finished correcting our faculty salary scale, particularly in the lower ranks, an item that is directly and categorically educational and whose weight is felt and expressed by every department.
Outside of this categorically educational deficit but inside the same limited supply of resources, we face an accumulated and steadily growing deficit in the maintenance of our plant--long-deferred repairs and replacements that must soon be effected or cost us the loss of irreplaceable capital assets. Merely to keep things going as they are we must meet a combined payroll of salaries and wages of nearly a million dollars a month. Moreover this payroll is subject to all the pressures such as competition with other institutions and forms of employment, collective bargaining and strikes, felt by a profit-making corporation. Each of these needs must be seen in its proper perspective by a community whose foremost concern must be continued leadership and progression in the educational field.
Such are the institutional circumstances in which I say we can and must restore the liberal arts as a force in American education. I say we can because again and again in Yale's long history a sense of common purpose--at times articulate, at times subconscious--has enabled us to resolve conflicting interests in constructive policy: otherwise our history might not have been so long. I say we must because the present purpose lays an equal obligation on every member of Yale as it does upon every American: the obligation of ensuring for his children full value in the promise of equal opportunity in education.